* Even at the top of the in-house food chain, women lawyers are still paid less than their male counterparts. But hey, at least they’re not being forced to cry poverty like their in-house staff attorney brethren. [Corporate Counsel]
* Neil Barofsky, the former King of TARP in the United States, is making the move to Jenner & Block, specifically because as opposed to all other firms, “Jenner took the side of really getting to the truth of the matter.” [Reuters]
* Luxury fashion is fun: four Biglaw firms, including Cleary Gottlieb, Cravath, Torys, and Proskauer Rose, all took Tim Gunn’s mantra to heart to make it work for the $6 billion sale of Neiman Marcus. [Am Law Daily (sub. req.)]
* If you want to try some lawyer, we hear that they taste great when poached this time of year. Speaking of which, Troutman Sanders just reeled in three attorneys from Hunton & Williams. [Richmond BizSense]
* Are you ready for some tax law?! The NFL and other professional sports leagues might lose their nonprofit status if new tax reform legislation makes it through the House and the Senate. [Businessweek]
Here’s a little fact that’ll make some of our readers feel old: Facebook, the world’s largest social media conglomerate, celebrated its ninth birthday yesterday. Being that it’s almost been around for a decade, the site’s been there with some of our younger readers throughout college, law school, bar exam hell, law jobs (or the lack thereof), engagements, weddings, babies, and more.
In celebration of Facebook’s birthday, the good people over at BuzzFeed did some stalking research on the site’s very first users, all 25 of them. As it turns out, some of them went on to become lawyers. But where did they go to law school, and which firms are they at today?
Let’s do something Facebook would never do — invade their privacy — and find out….
Only four of Facebook’s first 25 users decided to subject themselves to life in the law, but only one of them was lucky enough to get in before the bottom really fell out. Luckily, none of them seem to have been victims of Lathaming, despite the fact that many of them graduated into the worst entry-level legal job market in more than 20 years. Behold the power of graduating from the T14! Here they are, in order of their Facebook IDs:
Amie Broder (No. 25)
According to BuzzFeed, Amie Broder was two years ahead of Mark Zuckerberg at Harvard College. After graduation, she went on to study at NYU Law School (not to be confused with New York Law School) as a member of the class of 2007. Her LinkedIn page says her first job was at Simpson Thacher, and she remained at the firm for three years before lateraling out to Troutman Sanders. Man, talk about a downgrade. In late 2012, Broder was recognized as a “rising star” in tax law by Super Lawyers. A rising tax superstar? She must be a thrill at parties. Yawn…
Ebonie Hazle (No. 18)
BuzzFeed notes that Ebonie Hazle went to Columbia Law School after she graduated from Harvard. A member of the CLS class of 2009, she went on to work a three-year stint at Gibson Dunn (“Gibson Dunne” per BuzzFeed, ha). Recently she decided to move in-house, and according to her LinkedIn page, she’s currently working as the acting associate general counsel at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. Hazle is no stranger to the pages of Above the Law: the verdict came out in her favor in this edition of Legal Eagle Wedding Watch. She still goes by her maiden name, because who wouldn’t continue to go by a name like that?
Samyr Laine (No. 11)
After graduating from Harvard in 2006, Samyr Laine enrolled at Georgetown Law, receiving his juris doctor in 2010. Since then, Laine’s done some wonderful things with his life — BuzzFeed calls him “an accomplished triple jumper who competed for Haiti in the 2012 Olympics.” We profiled him in January 2012, and poked a little fun at him because he seemed to be relying on law as a “fallback” career of sorts. As we noted previously, we still hope there’s a legal market for him to fall back on when his legs give out. Unfortunately, there isn’t a medal for 11th place, so for now, he’ll have to toil in the law like regular attorneys who aren’t world-class athletes.
Colin Kelly (No. 6)
Kelly enrolled at Columbia Law School and graduated in 2008, landing his first job at Paul Weiss, where he’s remained ever since. He’s also a tax associate, which seems to be the chosen practice area for nerds. The picture on his LinkedIn page seems to indicate that he likes backpacking. BuzzFeed also provided commentary on Kelly’s appearance in the pages of the New York Times, specifically, how he decorated his new apartment “on the cheap.” And for a Biglaw associate, “cheap” costs approximately $8,000. Speaking of cheap, we didn’t get around to covering Colin Kelly’s abode in our Lawyerly Lairs series because its purchase price — $572,000 — was too low for our luxurious tastes.
