Above the Law

Recent Headlines from Above the Law

 

* Because it’s been such a long time since the NFL has had a scandal, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is accused of sexual assault in a new suit. The Cowboys claim the suit is nothing but a money grab. No one knows a money grab like a franchise owner milking a new stadium partially financed by taxpayers. [USAToday]

* Dean Frank Wu explains why Hastings will survive the end of law schools. [SF Weekly]

* A pair of IP litigators, James W. Dabney and Stephen S. Rabinowitz, have jumped from Fried Frank to Hughes Hubbard. Will others be following Dabney & Rabinowitz out of Fried Frank? [Hughes Hubbard]

* “Lawyer’s ‘Torture Porn’ Past Pops Up in Pa. Governor’s Race.” OK, let’s see what you’ve got here. [Greedy Associates / FindLaw]

* An interesting breakdown of the legal scholars with the widest network of co-authors. Think of these as the most promiscuous scholars around. Actually, no. Don’t think that. [Ryan Whalen]

* Etsy sides with the USPTO and bans sales of anything branded “Redskins” on its platform. I’m not sure how smart this is since the economic teeth of the USPTO decision was to allow sites like Etsy to sell massive quantities of otherwise trademark-infringing stuff until Washington relented and opted for a new trademark-protectable name. [Etsy]

* Don’t throw peanut butter in my neighborhood (though I don’t understand the blotter… there’s no Bodega at that location). [Legal Juice]

* Lest you think law school is reasonably priced: “New IBR and PSLF provide benefits large enough that high earnings still result in nearly $100,000 in loan forgiveness for typical levels of debt for law school graduates. A lawyer earning at the 50th percentile with that debt level stands to have $147,282 forgiven, which is more than he borrowed…” [New America Education Policy Program]

* Keeping in touch with your inner child to relate to witnesses as humans. [Katz Justice]

* Closing out this football-heavy NS, friend of the blog Mitchell Epner discusses why Roger Goodell won’t (and shouldn’t) survive the fallout of the Ray Rice scandal. Check out the video after the jump… [CNBC]

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Non-Sequiturs: 09.10.14″

* Valerie Ford Jacob, leader of Fried Frank since 2003, is stepping down from her post prior to her official 2015 departure date. At least she’s leaving on a high note, with the firm’s highest profits per partner ever. Yay. [WSJ Law Blog (sub. req.)]

* Ralph Lerner, the ex-Sidley Austin partner who billed extra car charges to his clients, claims he went into work on weekends to do work for free to make up for it. Aww, how nice of him. [Am Law Daily]

* When we first covered this in January, it was just a rumor, but now it’s officially set in stone. The deed is done: Buchanan Ingersoll is picking up Tampa firm Fowler White Boggs. [Pittsburgh Business Times]

* Many New York law schools moved in the recent U.S. News rankings, but not necessarily in the right direction. Four out of 15 schools moved up; the rest stayed the same or slipped. [New York Law Journal]

* Would you like damages with that? McDonald’s corporate and its franchisees are facing lawsuits filed by employees over their allegedly “stolen wages.” Class actions have been filed in three states. [Bloomberg]

* Want to know what’s happening at Attorney@Blog today? Check out our Twitter feed! [Attorney@Blog]

This is the latest in a new series of ATL infographics — visual representations of our own proprietary data, relevant third-party data, “anecdata,” or just plain jokes. This infographic is brought to you by our friends at Prestige Legal Search. Earn another $5,000 to $50,000 with their Rewards Program.

For the most part, Biglaw associate bonuses remain stuck at last year’s levels, reflecting expectations that firm profits will be flat at best. This might seem fair, with everyone feeling the pinch of the “New Normal” and so on. But when we take a small step back and see how these bonus numbers compare as a percentage of partner profits to the bonuses of just a few years ago, these bonuses are arguably pretty measly.

The current $10,000 “market” (i.e., Cravath-following) rate for first-years is just 0.29% of Cravath’s profits per partner (according to the American Lawyer). Back in 2007, first-year bonuses equaled 1.36% of PPP. In other words, the Cravath partnership was nearly five times more generous to its associates back then.

Obviously, Cravath is among the most profitable firms in the world. What are the implications of matching Cravath’s bonus scale for those firms with much lower profit margins? Today’s infographic takes a look at how big a hit to PPP partners willingly take in order to Keep Up With The Cravathians….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “2013 Biglaw Bonuses: An ATL Infographic”

The week’s almost over, but we’ve got more bonus news for you. While Sullivan & Cromwell, by matching Cravath, might have dashed your hopes of the bonus market climbing higher, there’s still a chance — probably a one-in-a-million chance — that another very special firm could do it.

In fact, every time an associate says, “I don’t believe in higher bonuses,” there’s a would-be Boies-level bonus someplace that falls down dead.

