Lately, Big Law firms have been changing their salary structures more often than associates can keep up with. With an increasing number of firms abandoning lockstep compensation, associates have been left in the dark about what compensation levels actually are.
This week, our ATL / Lateral Link survey asks for your help to track the latest changes to starting salaries and the salary ranges for firms that have moved away from lock-step compensation. We’ll use the information to update the ATL Career Center and bring you the results next week.
If you have information about your firm that you want to share with other Career Center users, please email us at [email protected].
Incrementally, the pace of layoffs has been picking up. Perhaps firms are trying to get through all of their cuts before the holiday season?
The latest news comes from Day Pitney. A tipster reports:
Day Pitney in CT laid off 30 staff today and moved staff to lower positions.
A spokesperson from Day Pitney confirmed that the firm laid of 29 staff (not 30). The move was part of a staff reorganization and affected staffers in eight of the firm’s nine offices.
No attorneys were laid off.
Let’s check Day Pitney’s layoff history after the jump.
We’ve talked a lot about law schools that are raising tuition. It borders on unconscionable for schools to pump up tuition at a time of deflationary legal salaries and a difficult job market.
So I was a little surprised when I received this email from a University of Miami School of Law student:
The Dean of UM just sent out an email announcing policy changes that are going to save students’ tuition money (up to a couple thousand $$$ per semester). This while other law school in America is trying to milk every last cent out of students.
A law school that costs less? To the Batmobile!
If you have more info, please email us. Thanks.
UPDATE (10:00 AM): According to Bloomberg, the FBI has arrested Arthur Cutillo (pictured). He is no longer on the Ropes & Gray website, but you can find his bio via Google Cache. Interestingly enough, he was an IP litigator, not a corporate attorney.
CNBC is now reporting that a Ropes & Gray employee allegedly provided inside information about various “going private” transactions the firm was involved in. Some of these transactions apparently involved companies heavily dependent upon intellectual property, such as technology companies.
UPDATE (10:10 AM): In case the Google Cache entry is removed, we have posted Arthur Cutillo’s bio after the jump. He graduated from Rutgers (undergrad) and Villanova (law), and he worked at Merck before joining Ropes.
UPDATE (10:15 AM): Here is a statement from Ropes & Gray:
We are deeply disappointed to learn about this situation, which suggests an extreme breach of this person’s duty of trust to our clients and to the firm. We cannot comment in detail on an ongoing investigation but we are moving quickly to protect our clients and are cooperating fully with authorities.
UPDATE (12:15 PM): U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara (S.D.N.Y.) is giving a press conference discussing the charges. One of the other individuals charged, Michael Kimelman, once worked as an associate at Sullivan & Cromwell.
UPDATE (4:30 PM): We’ve honored Artie Cutillo, Michael Kimelman, and a third lawyer, Jason Goldfarb, as our Lawyers of the Day.
Art Cutillo’s Ropes bio and Mike Kimelman’s LinkedIn profile, after the jump.
Seven Arrested In Insider Trading Case [Dealbreaker]
* Federal prosecutors accuse Troutman Sanders real estate practice group leader, Leonard Grunstein, of participating in a $50 million kickback scheme. [AmLaw Daily]
* Bank of America’s general counsel was not on active status to practice law in Massachusetts during his first (crucial) eight days as the company’s top lawyer. [Boston Globe]
* Big pay day for the lawyers who helped Walmart workers get their overtime money. [National Law Journal]
* NY AG Andrew Cuomo is going after Intel. [Wired]
* The attorney general of Kenya is mulling a lawsuit against the U.S. for revoking his travel visa. [Associated Press]
* Robber can sue the store he robbed. [CBS News]
* AT&T sues Verizon over map mocking its poor 3G coverage… and brings more attention to how poor its 3G coverage is. [PC World]
It is the most frightening time of the year for prospective lawyers. The New York State Bar Exam results will be posted tomorrow. As other states have posted results, we’ve seen that this year the “pass or you’re fired” feeling is strong.
Here’s the results preview from the New York Board of Law Examiners:
Important Notice for JULY 2009 BAR Exam Takers:
The results from the July 2009 bar examination will be made available to candidates, by e-mail, on November 5, 2009. You must ensure that you can accept emails from [email protected] There will also be a link on this website to privately view your individual result by mid-day.
A list of the candidates who passed the examination will be made available to the general public on Friday, November 6, 2009.
People who took the bar in New Jersey will have to wait another couple of days:
July 2009 Bar Results – Bar results are expected to be mailed on Monday, November 9, 2009. Results are expected to be posted by Candidate ID number on Monday at 4:00 pm. ID numbers and/or addresses will NOT be given or verified for security reasons.
One piece of advice as you wait for this important information: alcohol is your friend.
