Hiring partners and recruiting coordinators at Wachtell and S&C, it’s time to break out the champagne:
CRAVATH HAS BEDBUGS!!!
Yes, that’s right. The Worldwide Plaza headquarters of Cravath, Swaine & Moore — perhaps the country’s most prestigious law firm, and one of its most profitable — has some unwelcome visitors. And no, 2L interview season ended months ago.
Here’s what we’ve learned, from multiple sources at CSM:
1. An email was sent around Cravath last week about the presence of bed bugs at the firm.
2. A few bedbugs were found on two floors, the 21st floor and the 41st floor, which are being fumigated.
3. Two employees had bedbugs in their apartments and told the firm, which caused the firm to investigate.
4. The 21st floor is a paralegal / administration floor, but the 41st floor is a litigation floor — which means that one of the two employees may be a lawyer.
6. Both of the employees are still with the firm (i.e., they have not been fired, like the poor soul at Cadwalader who, rumor has it, got canned after self-reporting).
7. The email about the bed bug problem was protected against forwarding or copying.
Apparently Cravath and Cadwalader have something in common other than the Bear Stearns deal. [FN1]
As you may recall, in June 2007, Cadwalader reported a bedbug problem. A few months later, they announced lawyer layoffs.
Are associate layoffs like bedbugs? Will they start off at relatively less prestigious firms — we say “relatively,” since Cadwalader is still plenty prestigious (#26 on the Vault 100) — and move all the way to the top of the list? Will Rodge Cohen and Ed Herlihy be scratching themselves furiously as they negotiate the next big bank merger?
Words of wisdom to incoming Cravath summer associates: go to as many events as you can, and spend as little time as possible at the Death Star. May the force be with you.
We contacted Cravath, which declined comment through a spokesperson. If you have anything to add on the situation, please feel free to email us. Thanks.
[FN1] The bedbug email went around Cravath before the JP Morgan Chase / Bear Stearns deal was initiated. So there would be no merit to a conspiracy theory that Cadwalader gave the cooties to Cravath by sneaking them into a box shipment destined for Worldwide Plaza. Earlier: Breaking: Cadwalader Overrun By Bed Bugs!!!
The legal connection to this story is tenuous, but not non-existent. Criminal charges could be filed. And maybe there’s a products liability case against the toilet manufacturer.
Anyway, it’s such a great story — and no, it’s not from The Onion — that we’re going to link to it. From the AP:
A 35-year-old woman who apparently spent two years in her boyfriend’s bathroom in Ness City had become stuck to the toilet seat, authorities said Wednesday.
“She was not glued. She was not tied. She was just physically stuck by her body. It is hard to imagine. … I still have a hard time imagining it myself,” Ness County Sheriff Bryan Whipple said in a telephone interview, adding that it appeared her body fat had grown attached to the seat.
Authorities planned to present their report to the county attorney later Wednesday to see if any charges should be filed against her 36-year-old boyfriend, Whipple said.
The boyfriend called police on Feb. 27 to report that “there was something wrong with his girlfriend,” Whipple said, adding he never explained why it took him two years to call.
Is this woman a lawyer by any chance? Stick a Concordance-equipped computer in front of her, and let the doc review begin. She’ll bill 3000 hours without breaking a sweat.
So, who has the movie rights? If they can make a feature film about a guy who took up residence at JFK Airport, surely they can do something with this amazing tale. Casting suggestions? Sheriff: Woman sat on boyfriend’s toilet for 2 years [Associated Press]
We realize we’re late to the party on this one. The WSJ Law Blog wrote about it last week. We linked to it today in Morning Docket, but based on the email we’ve received about it, clearly many of you have more to say about it.
News flash: Wal-Mart is cheap. From the WSJ Law Blog:
Before any more law firms match the latest bump in associate compensation, they may want to take stock of this memo issued yesterday by Wal-Mart. [T]he memo raises concerns about the recent increase in associate starting pay to $160,000.
“The salaries that law firms choose to pay their junior associates are none of our concern,” writes Miguel Rivera Sr., associate general counsel for the retail chain.
Oof! But Rivera continues, “Based on the size and frequency of the rate increase requests that we have seen over the past three years, it appears that many of the requested increases are largely attributable to the steady, nationwide increases in junior associate salaries.”…
“We are today announcing a moratorium on across-the-board rate increases. Until further notice, we will only consider reasonable, individual requests for rate increases for those attorneys in your firm who are performing at an exceptional level and whose experience and knowledge is adding substantial value towards meeting Wal-Mart’s legal objectives.”
Update: Due to your requests, we’ve placed the rest of this post — which includes a rather disgusting picture of diseased feet, so consider yourself warned — after the jump.
Well, not in Illinois. In Cavel International v. Madigan (PDF; via How Appealing), the Seventh Circuit upheld an Illinois law making it unlawful to “slaughter a horse if that person knows or should know that any of the horse meat will be used for human consumption.”
It’s a quirky and interesting case. Howard Bashman provides a concise summary and more discussion over here.
Don’t miss page 11 of Judge Richard Posner’s slip opinion, which features a photograph of a “birthday cake” made of horse meat. YUM!!
Many summer associate programs are over, but our series of SA stories is not. If you have one to share, please review our submission guidelines, and then email us.
Connoisseurs of urolagnia will enjoy this latest tale:
1. Superhero name: Golden Shower
2. Special power(s): Urophilic voyeurism.
3. Summered: the Dallas office of a large Texas law firm, summer 2005.
4. Claim to fame: From our tipster:
“One night, some of us, including [Golden Shower], were invited to a partner’s house for dinner. Another summer associate brought his girlfriend.”
