Ed. note: This post is written by Will Meyerhofer, a Biglaw attorney turned psychotherapist, whom we profiled. A former Sullivan & Cromwell associate, he holds degrees from Harvard, NYU Law, and The Hunter College School of Social Work. He blogs at The People’s Therapist.
It’s frustrating, trying to teach lawyers the fundamentals of doing business. Several of them arrive in my office each month, wanting advice on changing careers. But they haven’t got a clue.
That’s because they still think success is making your parents happy. Lawyers start out as the kids who do everything right. They behave. They obey. They get good grades. Typically they aren’t especially talented at anything – just good at everything. The formal education system is designed to reward that sort of bland “goodness.” It isn’t about getting an A in any one subject – it’s about getting “all A’s.”
That doesn’t make any sense in the real world. You don’t need “all A’s,” you need to discover the work that you love to do….
There’s been an Eliot Spitzer outbreak; time to break out the topical cream.
If you follow cable news, you already know that there was a major prime-time shakeup yesterday. Campbell Brown, the CNN anchor for the 8:00 p.m. time slot, is out. Her resignation letter is one of the most candid things you’ll read from a media professional:
I’m pretty sure the last time any anchor could honestly ignore ratings was well before I was born. Of course I pay attention to ratings. And simply put, the ratings for my program are not where I would like them to be. It is largely for this reason that I am stepping down as anchor of CNN’s “Campbell Brown”…
The simple fact is that not enough people want to watch my program, and I owe it to myself and to CNN to get out of the way so that CNN can try something else.
The Washington Examiner is pushing the rumor that CNN’s “something else” will be Eliot Spitzer.
The former Sheriff of Wall Street, who went after big banks during his time as New York Attorney General, denies that he is up for the CNN job. But that man is up to something…
* Sen. Arlen Specter — a Yale Law School grad and former Philadelphia district attorney, by the way — loses the Democratic primary in Pennsylvania; ophthalmologist Rand Paul, son of Rep. Ron Paul, wins the Republican primary in Kentucky. [Washington Post]
* McDermott Will & Emery gets hit with an age discrimination lawsuit. [Am Law Daily]
* Lawyers at Weitz & Luxenberg, the prominent personal injury firm — perhaps you’ve heard their radio ads? — have donated heavily to the New York attorney general campaign of Kathleen Rice. [New York Times]
* Obama’s aunt will not be deported to Kenya. [CNN]
* Elena Kagan has submitted answers to the Senate questionnaire for her Supreme Court nomination (in a record five days). Her net worth is almost $1.8 million, a sizable increase from the last reported figure (apparently thanks to the sale of her Cambridge house). [Washington Post]
* A portrait of Lady Kaga as a young graduate student: in her Oxford thesis, she wrote that it was “not necessarily wrong or invalid” for judges to “try to mold and steer the law” to achieve social ends. [New York Times]
Disclosure: I am not a fan of the burka, a garment that I find vaguely ridiculous, oppressive towards women, and worst of all, horribly unfashionable. The burqa’s highest and best use is in comedy. Remember the great Curb Your Enthusiasm episode in which Larry dry cleans a Muslim woman’s burqa and gives it to Cheryl as a Halloween costume?
So, given where I’m coming from, I was pleased not deeply troubled by this recent incident in France, reported in the London Telegraph:
A 60-year-old lawyer ripped a Muslim woman’s Islamic veil off in a row in a clothing shop in what police say is France’s first case of “burka rage.”
The astonishing scene unfolded during a weekend shopping trip after the woman lawyer took offence at the attire of a fellow shopper resulting in argument during which the pair came to blows before being arrested.
It’s May. Soon it will be June. The class of 2010 is about to graduate. And sure, everything will suck for them, but let’s give them their due:
Ahh, that’s the good stuff.
But sometime after that song is played, and before the students become acquainted with the nutritional properties of mayonnaise sandwiches, somebody will try to stand up and put their aborted legal careers in some sort of context.
Who will be doing the commencement address at your law school this year? More importantly, are any of the speakers hiring?
