Earlier this week, we reported on the Yale Law School library apparently allowing students to “check out” a stress-relieving dog named Monty, for 30-minute periods. This precious pet perk was not offered during my time at YLS (but we barely had a library for two years, due to extensive construction).
Alas, the commenter who noted that “Monty has been withdrawn” appears to be correct. The link to Monty’s catalog entry is dead.
* The DUI of an MD from UBS results in Bess Levin’s field trip to Beamers Cafe, “Stamford’s premier strip club.” [Dealbreaker]
* Georgetown law prof Patrick Glen: “[A] candidate who received his or her legal education [at a school other than Harvard or Yale] should lower their aspirations. They may very well attain a seat on a federal appellate court, or perhaps a state supreme court, but if past is prologue, they will have no hope of setting up an office in the Marble Palace.” [Economix]
* Speaking of law schools, if you’re thinking of going, this is the kind of analysis you should undertake. [Advise-In]
I have criticized U.S. News for caring about the number of books available in a law school library. I’ve criticized the Thomas Cooley law school rankings for caring about the size of a law school library.
Clearly, I don’t know what a law school library should be used for. But students at UC Davis do.
From an e-mail that went out to WCL students earlier this week:
TO ALL STUDENTS, FACULTY & STAFF INCIDENT REPORT
On Monday, September 28, at approximately 11:00 pm, a male visitor to the Pence Library exposed himself to a WCL female student while in the quiet reading room of the library. The male then ran out of the library and although chased by WCL students across Mass Ave was able to avoid getting caught. During the chase he dropped a bag containing personal papers possible indicating his name but no address.
They say hell has no fury like a women scorned. But the fury of Jezebel over bloggerly treatment of female harassment might be worse. So when one of my male co-editors responded to this tip with, “This is AWESOME. Who wants to do the honors?”, I realized I better handle this one.
At Duke, masturbatory attacks on unsuspecting female students in the Perkins Library stacks happened with some regularity. I thought this was the case at university libraries across the land, but my co-editors tell me such incidents did not occur at their alma maters. Apparently Duke has more in common with AU than with Harvard and Yale.
More on the Attack of the Stack Whacker, after the jump.
Law librarians got miffed at Westlaw this week, after the legal research company sent out the following advertisement via e-mail:
Law librarians across the land were appalled and voiced their displeasure on this list-serv, among other places. From a librarian at a large southern law firm:
[Apparently] the folks at West think that attorneys shouldn’t know their librarians’ names. I’d love to see ATL’s snarky humor sticking it to West (or, Hell, stick it to us law librarians if you think we’re being too sensitive.)
We don’t think you’re being too sensitive. In fact, we have a great appreciation for law librarians.
We know that law librarians are hot. We know that librarianship is a good career alternative. We know that law library staffers save lives, literally. And we think knowing their names is not something to mock.
While the folks at LexisNexis are doing a little happy dance, what does Westlaw have to say for itself?
Ed. note: Welcome to the latest installment of “Notes from the Breadline,” a column by a laid-off lawyer in New York. Prior columns are collected here. You can reach Roxana St. Thomas by email (at firstname.lastname@example.org), follow her on Twitter, or find her on Facebook.
Ah, the library. When was the last time you thought about it? When I started law school, I had a somewhat mystical notion of what the library would be like. Rays of afternoon sunlight would filter through tall windows, illuminating dust motes and spilling onto the pages of my neatly IRAC-ed briefs. I would sit at a long table, chewing thoughtfully on my pen before delving into an incisive analysis of Carolene Products, fn 4. A delicate lamp with a green glass shade would cast warm light on the law review article I was writing in longhand, with a fountain pen. I would meet a handsome stranger in the stacks and we would fall in love, like the Clintons.
In reality, the law library was devoid of such scholarly romanticism. It was either oppressively hot, resulting in all-girl study groups whose attire was more suggestive of a “Law Students Gone Wild” video than a chat session about conveyances, or cold enough to require indoor scarf-wearing. I spent more time asleep, with my face planted awkwardly on an open book, than I did actually reading. One of the bitchier members of our section patrolled the library with fierce determination, shushing us when we giggled about bizarre tort cases and classroom gunners. When it came time to study for the bar exam, I spent so much time in the library that, toward the end, I would wake up — in my own bed — feeling disoriented by the unfamiliar surroundings, groping anxiously for my highlighters. For years, I couldn’t pass by the building without experiencing the panicky sense that I had forgotten something important about commercial paper.
These memories, which conjure a queasy blend of academic stress, physical discomfort, and the feeling of being incarcerated in a cell made of CFR parts, resulted in a certain degree of library amnesia. Indeed, it hadn’t occurred to me to set foot in a law library for … well, years. Then, a few weeks ago, I received an email that read….
Last night, NYU had two “firestorms”: the announcement that Dr. Thio would not be coming to campus, and a more literal fire at NYU’s Bobst library.
From a tipster around 5 p.m. yesterday:
Just got out of NYU’s Bobst library. There was a small fire and they evacuated everybody inside. I had to run down 6 flights of smoke filled stairs. Great way to prep for the bar exam…
Our correspondent from Greenwich had particularly bad luck:
I actually think if I went down the main stairs I would be fine. They herded us towards two separate fire exits (on the washington park side), and the one I went down was the one filled with smoke. It cleared up around the first floor, so maybe the fire was on the second floor? … The ironic thing is, the other set of stairs seemed fine, and I’m not even a student at NYU. I just came here for one day to see a friend and for the change of atmosphere.
Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson is reducing administrative staff in New York and Washington. The reductions, which a firm spokeswoman said were less than 10% of the law firm’s 730 staffers firmwide, affect primarily floating secretaries, part-time assistants and paralegals and library personnel.
The layoffs, first reported on AboveTheLaw.com, resulted from the law firm’s review of its administrative resources and staffing requirements. The employees will receive severance packages based on years of service, the spokeswoman said.
Update / Correction: One source questions the claim that the layoffs affected “primarily” floaters and part-time assistants. According to this tipster, many of the laid off employees were full-time, senior secretaries — a number of them over 50, and some just a few months shy of getting their pensions. This source predicts that age discrimination lawsuits will be filed.
One tipster tells us the number of affected employees was in the range of 50 to 60, which would amount to under 10 percent of 730 staffers, and that severance amounted to one week of pay for every year of service. We also hear this:
Apparently, mail room, duplicating and facilities were told that their jobs were being outsourced by the end of the year. They could start looking for new jobs before getting laid off at the end of the year or apply with the outsourcing agencies (with no guarantees of a job or placement at Fried Frank).
New York staff were given “a few minutes to pack up and get out”; cars were provided to take people home (a nice touch — hopefully that will become “market”). One source claims that employees were laid off without regard to their seniority or their performance reviews, whether negative or positive.
What about attorneys? A spokesperson emphasized to us that Fried Frank “doesn’t do lawyer layoffs,” which was reiterated to associates by firm chair Valerie Ford Jacob at a meeting yesterday.
(Jacob also claimed that the firm has never laid off lawyers. But one source at FFHSJ begs to differ. This source claims that the firm laid off attorneys back in 1990, and then “suffered years of recruiting problems because of it,” which may explain its reluctance to go down that path today.)
More detail about the meeting, after the jump.
Last week we started hearing rumors of imminent staff layoffs at Fried Frank. The rumors have now come true, as we’ve been hearing from multiple sources. Today appears to be the big day.
We submitted an inquiry to the firm. A spokesperson issued the following statement:
Over two years ago Fried Frank began a review of its administrative resources and staffing requirements. As part of this review process some departments were expanded and others consolidated.
Today’s administrative staff reductions are part of that business review process. Those affected are in the Firm’s NY and Washington DC offices. Severance and career counseling were offered to all of those affected.
We aren’t sure of the numbers (and the firm has not yet responded to our request for that data). One of the rumors from last week said the number could be as high as 10 percent of total staff headcount. We hear that in the D.C. office, at least eight or nine people have been laid off, as of the time of this posting. The numbers in New York are said to be significantly higher than in Washington.
The affected employees include secretaries, paralegals, and library personnel. Severance packages appear to vary, from as low as seven weeks to as high as three months.
People are being called in and given the bad news individually. But meetings are also being held at 3:30 and 4:00 p.m. in D.C. (It’s not clear what New York is doing.)
One staffer in New York was given 30 minutes to pack up all belongings and leave the premises. In Washington, however, that’s not happening; one source describes that office as “more humane.”
We will bring you more information as the story develops. If you have information to share, please email us.
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 seven years. You can reach them by email: email@example.com.
Please note that Evan Jowers and Robert Kinney are still in Hong Kong and will stay FOR THE REMAINDER OF THIS WEEK. We still have a handful of available slots for meetings with our Asia Chronicles fans. If we have not been in touch lately, reach out and let us know when we could meet! There is no need for an agenda at all. Most of our in-person meetings on these trips are with folks who understand that improving a legal practice through lateral hiring is an information-driven process that takes time to handle correctly.
Regarding trends in lateral US associate hiring in Hong Kong, we of course keep much of what we know off of this blog. Based on placement revenue, though, Kinney is having one of our most successful years ever in Asia. We are helping a number of our law firm clients with M&A, fund formation, cap markets, project finance, FCPA and disputes openings. These are very specific needs in many cases, so a conversation with us before jumping in may be helpful. As always, we like to be sure to get the maximum number of interviews per submission, using a well-informed, highly targeted, and selective approach, taking into account short, medium and long-term career aims.
Making a well informed decision during a job search is easier said than done – the information we provide comes from 10 years of being the market leader in US attorney placements at the top tier firms in Asia. There is no substitute for having known a hiring partner since he/she was an associate or for having helped a partner grow his or her practice from zip to zooming, and this is happily where we stand today – with years of background information on just about every relevant person in all the markets we serve, and most especially in Hong Kong/China/Greater Asia. So get in touch and get a download from us this week if we can fit it in, or soon in any case!
The legal industry is being disrupted at every level by technological advances. While legal tech entrepreneurs and innovators are racing to create a more efficient and productive future, there is widespread indifference on the part of attorneys toward these emerging technologies.
When the LexisNexis Cloud Technology Survey results were reported earlier this year, it showed that attorneys were starting to peer less skeptically into the future, and slowly but surely leaning more toward all the benefits the law cloud has to offer.
Because let’s face it, plenty of attorneys are perhaps a bit too comfortable with their “system” of practice management, which may or may not include neon highlighters, sticky notes, dog-eared file folders, and a word processing program that was last updated when the term “raise the roof” was still de rigueur.