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Mayer Brown associates got a disturbing email this morning:

After careful consideration, the firm has decided to implement a job reduction in our US offices that will affect 28 associates and counsel and 47 staff members.

This can’t be good news for the firm’s incoming mutineers who are still waiting to hear back about their start dates. Though the memo, available in full after the jump, suggests that despite laying off these 75 people, things look bright there:

Despite this necessary action, we see encouraging signs for 2010. Thus far, the year is off to a positive start. Taking this step will enable us to maintain our financial strength and continue investing in our practices, our global platform and the professional development of our people – and thereby enhance our ability to provide clients with the high standard of legal work and service that defines Mayer Brown.

We hope the 75 people losing their jobs today were left off the distribution list, because that smarts…

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Karen Shapiro is a lawyer turned “life coach.” From what I understand, a “life coach” is essentially a therapist who helps you see happiness attainment like a basket that needs to be dunked on. Being called coach may or may not allow them to slap you on the ass when you get a promotion or settle into a healthy long-term relationship.

Shapiro, a Boston University School of Law grad, recently penned a column for the Legal Intelligencer on the game plan for success in the legal playing field. Apparently, you all need to be carefully crafting your personal brands.

If your brand is “cog in the machine,” you have some work to do…

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The WSJ Law Blog interviewed Latham & Watkins chairman, Bob Dell. Let’s just jump straight to the money quote:

Associates at the firm still aren’t fully occupied, according to Dell.

But that, he said, is due in part to the fact that the firm was judicious last year with its layoffs, holding on to more lawyers than it needed to service the recessionary level of demand for its services.

Judicious? On the off chance that soon-to-be 2Ls have the research capabilities of a goldfish, click here, or here, and then tell me what you think about the word “judicious.”

If that represents judicious layoffs, I can’t imagine what kind of sick nightmare Dell would call “aggressive” layoffs.

Oh, but there are other problems with that statement…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Latham’s Bob Dell Trips Over Fallen Associates in Effort to Impress Clients”

* Outed commenter Judge Shirley Strickland Saffold is suing the Cleveland Plain Dealer for $50 million. [Associated Press]

* Sex-addicted paralegal gets shafted by New York City. [New York Post]

* Lindsay Lohan’s lawsuit against E-Trade over a milkaholic baby is preventing that baby’s voice from getting paid. [New York Post via Gothamist]

* Photographers are the latest group to sue Google’s digital Library of Alexandria. [Wall Street Journal; Wired]

* Judge goes overboard in punishing man with overdue DVD. [Denver Post]

* Twitter for Dummies (at law firms). [Stem]

On Monday, we reported that the kick-off for Harvard Law’s 2010 Class Gift pissed off a lot of current HLS students. Commenters told us that similar class gift drives were alienating students across the country.

Well, it seems the class marshals at HLS got the message. They decided to try to sell their students on exactly what their donations might fund:

Dear Class of 2010:

We wanted to provide you with more information and perspective on the Class Gift. The Class Gift is small sum of money donated by graduating students. This year there are three options for donating to the Class Gift:

(1) The Harvard Law School General Fund
(2) Student Financial Aid
(3) The Post-Graduate Student Funded Fellowship

Oh don’t worry, these HLS kids aren’t done with their slice of humble pie…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “State of Law School Giving Redux: HLS Offers New Options, South Carolina Had It Right All Along”

* Okay, Obama is officially just stealing administrative policies from the plotlines on the West Wing. Today’s episode: Posse Comitatus. [Gawker]

* Welcome to the dangerous quadriplegic doctrine. [Legal Blog Watch]

* Disabled man has service dog. Disabled man is on food stamps. Disabled man is denied food stamps for his service dog. The government hates puppies. [ABA Journal]

* As we mentioned, Washington, D.C. won our March Madness poll. Some people seem to think that this makes D.C. even more of hellhole than it was before. [True/Slant]

* A full breakdown of the week dominated my Eric Turkewitz’s sense of humor (and the NYT’s lack thereof). [Infamy or Praise]

* Lawrence Lessig weighs in on the Constitutional Convention idea. [Daily Beast]

Michael Diaz, Jr. leans innocent?

Michael Diaz, Jr. has a high profile in Miami. These days, the University of Miami Law grad’s name tends to crop up in the business pages, but in the late 80s, he worked on a series of highly-publicized homicide cases as a prosecutor in the Miami-Dade County State Attorney’s Office. In 1990, he started his own international litigation shop, Diaz Reus & Targ, LLP. Business Week recently profiled him for his representation of Ponzi victims and big game asset hunting.

