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Two weeks ago, Mintz Levin laid off 15 associates. But apparently those cuts were not deep enough. Above the Law has been able to confirm that Mintz Levin has cut associate salaries. A tipster explains it this way:
Salaries will be adjusted as follows (firm-wide, all departments) based on this 12-month period:
* Hours greater than 1635, salary reduced by 5%
* Hours between 1445-1635, salary reduced by 15%
* Hours between 1250-1444, salary reduced by 25%
* Hours less than 1250, salary reduced by 35%
Associates who were employed by the firm for the full fiscal years ended March 31, 2007 and 2008 and who met or exceeded target (i.e. 1925 hours) will have their salaries reduced by only 5%, regardless of their hours for the 12 month period (i.e. this safe harbor effectively only applies to 4th yr associates and above).
To make these cuts Mintz is looking at hours billed over the last 12 months. And we all know what has happened over the last 12 months:
[The cuts are] based on their utilization during the prior 12 months – August 1, 2008 through July 31, 2009. Why the arbitrary period? It’s a snapshot of the recession at its height.
But the firm will make people whole and return the money at the end of the fiscal year if their projections are wrong. For people on track to make their hours in FY 2009 who nonetheless fall below the threshold if you count the entire recession against them, they will have an opportunity to get some of their money back. So they should consider it simply loaning money to the firm right now at a 0% interest rate.
Feel better? More details, including a statement from Mintz Levin, after the jump.
Earlier this year, Latham & Watkins laid off some 400 employees (190 associates and 250 staff). This caused many to wonder about how tough times were getting at Latham.
Well, don’t shed tears for LW partners just yet. From the New York Times:
If a tourist passing along the Rue du Cloître Notre-Dame just looks up, it is not hard to glimpse, through the open windows above, the rich colors of old master paintings that have been stretched across a ceiling in Linda and Bryant Edwards’s first-floor apartment.
And from the home itself, in an elegant Haussmann building dating to 1905, the family has its own view — of the garden behind Notre Dame Cathedral….
When her husband, 54, presented her with the apartment as a gift for her 40th birthday, Mrs. Edwards envisioned a kind of “Tale of Two Cities” life, split between Paris and what was then the couple’s home in London.
The generous husband in question, Bryant Edwards, is a partner at Latham & Watkins. Last year he moved to Dubai, where he serves as managing partner of the firm’s Middle East office. The Edwardses now use their Paris apartment as a pied-à-terre when they return to the Continent.
So, the question you’re all wondering: How much did this amazing apartment cost?
You really have to take a step back and think about what summer associate programs used to be in order to appreciate what they are becoming. It is hard to imagine that a recruitment model that firms used for years is suddenly so “outmoded” that some firms are doing away with it entirely.
Day Pitney isn’t canceling its summer program, but the firm is making significant changes. The firm issued a statement about its new summer mission:
Day Pitney announced today that beginning in May 2010 the firm will alter its traditional summer associate program to focus on apprenticeships.
The summer apprenticeship program will be an eight-week course designed to prepare law students for the practice of law through practical, day-to-day applications and on-the-job training. Apprentices will learn by shadowing Day Pitney lawyers and working with firm professionals in one-on-one coaching scenarios. They will also collaborate with lawyer teams handling ongoing client matters. The practice-based learning approach will be supplemented with focused training workshops and diversity and community service activities designed to teach law students about the firm’s culture and key core values.
Why does the firm have to change the program to have “on-the-job training”? What does “day-to-day applications” even mean? What was wrong with the old way?
Actually, don’t answer that. We all know what was wrong with the old way. Let’s embrace the new way of doing things after the jump.
The career services office at Washington University (St. Louis) Law School is earning its keep. The Dean, Kent D. Syverud, sent out a message to his students. The first point, predictably, was that his students are totally screwed:
I write to address a foremost priority of this law school– your future legal careers and the role we play as a law school in preparing and placing you in the legal community.
I write during a sea change in the legal employment world. Employers are rethinking what was formerly an entrenched and immutable hiring model. In many cases legal employers have already amended their current hiring practices and there is a growing consensus that these changes will be systemic and inexorable.
Damn. “Systemic and inexorable” change sounds like something that happens to people who get an STD.
But Dean Syverud is on the case, after the jump.
Last night, George Sodini, 48, walked into an LA Fitness Center near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and opened fire on those exercising inside. Early reports say he killed three women and injured up to 15, including his ex-girlfriend. He then turned the gun on himself.
Sodini’s LinkedIn profile says he was a systems analyst at K&L Gates. We reached out to the firm this morning. A spokesperson responded to say:
K&L Gates is deeply saddened by last night’s events, and offers its condolences to the families and friends of all who were involved in this terrible tragedy.
ABC News has found Sodini’s online diary. We ran a WhoIs search and determined that the diary is not a hoax. A George Sodini of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, registered the website in August 2000.
It is incredibly disturbing.
