If you spent your summer at Mintz Levin in 2009 and received an offer, congratulations! You must be very proud. Now wrap it up very tightly and put it in a safe place, because you won’t be pulling it out again until 2012. Multiple sources report that Mintz just deferred its 2009 summer associate class to 2012 — but the deferral is to January 2012, so those associates will taste a little bit of Biglaw life before the rapture.
One tipster put it this way:
We just found out that we are not starting until January 2012 at the earliest. This is ridiculous and they said that we still have to wait until April to find out if more information. They say nothing about stipends or salary advances or anything. Only that they will pay for the bar course and bar exam. Please publish this info because we are all pretty freaked out.
I’m not sure how publishing this story will make you less freaked out. I mean, you’re not starting until 2012. It just seems to me that as you sit there and just stare at the numbers, 2-0-1-2, and contemplate just how far away that is, and think about what you could possibly do to fill that time in the middle of a recession — well, if it were me I think having it published would make me more freaked out.
Mintz Levin has confirmed this news. We have a statement from the firm.
Here we are. The end of the Vault 100.
To be on the Vault 100 is to be a well-known firm. Sure, maybe not well-known to law students or junior associates who can’t see past the mountain of doc review boxes in their windowless conference rooms. But known to partners … and clients. Look down your nose at these firms if you wish, but remember the old African proverb: “The smallest elephant can still crush your Lexus.”
Here is the final batch of top law firms for discussion:
Do you remember the class of 2009? You know, the kids who should be gearing up to start work in a couple of weeks but are instead sitting around, waiting to get out of purgatory? Don’t look now, but a couple of firms have decided to extend the deferral period for these people, and that can’t be a good thing. Proskauer Rose’s New York office kicked off the round of deferment extensions last week. A tipster from Proskauer in Los Angeles reported the news:
Proskauer just told incoming L.A. associates that [incoming associates] in New York are getting their start dates pushed back again. It’s all the way back to November now. They told us [in L.A.] before they told New York because they didn’t want us to “hear it on Above the Law first.” [Sheesh.]
The letters have now gone out to all the incoming New York associates informing them of the news. The new start date is November 2, 2010.
Proskauer had already pushed back the class of 2009 to March 2010. But Proskauer has also told the class of 2010 that the earliest they will be able to start is “fall” 2010.
So can we assume that rising 2Ls considering interviewing with Proskauer won’t be able to start until late 2012? For that matter, are incoming Proskauer associates confident that they will ever be able to start at the firm? We reached out to Proskauer, but the firm did not respond to our request for comment.
After the jump, Mintz Levin joins the deferment extension party.
Two weeks ago, Mintz Levin laid off 15 associates. But apparently those cuts were not deep enough. Above the Law has been able to confirm that Mintz Levin has cut associate salaries. A tipster explains it this way:
Salaries will be adjusted as follows (firm-wide, all departments) based on this 12-month period:
* Hours greater than 1635, salary reduced by 5%
* Hours between 1445-1635, salary reduced by 15%
* Hours between 1250-1444, salary reduced by 25%
* Hours less than 1250, salary reduced by 35%
Associates who were employed by the firm for the full fiscal years ended March 31, 2007 and 2008 and who met or exceeded target (i.e. 1925 hours) will have their salaries reduced by only 5%, regardless of their hours for the 12 month period (i.e. this safe harbor effectively only applies to 4th yr associates and above).
To make these cuts Mintz is looking at hours billed over the last 12 months. And we all know what has happened over the last 12 months:
[The cuts are] based on their utilization during the prior 12 months – August 1, 2008 through July 31, 2009. Why the arbitrary period? It’s a snapshot of the recession at its height.
But the firm will make people whole and return the money at the end of the fiscal year if their projections are wrong. For people on track to make their hours in FY 2009 who nonetheless fall below the threshold if you count the entire recession against them, they will have an opportunity to get some of their money back. So they should consider it simply loaning money to the firm right now at a 0% interest rate.