And there you have it, the four lawyers who got into the Facebook game before anyone knew it was going to be the next big thing. Graduating from respected law schools certainly has its perks: all four were able to blow the competition out of the water when it came to legal employment and media fame. Now that’s a great marketing tactic for legal education if we’ve ever seen one. It’s one that’s sure to get a thousand Facebook likes!
Light years away and in the distant future, perhaps some alien grad student in Defunct Planet Studies will stumble onto the ATL archives. He’ll conclude, not unreasonably, that the legal industry was a sort of oligopoly. That there were only a handful of firms: Skadden, Cravath, Latham, Quinn Emanuel, Tannebaum Weiss, and those few others that get such a disproportionate amount of our attention. And of course, there were only 14 real law schools.
This singular obsession with “prestige,” this mindset that the most elite firms and schools are the only worthy ones, is detached from the experiences of the vast majority of lawyers practicing at the 50,000 other firms and the students at the 180+ other law schools. Back in December, we had a little debate about the effect of prestige in the legal industry. In the spirit of the “prestige obsession is bad” side of that argument, we thought it would be worthwhile to see which firms and schools outside of the very top tiers are, according to insiders, great places to work or learn.
Over the course of 2012, we received close to 10,000 responses to our ATL Insider Survey, where lawyers rate their firms based on compensation, culture, morale, training, and culture, and students and alumni rate their schools based on academics, social life, clinical training, career services, and financial aid advising. Based on our survey, the most highly rated firms and schools also happened to among the most prestigious (e.g., Stanford, Davis Polk), but there is certainly not a correlation between prestige and insider rating.
After the jump, we’ll see which schools outside of the T14 and which firms outside the Vault 50 were rated the highest by their own people….
Below are, in no particular order, our Top Five Overlooked Law Schools, along with a sample of insider comments:
The professors care a lot, the building is amazing, and the Dean is a great guy.
If you want to work at a small-medium sized firm in Milwaukee or the Fox Valley, Marquette dominates those job markets. It also does fairly well in state and local government job markets (e.g., Milwaukee DA’s office).
Cheap in-state tuition. Great education. Very talented and accomplished faculty (even among career services staff). Fun college town to tear apart on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. Because Missouri’s public university funding is consistently among the worst in the nation, USNWR won’t give a favorable $ per student ratio. We also correctly report employment statistics at graduation (a number affected by the fact that a large number of our 400 students desire to enter public service, a field that will not make an offer prior to graduation).
If you actually work hard to get good grades and utilize the career center to the fullest extent, a law degree from Tulane will be worth your while. It’s too easy to get distracted by the constant partying that’s available to you in New Orleans. If you prioritize your work and fully commit to building a legal career for yourself, there’s plenty that Tulane can do for you.
Extremely dedicated faculty with high proportion of critical legal theorists. Lots of emphasis on job training with four required co-ops. First-year Legal Skills in Social Context program is imperfect and sometimes frustrating but very, very beneficial (in terms of ability to work well in groups, structure a project with little direction, and accept critical feedback). I love NUSL.
And here, again in no particular order, are the highest rated non-Vault 50 law firms, our Top Five Overlooked Firms:
Hughes Hubbard’s D.C. office has managed to maintain a very intimate, “family” feel despite the fact that it has nearly tripled in size since 2005. We work the big-firm hours, but partners are extremely considerate and respectful of people’s personal lives. It is a fantastic place to work.
The firm is remarkably committed to training its young attorneys, something that is unparalleled in the Philadelphia market or even across the country.
Look, no one wants to get paid under market for four months, but Drinker instituting its training program instead of laying off the ’08 class was pretty powerful signaling that they care about developing young associates. As someone who intends to stay at the firm for the foreseeable future, that matters. As for the program itself, they keep us busy with work and structured events. For better or for worse, they want you to be friends with the people around you.
The day that many of you have been waiting for has arrived. Today ATL goes to ATL: the fair city of Atlanta!
Based on NALP forms and priornewsarticles, it seems that starting salaries in the Big Peach generally range from $130,000 and $145,000 (similar to Philadelphia).
At $130K: Alston & Bird; Arnall Golden Gregory; King & Spalding; Kilpatrick Stockton; McKenna Long & Aldridge; Morris, Manning & Martin; Paul Hastings; Powell Goldstein; Smith Gambrell & Russell; Sutherland Asbill & Brennan; Troutman Sanders; Womble Carlyle.
At $135K: Jones Day
At $145K.: Dow Lohnes; Hunton & Williams; McGuireWoods; Schiff Hardin.