More bad news, this time from the Los Angeles market.
We’ve received word that O’Melveny & Myers has cut ties with five associates from their L.A. office. A tipster reports:
There were at least 5 associates let go today in the OMM Los Angeles office. Ranging from first years to mid-level associates. I’m not sure if they are being called performance related or if they are admitting they are layoffs.
OMM is calling them performance related. A firm spokesperson told us:
There have been no economic layoffs of associates at O’Melveny & Myers and there are no plans to conduct such layoffs. We are in the midst of our annual associate evaluation process, which began as scheduled in September, and some associates, as is always the case, are receiving less than satisfactory performance reviews.
We warned you that you should accept your offers. We then demanded that you should accept your offers. But based on the comments, there are still some of you out there sitting on multiple offers.
Career services people have taken note, and are literally begging their students to make a decision. The latest evidence comes from Michigan:
We write because we have heard from several of you that you are worried that your offers may be rescinded if an employer’s summer class is full, whether or not you have reached the 45 day period in which to respond to an offer. We have also heard that many firms are taking longer than usual to give a decision to students after callbacks.
First, there have been very few actual reports of rescinded offers at this Law School or our peer institutions. We have heard from many employers that while they are treading carefully in this economic climate, they have no intention of rescinding offers. Nonetheless, we think it prudent for you to accept an offer as soon as possible. To put it more bluntly, this is not the time to shop your offers or wait to see if a better one comes along. In addition to being in your own best interest to accept quickly, it may also assist other students who may then receive an offer that you turn down.
Obviously, some of you will not accept your offers simply to help out other students. Maybe you need actual proof that firms are rescinding offers.
Wonder why IP lawyers still have work? In the midst of a 177-page indictment against the “Mongols” biker gang, the government put in a charge invalidating the gang’s trademarked name.
If prosecutors succeed, the feds will own the Mongols trademark and can charge patch-wearing gang members with trademark infringement; or, at the least, have one more reason to stop them for a little sidewalk chat. Which is bound to irritate the gang members. Which may be the point.
As a person with some Chinese ancestry (that would be Elie “Ying” Mystal for those playing along at home) I am happy that the American government is finally standing up to those raiding Mongolians who come on their dread (steel) horses. Every time I try to build a wall, some goddamn Mongolian always comes to tear it down.
Of course, the government’s actions are disingenuous — soon NYPD will be able to stop anybody wearing a do-rag because it’s a yarmulke knock-off — but the Mongols leave us little choice.
Said one Mongol leader “To the last I grapple with thee; from hell’s heart I stab at thee; for hate’s sake I spit my last breath at thee.”
But we will break this gang. I don’t believe in the no-win situation.
* Lehman’s lawyer fees “could reach a record $1.4 billion.”[Bloomberg]
* The RNC spent more than a first-year associate’s salary on clothes for Sarah Palin. So, when you are reading mind-numbing legal documents at midnight tonight and your friends are out partying, just dream of all the snappy red jackets you can buy. [Los Angeles Times]
* Sarah Palin’s $150,000 wardrobe was bad, but it could be worse. A Philadelphia state senator spent roughly 3.5 million dollars of tax payers money to pay personal assistants who “spied on his ex-lovers, chauffeured his children, oversaw mansion renovations, and permormed a myriad of other chores.” [Associated Press]
Apparently, Dechert Chairman and CEO Bart Winokur still finds Above the Law not worth his time, but that hasn’t stopped him from talking about our information elsewhere.
Winokur spoke with the WSJ Law Blog to try to clear up some things about the firm:
1. Quite apart from any characterization as to reasons why associates might have been asked to leave and contrary to anonymous posts in abovethelaw.com, there were not 10, let alone 30, associates who were asked to leave in July with or without deadline.
2. Contrary to the implication in The Legal Intelligencer article, I do not believe that we are replacing “people with better people.” To clarify what I said to The Legal Intelligencer, as associates get more senior, they need to keep doing higher and higher levels of work, and not work that can be done by their juniors.
3. Additionally, in response to the slowdown in our structured finance practice, rather than lay-off associates, we assigned associates to full-time pro bono work, where they could continue to hone their legal skills while at the same time helping others. When the economy stabilizes and business picks up, it is our expectation that they will be part of the firm’s vibrant practices.
* The RNC has spent $150K on clothes for caribou barbie Sarah Palin. Is that a legal use of campaign cash? [Marc Ambinder]
* It’s been a while since we had a good, old fashioned, tax revolt in this country. Since it’s probably politically incorrect to dress up like Native Americans this time around, I think people should dress up like Olbermann and Maddow. Obamatons will never see it coming. [TaxProf Blog]
* In case you realize that you want no part of the legal industry after you pass the bar exam, but before you’ve been admitted, here’s a primer for how to make sure that your application to the bar is denied. [Legal Blog Watch]
* Some advice for firms getting crushed: be nice. [Law and More]
Given all the horrible news yesterday, we wanted to post something positive about the legal job market.
Luckily, last week Simpson Thacher & Bartlett felt the exact same way. Taking a cue from Cleary, STB decided to send around an “aren’t you glad you received an offer from Simpson Thacher” email to last summer’s offerees:
There have been many exciting recent developments here since you left and I wanted to send news of what is going on. The firm is at the very center of the developments that are reshaping the financial world and when you return there should be some fascinating work awaiting.
For those of you who just want to know what deals are in the works, also included is news of a couple of major new engagements. For a more complete list, including some recent litigation successes, check out the Spotlight News on our web page: http://www.stblaw.com
After our post on the importance of accepting your offers, we figured that most students sitting on offers would do the right thing — for themselves and their colleagues — and make a decision.
But maybe some students are just a little more indecisive than others. Last night, Northwestern students received this email:
Dear Second-Year Students Holding Offers,
As you know, we are in very tough economy. In tough economies, firms, not unexpectedly, tend to take a much closer look at the bottom line.
Please accept your offers as soon as possible. We have heard, both by communication with our colleagues at UPenn and from one of our own students, that offers may be withdrawn once a firm considers that its summer class is full, whether or not the 45-day period has expired.
In addition to assisting other students who may then receive an offer that you turn down, it is also in your own best interest to accept quickly.
If you have any questions or concerns, please speak with your Career Advisor.
Good luck with your decisions,
Your Career Advisors
We expect that quite a few Northwestern law students have offers in the Chicago market. Have you guys been paying attention to what is happening in the Chicago market?
One tipster reports that the place is crawling with police officers.
Building security just sent around an email informing workers that they can leave via the freight elevator, but cannot come back if they do. While the email told people “there is no need to panic,” that has predictably caused some amount of panic.
Safety first people. The powdered substance could be talcum, but why take the risk?
Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Maria Espinosa Dennis says she was battered at the courthouse — by fellow Circuit Judge David Miller. She says Miller was bent out of shape because the fax machine at her office, which his staff sometimes used, was broken.
Dennis, 52, and Miller, 54, both work at 73 W. Flagler St. They had adjacent offices on the fourth floor. Miller initially spoke to Dennis’ bailiff and judicial assistant about the fax machine, then asked to see her.
When she repeated that the machine was out of order, Miller became ”confrontational and told [Dennis] that he felt that he wasn’t getting the full story,” the Oct. 7 police report says. Miller then “charged toward [Dennis], grabbed her by her shoulders and pushed her toward her office in an attempt to close the door behind them.”
The courthouse police came after someone hit a panic alarm. Judge Miller is not the first Florida judge to bully a female colleague. See former Judge of the Day Jay Spechler.
But that’s a pretty extreme reaction to a broken fax machine. We’re wondering what the “full story” might have been. Did Miller suspect that Dennis “office-spaced” it?
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Things have changed recently in Korea – a few of our US and UK client firms are looking, very selectively, for a lateral US associate hire. Until just recently, there was not much hiring like this going on in Korea, since US and UK firms started opening offices there. We have already placed two US associates in Korea in the past month at top firms. Most of the hiring partners we work with in Korea do not actively work with other recruiters.
If you are a Korean fluent US associate in London, New York or another major US market, 2nd to 6th year, at a top 20 firm, with cap markets or M&A focus (or mix), or project finance background, and you are interested in lateraling to Korea to a top US or UK firm, please feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Our head of Asia, Evan Jowers, was just in Korea recently, and Evan and Robert Kinney will be in Korea in a few weeks. We are in the process of helping several firms open new offices in Korea (a number of which are interviewing our partner level candidates) and also helping existing offices there fill openings.
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