Our big sibling reports on the departure of high-finance hottie Suzanne Nora Johnson from Goldman Sachs, the obscenely profitable investment bank. Johnson, who served on the firm’s 23-member management committee, was the highest-ranking woman at Goldman Sachs.*
And as the WSJ Law Blog notes, in a post entitled Associates, You Too Can Become a Master of the Universe, Johnson is a former lawyer:
Before joining Goldman in 1985, Johnson (USC, Harvard Law) was an associate at Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett and clerked on the Second Circuit.
Sigh. We’re still waiting for the first big announcement of law firm associate bonuses — and we’re getting impatient. As soon as you hear something, please let us know.
We’ve visited the messageboards this morning, to see if there’s any news, and to kill some time. They didn’t offer any enlightenment. But they did provide some amusement.
From Greedy Associates:
I don’t know about Mr. Gardner. I am not gay, although I fool around with guys sometimes. That doesn’t mean I’m a homo, and I remain homophobic as a means to cover the fact that I mess around sometimes with guys. My other name is UVA_REJECTED_ME, a hetero cover.
Any hung guys here? I’m not gay, I hate gays. Just curious.
Christmas is just three short weeks away. Biglaw partners are making their lists, checking them twice, and doling out cash to all associates who are nice.
But no big bonus news has broken yet. We’ve stopped by the message boards, and they’re relatively quiet. There is a rumor going around that a top five firm has made an announcement, but nobody has seen a memo. Nor has the firm in question been named. So we have our doubts.
For those of you waiting to hear about the gargantuan bonuses of investment bankers, so you can be filled with feelings of inferiority and self-loathing, there has been no news on that front either. For our big brother’s latest coverage of Wall Street bonuses, click here.
We reiterate our request for news and gossip about law firm associate bonuses. Please send your tips to us by email (tips AT abovethelaw DOT com, subject line: “Associate Bonus Watch”).
(To those of you who are especially paranoid about getting in trouble for leaking information to us, here’s an alternative, “Deep Throat” approach. If you have info to share, send us an email from your non-work account, with a telephone number where you can be reached. Then we’ll call you to get the scoop. There will be no record of our conversation, and nobody will know what we discussed — with the possible exception of the NSA.) Bonuses ARE out… but… [Infirmation] Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of bonuses (scroll down)
It looks like we’ll have to wait until next week for any major associate bonus announcements. Nothing exciting has happened since the brouhaha over the supposed Milbank Tweed bonus memo, which turned out to be fake.
As soon as you hear anything, please let us know ASAP, by email (subject line: “Associate Bonus Watch”). As always, anonymity is guaranteed — unless you want to be fired from your Biglaw job so badly that you WANT public credit for leaking your firm’s bonus memo.
We need your tips because we don’t want to be entirely dependent upon the different message boards (Greedy Associates, Infirmation, AutoAdmit.com, etc.). While we do check them from time to time, we don’t do so as much as we should. Why? They annoy the crap out of us. You have to wade through so much juvenile junk to find anything that’s borderline interesting. And once you do find something, you can’t even be sure that it’s true (e.g., the Milbank memo).
So no big bonus announcements yet. But we have gathered a few tidbits from sources that we know and trust (as opposed to anonymous posters on message boards).
Check ‘em out, after the jump.
* Judge: Paper money violates the Rehabilitation Act because blind people cannot distinguish between bills. [CNN; USA Today]
* John Turley digs into recent comments by (presidential candidate?) Newt Gingrich on freedom of speech. [MSNBC]
* “Oregon Lawyer Wrongly Arrested After Madrid Bombings Settles Lawsuit for $2 Million.” [Law.com; New York Times; Washington Post]
* Louis Vuitton sues Chewy Vuitton Vuiton… [WSJ Law Blog]
* … and Ringling Bros. sue Louis Vuitton. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Former Illinois governor and convicted felon George Ryan gets bail pending appeal from the Seventh Circuit. [Chicago Sun-Times]
Fantasy football after the jump…
Yesterday we requested tips from you about associate bonuses: leaked bonus memos, juicy rumors, etc. Please send this information to us by email, to tips AT abovethelaw DOT com (subject line: “Associate Bonus Watch”).
Please send us tips that you believe in good faith to be true. Because if you send us stuff that’s fake, we’ll find that out when we do our fact-checking.
Take the supposed “bonus memo” of Milbank Tweed. It was purportedly sent out by Christine Wagner, Milbank’s director of legal personnel.
We contacted Ms. Wagner by email. Here’s her response:
From: Wagner, Christine Sent: Wednesday, November 29, 2006 10:27 PM To: David Lat Subject: RE: Milbank “bonus memo”
It is not authentic. No such memo has been issued.
We tend to think that fact-checking is overrated. But sometimes it pays dividends.
This afternoon, a document purporting to be a Milbank Tweed bonus memo appeared on the oh-so-reliable message board of AutoAdmit.com, aka xoxohth. It sparked frenzied discussion at both AutoAdmit and Greedy Associates.
We checked with our sources at Milbank. The “bonus memo” is phony. But we give the prankster credit for decent execution. Update: Looking for the REAL Milbank Tweed bonus memo, issued on Friday, December 8? To view it, click here.
In case you’d like to see the fake “bonus memo,” in all of its fraudulent glory, we reprint it for you after the jump.
