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As we’ve previously reported, the inaugural class of students at UC – Irvine School of Law attends law school for free. Now, we’ve got more good news for students there: they all have jobs lined up for the summer. Every last one of them. The Recorder (subscription) reports:

Not only does the entire inaugural class get its J.D.s free of tuition, all 60 students also have jobs lined up for the summer.

UC-Irvine School of Law officials say they’ve helped place almost 30 students at nonprofits and 17 with judges, including 11 in federal posts. The rest are in with law firms and prosecutors’ offices.

I imagine there are students who turned down free tuition at Irvine to go to UCLA or USC. I hope all those kids got summer jobs too…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “UC – Irvine: Everybody Has a Job”

Loyal readers of our In-House Counseling column may have have missed their little dose of psychotherapy yesterday. Will Meyerhofer, aka The People’s Therapist, is regressing this week. He’ll be back next Wednesday.

You’re stuck at work, but perhaps you’d like to do a little regression too? For your infantile pleasure, we bring you an oldie but a goodie — The Coloring Book for Lawyers:

A coloring book for lawyers? Well, color us excited!



Our favorites from the coloring book after the jump…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Mental Health Break: The Lawyers’ Coloring Book”

Ed. note: Have a question for next week? Send it in to advice@abovethelaw.com.

Dear ATL,

So I got Lathamed from my job last year.  It was tough but I eventually found a job that I like.  However, I live in constant fear of being Lathamed again.  I guess since it came out of nowhere last time, it really has me on edge (received great feedback on my work product, but things were SLOW).

Other than keep a spare cyanide pill handy just in case, what do I do?  My Lathaming has taught me some lessons about playing politics, but what else can I do other than that and good work?

Also, do you think I may have an IIED claim against my old firm?

- Lathamed

Dear Lathamed,

People expect the world to function in certain predictable ways. If you look good on a date, you expect a call back. If you work hard, you expect to keep your job.  If you do well in law school, you expect $160,000, 0% balance transfer offers and a completely amazing life. Until you get dumped by someone less attractive than you or fired for no reason, you won’t realize that the world is actually made of quicksand and that guts are meant to be sucker-punched.

In this terrible, horrible, no good, very bad world, some people manage portfolios; others manage anxiety.  The fact is, there is nothing you can do to prevent an employer from firing you. Even Bill Clinton was fired and he was the damn President. So you have a choice: have diarrhea for the next few years, or get over yourself and learn to cope with uncertainty. Lucky for you, I’ve spent the past 29 years paralyzed by fear, and I’ve compiled a comprehensive list of the most effective strategies I’ve found for managing anxiety.
double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Pls Hndle Thx: High Anxiety”

“F@ck no!”

As I stood sipping a drink at The Front Page in Dupont Circle during a happy hour for e-discovery professionals, that was the highly articulate response I received from a technology vendor rep on whether he was attending the ABA Techshow, which begins today.

“That event is more for solos,” he said. “It’s small time.”

In a sense he was right.  If LegalTech New York is considered the Super Bowl of legal technology conferences in the industry, the ABA Techshow is dismissed by many as a worthless preseason game.

So then, why am I here in Chicago for the ABA Techshow?  Well, let’s just say you would be surprised what you can learn in the preseason.

It’s not that the Techshow cannot attract large law firms to join their party.  I mean, the organizer is the freaking American Bar Association for goodness sake.  The fact of the matter is that it doesn’t, because it doesn’t have to.  The ABA Techshow has done a great job at carving out a very specialized niche for itself — a niche which is attracting a breed of lawyer that is operating ahead of the curve on a daily basis.

If you can read between the lines and keep your ear to the ground, there are several legal technology trends that everyone, especially Biglaw, should be tracking. I’ve got three of those for you after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The ABA Techshow: You Say You Want A Revolution? There’s an App for That”

Career Center AboveTheLaw Lateral Link ATL.jpgMarch is all about the numbers: associates at some firms are finally learning what their 2009 bonus amounts are, while associates at other firms are learning more about what their 2010 salary will be. Check out the ATL Career Center, powered by Lateral Link, for the latest information on what the numbers are at firms around the country.

In the past few weeks, we have updated the firm snapshots for Paul Hastings, Gibson Dunn, Simpson Thacher, Knobbe Martens, Skadden Arps, Bingham McCutchen, Winston & Strawn, Holland & Knight, and Kaye Scholer. Use the Career Center’s firm snapshots and comparison tool to learn about other bonus news at firms around the country.

To go beyond the numbers game, join Lateral Link and Katten Muchin Rosenman on Wednesday, March 31, 2010 in Chicago, where a diverse panel of partners and corporate counsel from prestigious law firms and companies will discuss professional development considerations for mid-level associates in determining their long-term career paths. Panelists include Floyd Mandell of Katten Muchin Rosenman, Felicia Gerber Perlman of Skadden Arps, and Tom Kiser, GC at University Health System Consortium. Click here for more information.

And as always, we encourage you to send information about your law firm experience to careercenter@abovethelaw.com.

Most Biglaw New York lawyers would die of malnutrition without SeamlessWeb. Malnutrition, people! Because nobody has time to run down 50 floors to grab a bite to eat after hours.

Given the recession, charging 6:30 steak dinners to clients is no longer cool. But Schulte Roth & Zabel could be taking its anti-Seamless policy a bit too far. Here’s the email Schulte attorneys received last night:

The Firm cafeteria goes to great lengths to provide menu choices that reflect your preferences, and we are constantly looking for new ways to improve those offerings and keep the cafeteria operating as efficiently as possible. Attorneys and legal assistants working in the office on a client-related matter past 7:30 p.m. are encouraged to patronize Café 23, which is open for dinner Monday through Thursday evenings from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. Beginning April 5th, 2010, you will not be able to place orders through SeamlessWeb until 8:30 p.m. on weekday evenings.