Feel better? More details, including a statement from Mintz Levin, after the jump.
An associate in the employment, labor and benefits section of the Boston firm of Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky & Popeo has filed a complaint with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination charging that colleagues discriminated against her because of her gender and status as a wife and mother.
Mintz, Levin associate Kamee Beth Verdrager also alleges in her MCAD filing against the firm and ML attorneys Robert M. Gault, Donald W. Schroeder and David Barmak that she was the target of retaliation when she complained about the treatment accorded her by certain members of the employment section and that she was subsequently demoted and placed on probation.
Commenting on behalf of the firm, Public Relations Director Gina Addis said that “the reality is from time to time allegations like these are made against all businesses, including law firms. Our firm has and will deal with any such allegations in the ordinary course and at the appropriate time and in the appropriate forum.”
More discussion, including highlights from Verdrager’s complaint, after the jump.
We hope you enjoyed the Labor Day holiday and long weekend. Alas, now it’s back to work — for you and for us.
We’re still digging ourselves out from an email avalanche, as well as trying to figure out what’s going in the world (and what we should write about today). This may take us a little while, so please be patient.
In the meantime, let’s conclude our series of open threads on Vault 100 law firms. Here are the firms to talk about today:
We’re a little tardy with this memo. It was issued on Wednesday, but we didn’t receive it until late yesterday.
Anyway, better late than never. The Mintz Levin pay raise announcement appears below the fold.
You know how losing the last five pounds is always the hardest? The same could be said for the last few firms on the LIST OF SHAME. Don’t count on these firms melting away anytime soon.
We still haven’t seen a Mintz Levin memo. But we’re taking them off the list, since (1) numerous commenters have insisted they’ve matched the market raises, and (2) nobody has disputed this.
So here’s the latest, official LIST OF SHAME (ranked by Vault 100 placement; AmLaw 100 placement indicated parenthetically):
43. Baker & McKenzie (3)
50. Fulbright & Jaworski (36)
77. Bryan Cave (56)
82. Reed Smith (33)
83. Dorsey & Whitney (68)
86. McGuireWoods (65)
90. Baker & Hostetler (73)
100. Seyfarth Shaw (66)
Fridays are big days for announcements. Perhaps some news will break later today?
If you see any errors in this list, please email us (with supporting documentation, if any). Thanks.
The ATL front page has no post about associate compensation developments. That’s unacceptable.
So here’s an open thread for you to discuss the latest firms to announce associate pay raises. If anyone drops off the LIST OF SHAME — or if any major legal news breaks while we’re gone — this is the place to mention it.
P.S. Can someone please take a screenshot of the rumored Mintz Levin memo, and send it to us? We will then remove the firm from the next LIST OF SHAME. Thanks.
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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We currently have a number of active openings for associate roles at US and UK firms in HK / China, Singapore and two new in-house openings. As always, please feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org in order to get details of current openings in Asia, as well as to discuss the Asia markets in general and what we expect for openings later this year. Our Evan Jowers and Robert Kinney will be in Beijing the week of March 25 and Evan Jowers will be in Hong Kong the week of April 1, if you would like to meet them in person.
The US associate openings we have in law firms are in the usual areas of M&A, cap markets, FCPA / white collar litigation, finance, and project finance. The most urgent of our top tier (top 15 US or magic circle) law firm openings in Asia (among many other firm openings that we have in Asia) are as follows:
• 2nd to 5th year mandarin fluent M&A associates needed in Beijing and Hong Kong at several firms;
• Korean fluent 2nd to 4th year cap markets associate needed in Hong Kong;
• 2nd to 5th year Japanese fluent M&A associates needed in Tokyo;
• 4th to 6th year mandarin fluent cap markets associate needed in Hong Kong;
• 2nd to 4th year M&A / cap markets mix associate needed in Singapore.
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