Before we discuss this week’s finalists, here’s a peek at some of the weddings we can’t feature due to space constraints: a former Kirkland & Ellis partner marrying the youngest-looking 62-year-old we’ve ever seen, the creator of the Anonymous Lawyer blog marrying an anonymous doctor, and a Rhodes Scholar marrying an ordinary person.
The fact these couples couldn’t make the cut should tell you a little something about the quality of the field as we near the summit of the wedding season. Here are the three lucky couples who’ve reached the finals this week:
* There has been plenty off talk about potential Supreme Court nominees, but how about the conservative groups gearing up to oppose them? [The Washington Post]
* Two highly qualified lesbians, Virginia Linder and Kathleen Sullivan, are apparently on Obama’s Supreme Court short list. [ABC News]
* The ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Jeff Sessions, says that an openly gay Supreme Court nominee should be treated fairly “regardless of what kind of persuasion they may have.” [Fox News]
* Meanwhile Specter has lost his seniority on the Senate Judiciary Committee and will become the chairman of the subcommittee on crime and drugs. “What we don’t want is an angry former Republican during a Supreme Court hearing,” said a Democratic staffer. [Washington Post]
* Police continue to investigate mysteries surrounding the death of Robert Wone, a Washington lawyer who was murdered in 2006. [The Blog of Legal Times]
* Did you know there was an elite “Public Integrity Section” in the Department of Justice tasked with probing corruption charges of public officials? [The New York Times]
Big news in from Minnesota. Remember the story of the female summer associates who got drunk and started making out last year at a firm event? We covered it in our end-of-the-year Biglaw Gossip In Review post. In that post, we wondered:
What happened to our fearless heroines after summer was over? We don’t know their fates. We reached out to them by email, but they did not respond to our queries. Did they land new jobs? It’s not clear.
It has become clearer. Apparently, the two 3Ls were among the many heading into life-after-law-school without job offers. So, like these University of Missouri-Kansas City grads, they’re going entrepreneurial and launching their own firm.
Will they be able to capitalize on their Above The Law fame? How are they getting their start-up cash? And more importantly, are they hiring?
Now that we’re a few days into 2009, we’re going to pick up the pace in our 2008 round-up posts. Some of you are getting impatient. Complained a commenter: “At this rate, we’re going to get to #1s sometime in June.”
So, onward. We previously wrote about the #5 gossip story in Biglaw. Today we’re going to hit two birds with one stone, announcing the #4 and #3 stories in law firm land (on the gossipy side; the hard news / business stories are on a separatelist).
Although they’re not in the top two, these tales were in some respects the most fun for us to cover. Take a trip down memory lane, after the jump.
Last week, we attended OutLaws: A Discussion With Out Lawyers, held at the LGBT Community Center here in New York. The event featured “out lawyers sharing different perspectives and stories — how they got to where they are professionally, as well as what went right, what didn’t, how they’d approach things differently today, and the specific challenges they faced as an LGBT person.”
The panel was moderated by Lisa Linsky, a litigation partner at McDermott Will & Emery. She was joined by Michael Colosi, general counsel for Kenneth Cole; Phylliss Delgreco, associate general counsel and senior vice president at Citigroup; and Roberta Kaplan, a litigation partner at Paul Weiss.
The freewheeling discussion was quite enlightening. You can read about it after the jump.
Let’s close out the week with one more post about everyone’s favorite summer associate scandal: the girl-on-girl kiss that got two summer associates fired from the Minneapolis law firm of Lindquist & Vennum.
Earlier today, we alluded to rumors of “additional lasciviousness” at Lindquist, and now it’s time to deliver. We wouldn’t want to be accused of being teases.
Now some of you may be getting lesbian kiss fatigue (although some of you may say, “no such thing!!!”). But having received this tip, we can’t sit on it, or we’d be accused of giving you only part of the story.
From a tipster (who provided additional identifying information to explain how he’s in a position to know this, which we’ve omitted to preserve his anonymity):
“[The Kiss] happened at a bar with a bunch of summer people after dinner at a partner’s house. [One of the summers] was probably just fired as a scapegoat, because that same night [another summer] made out with a married partner. I bet they didn’t fire that girl because they were afraid of employment discrimination suits.”
