One of the “perks” of working in Biglaw is the ridiculous amount of money that gets direct deposited into your account every two weeks. Even if you work for a firm that pays below market rate, your earnings still beat the bag out of what they pay at the local 7-11.
Can you imagine having to take a second job to make ends meet?
Welcome to the world of an assistant prosecutor or public defender. The National Law Journal has some disturbing stories of attorneys putting in double duty to pay off their loans:
“I have lawyers delivering pizzas, I have another lawyer umpiring and another bartending,” said Frank de la Torre, chief assistant at the Broward County Public Defender’s Office. “Many of us could be making more money in private practice, but obviously those of us who make a career in the field of indigent defense do it because we love it and we believe in the Constitution.”
The sad thing isn’t just that they have to take these jobs, it’s that they make more money — bartending or whatever– than they do in the legal profession.
We’ve covered the craptistic pay for government lawyers in the past. Many public attorneys used to be able to pick up some real estate or T&E work on the side. Today? Not so much.
Keep on grifting ’till you drop, or it’s back to the crumbs from the table after the jump.
This is just a rumor, so take it with a grain — nay, a shaker — of salt. But we hear that Thacher Proffitt & Wood — which has been badly bloodied by the mortgage meltdown and Wall Street crisis, and has gone through multiple rounds of layoffs — is in “serious” merger discussions with King & Spalding.
The idea that TPW might be seeking a white knight shouldn’t be that surprising. Back in July, Thacher’s managing partner, Paul Tvetenstrand, had to deny rumors that the firm was headed for dissolution.
In his email, Tvetenstrand acknowledged that “[l]ike many firms in this unusual market we have had to take steps to adjust to the credit crisis.” One such step, of course, is to take refuge in the arms of someone who’s weathering the storm better. See, e.g., Merrill Lynch / Bank of America.
We reached out to both firms for comment. TPW didn’t get back to us. Kimberly Brooks, public relations manager of King & Spalding, had this comment:
It is our responsibility as a law firm to offer clients the highest level of service possible. As such, King & Spalding regularly explores opportunities that might provide for additional expertise and accessibility.
As a matter of policy, we do not comment on rumors in the market.
So they won’t comment on “rumors in the market” — but maybe some of you would like to? If you have additional insight into this rumor — it’s true, it’s false, it’s somewhere in between — feel free to email us. Thanks.
A few weeks ago we pointed out that 95% of law professors that have made a campaign contributions donated their money to Barack Obama. Those professors teach at some of the top law schools in the country.
But what about the 5% of professors that have contributed to John McCain? It has been previously reported that only Northwestern faculty favored McCain over Obama (regional rivalary between Northwestern and the University of Chicago?). Paul Caron over at TaxProf Blog tells us where to find law professors for McCain:
* Pepperdine: 100% ($3,250) to Republicans, 0 to Democrats
* South Texas: 100% ($1,020) to Republicans, 0 to Democrats
* Liberty: 100% ($555) to Republicans, 0 to Democrats
* Faulkner: 100% ($350) to Republicans, 0 to Democrats
* Marquette: 100% ($303) to Republicans, 0 to Democrats
* Oklahoma City: 100% ($255) to Republicans, 0 to Democrats
* Chapman: 100% ($250) to Republicans, 0 to Democrats
* Ohio Northern: 100% ($250) to Republicans, 0 to Democrats
* George Mason: 81.7% ($4,450) to Republicans, 18.3% ($1,000) to Democrats
* Duquesne: 78.9% ($1,500) to Republicans, 21.1% ($400) to Democrats
* St. Louis: 77.3% ($850) to Republicans, 22.7% ($250) to Democrats
* Syracuse: 50.2% ($700) to Republicans, 49.8% ($695) to Democrats
* Alabama: 50.0% ($250) to Republicans, 50.0% ($250) to Democrats
A few tipsters offered an explanation for why the Northwestern faculty favored McCain:
The Northwestern numbers are so skewed to the GOP side because of two profs, Calabresi and McGinnis. The former was my 1L Con Law prof and, despite being incredibly wrong on many issues, is one of the nicest professors I’ve ever had. The latter is moonbat insane.
What about these other schools? Pepperdine professors have contributed more than the maximum individual contribution, so there are at least a couple of McCain supporters out in Malibu. Any idea why the 3-1-0 skews towards McCain?
Associates often complain that managing partners are elevated because they are excellent lawyers, whether or not they know anything about running a business.
