Loeb & Loeb

‘They tried to make me go to rehab, and I said… sure, it’s better than going to jail!’

* President Obama nominated Thomas Perez, the head of the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division, to be the next secretary of labor. Republicans, of course, are all butthurtt, calling this a “needlessly divisive nomination.” [New York Times]

* Let’s get ready to RUMBLE! Be prepared to see some legal heavyweights next week when the Prop 8 and DOMA cases are argued before the Supreme Court, including Paul Clement and Ted Olson. [National Law Journal]

* How appropriate that Justice Scalia should break out the Spanglish for an Arizona voter registration law that requires proof of U.S. citizenship. Our beloved Wise Latina probably wasn’t too thrilled by this. [New York Times]

* To promote pay equity in law firms, the ABA is encouraging bar groups to hold conferences on the topic. The question on everyone’s minds, of course, is whether those conferences are billable. [Thomson Reuters News & Insight]

* Law schools aren’t the only places where transparency is lacking. Jeh Johnson, the DOD’s former general counsel, thinks the secrecy swirling around drone strikes is bad for the government. [At War / New York Times]

* The members of Debevoise’s displaced trusts and estates practice team have been picked up by Loeb & Loeb. Enjoy your new home, and your new — presumably lower — compensation package. [Am Law Daily]

* Lindsay Lohan took a plea deal yesterday, and instead of going to jail, she’ll be going to rehab to be kept under lock and key for 90 days. I’d say this is bad for her career, but who are we kidding? [Los Angeles Times]

* Casey Anthony’s trustee just answered my prayers. He wants the ex-MILF to sell her story to pay off her debts. I demand that LiLo be cast in the role! She’s the only one broken enough to pull it off. [Washington Post]

The road to the courthouse is paved with bruised egos. And when the bruised egos belong to lawyers, it’s like hopping into the HOV lane on that road.

One lawyer has filed a suit against his former firm, alleging that they owe him compensation withheld after he let them know he was moving to a different firm.

It’s good to know that partners might get jerked around the same way as associates trying to leave before the bonuses are paid out….

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Since I began writing this column, I have been bitten by the entrepreneurial bug. After speaking with so many small-firm attorneys who talk excitedly about the challenges and rewards of owning their own businesses, I have toyed with the idea of doing the same. Because of my love-hate relationship with the practice of law, however, I have been trying to come up with other small business ideas. My latest brilliant business venture is a summer camp for unemployed people. Unfortunately, my dreams were dashed when a friend pointed out that my business was destined to fail because my target market had no money to spend on, well, anything. Boo.

Recently, I had the privilege of speaking with two attorneys who have identified a way to take advantage of the bad economy in a way that, unlike my plan, made financial sense. The idea is simple: offer in-house counsel seeking to reduce their legal fees reduced legal fees for the same high quality work. Yet another idea I wished I had come up with (note: I firmly believe that I created Pinterest because I started clipping stuff out of magazines in 1992)….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Size Matters: How A Bad Economy Means Good Business For A New Boutique Firm”

cancel cancels canceled cancelled summer programs.jpgSure, firms can try to dump their bad news on a summer Friday, but Above the Law is open 24/7.
Today, emails started going around to rising 2Ls who were seeking interviews with Loeb & Loeb’s New York office. They were not happy emails:

Thank you for your letter and resume inquiring about the possibility of employment at our firm.
In moving forward with our hiring efforts for the coming season and for the future, we have given a great deal of thought to the needs of the partners and associates in servicing our clients. In reviewing our client base and the matters that we are handling, we have come to the conclusion that in order to provide the level of sophistication and complexity required to service these clients, it will be necessary for us to recruit at a more senior level. We have reexamined our hiring efforts, and, in so doing, have determined to suspend the New York summer associate program for the foreseeable future. We intend to focus our hiring efforts on identifying associates with those levels of experience and practice specialties that will best enable us to meet the challenges of servicing our clients. If at any future time we feel that our needs and those of our clients would best be served by having a summer associate program, we will reinstate the program.
We very much appreciate your interest in Loeb & Loeb LLP and wish you every success in finding a satisfactory position.

Wow. That doesn’t even sound like the firm has decided to temporarily ratchet back recruiting because of the recession. “If at any future time we feel that our needs and those of our clients would best be served by having a summer associate program, we will reinstate the program,” sounds a lot more like the firm’s New York office has decided to totally dispense with the notion of hiring summers, indefinitely.
Is this a small glimpse of the future? The class of 2012 better hope not.
Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of Canceled Summer Programs — 2010

loeb loeb.gifBack in November, we reported that Loeb & Loeb laid off eight associates. At the time, the firm told us:

We continue to actively recruit, hire and invest in the firm’s core practice areas and in the past three months alone we have hired 13 associates, including 9 first-year associates, and 3 lateral partners. We expect to have a higher attorney head count at year end than at the beginning of the year.

But as the firm continues to make lateral hires, it looks like they are also continuing to cut associates. We understand that four associates were let go on Tuesday and that today will be their last day.

Our tipsters report that these attorneys will be receiving a 2 month severance package.

We’ve reached out to the firm, but Loeb & Loeb has not yet responded to our inquiries.

But it’ll be interesting to see how the firm describes the cuts. Last time, the firm said:

As part of Loeb & Loeb’s periodic attorney evaluation process and assessment of its overall personnel needs in its various practice areas, eight associates firmwide were notified that they were being let go.

We’ll see if these cuts are called performance related, or if they were triggered by the global economic meltdown.

Earlier: Nationwide (Stealth) Layoff Watch: Shearman & Sterling and Loeb & Loeb

Shearman logo.JPGWe’ve been hearing reports all morning about some news leaking around the offices at Shearman & Sterling. One tipster collects the potentially bad news in a clear way:

[M]id and senior-level associates that would in normal economic conditions have left any way are being asked to leave. In addition, Shearman’s senior management has advised Partners to be strict in reviews in the upcoming review process (scheduled for the coming weeks) for all levels of associates (not only mid- and senior-levels).

Apparently, the firm is determined that any layoffs get reported as “performance based” attrition rather than full-on layoffs. Sources suggest that firm leadership is still smarting over the reputation hit they took when they laid off people, back in 2001.

The firm has not responded to a request for comment.

Whatever they want to call it, there seems to be good reason for Shearman associates to be worried over the next couple of weeks. We’ve also learned that Shearman’s Capital Markets practice is not doing well. A tipster reports:

Business in Capital Markets has slowed dramatically over the past several months. Junior associates from Capital Markets have been temporarily staffed on litigation matters.

We know that Capital Markets practice groups are slow all over. But staffing corporate attorneys on litigation work suggests that there are larger problems with Shearman’s corporate practices.

Stealth layoffs at Loeb & Loeb, and the firm’s response, after the jump.

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