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Pamela Bookman Pam Bookman University of Virginia Law School Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Above the Law blog.jpgThings have been quiet on the Supreme Court clerk hiring front. There are rumors that Justice Alito has finally finished hiring for October Term 2008, but nobody seems to know who the lucky winners are. If you know, please drop us a line.
We do, however, have some news. A tipster reports:

Justice Ginsburg just hired a 2006 UVA Grad to begin clerking summer 2009. I knew Pamela Bookman (pictured) in law school, and not only is she incredibly smart, she is remarkably fun and down to earth. Kudos to Pam!

For confirmation, see this article, which has the story of how Pam Bookman got an offer from RBG on the spot:

Even though Bookman [who is clerking for the International Court of Justice in The Hague] currently lives thousands of miles away from Washington, D.C., she was still able to arrange an in-person meeting with Ginsburg. Two weeks after receiving an e-mail from Klarman saying that Ginsburg wanted to interview her, Bookman traveled to Washington while visiting her parents during winter break. Bookman chuckled that her interview was her first time ever visiting the Supreme Court. After chatting with Ginsburg about international law, the justice offered her the job on the spot.

“It was thrilling, it was surreal,” she said. “I’m still not sure this is real.”

The current tally of OT 2008 and OT 2009 SCOTUS clerks, with Pamela Bookman added, appears after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Supreme Court Clerk Hiring Watch: Another 2009 Hire
(And What’s Up With Justice Alito?)”

Debevoise Plimpton LLP Above the Law blog.jpgBiglaw is becoming kinder and gentler. The number of large law firms enhancing their parental leave policies continues to grow. The latest to join the club: Debevoise & Plimpton.
From a (male) tipster:

18 weeks. Not bad. Of course, since I’m unlikely to give birth to a child anytime soon, I’ll have to be satisfied with 10 weeks.

Also, what’s with this “primary childcare giver” business? Of the new parents I’ve known, the first few months seemed like one needed at least two primary childcare givers, if not more. Eh, I doubt D&P will be sending auditors into associates’ homes to check who bills the most hours with the baby.

The email announcing Debevoise’s policy, plus a list of firms that have recently enhanced their parental leave policies, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Biglaw Perk Watch: Debevoise & Plimpton to 18 Weeks”

University of Alabama School of Law Above the Law blog.jpgWe were pretty lucky in the law school roommate department. During our 1L year, we lived with a high school friend who was in New Haven doing medical research. During our 2L year, we roomed with a friend from college: the brilliant Steve Engel, a former law clerk to Judge Kozinski and Justice Kennedy, who currently serves as a deputy assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Counsel (and who recently testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in that capacity, on the legal rights of Guantanamo Bay detainees).
Both were highly considerate roommates. Neither tried to purloin our silverware, which is the allegation made in this angry letter from a University of Alabama 2L to his former roommate. It begins:

Dear Roommate:

Oneida Journey Silverware Above the Law blog.jpgThis is a letter regarding your use and possession of my silverware and tableware. I regret that I have to tell you this in writing, but all of my attempts to speak to you in person were thwarted by your unwillingness to speak directly to me.

I wish to be as tolerant as possible so we can live together peaceably. However, your impermissible possession and misappropriation of the bulk of my silverware, as well as my stoneware bowls, is no longer acceptable.

The silverware in question was purchased entirely by me for my use. It is relatively new, bought in 2007, and cost approximately $75. The silverware in questions [sic] consists of Oneida’s “Journey” (4 setting) and also an Oneida Silverplate (2-setting which is coated in actual silver). I did not object to you using it at first (although you never asked for permission), but I reasonably thought you understood that your use had to be within some bounds of reason. You have continually used silverware without returning it to the kitchen. This has meant there is insufficient silverware for me, the owner, to use. This is unacceptable under any condition. Placing dishes and silverware in the kitchen does not waive my right to have reasonable possession or use of it.