But what happens when lawyers become CEOs of Fortune 500 businesses? According to Corporate Counsel, it’s more poop on a different stick:
Two lawyer-CEOs who were hired amid fanfare a few years ago saw their tenures end during the past year — each with a distinct thud. Last November, Charles Prince III, Citigroup Inc.’s chairman and CEO (and, earlier, its GC), resigned under pressure after four years at the helm. In January, Michael Cherkasky, the CEO of Marsh & McLennan Companies Inc. (and a former prosecutor), ended his three-year reign. Both were hired to tackle their companies’ ethical crises, and their legal expertise was cited as one of their virtues. They were praised for their handling of the legal quagmires, then hounded for months by investors demanding profits. So much for lawyers in red capes.
That sounds like classic American corporate culture. Making “money” for “shareholders” trumps playing it safe and covering your backside.
In fairness, it seems odd to take lawyers schooled in the ancient art of risk-aversion and then ask them to play corporate craps with the best CEOs.
Sometimes it’s a lonely, lonely world, and you have to grasp at any little flicker of love. Thus exists Craigslist Missed Connections. A tipster noted this recent post from CLMC of the legal love variety. Location: DC Superior Court.
You: Plaintiff – m4m – 33 (DC Superior Court)
Reply to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: 2008-09-20, 12:02AM EDT
You were one of like three guys in the room (fifth floor courtroom) who were under 50 this morning. Curious to know what your case was about. Coffee? (Name the judge to be sure we were in the same room.)
We wonder if the connection has been made and if M33 has explored all the details of the plaintiff’s “case.”
We received 964 responses to our ATL / Lateral Linksurvey on whether you’re looking for work, and one thing is pretty clear: if you’re a 2L right now, there’s a pretty good chance that the associates you meet in your callbacks don’t actually want to be there.
A whopping 45% of respondents who had been practicing for at least a year said that they were either already looking for a new job or about to start their search.
27% said they were looking for a new job right now,
12% said they were getting their resumes ready, and
6% plan to get their resumes ready just as soon as they receive their bonus checks.
But not everybody’s looking to leave right now. Another 14% of practitioners said that they weren’t planning on looking for a new job . . . because they had just started one.
Even among incoming associates, there was a surprisingly strong tendency toward jumping ship. 14% of respondents in the Class of 2008 are already looking for new jobs, and another 2% are getting their resumes ready.
And third-year law students are also looking around, as 28% of 3L’s said they were interviewing again this fall. Of these, 62% said they were no-offered, and another 5% said they received a cold offer from their summer employer.
Are You Looking For A New Job Right Now? Breakdown By Class
I’m getting my resume ready.
I’ll get my resume ready once I get my bonus.
No, I just accepted an offer or started a new job.
Additional discussion, including a breakdown by practice area, after the jump.
Well it’s time to show that ATL can get as good as we give. Our reporting has provoked an angry response from some Michigan Law School students:
I have one question to ask the ATL e-mail forwarder: Why would you want to make a laughingstock out of *the school you attend? In case you overlooked that fact, you go here, friend. As in, you are affiliated with this school, and when ATL and a bandwagon of commentators talk smack about this school, they’re talking about you by affiliation.
It’s not humorous, because–believe it or not–there are actual people with actual jobs centered around fostering good PR about this school. When there are people forwarding embarrassing, curse word-filled e-mails to ATL, or e-mails denigrating poor people, it kind of goes against the grain and makes all of us look bad.
So, maybe you could stop?
Just to be clear, we are fans of Michigan. You will not find a sweater-vest among us. It just never occurred to us that the law school student body had been conscripted into the University Spin Team.
But apparently some students believe that one bad apple spoils the bunch:
Gossip magazines and gossip e-magazines fall short (understatement) of the student body here at Michigan Law. As a student and recipient of AbovetheLaw interview requests, I feel strongly that any contributors from our student body to a gossip column make us ALL look bad. Our allegiance should lie with our Law School (as our future jobs depend a great deal on the University’s prestige) and I encourage my peers to rise AbovetheLaw for the sake of our collective good. We are Michigan Law and We will one day have “the province and duty… to say what the law is.” — Chief Justice John Marshall.
“Son, it’s not about what you are called, it’s about what you answer to.” — My Mom.
A curious dissent from a Michigan law student after the jump.
Just to give you fair warning, O.J. Simpson could get off again.
The Juice is on trial for storming into the Palace Station hotel in Las Vegas and “liberating” some sports memorabilia at gunpoint. The prosecution would like to make the case about the largely inescapable facts that O.J. and his friends stole the goods and had guns.
O.J. and his lawyer Yale Galanter would like the case to turn on some other factor: persecution, “justifiable” larceny, wookies.
After the train wreck that was Mark Fuhrman, you’d think that any cop investigating O.J. would be on his best behavior. But there seems to be something about police officers losing their collective minds when it comes to O.J.
