March Madness 2009

Above the law march madness williams connolly victory.jpgThe final round of Above The Law’s 2009 March Madness for Law Firms was actually more exciting than the final round of the NCAA tournament.

While UNC routed Michigan State, Wachtell and Williams & Connolly were competing in a fierce battle for the title of Biglaw’s safest firm — the place where you are least likely to be laid off.

New York-based Wachtell (the #1 Vault seed) was leading early on in the day, but D.C.-based Williams & Connolly (V14) took the lead in the polls in the afternoon, and refused to let go.

When the buzzer sounded at midnight last night, WillConn claimed victory, 51.5 to 48.5.

According to ATL readers, Williams & Connolly is Biglaw’s Safest Firm, baby!!! *

*Out of the top 32 in the Vault prestige rankings

It’s a good time to be a small, streamlined firm in Washington, D.C., tight with the leading politicos. We congratulate the attorneys at Williams & Connolly on their job security prospects.

See the brackets and the explanations behind readers’ voting after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “ATL March Madness for Law Firms: Williams & Connolly is Crowned Biglaw’s Safest Firm”

Above the law march madness.jpgWe just wanted to remind you that the polls are open until Sunday for the Sweet (Safe) Sixteen round of ATL March Madness for Law Firms. It’s our NCAA-style tournament to crown Biglaw’s safest firm — the place where you are least likely to be laid off.

Sixteen firms remain. Some of the match-ups are tight ones.

A faithful ATL reader who goes by the moniker Lord Oberon has been chosen to weigh in as a guest commentator. ATL’s Dick Vitale has compiled stats from the AmLaw 100 survey for the March Madness firms. Here’s Oberon’s round-up, baby!

  • Of the sixteen we have information on, there are five that have posted gains in profits, number of equity partners, and PPP. In order of PPP (the order doesn’t change if you use 08 or 09 PPP), they are: Paul W – Kirkland – Debevoise – Cleary – Gibson

  • Of all the March Madness firms we have information on, there are three that have NOT posted gains in profits, number of equity partners, or PPP. In order of PPP they are: Cravath – Latham – Shearman & Sterling
  • There are seven March Madness firms that posted revenue above $1 Billion. Of those firms, Weil and Latham have reduced the number of equity partners; Skadden and Latham have reduced PPP; and Latham reduced gross revenue.
  • Two firms increased the number of equity partners, but lost revenue and PPP: Fried Frank – Milbank Tweed
  • Eight firms increased the number of equity partners, but lost PPP: Skadden – WilmerHale – MoFo – Paul Hastings – Sullivan – Davis Polk – Fried Frank – Milbank Tweed
  • Use the statistics as you will. Vote with your head. Or vote with your heart. Either way, vote for Biglaw’s safest firms, and check out the brackets, after the jump. Polls close Sunday at midnight.

    double red triangle arrows Continue reading “ATL March Madness for Law Firms: The Sweet Sixteen
    (Polls close Sunday and a guest commentator weighs in)

    Above the law march madness.jpgTonight, the “real” Sweet Sixteen games will play out on NCAA courts. Here at ATL, the NCAA-styled ATL March Madness for Law Firms continues. Sixteen firms remain in the tournament hoping to be crowned Biglaw’s safest — the place where you’re least likely to get laid off.

    Thirty-two firms entered the tournament, based on Vault prestige rankings. Thousands of ATL readers voted to eliminate sixteen firms in the first round. There was only one upset of a higher-ranked seed: Linklaters (V26) beat Latham (V7). The Magic Circle firm’s magic run may not last though. Kirkland has a solid lead over the UK-based firm at the moment.

    Will there be more upsets in the Sweet Sixteen? Over 4,000 votes are in since voting started on Tuesday and two of the contests are nail-biters: Skadden vs Paul Weiss and Davis Polk vs Debevoise.

    Check out the brackets and vote on the next four match-ups, after the jump.

    double red triangle arrows Continue reading “ATL March Madness for Law Firms, Round 2 (Part 2): The Sweet Sixteen”


    Above the law march madness.jpgLast week, we brought you our NCAA-tournament style March Madness for Law Firms. We took the top 32 firms from the Vault prestige ratings and asked you to vote on which firms were the “safest” — the places where you’re least likely to get laid off.

    After Round One, we’re down to the Sweet (Safe) Sixteen.

    The higher-ranked teams firms won in all of last week’s contests but one: Magic Circle firm Linklaters (V26) upset 2008 March Madness tournament champ Latham (V7). Sadly, Latham’s bench was not as deep this year. Apparently, voters disagreed with this line of reasoning.

    There were two particularly close matches. As predicted by one commenter:

    Gibson v Wilmer in the first round is gonna be a close race.

    Gibson Dunn won out, but barely, while Kirkland eked out a victory over Jones Day.

    The most popular match with 6226 votes was Ropes & Gray vs Davis Polk & Wardwell. Check out which firms advanced, and vote on the first four match-ups of the Sweet Sixteen round, after the jump.

    double red triangle arrows Continue reading “ATL March Madness for Law Firms, Round 2 (Part 1): The Sweet Sixteen”

    Above the law march madness.jpgWe started our ATL March Madness for Law Firms on Tuesday. Through this NCAA-style tournament, with brackets and seeding, we will crown Biglaw’s safest firm — the place where you’re least likely to get laid off. Yes, we know it’s irreverent; but we’re a legal tabloid. Irreverence is what we do.

    We’ve taken the top 32 law firms from the Vault prestige rankings. Last year, we asked you to vote on the coolest law firm. You chose Latham. Yeah…

    This year, we’re posing a more important question. We are asking you to vote to decide which of the firms is the safest. Where are you most likely to keep your job?

    Here are the brackets:

    2009 March Madness brackets above the law.jpg

    Voting on the first eight match-ups started on Tuesday; now, we bring you the face-offs between the other 16 firms at the top of the Vault. Polls close on Sunday. You vote to determine who will go to the Sweet (Safe) Sixteen, after the jump.

    double red triangle arrows Continue reading “ATL March Madness for Law Firms, Round 1 (Part 2):
    Which Biglaw Firm is Safest?”

    Above the law march madness.jpg[Ed. note: To catch up on the latest round of the tournament, check out the March Madness 2009 category thread.]

    The NCAA basketball tournament starts up this week. If your team is already out, or you’re only half-heartedly rooting for your team (Sigh. Go Duke.), we are offering you a different contest to take part in. And this is better than the NCAA tournament, because you’re not just a sixth man watching from the sidelines; you get to determine the course of the tournament through voting.

    We’ve held March Madness NCAA-tournament style competitions before. UVA won the 2007 competition for coolest law school, and last year Latham eked out a victory over Cleary for coolest law firm.

    Since Latham recently, um, cut a number of players from its team, we don’t think we can let it keep its crown, so we’re revisiting Biglaw firms with the 2009 ATL March Madness tournament. But rather than comparing “cool,” in a nod to the current climate, we are comparing “safe.” We bring you….

    ATL MARCH MADNESS FOR LAW FIRMS!!!
    WHICH FIRM IS THE SAFEST???

    We’ve set up brackets based on Vault seeds. Thirty-two firms are entering the tournament. We invite you to vote on which firms are better at lay-ups than layoffs. At which firm are you least likely to lose your job?

    After the jump, we give you the brackets, and the first eight match-ups. Look out for the next eight match-ups on Thursday. The polls close Sunday at midnight.

    double red triangle arrows Continue reading “ATL March Madness for Law Firms, Round 1 (Part 1): Which Biglaw Firm is Safest?”