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Come on babe, why don’t we paint the town; and all that jazz!
I’m gonna rouge my knees and roll my stockings down; and all that jazz!
Start the car, I know a whoopee spot; Where the gin is cold, but the piano’s hot!
It’s just a noisy hall; where there’s a nightly brawl
And all… that… jazz…

It’s really a great day to be stuck in Chicago. The weather is pleasant today but not sweltering. The Cubbies have a home game. And former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich will take the stand in his own defense. Add in a deep dish pizza and a taping of Oprah, and you could have the full Chicago experience all in one day.

So what can we expect from the governor turned “Celebrity Apprentice” contestant turned criminal defendant?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “When Blago Takes the Stand”

Oh yeah, it’s time to get your prestige on.

The 2011 Vault prestige rankings went live this morning. It’s the time of the year when associates get to make fun of their friends, and partners get to brag to their peers. Law is a prestige-conscious field, and the Vault rankings will set the tone for prestige battles over the next year.

The top five remain the same, but the order has changed:

1. Wachtell
2. Cravath
3. Sullivan & Cromwell
4. Skadden
5. Davis Polk & Wardwell

Sullivan & Cromwell hops back over Skadden this year. I guess Skadden’s Sidebar Plus didn’t have quite enough prestige points.

Moving on, there is one firm that dropped out of the Vault top ten…

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Russell Deyo has a big Johnson & Johnson salary

Corporate Counsel has released its annual list of the highest-paid general counsel in the land. The trend this year is a leveling-off, says Corporate Counsel, thanks to the recession and the belt-tightening that results from a greater transparency for executive compensation. The party slows down when the lights come on.

These GCs still managed to do well for themselves. At the top of the list is Russell Deyo, of Johnson & Johnson. The Georgetown ’75 grad has been with the company for 25 years, having joined in 1985 as a regular old staff attorney. His salary is a mere $831K, but he rakes in millions in bonus money.

Who topped the list, and how much are they making?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Highest-Paid General Counsel (Kind of)”


Elena Kagan: Yay, I'm done!

* The Senate Judiciary Committee should vote on Elena Kagan today. I’ll set the over/under for Republican support at 1. But I’m going to go out on a limb and take the over: Graham and Hatch. [Washington Post]

* In case you were wondering, yes, the summer job market in NYC really is that depressing. [New York Law Journal]

* Are you still hunting for a job? What, don’t you have a wealthy or influential father or something? [New York Times]

* Another fun tidbit from the NYT — a California city has successfully outsourced everything. Everything. [New York Times]

* The legal relationship between Lindsay Lohan and former O.J. lawyer Robert Shapiro didn’t last very long. [ABA Journal]

* Another attack on the billable hour. [Am Law Daily]

* The New York Post profiles New Yorkers who have hit 5,000 friends on Facebook. Come on people, David Lat can totally make this list next year. I promise his status updates are more interesting than these Post jokers. [New York Post]

Ann Althouse did it. So can you. (Photo by Richard Lawrence Cohen.)

We are getting very close to bar exam time. Some of you might be thinking that there’s not enough time left. Some of you might be resigned to the fact that you will fail the bar and all your friends will know about it and make jokes about you when you’re not in the room.

Well, if you do fail, jokes will be made at your expense. But there’s still more than enough time to pass. Above the Law received an email from a reader who passed the California bar exam on his first try. The reader took the time to document just how long he spent studying for the test. The total commitment? Under 90 hours.

And that’s for the California February bar, a test that has a passage rate just north of “utterly pathetic.”

So how did he do it? The reader shares his study plan with all of you who are coming into bar prep crunch time…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “One Person’s Guide to Passing the Bar with Minimal Effort”

* Sure, stoners can totally get their act together to file for a patent a trademark trademark protection (or something — bite me). [WSJ Law Blog]

* Step 1: Make sure your Facebook wall is appropriate for employers. Step 2: ??? Step 3: Profit from new job! [Legal Blog Watch]

* With her Ponzi-scheming husband languishing in federal prison, what’s Ruth Madoff up to these days? [Dealbreaker]

* Washington Post explains why the Washington Post doesn’t care about the New Black Panther party. I didn’t say it was a convincing explanation. [Volokh Conspiracy]

* Things that suck: the music industry, the journalism industry, the legal industry, etc. [Nintyfiveyears via Blawg Review]

Last November, we scrutinized the compensation of one of America’s best-paid in-house lawyers: Gregory Palm, general counsel of Goldman Sachs. There was some nit-picking from readers about the precise size of his (pay) package, reflected in the various updates appended to the post, but there was unanimity on the main point: serving as Goldman’s top lawyer is a path to riches.