In testimony last week, detective Andy Caldwell essentially admitted that he turned into the great Cornholio when he found out that O.J. Simpson was prominently involved:
Jurors who have been told to refrain from judging O.J. Simpson on his past heard a recording Thursday of a police employee exulting: “This is great. … California can’t get him. … Now we’ll be able to.”
The recording was made by Thomas Riccio, the star witness for the prosecution.
Maybe this will still work out for Vegas PD. After all, finding 12 people who have not already pre-judged Simpson is practically impossible. But the heart of Simpson’s first brush with the law was shoddy and untrustworthy police work.
* Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley will be converted into traditional bank holding companies. With all the turmoil in the financial services industry, some attorneys think in-house is the new outhouse and are running back to law firm employment. [National Law Journal]
* “Merchant of Death”/ “Lord of War”/ Russian-guy-who-loves-selling-guns faces extradition hearing in Thailand for U.S. terrorism charges. [CNN]
* Kirkland & Ellis partner sues his wife, her alleged lover, and her dad for giving him herpes. [New York Post]
* There Will Be Blood in the trial of Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens. In a matter of speaking. Big oilman to testify in corruption case against Stevens. [New York Times]
* Prison escapee and Purpose Driven Life convert Brian Nichols is finally going on trial in Atlanta. Perhaps they should let him sell his story and use the proceeds to pay off all the debt he’s racked up for the Georgia legal system. [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]
* Maybe I’m a prude, but I really don’t understand how lap dances are socially acceptable. Somebody walks by and puts their butt in my face. If I give them money, they keep doing it; if I slap it away, I get in trouble? At the very least, shouldn’t it work the other way around? [WSJ Law Blog]
* Yes, NYU Law professors, we are laughing at you. No, not with you. At you. [TaxProf Blog]
* Good job, ATL readers. Our collective level of panic forced the eighth-richest man in America to tell his company “get back in there and chill them n***$$ out!” [Bloomberg.com]
A new survey found that about 35 percent of professionals would pick their PDAs over their spouses if they had to choose.
A surprising 87 percent take their personal digital assistants into their bedrooms, and 84 percent check them just before going to bed and as soon as they wake up, according to a work-life survey from Sheraton Hotels & Resorts. Another 85 percent say they look at their PDAs in the middle of the night.
Sounds to me like 35 percent of professionals do not fully understand the ramifications of losing half their stuff.
But what’s worse is that many readers have emailed the story to ATL contending that the numbers for professionals “in the law” would be much, much higher.
Ed. note: The Asia Chronicles column is authored by Kinney Recruiting. Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates, counsels and partners in Asia than any other recruiting firm in each of the past seven years. You can reach them by email: email@example.com.
It’s that time of year again when JDs are starting to apply for 2L summer jobs and 2L summers are deciding which practice area to focus on.
For those JDs with an interest in potentially lateraling to or transferring to Asia in the future, please feel free to reach out to Kinney for advice on firm choices, interviewing and practice choices, relating to future marketability in Asia, or for a general discussion on your particular Asia markets of interest. This is of course a free of cost service for those who some years in the future may be our future industry contacts or perhaps even clients.
For some years now Kinney’s Asia head, Evan Jowers, has been formally advising Harvard Law students with such questions, as the Asia expert in Harvard Law’s “Ask The Experts Market Program” each summer and fall, with podcasts and scheduled phone calls. This has been an enjoyable and productive experience for all involved.
If you are considering a virtual law practice, you know that many of today’s solo firms started that way. But why are established, multi-attorney law firms going virtual?
Many small firms are successfully moving part—or even all—of their practice to a virtual setting. This even includes multi-jurisdictional practice spanning several states and practice areas, although solo and small partnerships are still the largest adopters of virtual law.
Can you do the same? The new article Mobile in Practice, Virtual by Design from author Jared Correia, Esq., explores how mobile technology bring real-life benefits to a small law firm. Read this new article—the next in Thomson Reuters’ Independent Thinking series for small firms—to explore how a mobile practice:
Reduces malpractice risk
Enables you to gather the best attorneys to fit the firm, regardless of each person’s geographic location
Leverages mobile devices and cloud technology to enable on-the-spot client and prospect communication
Transitioning in-house is something many (if not most) firm lawyers find themselves considering at some point. For many, it’s the first step in their career that isn’t simply a function of picking the best option available based on a ranking system.
Unknown territory feels high-risk, and can have the effect of steering many of us towards the well-greased channels into large, established companies.
For those who may be open to something more entrepreneurial, there is far less information available. No recruiter is calling every week with offers and details.
In sponsorship with Betterment, ATL and David Lat will moderate a panel about life in-house and we’ll hear from GCs at Birchbox, Gawker Media, Squarespace, Bonobos, and Betterment. Drinks, snacks, networking, and a great time guaranteed. Invite your colleagues, but RSVP fast, as space is limited.