Were Clifford Chance and Fried Frank daring enough to raise the bonus market? Let’s find out….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Associate Bonus Watch: Bonuses Are Served At Clifford Chance And Fried Frank”

This coming Friday, it is the inalienable right of all Americans to sleep off their hangovers, or riot at Walmart, or do anything at all rather than work for The Man. But Biglaw is a different country. As illustrated by Elie’s decision matrix, the “choice” of whether to work on this sacred day is, for the denizens of the law firm world, fraught with other pressures and expectations. We all know that Biglaw careers demand a Faustian bargain: in return for their fat paychecks (and bonuses?), lawyers are expected to work grueling, unpredictable hours. This time of year, that reality is brought into sharp relief: the “holiday season,” with those “family obligations” and so forth, is something that occurs elsewhere.

But law firm billable expectations are not homogeneous. There are significant differences across practice areas, seniority levels, and, of course, individual firms. So how do the various practices, employment statuses, and firms stack up?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Best Of Hours, The Worst Of Hours: ATL Survey Ratings”

November marks the beginning of the holiday season, and people are brainstorming about what they should be thankful for so they’ll have something thoughtful to say at the Thanksgiving dinner table. We’ve got a suggestion: you should be thankful that you’ve still got a job, because some of your colleagues aren’t so lucky.

Which Biglaw firm offered a significant number of employees a cornucopia of despair yesterday?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Nationwide Layoff Watch: Law Firm Spreads Holiday Jeers, Trims Ranks Like Turkey”

Professor Nina Pillard

* It’s just business as usual: Amid accusations of liberal court-packing, D.C. Circuit nominee Nina Pillard faced questions on abortion and religion during her testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee. [USA Today]

* Biglaw isn’t as dead as we’ve been told and made to believe. Some of the largest firms are actually doing quite well, says American Lawyer’s editor-in-chief, who’d like her job to retain some meaning for now. [Am Law Daily]

* Fried Frank knew that it’d take a banker to pull the firm from its monetary funk, so it picked up David Greenwald, deputy general counsel of Goldman Sachs, to act as co-chair through 2015. [New York Law Journal]

* With the change in SEC policy, from allowing companies to use neither-admit-nor-deny language, to forcing them to admit guilt in “egregious” cases, lawyers may soon be very busy. [Corporate Counsel]

* Raj Rajaratnam is a firm believer in the “three strikes and you’re out” theory of law. A month after the Second Circuit affirmed his insider trading conviction, he’s asking for a rehearing en banc. [Bloomberg]

* You’ve seen Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg give Justice Antonin Scalia the finger in prose, but now you can hear what it would sound like in operatic form as composed by a recent law school graduate. [NPR]

* The Fourth Circuit upheld Obamacare’s employer mandate against Liberty University, calling it a constitutional tax, just like the individual mandate. Now’s a perfect time for a sip of Campari. [WSJ Law Blog]

* The Fried Frank toner bandit was sent to the slammer, but alas, it’s unlikely that the firm will be able to recover any of its losses. Too bad, it could use the cash after its 2012 performance. [Am Law Daily]

* Crisis? What crisis? The dean of UC Davis Law refuses to trim class size, but that doesn’t really matter — the application cycle is handling the situation quite nicely. [Sacramento Business Journal]

* Pennsylvania’s Attorney General Kathleen Kane won’t defend the state against a lawsuit seeking to overturn its ban on same-sex marriage. She’s choosing the people over politics. [New York Times]

* With his trial quickly drawing to a close, George Zimmerman is growing increasingly worried about his future. Let’s face it, even if he’s acquitted, living in hiding isn’t a very good look for him. [ABC News]

Over its long and storied history, Davis Polk & Wardwell hasn’t hired many lateral partners. Most of its partners are homegrown, joining the firm right out of law school and spending their entire careers there (like the two most recently promoted partners).

But this has started to change over the past few years, as managing partner Thomas Reid discussed in an August 2011 interview with Am Law Daily. In the August 2010 to August 2011 period, DPW hired a half-dozen prominent lateral partners.

And the lateral hiring spree continues (although not without the occasional snag). Let’s hear about Davis Polk’s latest high-profile hire, a new lateral partner at Paul Hastings, and an addition to the leadership of Orrick….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Musical Chairs: Notable New Names at Davis Polk, Paul Hastings, and Orrick”

We know how much our readers enjoy greeting cards. Our annual holiday card contest here at Above the Law is one of our site’s most popular (and positive) features.

But what about cards for other occasions? So many of them are clichéd or lame. And the number of events that they speak to is definitely underinclusive.

A former Biglaw associate is here to help….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Career Alternatives for Attorneys: Greeting Card Maker”

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