Over the weekend, the New York Times published a long, interesting, behind-the-scenes look at the negotiations between Goldman and the SEC that culminated in the bank’s $550 million settlement — negotiations in which Greg Palm played a leading role. For some good commentary on Louise Story’s article, check out Larry Ribstein (who sees the case as a strike suit that just happened to be brought by the SEC).

What we found most intriguing about the NYT piece — which weighed in at a hefty 3,200 words, as noted by the WSJ Law Blog — was the delicious dish about Gregory Palm’s pay….

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Going on game shows offers up the possibility of great reward or eternal humiliation in the form of YouTube’s infinite archives. An Oregon lawyer by the name of Paul Galm experienced the latter, when he appeared on “Who Wants To Be a Millionaire?” in 2006. (This is admittedly old, but sometimes we like to exhume Internet classics.)

Galm started off by telling Meredith Viera about how he and his wife — both attorneys — quit their jobs and blew their savings traveling around the world, and how he was appearing on WWTBAM hoping to get his nest egg back. Instead, he epically wound up with egg on his face:

Says the tipster who sent it along: “This guy must have gone to a TTT.”

Well, we did a little research. As it turns out, Paul Galm went to a top ten law school.

Which prestigious institution popped him out, and where is he now?

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It’s common for a spouse to claim that a divorce lawyer left him with nothing but the shirt on his back. But it is the rare divorce attorney who returns the favor and takes her shirt off. We’ve extensively documented the briefs and bustline of the well-endowed Corri Fetman. But today we’ve got a divorce lawyer whose résumé isn’t quite so inflated.

(Warning: This should go without saying, but in case there is a freaking idiot out there, the next link is NSFW — Not Safe for Work.)

Meet Playboy’s “Employee of the Month” [NSFW] for July, Kimberly Kourt. Ms. Kourt — I’ll go on a diet if that’s her real name — says she’s a family lawyer, but real classy-like:

“I pride myself on always being professional and appropriate, right down to what I wear in the courtroom,” says sexy trial lawyer Kimberly Kourt. “But on my own time, sexy clothes are fair game.”

Nothing says “professional and appropriate” quite like posing for Playboy.

So, pictures or it didn’t happen….

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email e-mail small message microsoft outlook Above the Law.JPGThere are many big questions in life. For example, email etiquette. “To” or “dear” or just a name? “Best” or “best regards” or “sincerely” or just your initials? Instant response or tasteful 15-minute delay?

Like many of the big questions, it’s hard to come up with definitive answers. But one summer associate has a core belief system that he thinks all fellow lawyers and law students should embrace:

The summer intern season / horror show is winding down. For the sake of next year’s crop of law student summer interns/associates, could you please post a commentary on annoying email habits? Maybe something similar to George Costanza’s rules for workplace behavior. Anyways, I was fortunate to work at least three years before heading back to school and learned some useful lessons about email etiquette. Apparently, these lessons do not reach most of my over achieving, nobody-has-ever-told-me-no-before law school classmates who come straight from undergrad.

– Chester Copperpot

Copperpot has brought Four Commandments back from the digital mountaintop. We blaspheme against some of them after the jump….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Summer Associate Email Etiquette: The Four Commandments?”

I’ve already shared with you my views on the burqa (views that weren’t popular with some of our more politically correct and/or sensitive readers). And you’ve already voted in a reader poll on efforts to ban the burqa, showing that 60 percent of you are wimps do not support France’s effort to ban the burqa.

Now some law professors have weighed in on the burqa ban. In a piece earlier this month for the Opinionator blog of the New York Times, University of Chicago law professor Martha Nussbaum offered a thoughtful critique of the burqa ban.

Over the weekend, two other prominent law professors — Richard Epstein, Nussbaum’s colleague at U. Chicago, and John Yoo, of Berkeley — jumped into the fray….

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As we mentioned this weekend, the BP oil spill has been capped (for the time being), and now we can fully focus on who needs to get paid. As with so many things, it’s Ken Feinberg’s world and we’re just living in it. Bloomberg reports:

Kenneth Feinberg, who is overseeing a $20 billion fund to pay damage claims from BP Plc’s oil spill, pledged to create a system “more generous and more beneficial” to spill victims than taking the company to court.

More generous than court? Ooohh, judicial system, Czar Feinberg is calling you out. You gonna just take that?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Ken Feinberg Offers Better Deals than Lawsuits”

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