“The partner’s house didn’t have locks on the bathroom doors. When the girlfriend went to the bathroom, she was followed inside by [GS]. She was embarrassed, but assumed he had walked in by accident.”
“But instead of leaving, he asked her if he could watch her pee. When she protested and told him to leave, he begged and said that it ‘wasn’t a big deal.’ He finally left only when she made it clear that she was about to scream.”
Poor Golden Shower. So he likes to watch — is that so wrong? We can be so puritanical sometimes. Why not live and let live, pee and let watch?
The conclusion of this story, after the jump.
We resume our series of fun summer associate stories. If you have an anecdote you’d be willing to share, please check out the submission guidelines, and then email us.
Today’s story is more embarrassing to the partner than the summer associate. But that doesn’t preclude it from inclusion here. After all, the tale of the Clifford Chance Lolita was arguably bad for both the partner and the SA.
Also, today’s story — even if not focused on the summer associate — is pretty funny. Here you go:
1. Superhero name: Partner’s Best Friend
2. Special power: Uncanny timeliness when using the restroom
3. Summered: Shearman & Sterling, summer 2006
4. Claim to fame: We quote from an email that previously appeared on another blog, You Can’t Get Arrested for Being Awesome:
“I discovered the ultimate way to get on the good side of a partner today. I go to use the restroom, and when I walk in, someone is cutting gigantic farts. I mean, the type that shake the stall walls. So, I suppress my laughter — and out walks one of the senior partners of litigation.”
“He’s stopped in my office twice today to say, ‘Hi.’ At my firm, partners just do not drop in to say ‘Hello.’ I think he was truly embarrassed and is attempting ‘the nice routine,’ in order to make sure I don’t spread the story of my bathroom experience.”
It’s a little late for that.
5. What happened to him: The partner could have gone nuclear and killed his offer, to keep him quiet. But he got the offer and will start as an associate there this fall.
(Consistent with our general rule, we’re keeping the participants in this bathroom episode anonymous. Please do not name them, or even speculate as to their identity, in the comments — which, of course, are the legal responsibility of the commenters (not ATL). If things get out of hand in the comments, we’ll have to close the thread, and we’d rather not do that. Thanks.) Firm Life [You Can't Get Arrested for Being Awesome]
LEWW salutes Laura Marshall Worth, a direct descendant of Chief Justice John Marshall, who celebrated her wedding last weekend. Laura wasted a great law-school admissions essay and became a teacher, so this hat-tip is all she gets.
Here are our three lucky finalist-couples:
Maybe blood oaths work in the Mafia. But outside organized crime circles, they may be harder to enforce. From the AP:
A Nietzsche-quoting judge said a promise penned in blood by a businessman was not an enforceable contract. Superior Court Judge Corey S. Cramin ruled Monday that Stephen Son could not be forced to repay Kim Jin-soo more than $140,000 that Kim provided to Son’s companies, not to Son himself.
Son punctured his finger and drafted the promise in a restaurant after his companies accepted cash from Kim but failed to turn a profit.
Son was not required to guarantee those transactions, the judge said.
“Blood is the worst of all testimonies to the truth,” Cramin said, paraphrasing German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche.
To all ATL readers currently studying for the bar: Whaddya think? How would you argue in favor of holding the blood contract enforceable, despite the apparent absence of consideration? Judge: Blood promise can’t be enforced [Associated Press via Yahoo! News]
Working as a lawyer for the U.S. Department of Justice offers many advantages over toiling as a law firm associate. Greater responsibility. Better hours. Nicer bosses (with some exceptions).
But working for the DOJ has disadvantages too. Lower pay. Less support staff. No Aeron chairsworking pens.
And maybe rats snacking on your toddler. From a tipster:
Cadwalader may have bed bugs, but the Justice Department’s child care center has rats. The center is… managed by a board of directors, mainly middle aged DOJ lawyers.
Here’s an email making the rounds. My favorite line is “They will stay upstairs for play the rat of the day.”
What does it mean to be “newly admitted?” To us, it means endless possibilities!
We recognize that you already possess the ability and intelligence to succeed in a variety of legal professions. Our job is to expose you to various practice areas in a way that ensures those very attributes are successfully applied. Our seasoned and successful faculty present unique programs that provide an approachable and practical understanding of the avenues of achievement available as you launch a fruitful, enjoyable and promising career.
Our Live Bridge the Gap weekends satisfy the entire year of New York Newly-Admitted CLE Credits in only two days!
After physically attending a full weekend, you will receive:
• 3.0 Ethics CLE credits,
• 6.0 Skills CLE credits, and
• 7.0 Professional Practice and/or Law Practice Management CLE credits
Date: Saturday, June 8 and Sunday, June 9, 2013 Time: 9:00 a.m. – 4:35 p.m. (EST) Location:
55 Exchange Place
New York, NY 10006
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: email@example.com.
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.
The traditional job application and interview process can be impersonal, and applicants often struggle to present themselves as more than just the sum of their GPAs, alma maters, and previous work history. ATL has partnered with ViewYou to help job seekers overcome this challenge. ViewYou NOW Profiles offer a unique way for job seekers to make a personal, memorable connection with prospective employers: introduction videos. These videos allow job candidates to display their personalities, interpersonal skills, and professional interests, creating an eDossier to brand themselves to potential employers all over the world. Check it out today!