The letter gets more over-the-top as it goes along. It culminates with a threat to bring a civil action for the tort of conversion.
Read the rest, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Law School Roommate Lunacy: In re Oneida Silverware”

Last month we asked you which holidays you worked on, or expected to work on, during 2007. About half of you reported that you had worked on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
In today’s ATL / Lateral Link survey, we see how you fared last week. Did you take the day off to honor a champion of civil rights, or did you make it a “day on”?
[Update: This survey is now closed. Click here for the results.]
In the meantime, at least one of you noticed that I am not Dave Lat. I’m actually Justin Bernold, a Director in Lateral Link’s Boston office. I’m also a friend (and fan) of Dave’s from college and the author of, among other things, the Associate Pirate (Arr is for Resume!) blog.

* Top candidates turn to trial lawyers for support. [Washington Post]
* More recusal requests expected in WV Supreme Court. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Former NFL player’s wife files malpractice suit over surgery. [ESPN]
* Suffrage suffers in Mexico. [MSNBC]
* How to count primary delegates (and an explanation of the “superdelegates”). [New York Times; New York Times]
* “It’s just not realistic” to present major new initiatives, but the SOTU will still be on every channel tonight. White House speechwriters are not on strike. [CNN]
* Super-litigator Tom Barr of Cravath, RIP. [New York Times (death notice); WSJ Law Blog]

associate bonus watch 2007 law firm Above the Law blog.jpgWe’ve been hearing a bit about the bonuses paid out by Latham & Watkins. It seems that LW associates are quite pleased.
Going back to our post from earlier today, it seems that one tipster’s speculation about a meeting to spin bad news was off the mark. A second LW source had this rebuttal:

Sometimes our offices have meetings to discuss bonuses. I am aware of one office that had a similar meeting last year, on the day in which bonuses were given. I think it’s more to go through the bonus memo and answer any questions, rather than to break any bad news.

And apparently there was no bad news to break. If this chart (posted at AutoAdmit) is correct, Latham associates did pretty well for themselves.
We haven’t received confirmation of the chart (yet — we’re working on it). And the chart also doesn’t reflect unspecified additional amounts paid out in New York. But LW sources did write in to say they’re pleased with their hauls:

“I think people are pretty happy with what they received.”

“Overall, bonuses are better than ever. They matched or more than matched in every market, for people who hit 1900 billable hours (a goal that is very clear — there was no doubt from the day I was hired that I needed 1900 to get a bonus). Bonuses in non-NY offices are far higher than they were last year (minimum – $35,000) and New York seems to have matched and/or exceeded the Cravath model. Overall, I am very happy!”

If you’re at Latham and can confirm the chart or provide us with more info, please drop us a line. Thanks.
Update: The accuracy of the chart has been confirmed for us by multiple sources at Latham.
Latham bonus memo for 2007 [AutoAdmit.com]
Earlier: Associate Bonus Watch: Reading the Latham Tea Leaves

candy cane Christmas tree Above the Law blog.jpgAn oldie but a goodie (and the sheer age of this item makes it pretty safe to use). This archived entry was recently located inside the database of a temporary staffing firm. It’s a description of a temp accountant’s less-than-successful stint at a law firm he was farmed out to:

12/13/00 — Terminated from assignment at [redacted] for “creeping out” the staff by excessive talking, staring at the female employees, eating candy canes off the office Christmas tree, and inspecting other people’s food in the refrigerator. Brought into the office and counseled.

If you have your own funny anecdote about an idiosyncratic temp, feel free to post it in the comments (but without identifying info, per standard ATL policy).

associate bonus watch 2007 law firm Above the Law blog.jpgYesterday the D.C. office of WilmerHale made its bonus announcement. Here’s a summary from a source at the firm:

The bonus memo came out today. Yay! Salaries are the same. For the class of 2006, the hours guideline for bonuses is:

Hours Bonus
1,850 $15,000
2,000 $35,000
2,200 $40,000
2,400 $45,000

Management gave the caveat that bonuses were awarded for 1,850 hours only in some cases, basically for practices that were slow in which 2,000 hours could not be billed. The firm repeated that it expects lawyers to bill 2,000 hours per year (including pro bono).