Earlier: New York Bar Exam Results Are Up
* Defending free speech requires one to defend some pretty annoying junk. [Underdog]
* Have you ever been framed by a prosecutor? [Bad Lawyer]
* An openly pagan Republican lawyer won a city council seat last night. In the words of Winston Zeddmore: “I love this town.” [Double X]
* I don’t think you should be called a super lawyer unless you have an alter ego of some kind. [Tax Prof Blog]
* David Lat on the joys of blogging. He shares some good advice for people just starting out. [Blackbook Legal]
* And as Marin explains, legal writing can be a decent way out of Biglaw. You know, so long as you don’t mind having an apartment like mine that resembles a spider hole. [TechnoLawyer]
It’s the day after Election Day! Granted, this year’s election cycle wasn’t nearly as exciting as last year — when Obama ended racism in America.
Still, there are many winners to congratulate. Republicans Chris Christie and Bob McDonnell are new governors. People can now point to the North Country on a map of New York State. Michael Bloomberg secured a third term as New York City Mayor. And the New York Post (predictably) managed to ignore it all and plastered of picture of Pedro Martinez in a diaper on its front page.
But for our purposes, the biggest winners were the voters of Maine. They successfully defeated the efforts of gays and lesbians to be treated fairly, thus making sure that all of those rugged and earthy Mainers will not be tempted to have the gay sex they secretly desire.
Obviously the tactics of BC Law professor Scott Fitzgibbon — and other defenders of traditional marriages between drunken woodsmen and the girls they knock up — won the day. Do gay marriage advocates have any more tricks stashed in their closets?
Kash says yes, after the jump.
Duke University 2L Andrew Blumberg is a “Simpsons Superfan,” a designation that got him an appearance on the “Food Network Challenge” this past weekend. The challenge was to create a cake inspired by the Simpsons episode, “Last Tap Dance in Springfield”. Four “superfans” were paired with professional cake designers to ensure character fidelity in the final creations.
Blumberg was paired with a professional cake designer to craft a Bart Simpson cake. Almost anyone between the ages of 20 and 55 would likely claim the mantle of Simpson fan. How do you qualify as a “superfan”? From Duke Law News:
Qualifying as one of the show’s four “superfans” took more than just logging hours in front of the television, though. “One of the things I said that I think resonated with them was that I incorporate the Simpsons into the rest of my life,” Blumberg says.
Take, for example, the project he has been working on with Duke Law Professor Barak Richman to create a DVD that explains contracts using clips from Simpsons episodes. “That was one of the things that made me stand out from the crowd,” he says.
Mad points for any ATL reader who remembers the name of the stripper character that appeared in just one Simpsons episode (no Googling).
So how did Blumberg do on the show?
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Yesterday’s Lawsuit of the Day — Jones v. Minkin, a $44 million lawsuit against yours truly, Above the Law publisher David Minkin, and Dead Horse Media (now known as Breaking Media) — has been voluntarily dismissed by the plaintiff, University of Miami law professor Donald Jones.
There was NO SETTLEMENT in this case. Above the Law has made no changes to our prior posts, and we have paid no money to Professor Jones. The case was dismissed by the plaintiff without anything from our side, except a letter from our lawyer.
UPDATE (3:35 PM): We have offered Professor Jones a guest post on Above the Law in which to provide his side of the story, about either the lawsuit or the underlying facts. We have offered to keep the comments on that post closed or open, depending on his preference. (And we would have done this in the first place, had he made such a request.)
A huge thanks to our counsel, Marc Randazza.
Comment from Randazza, plus links to the notice of voluntary dismissal and other news outlets and blogs — we will UPDATE continually, so do check back for fresh links — after the jump.
The most common speculation we’ve heard is that this bonus season will defy the follow-the-leader market matching of the past. People expect that firms in a stronger financial position will pay more than firms in a weaker financial position. It sounds like simple economics, but we can’t remember the last time there was systemic bonus separation among top law firms.
Ashby Jones of the WSJ Law Blog had a similar thought after Monday’s news:
But the question on our minds: Will others follow in step with Cravath? In previous years, most firms have fallen right in line with the first mover. (Last year was an exception, though, with the lion’s share of firms giving bonuses equal to half of what Skadden paid out.)
After the jump, let’s see what others in the legal industry are saying about the future.
As we mentioned in our recent open thread on appellate work, Mayer Brown has one of the best appellate and Supreme Court practices in the country. The firm is also known for being rather democratic when distributing SCOTUS arguments; they tend to spread the argument wealth around, instead of funneling all the arguments to a single prominent advocate.
Make that very democratic about doling out SCOTUS arguments. Today Steve Sanders, a fourth-year associate in Mayer’s Chicago office, argued the case of Pottawattamie County v. McGhee before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Of course, Biglaw associates have appeared before the high court before. E.g., Lindsay Harrison of Jenner & Block, who also argued — and won — her first case at One First Street. But one thing that’s unusual about Pottawattamie County is that it’s a paying case, not a pro bono matter.
Sanders has some serious opposition. Read more, after the jump.