Hey kids, guess what? It’s almost December. Christmas is only a few weeks away; the end of the year is within sight. And we all know what that means: Associate Bonuses!!!
Welcome to Associate Bonus Watch. In this recurring ATL feature, we’ll keep you updated on the latest news and rumor about bonuses for law firm associates.
Here’s the latest speculation, from the Wall Street Journal:
Bonus season for New York City-based associates at big firms usually begins in early December, and there is more intrigue than usual this year, because of the possibility that firms will scale back associates’ bonuses after having raised their base salaries earlier this year.
In New York — the nation’s largest and most lucrative market, thanks to Wall Street business — bonuses for associates often have little to do with either a firm’s overall financial performance or the individuals’ productivity. Rather, many firms match the competition’s bonuses, regardless of whether firms have had similarly good years….
Asks a partner at one New York firm: “What top-tier firm wants to go to Harvard Law School and be the one that pays $5,000 or $10,000 less” in bonuses?
Exactly. And here at Above the Law, we’re happy to reinforce that market pressure, by broadcasting on the internet what different law firms are doling out as bonuses. Who’s naughty, and who’s nice? Check in at ATL to find out.
We aspire to cover breaking bonus news more thoroughly than the mainstream media or even the legal press. We were, after all, the first outlet to break the news of Wachtell Lipton’s midyear bonuses, back in September. We have a good-sized network of Biglaw moles, whom we turn to for tips and for fact-checking. (Yes, we do check facts — sometimes.)
But we need your help to do the very best job possible. As soon as you hear of any news or rumor about year-end bonuses for associates, please contact us ASAP, by email (tips AT abovethelaw DOT com, subject line: “Associate Bonus Watch”). Thanks! Jury’s Still Out on Wall Street Law Bonuses [Wall Street Journal]
We’re a little behind in Legal Eagle Wedding Watch (hereinafter “LEWW”). We’ll be rectifying that shortly.
But before we do, a methodological digression. It concerns how we score couples on the “family” component of the competition. We respond to some reader questions we’ve received:
1. “Isn’t rating people based on the wealth and pedigree of their families horribly obnoxious and elitist?”
Yes. And that is the raison d’etre of LEWW.
2. “Why don’t you give couples higher scores if they came from impoverished backgrounds? Someone born to poor immigrant parents, who somehow managed to make it to a top law school and top law firm, is much more impressive than some rich legacy kid with the same achievements.”
A fair question. But we’re rating couples, not invididuals. An individual who overcame tough circumstances to achieve success in the legal profession is an impressive individual; but a Mayflower descendant marrying the child of a billionaire is an impressive couple.
For centuries, marriages have been used to bring together agglomerations of wealth and power. See, e.g., Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI. And this remains true today, even if not to the same degree. This is why the Times, despite being much more meritocratic in its couple selection than decades past, still has a hard-on for Daughters of the American Revolution, and Sons with First Names That Sound Like Last Ones.
In short, despite the changes over the years — more racial and ethnic diversity, the inclusion of gay couples — the NYT weddings and celebrations page still has a “Social Register” feel to it. And LEWW, in keeping with that spirit, awards extra points for “Social Register”-worthy families.
3. “You’re pretty stingy in scoring families. What does a perfect ’10′ look like?”
A timely question. Earlier this month, on November 19, we saw a couple with an astronomically high score in the family department. We won’t be rating them in LEWW, since neither spouse is a practicing lawyer (although the husband has a law degree). But here’s what a 9.9 — or maybe a 9.8, to leave some room for improvement — might look like.
She is a daughter of Carroll M. Carpenter and Edmund N. Carpenter II of Wilmington, Del. Her father is a partner in and a former president of Richards, Layton & Finger, a law firm there. The bride is a descendant of Eleuthère Irénée du Pont de Nemours, the founder of the DuPont Company….
He is a son of Elizabeth Rogers Brokaw and Mr. Brokaw III of Southampton, N.Y. His father retired as the chairman of Invail Capital, an investment firm in New York. The bridegroom is a descendant of William Bradford, a governor of Plymouth Colony, and of Dr. Josiah Bartlett, a New Hampshire signer of the Declaration of Independence.
Yes, we have tagged this under “Nauseating Things.”
Watch to find out what some of our subscribers received in their May box!
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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.
The last time I flapped my wings your way, I tried to make at least enough noise about your mobile phone to make you more than a little bit uncomfortable. I hope I did. If enough of us become anxious enough about the known and unknown unknowns and knowns in our mobile phones, then we can start making wise decisions about how to manage that information and its resultant investigations.
Today, I’d like to put a finer point on the last installment’s topic by asking a question that seemed to catch most attendees off-guard at a conference panel that I moderated last week: is there discoverable personal information in a mobile app? Our panelists’ answer was a uniform “yes” with one stating that, if he had to choose only one type of data that he could discover from a mobile phone, he’d choose app data. Why? Because there’s simply so much of it and because almost all of it is objective – not just user-created like an email – but machine-tracked like GPS, usage duration, log in and log out times, browsed web addresses, browsed actual addresses. Also, most of us seem to have the idea that data doesn’t actually “stick” to our mobile devices the way it “sticks” to our hard drives. Maybe there’s a disconnect based on the fact that our phones are mobile so we assume the data is mobile to?
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