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  • 28 Feb 2008 at 11:00 AM
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Biglaw Perk Watch: Skadden to 18 Weeks

Skadden Arps Slate Meagher Flom Abovethelaw Above the Law online legal tabloid.jpgWe don’t think that we’ll post every single announcement about new and improved parental leave policies, since Justin Bernold is already tracking them through this handy-dandy table. But we will let you know about the big ones.
Today’s announcement qualifies. The latest firm to move to the new benchmark of 18 weeks paid maternity leave is one of the biggest of the big: Skadden. When all those Skadden hotties become Skadden mommies, they’ll be able to enjoy 50 percent more time with their kids than before (the old policy was 12 weeks).
Announcement, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Biglaw Perk Watch: Skadden to 18 Weeks”

Linda Greenhouse 6 New York Times Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgWe already discussed this news yesterday. But in our earlier post, we promised to let you know if and when Linda Greenhouse got back to us — and she kindly did, sending the following message to ATL about her rumored departure as the New York Times’s Supreme Court correspondent:

As you may know – the Times put a newsroom-wide buyout package on the table last week, in an effort to shrink the staff by 100. For someone of my seniority (40 years) the terms are very attractive, and I’ve told my bureau chief that I plan to take it. I was planning to retire in a few years, and giving up this package would have basically meant working for free – which seemed foolish, much as I love my job. I plan to keep writing about the court in various forums.

(I should note that this is not official, because the buyout window is open until March 5, after which the Times will respond to the individual volunteers – so my response to you is based on the assumption that my acceptance of their offer will in turn be accepted.)

Greenhouse also confirmed her move to the Associated Press (via WSJ Law Blog).
During her 30 years covering the Court for the Times, Linda Greenhouse has sometimes been controversial. See here, here, and here, for perhaps the most recent controversy.
It cannot be denied, however, that Greenhouse has tremendous knowledge of the Supreme Court’s history and inner workings, as well as unparalleled access to the justices themselves. Few journalists are such superstars that their comings and goings are covered by the AP.
Greenhouse leaves big shoes to fill, and it will be interesting to see how her successor fares. How much of her clout was the institutional clout of the New York Times, and how much of it was Greenhouse qua Greenhouse? We’ll find out soon enough.
Feel free to speculate about replacements for the legendary Linda Greenhouse, in the comments.
NYT’s Greenhouse Takes Buyout Offer [Associated Press via WSJ Law Blog]
Public and Private Lives, Intersecting [New York Times]
Lay Off Linda [Slate]
Far From Sober [National Review Online]
Earlier: Is the Margo Channing of One First Street Taking Her Final Bow?

Last year, we asked you whether work was busy at your firms, and only about half of you said yes. Patent attorneys were particularly busy nationwide (and remain quite popular), while associates in real estate and structured finance were pretty slow in many markets.
In today’s ATL / Lateral Link survey, we dig a little deeper into which practice areas are hot (or not) at your firm.
Update: This survey is now closed. Click here for the results.

Justin Bernold is a Director at Lateral Link, the sponsor of this survey.

Keyontyli Goffney Taleon Goffney gay porn stars burglary Above the Law blog.jpg* Relatives of murdered girls may sue D.C. [Washington Post]
* Humane Society files suit against USDA over recalled beef. [MSNBC]
* Pay raises hurting PPP? [WSJ Law Blog]
* Two hapless robbers walk into a biker bar… [CNN]
* … while two crafty robbers rob a robber jeweler… [MSNBC]
* … and a not-so-ambiguously-gay porn duo (pictured) gets arrested for rooftop burglaries. [Philadelphia Daily News]

Cadwalader Wickersham Taft CWT Abovethelaw Above the Law legal tabloid blog.JPGCynics might say the firm is rearranging the proverbial deck chairs, but these leadership changes strike us as prudent. From a report by Anthony Lin in the New York Law Journal:

As it wrestles with an ongoing slump in its core capital markets practice, Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft has shaken up its top management team.

The New York-based law firm announced today that Robert O. Link, its longtime chairman and managing partner, would relinquish the position of chairman to W. Christopher White, effective March 1. Mr. Link will continue to serve as Cadwalader’s managing partner and remain a member of the firm’s six-partner management committee.

The firm minimizes the import of the change:

[Management committee member (and Cameron Diaz pal) Gregory] Markel said the elevation of Mr. White was “not in any way a criticism of Bob.” He said the firm would regard Messrs. White and Link as a team, with neither reporting to the other.

