The school is dropping in the U.S. News law school rankings. The school didn’t even make the Above the Law rankings. The school’s dean quit on them a few weeks before classes started. The new dean recently sued the people who built the school’s law library because it suffers from “water damage.” A student recently got arrested, accused of making racist, anti-Semitic, and threatening comments.
Does this sound like a law school with… issues? Does this law school need to rethink how it provides legal education?
Probably. But they are not going to do that. Instead, they’re going to get a new marketing campaign.
Come, let’s see how much lipstick they can find for this pig…
* Our own Elie Mystal isn’t the only one who’s capable of fanning the flames of race baiting — it seems that Supreme Court justices can do it, too! We’ll probably have more on Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s benchslap later today. [The Two-Way / NPR]
* Patience is obviously one of this judge’s virtues, because this took a looooong time. After waiting more than a year for people to put their petty political pandering aside, the Senate confirmed Robert Bacharach to the Tenth Circuit. [Blog of Legal Times]
* Mary Jo White, the nominee to lead the SEC, will probably face her confirmation hearing in March. Her legal wranglings at Debevoise may be of interest to some, but really, who cares? She’s so cute and tiny! [Reuters]
* Mayer Brown and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year: gross revenue is up overall at most Biglaw firms, but not this one. In 2012, Mayer Brown’s revenue dipped 3.7 percent for a six-year low. [Am Law Daily]
* Kirkland & Ellis, now the fifth-largest Biglaw firm in the nation, is leading the market in terms of top dollar merger-and-acquisition deals. Now, if only the firm could get some bananas. [Crain's Chicago Business]
* Orderly liquidation authority may be a legitimate exercise of power under the Bankruptcy Clause, but as far as these states are concerned, it’s just another reason to hate the Dodd-Frank Act. [DealBook / New York Times]
* An “astronomically stupid” legal loophole? Unpossible! Gun trusts are seeing the limelight because Chris Dorner claims he used one to purchase his paraphernalia without a background check. [New York Times]
* According to a CNN poll, 67 percent of people who watched the debate thought Mitt Romney won, while only 25 percent thought Barack Obama won. Well, either way you slice it, there was definitely one loser: poor old Jim Lehrer. [CNN]
* If Barack Obama could’ve had his way, he would’ve put Osama bin Laden on trial to display American due process and the rule of law. We suppose that now he’ll just have to take credit for being the man who ordered the kill shot. [WSJ Law Blog]
* A handful of Biglaw firms advised on the T-Mobile and MetroPCS merger, but Telecommunications Law Professionals, a boutique firm, showed up to prove it could hang with the big boys. [DealBook / New York Times]
* From boutique to Biglaw? Joseph Bachelder, an executive compensation expert, shuttered his 10-lawyer firm in favor of joining McCarter & English as special counsel in New York. [Thomson Reuters News & Insight]
* Remember Ellen Pao, the former Cravath associate who sued Kleiner Perkins for sex discrimination? She now claims that the VC firm fired her. Of course, like everything else, KPCB denies it. [Bits / New York Times]
* A J.D. isn’t a hoax, but if law schools keep admitting huge classes, the degree will become one. The dean of UC Hastings Law thinks law schools should’ve reduced their class sizes a long time ago. [Huffington Post]
Here in the great state of New York, marriage equality is the order of the day — as it is in five other states, plus D.C.. But due to the Defense of Marriage Act, the federal tax code does not recognize same-sex unions. As a result, as explained by the law firm of McCarter & English, “the Internal Revenue Code treats the value of employer-provided healthcare benefits for a civil union or domestic partner as ‘imputed income’ to the employee. This means that employees who elect domestic partner benefits must pay income tax on the value of those benefits, which is in direct contrast to employees with different-sex spouses.”
To address this inequality, a number of law firms — including McCarter & English, as of this June — have adopted what we here at Above the Law have dubbed the “gay gross-up.” This benefit consists of “a bump in income such that, post-tax, the employees are in the same position as similarly situated employees electing healthcare benefits for their opposite-sex spouses.”
In addition to McCarter, a number of prominent law firms have adopted this policy since our last report. Let’s find out which ones….
UPDATE (8/25/11): We’ve added to the list since it was originally published. See the updated list below.
We’ve been following the legal wranglings between SAC Capital’s Steve Cohen and his ex-wife, Patricia. Why wouldn’t we, how often does an ex-wife file civil RICO charges against a billionaire?
Initially, Patricia Cohen retained civil RICO expert, Paul Batista. Apparently, Cohen and counsel didn’t see eye-to-eye. Batista withdrew the initial suit and Cohen retained Gaytri Kachroo of McCarter & English.
But the drama doesn’t stop there. Patricia Cohen might at times act like she has a little bit too much in common with Glen Close in Fatal Attraction, but it’s Batista who won’t be ignored…
The number of law firms canceling their 2010 summer associate programs continues to climb. Here are the latest additions to the growing list:
1. McCarter & English: Managing partner Eric Wiechmann confirmed to ATL that the firm will not be holding a summer associate program in 2010. In addition, he confirmed that incoming associates won’t be starting until December 1, 2009 (which, all things considered, is pretty good).