He’s a man with a reputation and serious weight (more of it is seen in this Business Week photo than in his firm photo), so he wasn’t pleased when someone honked and yelled at him in a grocery store parking lot. According to the South Florida Business Journal, Diaz was a passenger in a white Lexus that was blocking the entrance to a parking garage. James Bracco, 30, began honking at the Lexus and then tried driving around it, while yelling at the people in the Lexus. Diaz allegedly got out of the Lexus, opened the door of the offending car, punched the offending driver in the face (knocking some teeth loose), and then punched the offending driver’s girlfriend in the chest several times.

Since this is Florida, this, of course, took place at a Publix.

Sounds like someone has been watching too many Miami Vice reruns. Not cool, dude…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Lawyer of the Day: Michael Diaz, Jr.”

Back in November, Goodwin Procter laid off 55 people: 21 of them associate attorneys. You’ll remember that the laid-off employees took the news particularly hard. In February of 2009 — in the teeth of the recession — Goodwin Procter laid off 74 people: 38 of those victims were associates.

But enough about sad old 2009, let’s get to sunny 2010. Things are looking up for Goodwin, and the firm is looking to add people again. There’s just one catch. A tipster reports:

Goodwin has hired recruiters to headhunt attorneys to fill the positions of the 2nd and 3rd year associates laid off last February and as recently as November. Rumor has it that they have formed an entire committee to handle the search even though several of the February layoff victims remain unemployed and almost all of the November attorneys.

Where’s the love, Goodwin? From the job posting, it looks like your recently laid off associates could be exactly what you are looking for…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Goodwin Procter is Hiring: People Goodwin Laid Off Are Pissed”

The final match of our March Madness was not quite as thrilling as the Duke-Butler game. DC pulled away from San Francisco at the very beginning, when voting started on Monday afternoon. We were amused to see that lawyers in SoCal contributed to DC’s early momentum (pictured at right).

DC finished strong, defeating San Fran 61-39. So now it’s official: Congratulations, Washingtonians. You are in the best place in America to be a lawyer. Go to One First Street and do a victory lap around the Supreme Court.

This was how D.C. made it to the top. It wasn’t an easy path, though D.C. made it look like it was:

Here at ATL headquarters, Elie, Lat, Kash, and David Minkin (our publisher, of ATL litigation fame) filled out brackets, with a $40 pool. Curious who won?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “ATL March Madness: Washington, D.C. is the best city for lawyers.”

Over the past few weeks we’ve lightly touched on the fight between Maryland State Legislators and Maryland Law School. To bring you up to speed: the Perdue Chicken corporation was annoyed by a lawsuit filed with the aid of Maryland’s Environmental Law Clinic. So, like all good corporations, the bigwigs at Perdue reached into their back pocket and unleashed the Maryland State Senate upon the University. The spineless state politicians ostensibly did what they were told and threatened to withhold hundreds of thousands of dollars from the University unless various conditions were met, including disclosure of privileged information.

I guess it’s nice to know that the American oligarchy is still going strong.

But thankfully, the story doesn’t end there. After weeks of intense public pressure, it appears that the Maryland legislators backed down…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Maryland State and Perdue v. Maryland Law and Reason: An Uneasy Compromise”

Career Center AboveTheLaw Lateral Link ATL.jpgOur recent Career Center survey asked about how the economy has affected the practice area choices of associates and law students.  A large majority – 80% – of law firm respondents indicated that they have not had to work outside their chosen practice area to meet their hours.

Of the 20% of law firm respondents who have had to work in practice areas other than their own, more than two-thirds of them have picked up litigation work and almost half of them have billed hours to bankruptcy matters.  Almost half of law student respondents indicated that their practice area choices have been affected by market conditions, with litigation the new top choice among law students.

Check out the full survey results after the jump — and visit the Career Center, powered by Lateral Link for more on which firms are leaders in the practice areas you are interested in.

Full survey results, after the jump.

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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 seems like the cruelest thing they could say to you, but according to lawyers I work with as a therapist, they say it all the time:

Maybe you’re not cut out for this place.

There are variations, of course. There’s the old favorite:

Maybe you’re not cut out for this work.

Or – to put the knife in and twist it:

Maybe you’re not cut out to be a lawyer.

You’ve taken the LSAT, applied to law school, borrowed the budget of a small African nation, sat through endless lectures and countless exams, passed the atrocious trivia contest known as the bar, and now you’re in a big, powerful law firm – sinking like a stone.

And they’re letting you know it’s not a fluke, either – it’s you.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “In-House Counseling: Maybe You’re Not Cut Out For This Place”

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