Additional discussion, which will probably interest only die-hard CWT groupies, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Cadwalader to Its Chairman: You Are the Weakest Link. Goodbye.”

mold a beautiful mold abstract art Above the Law blog.jpg* A link in honor of everyone taking the bar exam today: the true story of someone who was told he failed the New York bar exam, in the wake of Laptopgate, but appealed the failure and prevailed. [New York Personal Injury Law Blog]
* A “do-it-yourself” approach to filing dates? Nice try. [Utah District Court Electronic Filing System Blog (wow -- there truly are blogs about everything)]
* Whatever you do, stay out of that nasty basement. [Southern District of Florida Blog]
* Worst job ever? [QuizLaw]
* A neat little Democratic delegate calculator. It shows, for example, that even if Barack Obama wins all remaining contests with 60 percent of the vote, he would still need significant superdelegate support to win the nomination. [Slate]

Barack Obama Senator Barack Hussein Obama Above the Law blog.jpg[Ed. note: Yesterday's guest post about how Barack Obama's tax plan might affect Biglaw associates, authored by Ted Frank, generated a record number of comments on ATL: 564 (and counting). It also generated lots of reaction throughout the blogosphere (links collected below). So we thought we'd invite Ted to do a follow-up.]
Here it is. Ted wrote it in response to the following reader email, which makes many of the arguments that surfaced in the 564+ comments. From an Obama defender:

I’m sorry, but you are losing your credibility by posting this false propaganda on Obama. Look at Obama’s website. It clearly states, “Asked About Raising the Cap, Obama said, ‘You Might Have the Equivalent of a Doughnut Hole’–NOT That He Would Completely Remove the Cap.” Obama “has stated in various venues that ‘his inclination… has been for a ‘donut’ where the uncapping would take place above some threshold income level — probably around $200,000 or $250,000′ his economic adviser Austan Goolsbee said in an email. A donut would protect a certain portion of income (e.g., between $100,000 and $200,000) from the payroll tax and could be phased in over decades.”

In addition, that “$34,000 paycut” in the post title is misleading. Even if all your assumptions were correct (which they weren’t), the after tax pay cut under Obama is < $20,000. I love your site, but please correct this ridiculous false article before you lose all credibility.

And now, without further ado, Ted Frank.
* * * * * * * * * *
First, as I show in the spreadsheet, a $20,000 tax increase is the equivalent of a $34,000 before-tax paycut for a New York City resident, which would have the same after-tax effect. The $34,000 figure is accurate: that’s just math. The Obama tax plan would have the same effect on a NYC fifth-year associate being paid market as a $34,000 paycut.
Obama has never said he will have a doughnut-hole, only that his SS tax could include a doughnut-hole. When Hillary Clinton attacked Obama at the November 15 Nevada debate for wanting to eliminate the cap, Obama didn’t say that the attack was incorrect; he defended the policy because eliminating the cap would only affect what he called the “upper class.” The press has accurately reported that Obama has also proposed eliminating the cap; even Obama’s own website links to a thinktank’s analysis of the benefits of a cap elimination.
It would be really easy for Obama to promise to include a “doughnut-hole” or to not eliminate the SS-tax cap. He certainly hasn’t been afraid to promise drastically expensive programs of new spending or even tax giveaways to large swaths of the population who aren’t paying much tax now.
But when it comes to Social Security, Obama is suddenly vague; when he does discuss details, it is to cite examples (e.g., Warren Buffett) that could not be accomplished without eliminating the cap entirely. And the only reason a politician acts that way is because he supports the more drastic, politically unpopular plan, but doesn’t want to get tagged with it before the election, and will say after the election “I only said I would ‘consider’ a doughnut-hole.”
How Barack Obama’s Tax Plan Will Affect You [Microsoft Excel file]
Additional discussion and links, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “NY to… 147K? More About Barack Obama’s Tax Plan
(Or: Time to make the donuts?)”

Here’s a photo of lawyers affected by the south Florida blackout, from the Miami Herald:
Greenberg Traurig lawyers blackout Miami Above the Law Blog.jpg
Here’s the actual caption:

Lawyers, from the left, Alan Lash, Justin Fienberg, and Alex Mendez, not lawyer, working on a project at Greenberg Traurig, on 27th floor of 1221 Brickell, went to lunch and found the building out of power.

ATL readers, we think you can do better. We welcome your suggested alternative captions, in the comments. Assuming sufficient response, we’ll take our favorites, incorporate them into a poll, and hold a caption contest. Thanks.
Update (2/29/08, 10 AM): New entries for the caption contest are no longer being accepted. We are reviewing the current submissions and will post a poll next week. Thanks.
Update (3/3/08): You can vote on the nominees over here.