Well! All this scandalous talk — faux-lesbian kisses, orgiastic firm retreats — is making us blush.
We retract any and all prior remarks suggesting the folks at Lindquist are prudes and squares. To the contrary, it sounds like the place is so buck wild that lesbian lip-action is on the mild side of the spectrum. We are — involuntarily, mind you — imagining Nancy Vollertsen dancing on a table.
Okay, this scandal may have run its course; all good things come to an end. But we remain open to corrections, in case we’ve gotten anything wrong. Feel free to send any info our way, by email (subject line: “Lindquist and Vennum Summer Associate Scandal”). Thanks.
When we recently lamented the lack of summer associate scandals, in the New York Observer, did we speak too soon? Although we may be in the home stretch, law firm summer associate programs are not yet over — and neither, thankfully, are the salacious tales they generate.
Here’s a story we’ve known about for a while — it happened late last week — which has already surfaced elsewhere on the web. We’ve delayed on reporting about it because we wanted to get more confirmation and give the parties involved a chance to comment.
We reached out to numerous representatives of the firm — managing partner Daryle Uphoff, chief marketing officer Greg Wolsky, recruiting director Lisanne Weisz, diversity coordinator Nancy Vollertsen — by phone and by email, yesterday and today. We also contacted the two summers involved, via Facebook message. Nobody has gotten back to us, despite ample time to do so. We’ll have to push ahead without them.
Since we’ve heard the story from multiple sources, all offering generally consistent accounts, we are fairly confident in its accuracy. But if you have any corrections or additions to offer, please email us (subject line: “Lindquist and Vennum Summer Associate Scandal”).
Here are some of the versions we heard (many tipsters sent it in):
1. Word through the grapevine is that two female summer associates at Minneapolis firm Lindquist & Vennum were fired recently for getting drunk at a firm event and making out with each other.
2. I’m an associate at a large Minneapolis firm, and word is that two female summer associates at Lindquist & Vennum, another of the large firms in town, got drunk at a summer associate event and were making out with each other. They were fired on Friday.
3. [Two summers at] Lindquist & Vennum were fired over the weekend. Drinking was involved; however, the firm supplied it to them during a boat cruise in 90+ degree weather. Can you get this posted? I want more information.
4. I am a summer associate at a Minneapolis law firm. I can tell that you that two female Lindquist and Vennum summer associates were recently fired (within the last week). I could not tell you for sure why they were fired, but the rumor is that they were drunk at some sort of firm social event (one that had partners present), and started to make out with each other.
And they got fired for this? We’re surprised the old-white-male partners didn’t cheer them on.
Update / Correction: According to reports received after this post was published, whether the SAs were “making out” or merely kissing on the lips is unclear. Furthermore, the event in question was not the boat cruise, but a post-dinner gathering at a bar. For an update post containing additional information and corrections, see here.
One tipster pointed us to some corroborating evidence:
This is true. We verified it ourselves, by comparing the current summer associate page, which lists eight summers, to an older version, which lists ten summers. (But please do not post in the comments any links to archived or cached versions of the page.)
You can read more, if you want to — if you don’t, then don’t — after the jump.
The law schools of Columbia and NYU have been battling over faculty superstars for several years. And now NYU is bringing out the heavy artillery: multimillion-dollar condo purchases. From the New York Times:
Columbia University, in a never-ending search for a larger campus, has long had an outpost for faculty housing at 455 Central Park West — 53 apartments in an 26-story tower attached to the French Renaissance chateau at West 106th Street.
So it was something of a surprise when a foundation associated with New York University bought a large condominium in the complex. The unit, which cost $5.2 million, is built into one of the huge turrets of the chateau…. The duplex apartment has a round living and dining room with 37-foot high ceilings and Central Park views, along with three more conventional bedrooms.
Sounds fabulous! Who gets to inhabit this fabulous pad?
Why was Cinderella stuck in the office doing document review, while her wicked stepsisters nibbled on caviar and danced the night away?
