We haven’t yet gotten our hands on the Chadbourne & Parke bonus memo, but a firm spokesperson confirmed what the general numbers look like. According to the spokesperson:
“Our bonuses are on Cravath, Half-Skadden, scale. Individual bonus determinations are based upon individual performance and pro rated for part time attorneys and attorneys who have been with the firm for less than the full year.”
I wonder if somewhere, Cravath’s Evan Chesler is thinking about ways to kill me?
Meanwhile, Chadbourne also announced a salary freeze:
As you know, the world economic outlook for 2009 is uncertain. Accordingly, as a matter of prudence, the Firm is reserving decision on associate salary levels for 2009. We will make a decision on this matter within the next several months as the global economic picture becomes clearer.
Half-Skadden bonus, Latham salary — but no layoffs, so there’s that to be happy about.
Lindsay Harrison at One First Street. Photo by Patrice Gilbert.
To paraphrase the controversial Campari ads at issue in Hustler Magazine v. Falwell (aka The People vs. Larry Flynt), everyone remembers “their first time” — arguing in open court, that is. It’s a rite of passage that all young litigators must go through. At large law firms, associates (or even junior partners) typically tackle something minor for their first oral argument — e.g., a non-critical discovery motion — and then work their way up the ladder.
But that’s not the case for everyone; some people start at the top. Meet Lindsay C. Harrison. She’s a fifth-year associate in the D.C. office of Jenner & Block, who just had her very first oral argument — which happened to be in the U.S. Supreme Court. On Wednesday, she appeared before the nine justices to argue the case of Nken v. Mukasey (or, technically, Nken v. Filip; more on the name changes later).
Read our interview with Lindsay Harrison, after the jump.
Free food. Free drink. Ample networking opportunities. What’s not to like?
Practical Law Company (PLC) — a U.K.-based company that just started offering its services here in the U.S., which we’ll be writing more about later — is holding a launch party next week here in New York. The festivities will be attended law firm folks (partners and associates), in-house lawyers, legal journalists, and others connected to the profession. The party will be held on Wednesday, January 28, from 6:30 to 10 p.m.
If you’d like to attend, please RSVP. The first 25 ATL readers to respond will be placed on the guest list. If you’re in the first 25, you’ll receive a confirmation email. (We will also append an update to this post after all the spots are filled.)
If your firm canceled its holiday party last year, here’s your chance to chuckle at inebriated law firm partners. Several members of the ATL crew will be in attendance. We hope to see you there!
P.S. Disclosure: PLC is an ATL advertiser.
Update: The 25 spots have been filled. Thanks for your interest!
Last weekend, while most of you were lining up for the Inauguration, a few oddballs were elsewhere, engaging in nuptial activities. Obviously, pretty much every superstar lawyer in the country was preparing to report for duty in the incoming administration, so we must warn you that this week’s wedding announcements are a little short on prestige. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t lots of weirdness and dysfunction to mull over.
Latham & Watkins might be leading the charge for salary freezes, but that’s not going to stop the firm from paying out associate bonuses. Right?
Latham is not a lockstep bonus firm. As a tipster explains it:
Our bonuses are not lock-step- so those people working their tails off usually do end up doing better than market … It’s usually those who are at the threshold (1900 hours) who do worse than market or get no bonus at all.
Well bonus information just went out and it looks like those hours thresholds have shifted. Latham goes through great (and ultimately futile) lengths to make sure that the firm’s bonus information doesn’t appear in the press. A tipster explains:
The way they announced them was via an email with a link in it that took you to a page that listed both your specific bonus, as well as an “un-cut-and-pasteable” bonus memo.
After the jump, we post the first screenshot of the Latham bonus structure.
But it’s not like U of C Law is just ignoring the economic realities of the day. Another trend among top law schools it to make their on-campus interview process start earlier so firms don’t “fill up” on other candidates. Chicago is officially moving in that direction:
The fall 2009 on-campus interview program may seem very far away during the Chicago winter, but the Office of Career Services has begun planning in order to maximize your opportunities during this important phase of the job market for students exploring law firm careers. This planning has led to a notable calendar change: The University of Chicago Law School’s fall on-campus interviews will be held August 17-28, with an orientation to the program scheduled for August 15th.
After the jump, Chicago Law makes its intentions clear — but there are other problems with changing the timing of OCI.
Yesterday, I mentioned that Fortune released a list of the Top 100 places to work. In that post I failed to note that Perkins Coie was ranked 82nd on that list.
