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.”
We hear that Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft is a tough place to work these days. Over the past few years, CTW’s profits per partner have skyrocketed — but such growth has come at a price.
Today the firm is much more of a business, and much less of a partnership. Collegiality is down, and billable hours — as well as associate dissatisfaction — are up.
But these aren’t the only problems plaguing Cadwalader. A source forwarded us an internal CWT email, with this introductory squib:
Just received this from a friend over there. As if the crushing leverage and abuse weren’t enough, CWT has BED BUGS….
Don’t believe us? The office-wide email, sent out about an hour and a half ago by firm chairman Robert O. Link Jr., appears after the jump.
On the subject of Paris Hilton’s recent release from jail, Entertainment Tonight reports:
L.A. County Sheriff Spokesperson STEVE WHITMORE told reporters that due to “medical issues,” the heiress had been “reassigned” at about 2:00 a.m. Thursday and would finish out her sentence on house arrest….
Sources close to the Hilton family tell ET the medical reason was actually a rash she developed on her body.
Mention of a bodily rash provides support for this ATL reader comment:
My friend’s brother (who works with [Sheriff Lee] Baca’s assistant sheriffs) told me that Paris was released due to a severe, “stress-induced” herpes outbreak. He also said that he heard that the blisters had apparently spread to her anus and had taken on abcess-like features that required more serious medical attention. Thus, after taking into account jail overcrowding, the increasing liability that Paris presents, and Paris’s lesions, all things weighed in favor of her being put on home confinement.
Was a case of anal herpes a “Get Out of Jail Free” card for Paris Hilton?
More discussion, after the jump.
Average law school debt for graduates of private universities hovered around $122,000 last year. With only 57% of new attorneys actually obtaining real lawyer jobs, recent graduates have a lot to consider when it comes to managing their student loan payments. Thanks to our friends at SoFi, today’s infographic takes a look at student loan debt, including the possible benefits of refinancing for JDs…
Kinney Recruiting’sEvan Jowers is currently in Hong Kong for client meetings and still has a few slots available through October 22. Evan will also be in Hong Kong November 14 to December 15. Further, Robert Kinney has been in Frankfurt and Munich this week and is available for meetings with our Germany based readers.
One of our key law firm clients has referred us to one of their important clients in the US, Europe and China – a leading global technology supplier for the auto industry – in order to handle their search for a new Asia General Counsel and Asia Chief Compliance Officer.
Kinney is exclusively handling this in-house search.
This position will have a lot of responsibility and include supervision of eight attorneys underneath them in the Asia in-house team. The new hire will report directly to the global general counsel and global chief compliance officer, who is based in the US. The new hire’s ability to make judgement calls is going to be as important as their technical skill set background.
The position is based in Shanghai and will deal with the company’s operations all over Asia and also in India, including frequent acquisitions in the region.
It is expected that the new hire will come from a top US firm’s Shanghai, Beijing or Hong Kong offices, currently in a top flight corporate practice at the senior associate, counsel or partner level. Of course, the candidate can be currently in a relevant in-house role.
The JOBS Act created new tools for companies to publicly advertise securities deals online. As a result, thousands of new deals have hit the market and hundreds of millions in capital has been raised, spurring a wealth of new business development opportunities for attorneys.
Fund deals, startup capital raises, PIPE deals and loan syndicates are just a handful of the transactions benefiting from the JOBS Act. InvestorID FirmTM is a platform designed to help attorneys equip their clients with the workflow, marketing and compliance tools to publicly solicit a securities offering online. By providing clients with the tools to painlessly navigate the regulatory landscape of general solicitation, InvestorID FirmTM helps attorneys add value above just legal services.
The Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS Act) went into effect in 2013 and permits Regulation D offerings of securities to be advertised publicly. This means that funds and companies can now use social media, emails and web sites to market transactions to new “accredited” investors.
However, with these new powers come new pain points. InvestorID FirmTM provides a secure, fully hosted, cloud-based platform with a breadth of tools for your clients, including: