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Kathryn Ruemmler Kathryn H Ruemmler Kathy Ruemmler Latham Watkins.jpgSuperstar litigatrix Kathryn Ruemmler, a litigation partner at Latham & Watkins and an Enron prosecutor before that, has been picked to serve as Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General in the Obama Justice Department. That title is a mouthful, but lawyers inside the Beltway know it’s a Big Deal.

The revolving door between the DOJ and Latham swings again. Ruemmler has traded places with another fierce female litigator: Alice Fisher, who rejoined the firm after heading up the Criminal Division.

As for Ruemmler, the government’s gain is Latham’s loss. Says one LW tipster: “She’s a really good lawyer, and a genuinely nice person. We’re very sorry to lose her.”

Kathy Ruemmler isn’t just a genial genius; she’s stylish, too. From the WSJ Law Blog, reporting on a day of the Ken Lay trial:

Speaking of footwear, the boldest fashion statement of the day — possibly rivaling O’Melveny paralegal Bill Evans’s goth getup for the gutsiest sartorial move of the week — came from the government’s Ruemmler. The deputy director of the Enron Task Force, who won convictions against four Merrill Lynch bankers in the 2004 Nigerian Barge case, paired a conservative gray suit with stunning 4-inch bright pink stiletto spikes.

Litigatrix indeed. Just because you work for the DOJ doesn’t mean you have to shop at DSW.

There’s a lot of diversity in Obama’s Department picks so far. Eric Holder, nominated to serve as Attorney General, is African-Amercan. Elena Kagan and Dawn Johnsen, nominated to serve as, respectively, Solicitor General and head of the Office of Legal Counsel, are women.

The full memo about Ruemmler’s move, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Musical Chairs: Kathy Ruemmler from Latham Back to DOJ”

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Twenty-seven-year-old hottie marries much older non-hottie: Normally a match like this would be explained by the groom’s (1) job at Goldman, (2) trust fund, or (3) peerage. But no, this groom is (drumroll) the associate dean for finance and administration at Yeshiva’s Cardozo School of Law. This is how bad the economy is, folks: Attractive women are marrying associate deans of non-T14 law schools.

Here are this week’s finalists:

1. Adrienne Lockie and Adav Noti

2. Inna Dexter and Benjamin Nussdorf

3. Arlene Hong and Darren Duffy

For our analysis of these couples, click on the link below.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Legal Eagle Wedding Watch 1.11: Dream Dean”

blank rome summers no offers.jpgLast night and this morning, tipsters informed us that significant layoffs were taking place at Blank Rome. A firm spokesperson is now able to confirm the news:

As we continue to focus on helping our clients manage through these challenging economic times, and in order to position the Firm for continued success in 2009, it is important that we take the necessary steps to adjust our attorney and staff complements in the context of our clients’ current and anticipated needs. These are purely economic decisions – this is a group of talented attorneys and staff who have made valuable contributions to our Firm.

Our tipsters report that at least 12 associates and staff have been let go so far. But:

Also, there is an unconfirmed report that when this ends the total of layoffs will be 50. Good lord.

The firm could not provide us with official numbers of how many people will be let go by the end of the day.

But we do understand that the layoffs will affect all departments and class years — we know some non-equity partners have already been shown the door. Blank Rome’s Philadelphia office was hardest it, but layoffs happened in New York as well.

Maybe if Mos Def would pay his bills, this wouldn’t be happening.

Read the full firm statement after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Nationwide Layoff Watch: Blank Rome Lays Off 12 … So Far”


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”

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* 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: job-991754136@craigslist.org [?]

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.

Thoughts?

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

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