According to Fortune:
A support staffer gave this impressive list of her benefits: $2,000 in technology flex plan allowance, $80 for wellness program participation, $475 for 20th anniversary with firm, $1,500 performance bonus, $50 Nordstrom gift card, $3,500 year-end bonus.
Well, tipsters report that Perkins Coie management is pumped about the news. Check out the firm-wide email and fun tipster responses after the jump.
The London-based “Magic Circle” firms may have had a strong presence on the 2008 global law firm rankings, but a few of them are off to a rough start in 2009. Earlier this month, we reported, “having already laid off 20 New York litigators, Clifford Chance today let go of 70 – 80 London lawyers.”
The layoff disease has spread to two other Magic Circle firms. Layoffs were announced in the New York office of Allen & Overy yesterday. Our sources says:
Allen & Overy just fired two paralegals and three attorneys in the NY office. These firings are said to be “performance based.” Word on the street is that there will be more, but they will come in bits and pieces to avoid bad press. Rumors have already started about other attorneys being let go in offices abroad.
[UPDATE (Jan. 26, 10:34 a.m.]: In response to our inquiry about layoffs, A&O spokesperson Jaime Bruck says, “This is nothing more than the normal management of our business. We don’t comment on the reasons for individual departures. The total # of attorneys in NY is 171.”]
And Linklaters plans layoffs soon. The Old World firm is going “New World” by axing 70 partners and 10 percent of its associates, reports The Lawyer:
Linklaters’ top management is to drastically overhaul the firm’s structure, slashing up to 70 partners and 10 per cent of associates in a bid to become a smaller, more profitable operation.
The programme, understood to be called Linklaters New World, will also see redundancies among support staff. The firm’s offices in Western Europe are thought to be most vulnerable to cuts.
Those layoffs could start as soon as February.
With the Guardian reporting that “Britain has officially entered recession for the first time since 1991,” the layoff news from London seems inevitable. But some of the firms in the circle– Freshfields and Slaughter & May– are still feeling magical. Good news from those firms, after the jump.
* Well, surely this will be the most disturbing image anyone sees today. [Quiz Law]
* Orin Kerr defends the third-party doctrine, which holds that “a person cannot have a reasonable expectation of privacy in information disclosed to a third party.” We like the sound of that. [Volokh Conspiracy]
* Traffic stats on popular professorial blogs! [TaxProf Blog]
* Fascinating interview with a Venable partner who was on the U.S. Air flight that landed in the Hudson. [AmLaw Daily]
* Will Obama be good for the cause of criminal justice? [Underdog]
* Illinois’ state legislature is going to consider abolishing the death penalty there. But probably not until after they get done with Blago right? You know, why take that club out of the bag? [My Law Life]
As part of a nationwide tour, Above the Law is coming to the great city of Chicago.
Join preeminent law firm management consultant Bruce MacEwen, Katten Muchin Chicago managing partner Gil Sofer, and JPMorgan Chase & Co. assistant general counsel Jason Shaffer for a panel discussion (sponsored by Pangea3) on the evolutionary and market forces bearing down on the law firm business model. Come on by Thursday, November 20, at 6 p.m., for thought-provoking discussion, food, drink, and networking.
Space is limited and there will be no on-site registration, so please RSVP
Average law school debt for graduates of private universities hovered around $122,000 last year. With only 57% of new attorneys actually obtaining real lawyer jobs, recent graduates have a lot to consider when it comes to managing their student loan payments. Thanks to our friends at SoFi, today’s infographic takes a look at student loan debt, including the possible benefits of refinancing for JDs…
Kinney Recruiting’sEvan Jowers is currently in Hong Kong for client meetings and still has a few slots available through October 22. Evan will also be in Hong Kong November 14 to December 15. Further, Robert Kinney has been in Frankfurt and Munich this week and is available for meetings with our Germany based readers.
One of our key law firm clients has referred us to one of their important clients in the US, Europe and China – a leading global technology supplier for the auto industry – in order to handle their search for a new Asia General Counsel and Asia Chief Compliance Officer.
Kinney is exclusively handling this in-house search.
This position will have a lot of responsibility and include supervision of eight attorneys underneath them in the Asia in-house team. The new hire will report directly to the global general counsel and global chief compliance officer, who is based in the US. The new hire’s ability to make judgement calls is going to be as important as their technical skill set background.
The position is based in Shanghai and will deal with the company’s operations all over Asia and also in India, including frequent acquisitions in the region.
It is expected that the new hire will come from a top US firm’s Shanghai, Beijing or Hong Kong offices, currently in a top flight corporate practice at the senior associate, counsel or partner level. Of course, the candidate can be currently in a relevant in-house role.