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law firm associate bonus watch 2008 biglaw bonuses.jpgGoodwin Procter just came out with their 2008 bonus news. Like other peer firms in Boston, Goodwin is going with a Cravath scale, though the firm does have a 1,850 hours requirement:

For 2008, we maintained our bonus eligibility threshold of 1,850 hours, though many of our peer firms set significantly higher thresholds for bonus eligibility this year. Attorneys who met the 1,850 threshold, which could be achieved through billable and pro bono work, were considered for bonuses, taking into account the factors noted above.

One very interesting note is that stub-first years will be receiving no bonus at all:

Target bonuses by class are listed below. Individual bonus awards may be above or below the targets based on the mix of relevant factors and will be prorated as appropriate for leaves. Because of their short tenure, attorneys in the class of 2008 who started in October were not included in the bonus program this year.

Onto the salary freeze after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Associate Bonus Watch: Goodwin Procter Adopts Cravath Scale
… And A Salary Freeze”

Will Work for Food 2 Above the Law blog.JPGKaren Sloan over at the National Law Journal has an interesting report on how the economic crisis continues to cause pain to the nation’s law schools:

Instead of an expected 1% budget increase, the dean of the Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law learned that she would need to cut about 2% of the budget for the current academic year. The reductions were necessary because the Pennsylvania government — facing a major budget shortfall — was preparing to cut funding to the university by more than 4%.

Great. Just when the declining legal market might suggest (ahem) a reduction in law school tuition costs, budget shortfalls make it almost certain that legal education will remain ridiculously expensive.

And if public schools are feeling the pinch, you best believe that private schools are crying tears of poverty all over your tuition check for this semester. More after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Economic Downturn Continues to Hammer Law Schools”

Cleary Gottlieb logo.jpgWe know what Cleary is doing for associate compensation: they are paying Cravath bonuses but have decided against freezing salaries. Is anybody interested in what the partners will be taking home this year? According to AmLaw:

Gross revenue is up roughly 8 percent to $965 million; profits per partner increased about 12 percent to $2.4 million. Revenue per lawyer, however, was basically flat, down less than 1 percent.

$2.4 million in this economy? Where do I sign up?

More on Cleary and money after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Cleary Gottlieb Profits”

small phone.jpg

* A “court” upheld the government’s authority to tap international phone calls and emails without a warrant. [The Washington Post]

* Would-be Attorney General Eric Holder’s confirmation hearing went well yesterday, and he will go for more today. [The Associated Press]

* Marc Dreier, the lawyer who sold hedge funds phony investments, wants to be released on bail. [Reuters]

* The Senate released the second portion of the bailout fund yesterday, giving Obama a tidy $350 billion to get the economy back on track. [The New York Times]

* In an effort to rally lending, President-elect Obama’s advisors are considering drastic proposals that would take toxic assets of bank balance sheets. [Bloomberg]

Craigslist.jpgApparently, many ATL readers are conducting their job searches via Craigslist, because this posting has appeared in our inbox more frequently than lobster references in the comments.

We’ve already mentioned it in Non-Sequiturs, but we’re returning to it to beg you to stop sending it to us, and to give you the story behind it. For those not in the know, here’s the legal job listing that many a job searcher has stumbled across:

Associate Attorney (Midtown West)

Reply to: [?]

Date: 2009-01-13, 5:41PM EST

Fast-paced 20-attorney law firm looking for an eager associate to join our growing practice. We understand that you may be a newly-admitted attorney looking for their first job. We also know that the economy is harsh right now. However, we are willing to give you a chance. Here are the details of this spectacular opportunity:

* Your salary will be $30,000 per year. We understand that this may be on the low end (since you probably are six figures in debt), but we will be able to give you unlimited opportunities for experience and you’ll be making six-figures soon enough. On the other hand, we will bill our clients $300 for every hour of your work; at least you will know your work is valued by us in several ways.

* There is no health insurance, but we have an on-site 2nd year medical student who will abide by the upmost professional standards take care of any illnesses or injuries that occur, both on-site and off-site.