Maybe Cinderella worked at Kirkland & Ellis, and her sisters were of the Sapphic persuasion. From a K&E tipster:
The Chicago office of Kirkland & Ellis hosted a “GLBT only” party last night. The email invitation is below.
It’s illegal under Illinois law to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation in the workplace. But they shouldn’t be expected to know that as attorneys, should they?
Here’s the invite:
The GLBT Subcommittee of the Firmwide Diversity Committee cordially invites All Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) Attorneys and Staff to a Winter Cocktail and Hors d’Ouevres Reception Today, Thursday, January 17, 2008 Sidebar Grille.
221 N. LaSalle Chicago 5:00 P.M. — 7:00 P.M.
Truth be told, we aren’t deeply troubled. Regardless of their technical status under the law, events for lawyers who share common interests happen all the time.
So lighten up, Mr. Tipster! You probably wouldn’t have liked the music anyway — or, for that matter, being ogled by those twinks from IT. And you definitely wouldn’t have appreciated being hit upon by that bear from Duplicating.
As a certain ATL commenter might say, “Guys in my high school used to throw special gay parties all the time. They called it Drama Club. It was no big deal.”
P.S. A more serious issue is presented by K&E’s summer associate diversity fellowship, previously discussed by Professor David Bernstein over at the Volokh Conspiracy. Diversity Fellowship Program [Kirkland & Ellis] Illegal Fellowship at Kirkland & Ellis? [Volokh Conspiracy]
The evolution of relationships between the genders continues. Currently, in law firms, there is an interesting conundrum; balancing the desire for a gender-blind workplace where “the best lawyer gets the work and advances” and the reality of navigating the complicated maze created by the fact that, in general, men and women do possess differences in their work styles. These variations impact who they work with, how they work, how they build professional connections and how organizations ultimately leverage, reward and recognize the talents of all.
Henry Ford sat on his workbench and sighed. A year earlier, he had personally built 13,000 Model Ts with his own hands. Fashioning lugnuts and tie rods by hand, Ford was loath to ask for help. Sure, there were things about the car that he didn’t quite understand. This explains the lack of reliable navigation systems in the Model T. But Ford persevered because he knew that unless he did everything, he could not reliably call these cars his own.
“Unless my own personal toil is responsible for it, it may as well be called a Hyundai,” Ford remarked at the time.
The preceding may sound unfamiliar because it is categorically untrue. And also monumentally stupid. Henry Ford didn’t build all those cars by hand. He had help and plenty of it. Almost exactly one hundred years ago, Henry Ford opened up the most technologically advanced assembly line the world had ever seen. Built on the premise that work can be chopped up into digestible pieces and completed by many men better than one, the line ushered in an age of unparalleled productivity.
Today, an attorney refers business because he can’t do everything the client asks of him.
There are three reasons why this is way dumber than a made-up Henry Ford story…
Ed. note: The Asia Chronicles column is authored by Kinney Recruiting. Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates, counsels and partners in Asia than any other recruiting firm in each of the past six years. You can reach them by email: [email protected].
Since late last year, things have been booming in Hong Kong / China in cap markets, especially Hong Kong IPOs. M&A deal flow has recently been getting a bit stronger as well. Although one can’t predict such things with any certainty, all signs are pointing to a banner entire 2014 for the top end US corporate and cap markets practices in Hong Kong / China. This is not really new news, as its been the feeling most in the market have had for a few months now and things continue to look good.
The head of our Asia practice, Evan Jowers, has been in Hong Kong for about 10 days a month (with trips every other month to both Shanghai and Bejing) for the past 7 months, and spending most of his time there meeting with senior US hiring partners at just about all the major US and UK firms there, as well as prospective candidates at all associate levels and partner levels, and when in the US, Evan works Asia hours and is regularly on the phone with such persons, as our the other members of our Asia team. Our Yuliya Vinokurova is in Hong Kong every other month and Robert is there about 5 times a year as well. While we have a solid Asia team of recruiters, Evan Jowers will spend at least some time with all of our candidates for Asia position. We have had long standing relationships, and good friendships in some cases, with hiring partners and other senior US partners in Asia for 8 years now.