As some readers know, I’ve had a dispute with the paper of record before. But this time, the Grey Lady has gone after a different Kashmir: the restaurant formerly known as the Kashmir buffet. According to Midtown Lunch, the eatery across from the NYT headquarters recently changed its name to the “Times Restaurant”:
Perhaps because journalists are trained to notice details, the NYT company took note of the familiar font in the restaurant’s sign. The NYT’s lawyers sent a message to the buffet and it wasn’t about their tasty samosas…
As we mentioned in Morning Docket, the lawsuits are coming for Arizona’s new immigration law. First up, the ACLU. Bloomberg reports:
The American Civil Liberties Union is leading a court challenge to Arizona’s new law targeting illegal immigration, claiming the measure would allow unconstitutional racial profiling by police.
A group of civil rights organizations led by the ACLU also alleges that the law interferes with federal power and authority over immigration matters in violation of the U.S. Constitution, according to a complaint filed today in federal court in Phoenix. The group claims in addition that the statute infringes the free-speech rights of day laborers in the state.
It’s not surprising that the ACLU is taking the first shot at this. The Department of Justice might not be far behind….
Now that the sex lives of Supreme Court justices have become grist for commentators, we are finally free to discuss a question formerly only whispered about in the shadows: Why does Justice Antonin Scalia, by common consent the leading intellectual force on the Court, have nine children? Is this normal? Or should I say ‘normal,’ as some people choose to define it? Can he represent the views of ordinary Americans when he practices such a minority lifestyle? After all, having nine children is far more unusual in this country than, say, being a lesbian.
When it comes to deferring incoming associates, what is the new normal? A couple of months ago, we reported that Mintz Levin was deferring its class of 2010 associates to 2012. At the time, Mintz Levin didn’t reveal any information about its deferral stipend.
Today, tipsters are telling us about the Mintz Levin stipend. Let’s just say that 2010 graduates waiting for a job at Mintz Levin should strongly consider driving a cab or something. They’ll need an extra source of income to make ends meet…
Elena Kagan has the face that launched a thousand comparisons. TMZ thought she looked like Kevin James. The man wooing her via Craigslist thinks she’s a cross between Carrie Fisher, Laura Linney, and Bette Midler.
We polled you, and the results are in. Who is the winner of the Elena Kagan Look-Alike Contest?
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 seven years. You can reach them by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that Evan Jowers and Robert Kinney are still in Hong Kong and will stay FOR THE REMAINDER OF THIS WEEK. We still have a handful of available slots for meetings with our Asia Chronicles fans. If we have not been in touch lately, reach out and let us know when we could meet! There is no need for an agenda at all. Most of our in-person meetings on these trips are with folks who understand that improving a legal practice through lateral hiring is an information-driven process that takes time to handle correctly.
Regarding trends in lateral US associate hiring in Hong Kong, we of course keep much of what we know off of this blog. Based on placement revenue, though, Kinney is having one of our most successful years ever in Asia. We are helping a number of our law firm clients with M&A, fund formation, cap markets, project finance, FCPA and disputes openings. These are very specific needs in many cases, so a conversation with us before jumping in may be helpful. As always, we like to be sure to get the maximum number of interviews per submission, using a well-informed, highly targeted, and selective approach, taking into account short, medium and long-term career aims.
Making a well informed decision during a job search is easier said than done – the information we provide comes from 10 years of being the market leader in US attorney placements at the top tier firms in Asia. There is no substitute for having known a hiring partner since he/she was an associate or for having helped a partner grow his or her practice from zip to zooming, and this is happily where we stand today – with years of background information on just about every relevant person in all the markets we serve, and most especially in Hong Kong/China/Greater Asia. So get in touch and get a download from us this week if we can fit it in, or soon in any case!
The legal industry is being disrupted at every level by technological advances. While legal tech entrepreneurs and innovators are racing to create a more efficient and productive future, there is widespread indifference on the part of attorneys toward these emerging technologies.
When the LexisNexis Cloud Technology Survey results were reported earlier this year, it showed that attorneys were starting to peer less skeptically into the future, and slowly but surely leaning more toward all the benefits the law cloud has to offer.
Because let’s face it, plenty of attorneys are perhaps a bit too comfortable with their “system” of practice management, which may or may not include neon highlighters, sticky notes, dog-eared file folders, and a word processing program that was last updated when the term “raise the roof” was still de rigueur.