* You will be expected to work 12 hour days, six (6) days of week. You will be afforded 1 week of vacation time, and three (3) sick days. Your vacation time is limited to the months of January and February, as we will need you to be in the office while the partners are taking their time off in the summer. The good news is that you will earn vacation and sick pay as soon as you start. The only holidays that the Firm observes are Christmas and Thanksgiving, but you must work a half-day, as we are a busy and important firm who adheres to our clients’ needs.

* Your bonus, if earned (by billing 2100 hours per year), will consist of a one-year membership to a “food-of-the-mouth” club of your choice. In 2008, every associate took advantage of this valuable program and has benefited greatly for their hard work and dedication.

Please email resume, cover letter, salary history, law school and college transcripts to the address above. We will also need you to take a drug test. All resumes and credentials will be held in strictest confidence

Ridiculous and hilarious, right? Obviously a joke? Well, we talked to the guy behind the ad — a contract attorney who’s looking for a permanent firm job himself — and he says he has received over 100 e-mails, including two from recruiting agencies, in response to his satirical listing.

Find out which recruiting agencies, and the story behind the posting, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Funny Craigslist job listing makes us sad”

GI Joe knows double posters must be stopped.jpg* California might start killing criminals again. [Johnny California]

* “America needs a tax code simple enough for the Treasury secretary to figure out.” [WSJ via TaxProf Blog]

* A South Carolina legislator wants to make it a felony if you use vulgar language around a minor. But don’t blame the great state of South Carolina for the idiotic things that are sometimes done in its name. [The Volokh Conspiracy]

* It would have been so much better if the mayor of Racine had just nailed a sheep. [Wonkette]

* In case you weren’t glued to a television all day, here are some highlights from Eric Holder’s confirmation hearing. [Above the Law]

* The fight to end double posting can be won. Knowing is half the battle. [Dealbreaker]

Howell Jackson acting HLS dean.jpgHowell Jackson will be taking a stab at filling Elena Kagan’s shoes at HLS:

Howell Jackson has agreed to serve as the acting dean of Harvard Law School (HLS), subject to the U.S. Senate’s confirmation of Dean Elena Kagan’s nomination to serve as U.S. Solicitor General, President Drew Faust announced today. Jackson, the James S. Reid Jr. Professor of Law, served as the School’s vice dean for budget from 2003 to 2006.

Jackson credentials seem strong:

Jackson is a graduate of both Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School, and earned his undergraduate degree from Brown University. An expert in the field of regulation of financial institutions, Jackson has taught at the Law School since 1989.


Jackson is named associate dean of research [Harvard Gazette]

Jackson To Serve as Acting Dean at Harvard Law School [Harvard Crimson]

Earlier: Breaking: Elena Kagan to Solicitor General

Hal 9000.jpgWhich firms are on the cutting edge of the digital age? Law and Technology News has an opinion. The publication just released their sixth annual law technology awards:

The awards recognize outstanding innovation by law firms and law departments in their use of technology.

The big winner is Fish & Richardson for most innovative use of technology.

And Joy Heath Rush of Sidley Austin won the award for “Champion” of Technology. I don’t know what that means, but it sounds pretty cool.

Read about all of the award winners here.

2008 LAW TECHNOLOGY NEWS AWARDS [Law Technology News]

sandra day o'connor 2 justice o'connor.jpgFormer SCOTUS Justice Sandra Day O’Connor is on a mission to educate. As reported last summer, she’s working with Georgetown University and Arizona State University on a “free, interactive, web-based program designed to teach and engage students in civics.” It’s called Our Courts, and it’s now live.

By having civics lessons in the form of online games, O’Connor hopes to trick the kids into thinking they’re having fun while they learn about the court system and constitutional rights. It brings back fond memories of The Oregon Trail, and an excuse to play video games in class. Though to be honest, we can’t remember what we really learned from that game, beyond the immense satisfaction of shooting down buffalo.

The site did a half-launch back in the fall, and has since re-designed. The games are still not live, but are promised by the start of the 2009 school year. This was the original home page (we’ve pointed out some elements that we wouldn’t want you to miss):

Our courts avatars 500.jpg

That design is no more. Out with the old, in with the new:

New Our Courts.jpg

Somehow, the avatars are cuter than the real kids. Which home page do you prefer?

Our Courts: 21st Century Civics

Earlier: Sandra Day Gets Her Game On

Elizabeth%20Halverson%20small%20Judge%20Elizabeth%20Halverson%20Liz%20Halverson%20Above%20the%20Law%20blog.jpgThere is justice for Judge Elizabeth Halverson. Her husband is going to jail for three to ten years for beating her with a frying pan.

Not surprisingly, Ed Halverson didn’t go down without a fight:

Before he was sentenced, Edward Lee Halverson, 49, stunned a Las Vegas courtroom with a claim that he struck Elizabeth Halverson at their home Sept. 4 because his wife, who must use a scooter to get around, threatened to stab him.

“If she wouldn’t have pulled a knife on me and threatened me, I wouldn’t have clocked her,” Halverson said. “I defended myself.”

Nice line. But I liked it better when Mr. Blond said it: “If they hadn’t done what I’d told them not to do, they’d still be alive.”

More Halverson tidbits after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Judge Halverson’s Husband Gets 3-10 Years”

  • 15 Jan 2009 at 12:57 PM
  • Uncategorized

Cadwalader’s Link Is Moving to London

Cadwalader Wickersham Taft new logo CWT AboveTheLaw blog.jpgJust to close the loop on Cadwalader’s London partner defection, firm chairman Christ White sent the following firm wide email:

Seven partners in the London office resigned from the Firm today to join Paul Hastings. The reduction in capabilities in London is unfortunate. However, these departures allow us to rebuild the London office into a profitable operation with a focus consistent with the Firm’s long-term objectives. We start this rebuilding process with a very strong foundation in Capital Markets, Financial Restructuring and Tax led by partners Angus Duncan, Richard Nevins, Nick Shiren and Adam Blakemore. Bob Link will move to London in February to lead the Firm’s rebuilding effort.

So, you’re sending the guy you just ousted to rebuild the London office that just got eviscerated?

Sounds about right.

Earlier: Musical Chairs: Cadwalader Loses More Lawyers

Rachel Kramer Bussel Porn Writer.jpgIn our occasional series on career alternatives for attorneys — i.e., things you can do with a law degree that don’t involve working for a law firm as an associate or contract attorney — we’ve already touched on the writer/author career option. But when we happened upon How I Went From an NYU Law Student to a Smut Writer, we couldn’t help but return to entertaining the idea of book-writing as an alternative career.

Admittedly, Rachel Kramer Bussel never actually became an attorney, as she dropped out of NYU Law before completing her J.D. She recently guest-blogged on Jewcy, a “premier Jewish media and entertainment outlet for progressive free-thinkers.” There, she explained why she traded the Bluebook for blue balls books:

Today I want to share how I went from an NYU Law student to the editor of 24 anthologies ranging from spanking to foot fetishes to exhibitionism to crossdressing. You could say it’s all because of Monica Lewinsky. She was the protagonist of my first published story, called “Monica and Me,” written circa 1999. It was a fantasy about, well, Monica and me, about what would happen if I (or rather, my narrator) met her at a booksigning.

Thanks to Google Books, you can read an excerpt from Monica and Me. Warning: After she described Monica as “ever-luscious” in the first paragraph, we found it hard to continue reading.

I took something true (my crush on her) and turned it into fiction for a book of celebrity sex fantasies called Starf*cker. That was just as I was leaving law school, uncertain about my future (I never graduated from law school). I went on to work at various administrative jobs, and kept on writing in my spare time. I wrote and submitted and [sic] erotica story every few months, many of them true, about my budding sexual explorations, and found getting published to be a thrill I fast became addicted to.

In addition to writing and editing porn, she teaches writing workshops. Bussel claims that you can eroticize just about anything. She says that two of the exercises in her workshops are “write a story involving a chair, and write a story involving George W. Bush.” The chair seems easy, but putting Bush in a porn story is just wrong. Right?

If you’re thinking about a foray into porn writing yourself, we offer an exercise of our own. Write a story eroticizing a massive doc review, your managing partner, and creative billing codes. Good luck!

How I Went From an NYU Law Student to a Smut Writer [Jewcy]

Earlier: Career Alternatives for Attorneys

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