(Before some of you say you’ve never heard of McCarter, please note that it’s one of the largest firms in New Jersey — a sizable legal market. In addition to its main office in Newark, the firm also has offices in Boston, Hartford, Stamford, New York City, Philadelphia and Wilmington. Recently it made news by hiring Harley Lewin, a leading IP lawyer and trademark guardian, from Greenberg Traurig.)
2. McGuire Woods: This is a firm that needs no introduction. It’s quite sizable, with 900 lawyers across 18 offices worldwide, and it’s #61 on the Am Law 100 list.
A spokesperson for McGuire Woods confirmed what we’ve heard from various law student tipsters: the firm is “likely to reduce the number of offices in which we have our summer programs.” It has not, however, made a final decision on which offices won’t be hosting summers. (One reader predicts the firm won’t have summer associates outside of Richmond, Charlotte, and Chicago.)
But there’s some additional interesting backstory here.
In addition to the major move reported this morning, a few other legal professional developments worth noting: New Partners:
* Chadbourne & Parke: Corporate lawyers Frank Vellucci and Ayse Yüksel (both in New York, but Yüksel also works in London).
* McCarter & English: Corporate lawyer Lance Friedler, securities and white-collar criminal litigator William Moran, and products liability lawyer Thomas Smith (all in the New York office). Lateral Moves:
* Corporate lawyer Rick Frimmer, to Luce, Forward, Hamilton & Scripps (San Diego), from Greenberg Traurig. NY Lawyers Making Partner [NYLawyer.com]
Musical Chairs is our summary of the most important or interesting moves within the legal profession. We read through the announcements (and pick out the high points), so you don’t have to.
If you have good gossip about any of these job changes and the players involved, or forthcoming announcements, please drop us a line (subject line: “Musical Chairs”). Lateral Moves:
* Patrick Collins and Peter Stergios, to McCarter & English (in New York), from Greenberg Traurig.
* Dennis Duffy, to Baker Botts (in Houston), from Time Warner Inc. Returning Attorneys: Kelley Drye & Warren: Former partner John Kiley, back from online retailer TechSmart, and former associate Jean Park, also from TechSmart. Kiley will co-chair the firm’s labor and employment practice, and Park comes in as a partner. Firms Bolster Labor and Employment Practices [NYLawyer.com] Time Warner VP Settles in at Firm [NYLawyer.com]
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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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Deal flow has clearly picked recently up for most US associates, counsels and partners in Hong Kong/China and Singapore. We are on the phone with a lot of these folks on a daily basis, many of whom we have known for years. Further, the head of our Asia team, Evan Jowers, and Kinney’s founder and president, Robert Kinney, frequently meet in person with leading US partners in Asia to assess their needs and keep on top of the inside scoop at as many firms as possible. The need for legal recruiting help in Asia from experienced recruiters appears to be live and well. In March, Evan and Robert were in Beijing at such meetings, in April, Evan was in Hong Kong, and for half of June Evan will be in Shanghai and Hong Kong. Thus its pretty easy for us to tell when there has been an across-the-market pick up in capital markets and corporate work.
On an average day in Asia when Evan and Robert visit firms, they typically have 5 to 9 meetings a day, mostly with US partners in the market. The reason they have these meetings is not simply because Kinney makes a lot of US attorney placements in Asia and that a particular firm may have openings; instead these are just visits with friends. After years of working together as business partners, the folks at Kinney are actually these peoples’ friends. The firms Kinney work closely with in Asia (which is just about every law firm – call us if you want to know the one firm in the world we will never place anyone with again, ever, and why) look forward to the visits, or at least act like they do. After seven years in the market, many of the client partners are former associate candidates. Also, these US partners see Kinney as a very good source of market information as well, because they know how deep their contacts are in the market and how frequently they are speaking to counterparts at peer firms.
In a land that is right here and in a time that is right now, a technology has arisen so powerful that it can replace basic human document review. Is it time to bow down before our new robot overlords?
First, here’s a little story about me: my life in the legal world began as a paralegal. My first case was a GIANT patent infringement case that was already six years old and had involved as many as five companies, multiple US courts, the ITC and an international standards committee. I knew nothing about any of this.
On my first day, my supervisor (a paralegal with at least eight other cases driving her crazy) sat me down in front of a Concordance database with a 100,000+ patents and patent file histories. “Code these,” she said. I learned that “coding”, for the purposes of this exercise, meant manually typing the inventor’s name, the title of the patent, the assignee, the file date, and other objective data for each document. I worked on that project – and only that project – for at least the first six months of my job. After a week or so, time began to blur.
What I know, in retrospect and with absolutely certainty, is that as time began to blur, so did my judgment. So did my attention to detail. If you could tell me that I did not make at least one mistake a day – one inconsistent spelling, one reversed day and month, one incorrectly spaced title – I frankly would need to see your evidence. I would not believe it. The human mind is trainable but it is not a machine.
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