We recognize that this change will cause some of you to rethink your dining options and, to that end, we ask you to let us know what types of food you would like the cafeteria to provide at dinnertime and then give Café 23 a try. Please email your comments and suggestions to [Redacted], Director of Food Services. Thank you.

Screwing around with SeamlessWeb is one sure way to piss off everybody that works for you. And boy are Schulte associates pissed …

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Nancy Topolski must have been happy initially to survive the layoffs in the Portland office of Davis Wright Tremaine. But with fewer secretaries to go around, her workload increased. To the point of causing stress-induced panic attacks.

If you’re not making a lawyer’s salary, that’s just not acceptable. After one of her panic attacks, she went to HR and asked for a lighter workload. From the National Law Journal:

Topolski informed her supervisor several times in late September and October that her increased workload was causing her stress, affecting her ability to sleep and causing her to make mistakes. On Oct. 21, Topolski suffered a panic attack while at work and told a human resources representative that she needed a lighter workload, which the representative indicated would happen, according to the complaint. However, no changes were made and Topolski suffered a second panic attack at work on Nov. 3, the suit says.

At that point they did accommodate her — by firing her. Now she’s suing the firm for $1 million….

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* Georgia Attorney General Thurbert Baker (pictured) just says no to health care reform lawsuits. [Associated Press]

* The Supreme Court issued a last-minute stay yesterday in the execution of a Texas man. [Associated Press]

* Proposition 420? [Reuters]

* Wall Street pay reform is making life difficult for divorce attorneys. [Bloomberg]

* The first case of sexual harassment via full body scanner. [True/Slant]

* Is U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein’s advocacy for 9/11 responders crossing a line? [Associated Press]

* If you weren’t making a porno, why would you name it “The Hills Have Thighs”? [Courthouse News Service]

For two weeks we’ve been getting reports about Paul Hastings bonuses. Many people claim that they received bonuses on par with the Cravath scale. But there have been a dedicated few who claim they were jobbed by the firm at bonus time. This tipster captures the general feeling:

PH bonuses were just announced [last month] and some crazy stuff has been going on. The top performers are getting totally screwed as PH has a bonus grid and is not allowing anyone to go off of that set chart. The result is that the best people with the strongest evals and tons of hours are getting barely any more different than their peers who did the bare minimum. There are some extreme and specific examples.

We’ve been able to solve the mystery. Paul Hastings gave out Cravath-level bonuses in all of their offices except Atlanta. In Atlanta Paul Hastings tried to match the Atlanta market for total compensation — which resulted in bonuses below the Cravath scale. The firm gave us details on its decision….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Associate Bonus Watch: Paul Hastings Matches Cravath Scale Everywhere but Atlanta”

* I wonder if Jesse James was blindsided by his tax problems? (Too soon?) [Going Concern]

* Is it possible to make Westchester less white? [Next American City]

* How the Census discriminates against … well, almost all of us. [True/Slant]

* There’s a reason God didn’t want humans to kill each other — and that reason is the state of Texas. [Simple Justice]

* Health care reform could benefit personal injury victims. [New York Personal Injury Law Blog]

* I too wish judges would occasionally swallow their whistles. [Drug and Device Law]

* Viacom versus YouTube makes legal bloggers stand at attention. Sexting, you know, also makes them stand at attention. [Infamy or Praise]

LATE ADDITION: * David Boies and Ted Olson will talk to Campbell Brown tonight about how gay marriage changed their relationship. [CNN]

Biglaw needs to take a page out of the Burger King playbook and adopt a “Have It Your Way” attitude with its general counsel clients, according to a new study. In the words of the ABA Journal:

The recession has driven a power shift that now favors in-house counsel over the law firms they hire, a new report [PDF] has found.

About 75 percent of general counsel and law firm partners said the balance of power now lies with law firm clients, according to the report (PDF). A majority of both groups believe the power shift will be permanent.

We’re hearing more and more often from general counsels about the hot new trend of cutting back drastically on the number of outside firms they work with. The most dramatic example of this came from Levi Strauss, which slimmed its outside legal counsel down to size two.

The report says that 73% of GCs surveyed “admitted to either changing or reducing the number of their external legal advisers as a result of the recession.”

The 13-page report was commissioned by UK-based law firm Eversheds, but looks like it was designed by Barbie — lots of bubbles, and generous use of the color pink. It promises the death of the pyramid law firm structure and the move to “value billing.” It’s pretty, but is it substantive?

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Don’t be misled by the photo — this isn’t another post about Snooki. It’s about Constance McMillen (pictured), a lesbian high schooler who wanted to bring her girlfriend to the high school prom.

(Query from Elie: Is “lesbian high schooler” the politically correct way to say “girls’ hockey team”?)

The Clarion-Ledger reports:

Both sides are claiming victory from a federal judge’s ruling Tuesday on a Mississippi school board’s decision to cancel the prom rather than allow a lesbian student to attend with her girlfriend.

U.S. District Court Judge Glen Davidson denied 18-year-old senior Constance McMillen’s request to reinstate the prom, noting “the court cannot go into the business of planning and overseeing a prom.”

To paraphrase Justice Blackmun: From this day forward, I no longer shall tinker with the machinery of teenage sex.

So if Judge Davidson declined to “so order” a high school prom, how can McMillen claim victory?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “You Can Dance If You Want To (Unless You’re a Lesbian)
Judge declines to order school to hold prom.

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