Recent Headlines from Above the Law

  • Law firm profits thanks to DPW bonus matches?

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 12.18.14

    * Many Biglaw firms seem to be dragging their feet to match Davis Polk’s generous bonus scale. Why’s that? According to one partner, these bonus matches have cut into his firm’s profits by about 4 percent. Yikes! [The Economist]

    * Total 1L enrollment in law school is the lowest it’s been since 1973, when there were 53 fewer schools. The next step would be to reduce tuition to 1973 levels, and then no one would have any more complaints. [DealBook / New York Times]

    * Just because Bingham McCutchen bit the big one, it doesn’t mean that all of its pro bono cases will have to suffer the same fate. Not only did Morgan Lewis rescue most of the firm’s attorneys, but it’s also saving 500 of its pro bono cases. [Am Law Daily]

    * Now that President Obama has decided to reopen diplomatic relations with Cuba, lawyers are champing at the bit for more business opportunities. Love Cuban cigars? Well, lawyers love trademark disputes involving those cigars. [National Law Journal]

    * Greenberg Traurig reminds Florida clerks that if they issue gay marriage licenses, they could be criminally charged. Plaintiffs’ attorneys remind Florida clerks that if they refuse to issue gay marriage licenses, they could be sued. [Tampa Bay Times]

    * Our managing editor, David Lat, sat down with Vivia Chen to dish about some of his favorite things, from his new book, Supreme Ambitions (affiliate link), to his new fiancé. Her book review: “I liked it! It’s a fun, breezy read.” Hooray! [The Careerist]

    14 Comments / / Dec 18, 2014 at 9:01 AM
  • cooley blue

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 12.04.14

    * “[I]t’s hard to find anybody as handsome as Antonin Scalia.” Some would beg to differ, but as it turns out, legal scholar Bryan Garner can brown-nose with the best of them. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * For the third year in a row, Cooley Law graduates have mostly failed the July administration of the Michigan bar. So much for it being a “highly prestigious” law school. [Crain’s Detroit Business]

    * In a lawsuit filed against real estate database Zillow, a former employee claims she was subjected to the “most heinous acts of sexual harassment imaginable” and “sexual torture.” That’s just lovely. [LAist]

    * Law firm merger activity is still going strong as 2014 winds down to a close. Aside from big-name tie-ups like Bingham / Morgan Lewis and Locke Lord / Edwards Wildman, other firms like Verill Dana also had the urge to merge. [Am Law Daily]

    * “Does it really surprise me? Not all that much.” University of Memphis School of Law students are on high alert during finals time after one of their own was almost robbed at gunpoint across the street from campus this week. Yikes. [WMC Action News 5]

    * In case you’ve been sleeping under a rock, Above the Law’s managing editor, David Lat, wrote a book called Supreme Ambitions (affiliate link), and it’s been receiving rave reviews. If you dig clerkship lit, you should try to check it out. [National Law Journal]

    12 Comments / / Dec 4, 2014 at 9:01 AM
  • bananas

    Non-Sequiturs

    Non-Sequiturs: 12.01.14

    * What’s happening to all the Bingham partners that are not joining Morgan Lewis? Here’s the latest on the lateral moves of “the Forgotten.” [Reuters (sub. req.)]

    * “Is that a banana in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?” That’s not at all what police said after throwing a guy in jail for brandishing a banana. [CBS News]

    * Is it possible to save the Supreme Court from partisanship? [Bloomberg Politics]

    * You think you had a ritzy Thanksgiving dinner? Well, some jackholes somewhere spent $35,000 for a Thanksgiving dinner devoted to conspicuous consumption in a world of inequity. [Daily Kos]

    * Shearman & Sterling’s Richard Hsu continues his wonderful podcast on the lives of lawyers, this week chatting with Sean Patrick Butler, Sr. Corporate Counsel at Cisco, about Butler’s decision to live two hours away from San Francisco to live the rural life. [Hsu Untied]

    * This guy is compiling stats on bar exam testing patterns. He’s got some California data up already. Perhaps with some reader contributions, he can get widespread coverage. [Bar Exam Stats]

    * When it comes to legal scholarship, women are earning more citations than men according to one study. There are a lot of caveats to be had, but it looks like the law has one, finite area where the gender gap is narrow. [TaxProf Blog]

    * One-third of lawyers are taking on more pro bono work these days. Good for them. [Robert Half Legal]

    16 Comments / / Dec 1, 2014 at 5:05 PM
  • Bill Cosby

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 11.25.14

    * “Have a taste of this. It will do you good in so many ways.” Louisa Moritz, one of Bill Cosby’s alleged victims, is interested in filing a class-action lawsuit against the comedian. [Fox News Latino]

    * If you’re interested, here’s all of the testimony and evidence that was presented to the grand jury that resulted in no true bill for Darren Wilson in the Michael Brown shooting. [Associated Press]

    * HBO hired a team of 160 lawyers to look at its film adaptation of Lawrence Wright’s book about Scientology. The power of thetans compels them to keep churning that bill, baby. [Hollywood Reporter]