* Last night, a gunman opened fire at a Pennsylvania gym, killing four. It appears he is an employee at K&L Gates. [CNN and LinkedIn]
* Jack Borden is not the oldest lawyer, but the 101-year-old is the most outstanding. [Dallas Morning News]
* Robert Luskin of Patton Boggs has to get Texas fraudster Allen Stanford some money or he’s fired. [Bloomberg]
* Rihanna wants judge to allow her to share an umbrella with Chris Brown. [New York Daily News]
* Federal judges tell California to let inmates go because the degree of prison overcrowding constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. [Los Angeles Times]
* Divorcing attorney has to hand some of his partnership interest over to his ex-partner. [New York Law Journal]
Well, at least one lawyer thinks he has this whole Biglaw thing figured out. And he’s happy to share his wisdom with new associates. Writing at the Texas Lawyer, Jason Braun has some harsh advice for young lawyers:
When I became a lawyer, a partner gave me what I now realize was great advice: “Don’t think like an associate,” she told me. “Think like a partner.” I wisely nodded my head. “Of course,” I solemnly replied, hoping she would not notice my confusion….
New associates love being lawyers — or at least should — and hopefully their first and foremost goal is to become a great lawyer. Over the past few years, several tenets have helped me on the way to that goal. Some I learned quickly; others I learned through trial and error.
Oh boy. When you start out declaring what new associates should love in life, you can see where Braun is going.
Check after the jump for more reasons why giving yourself completely to the Biglaw experience is the only way to go.
* What other minority groups have yet to be represented on the Supreme Court? Maybe it is time to give the first Americans a “first!” [U.S. News]
* Summertime, and the livin’s easy. Sonia Sotomayor is keeping it cool since her confirmation hearings, and David Lat says that is totally normal. [Reliable Source]
* I don’t care how much money Nic Cage owes the IRS, nothing explains Knowing. [Going Concern]
* This morning Jones Day took a shot at firms that haven’t been very nice to their associates. Of course, there is always a counter-argument. [Anonymous Lawyer]
* But perhaps the Jones Day partner should not have expressed his positive thoughts in writing in the first place? [Law and More]
* How can President Obama ask lawyers to commit more to public service, when law school tuition is skyrocketing? I’m asking but I’m not going to hold my breath waiting for an answer. [True/Slant]
This case is going to bring new meaning to the “Glue Stic” product. For a Wisconsin man, one evening started out like a happy dream. The AP reports:
A married eastern Wisconsin man thought he was going to a motel for a little romance with one of his handful of lovers. She allegedly played along and suggested he be tied up and blindfolded for a massage, according to court documents.
But it ended up going so horribly wrong:
[F]our women eventually showed up to humiliate the man, who ended up with his penis glued to his stomach in a bizarre plot to punish him for a lover’s quadrangle gone bad, according to the documents filed in Calumet County.
And we’re not talking about some low-rent, barely sticky glue that is approved for use by children:
[Therese] Ziemann struck the man in the face, and used Krazy Glue to attach his penis to his stomach when the other women arrived, according to the complaints. The man told investigators he also was threatened with a gun. Ziemann told investigators she didn’t have a gun but may have told the victim, “Do you know how much I want to shoot you?”
He started screaming and the women rushed off fearful that he could get loose and hurt them but allegedly took his wallet, vehicle and cell phone….
Ziemann told investigators Sewell asked him, “Which one do you love more?” and the man’s wife made a derisive remark about him being scared.
But there’s an open question here. Was the glue applied during the man’s state of excitement or not? Because, if that bad boy was one way, and then started to retreat because he was “scared” …. I mean, not good times, man.
Charges have been filed against the alleged conspirators. Details after the jump.
Was there any doubt, ever, that Bill Clinton would go to North Korea and come back with two women? The Associated Press reports:
North Korean leader Kim Jong Il has issued a “special pardon” to two American journalists convicted of sneaking into the country illegally, and he ordered them released during a visit by former U.S. President Bill Clinton, North Korean media reported early Wednesday.
The release of Laura Ling and Euna Lee was a sign of North Korea’s “humanitarian and peaceloving policy,” the Korean Central News Agency reported.
North Korea had taken a hard stand against the jailed journalist. The two were sentence to 12 years of hard labor for “hostile acts” against the nation.
But that was before slick Willie made everything okay.
In fairness, the happy victory is probably owed to tireless work by the U.S. State Department and a cadre of unnamed international actors.
But President Clinton went over there and sealed the deal. That man is a closer.
North Korea: 2 US journalists pardoned [Associated Press]
North Korea pardons US reporters [BBC]
What’s better than a Boston cop emailing a newspaper specifically to call a black man a “banana eating jungle monkey”? Well when that same cop turns around and sues the police department for a civil rights violation. The Boston Globe reports:
Justin Barrett, the Boston police officer suspended from the force for his e-mail likening Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., to a “banana-eating jungle monkey,” has filed a lawsuit against the Police Department, police commissioner, and mayor, saying the city violated his civil and due process rights.
You know what would make this story perfect? If the cop who used racist slurs against Henry Louis Gates Jr. turned around and claimed intentional infliction of emotion distress:
The 18-page lawsuit accuses the three parties of “conspiring to intentionally inflict emotional distress and conspiring to intentionally interfere with the property rights, due process rights, and civil rights of the plaintiff.”
I. Just. Love. America.
Let me gather myself after the jump.