  • 27 Feb 2008 at 3:05 PM
  • Uncategorized

Nationwide Pay Raise Watch: Foley & Lardner

Foley Lardner LLP logo Above the Law blog.jpgThis latest bit of associate pay raise news is not particularly new. It was conveyed last week, via hard copy letter (in envelopes marked “professional and confidential”).
But we never met a pay raise announcement we didn’t like, so we’ll pass it along. Foley & Lardner — which, by the way, recently announced its new partnership class — has raised the salaries of its non-IP associates in the Milwaukee, Miami, and Detroit offices.
Numbers and tables, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Nationwide Pay Raise Watch: Foley & Lardner”

NALP rules guidelines law firm hiring Above the Law blog.jpgFrom an anxious first-year law student:

I saw this piece on Tax Prof Blog and thought your readers might have some interesting thoughts. NALP has decided next fall the 2Ls only get 45 days to hold an offer for a summer position. See here.

I have a job at a firm this summer that is part of NALP that I am happy about as a 1L but I definitely want to go through OCI. If I leave my job this year at the end of July, the firm will likely notify me by August 15th that I have an offer for the next summer. It would then expire by September 30th!

It seems possible that I could be in the middle of call-backs with other firms and have to decide whether to take a chance on getting a better offer or not. Yikes!

And what about firms that don’t do OCI at my school? I doubt that they will go through submitted resumes, conduct interviews and make offers by then.

So, ATL readers — any advice for our nervous 1L? Or any views on whether this rule change is a good or bad idea?
Update / Correction: According to the analysis of this commenter, the scenario outlined above would not come to pass. We’ve reviewed the NALP rules, which can be accessed in full over here, and we agree with the commenter. See Part V, Section C: “Employers offering positions for the following summer to candidates previously employed by them should leave those offers open until at least November 15.”
2Ls Now Must Respond to Summer Job Offers Within 45 Days [TaxProf Blog]
Full Text of NALP Principles & Standards [NALP]

bar exam studying for bar exam Above the Law.jpgWe didn’t notice this, until a tipster just mentioned it to us: today is the February MBE day. So, to everyone taking the multistate bar examination right now, good luck!
From the same source:

I thought an open thread about the weirdest bar preparation might be entertaining. I immediately thought of you when I was told that the husband of an acquaintance, taking the bar for his second time, decided to “manage” his bathroom breaks by first doing a purge diet the week prior to the bar, and then taking Immodium each day during the exam.

Sorry for the crudeness, but I found this funny, as well as a bit extreme.

No worries. We have a reasonably high tolerance for crassness in these pages.
We also like this suggested topic of bar prep. The February administration of the bar exam is often more difficult to study for than the July administration, since those who sit for the bar in February are more likely to have to juggle their studies with other commitments (e.g., a day job). July exam takers, in contrast, are usually recent law school graduates who have taken the summer off to prepare full-time for the big test.
If you have any good stories about how you prepped for the bar, feel free to share them in the comments.
National Conference of Bar Examiners: MBE [official website]

West End Avenue 890 West End Avenue Above the Law blog.jpgSo how much did Aaron Charney get in his settlement from Sullivan & Cromwell? There has been lots of speculation, but little evidence.
Here’s one fact suggesting that he did pretty well: Aaron Charney just bought a $1.5 million Manhattan condo. As reported by Max Abelson in the New York Observer:

A deed filed in city records suggests that the Sullivan settlement wasn’t minor: Mr. Charney and a partner just paid $1.495 million for a penthouse at the newly converted condo at 93rd Street and Broadway.

According to the floor plan, they’ll have two bedrooms, a 17-foot-long living/dining room and an L-shaped terrace that stretches 50 feet on each wing….

The 987-square-foot terrace, nearly as big as the interior space, is edged by high walls, which means there’s privacy instead of views. “I would consider it extremely private, with an opportunity to take your inside living outdoors,” the broker said.

Sounds fabulous — although quite different from his former home. Charney’s new abode is in a prewar building (pictured), as opposed to the ultra-modern Orion, where he used to live. And it’s in a more staid neighborhood: the Upper West Side, as opposed to the hip and gentrifying Hell’s Kitchen.
But at $1.5 million, Charney’s new home is 50 percent more expensive than his old one, which he sold last year for a little under a million ($150K more than what he paid). So Charney is definitely movin’ on up.
More discussion, including speculation about Aaron Charney’s finances and romances, after the jump.
Update: Since this post was originally published, we’ve appended multiple updates, which appear after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Lawyerly Lairs: New Million-Dollar Digs for Aaron Charney
(And a new boyfriend, too?)”

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