    * “The Constitution is not a math problem,” but it seems like the Supreme Court is playing a numbers game when it comes to its decisions having to do with same-sex marriage. What’s the magic number for SCOTUS to take a case? [New York Times]

    * It’s official: Morgan Lewis has gobbled up most of Bingham McCutchen ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday. Stick a fork in it, because Morgan Lewis is done — it’s now stuffed full of more lawyers than any other firm in the country. [Philadelphia Inquirer]

    * Emerson Briggs III, an ex-partner at Hunton & Williams, is facing disbarment in D.C. over the child pornography he downloaded at work. Oh, how the mighty have fallen: he’s been working as a paralegal since being disbarred in New York. [Legal Times]

    * Patricia Nesci, a law firm secretary, allegedly forged a judge’s signature on an order to show cause to keep herself from being evicted from her home earlier this month. She apparently did not get a Biglaw-style bonus from her former firm. [Syracuse.com]

    * Before you submit your applications, you should try creating a budget to see just how financially screwed you’ll be during and after law school, and then compare it to your pre-law school budget. Try not to cry. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News]

    22 Comments / / Nov 25, 2014 at 9:10 AM
  • shake-hands

    Biglaw

    50 Ways To Leave Your Biglaw Firm (And Keep Your Bonus)

    If you are looking to move in the beginning of January, your finger should be pressing the call app in your phone.

    / Nov 21, 2014 at 4:49 PM
  • Bingham new logo

    Bankruptcy, Biglaw, Dissolution, Lateral Moves, Law Firm Mergers, Layoffs, Partner Issues, Staff Layoffs

    More Info About The Morgan Lewis / Bingham McCutchen Deal

    How many Bingham associates are being invited to join Morgan Lewis, and what will happen to Bingham’s Kentucky back-office operation?

    24 Comments / / Nov 19, 2014 at 11:12 AM
  • Prostitution2

    Bar Exams, Biglaw, Lateral Moves, Law Schools, Morning Docket, Partner Issues, Prostitution, Public Interest, Screw-Ups, Small Law Firms, Student Loans

    Morning Docket: 11.19.14

    * Morgan Lewis may be pretty pleased with itself now that it gets to gobble up most of Bingham McCutchen’s partners, but some day soon, it may be forced to “choke a bit” on remains of the dying firm’s carcass. [Philadelphia Business Journal]

    * Yesterday, we wondered what would happen to Bingham McCutchen’s brand new back-office operation in Kentucky. Now, the pieces are starting to come together. We may have more on this interesting development later. [Am Law Daily]

    * A Connecticut criminal defense firm’s managing partner who teaches at UConn Law was picked up in a prostitution sting last week. At least he’s got the skills to represent himself. [Connecticut Law Tribune]

    * The NCBE thinks bar exam takers were “less able” than in prior years, but the organization seems to have forgotten that ExamSoft was “less able” to perform its one freaking job. [Bloomberg Businessweek]

    * You must be whacked in the mind if you think law school tuition has anything to do with public service loan forgiveness. Law school tuition is high because people are still willing to pay for it. [Huffington Post]

    24 Comments / / Nov 19, 2014 at 9:02 AM
  • Attractive businesswoman holds magnifying glass, isolated

    Bankruptcy, Biglaw, Citigroup, Dissolution, Lateral Moves, Law Firm Mergers, Partner Issues, Partner Profits

    A Closer Look At The Morgan-Bingham Deal

    Sources say that Bingham will NOT go bankrupt.

    12 Comments / / Nov 18, 2014 at 1:02 PM
  • BarbieBratz

    Biglaw, Crime, Lateral Moves, Law Schools, Morning Docket, Partner Issues, Police, Romance and Dating, Weddings, Weirdness

    Morning Docket: 11.18.14

    * “The notion that some of us weren’t invited, selected or chosen to join Morgan Lewis is ridiculous.” Bingham McCutchen partners who aren’t moving to Morgan Lewis don’t want you to think they’re losers. [Am Law Daily]

    * MGA is back in court to sue Mattel, and now it wants $1 billion after its $88 million verdict was nixed by the Ninth Circuit. Here’s hoping Quinn Emanuel will come to the rescue in a hot pink Barbiemobile. [National Law Journal]

    * “We want an indictment. The cops don’t like it.” Missouri’s governor declared a state of emergency ahead of the grand jury’s decision on whether to indict the police officer who shot Michael Brown. Yikes. [Reuters]

    * Not that it’s a wise choice, but you can still apply to law school with a low GPA. Almost nothing is “too low” these days. Most law schools want a pulse, that’s all. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News]

    * Everyone can find love, even mass murderers and cult leaders: Charles Manson applied for a marriage license so he could get hitched to a 26-year-old woman who’s visited him since she was 17. [E! Online]

    19 Comments / / Nov 18, 2014 at 9:02 AM
  • Bingham new logo

    Bankruptcy, Biglaw, Dissolution, Lateral Moves, Law Firm Mergers, Partner Issues, Partner Profits

    Bingham To Go Bust In Wake Of Morgan Lewis Raid

    What is the fate of Bingham after Morgan Lewis’s “mass lateral hire” of 226 Bingham partners?

    54 Comments / / Nov 17, 2014 at 1:16 PM