If you have info on other classes, feel free to send it our way by email.
Update: A second source confirms the numbers above for first-year associates, and adds: “This was conveyed in personal letters stating our salary and bonus levels. New associates who started in the fall received prorated bonuses.”

Job of the Week

Dirty Sexy Money family Above the Law blog.jpgCheck out Lateral Link’s completely revamped website, with new features. Now you can find the Job of the Week appearing below in the Featured Jobs section of your MyBio page, and qualified candidates can reveal the employer name immediately.
Position: General Counsel
Company: CONFIDENTIAL (Family Office of High Net Worth Individual in Orange County, CA)
Location: Orange County, CA
Description: Are you familiar with Nick on the show Dirty Sexy Money? The family office of a well-known, high net worth individual in Orange County, CA, is currently seeking an attorney for General Counsel. The family office manages and administers all of the financial affairs and activities not associated with the founder’s company. Responsibilities will include, either directly or by coordinating outside counsel: Real Estate, including contract review, drafting, and negotiation; Contract Negotiations; Regulatory and Compliance (’33 Act, ’34 Act, both ’40 Acts); Estate, Tax and Financial Planning; and managing general business transactions. Requirements include: 4-10 years experience with a law firm, financial service, or property management company; Experience with real estate or private investment transactions; and SOX experience a plus.
For more information, see job #7697 on Lateral Link.
Earlier: Prior Job of the Week listings (scroll down)

100 dollar bill Above the Law Above the Law law firm salary legal blog legal tabloid Above the Law.JPGAs we reported earlier this week, the Atlanta office of Paul Hastings has adopted a new pay scale, with a starting salary of $160,000.
The Fulton County Daily Report picks up the news today. It’s not new, since it was announced on Wednesday. But the article, by Meredith Hobbs, has a nice round-up of where things stand in the Atlanta market, post-Paul Hastings:

Like most of their competitors, Paul Hastings paid first-years $130,000 in 2007, the rate established by last spring’s round of pay raises. The firm had delayed unveiling its response to the increase to $145,000 triggered by Alston & Bird in August (with smaller raises up the classes) until now.

Paul Hastings’ new pay scale goes from $160,000 for first-years — the current market rate for first-years in more expensive cities such as Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York — to $215,000 for seventh-years.

By comparison, King & Spalding announced in October a 2008 scale starting at $145,000 for first-years and going to $195,000 for seventh-years. At that time, King & Spalding established a richer bonus system, which upped pay for first-years receiving bonuses to $152,500, and star seven-years to as high as $250,000.

Paul Hastings does not calculate bonuses until after the end of its fiscal year, so associate bonuses correlating to 2008 compensation will not be determined until the end of February 2009, said Philip J. Marzetti, the firm’s Atlanta managing partner.

More excerpts and discussion, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Nationwide Pay Raise Watch: The Lay of the Land in Atlanta”

associate bonus watch 2007 law firm Above the Law blog.jpgExpect bonus news in a matter of hours from Latham & Watkins. An LW source writes:

Some are speculating Latham will try to cheap out on bonuses because [last night] we received an e-mail to all associates that there will be a meeting Monday to discuss bonuses. I don’t remember them doing this last year, and some people think they may issue low bonuses Friday, then do damage control Monday.

Of course it may also not mean anything too.

In other words, nobody knows anything. And we’ll know the real answer very soon anyway.
But if you can’t engage in time-wasting speculation on a blog, where can you do it? Read and parse the email for yourself, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Associate Bonus Watch: Reading the Latham Tea Leaves”

Heath Ledger Heath A Ledger Heathcliff Andrew Ledger death overdose suicide Above the Law blog.jpgWe wish we knew how to quit… finding legal angles to every story under the sun. One such story is the recent, tragic death of Heath Ledger, the celebrated young actor.
We’ve noted the news in passing. Now we offer more substantive, law-related discussion (beyond fleeting references to NYU law students who went from their seminars about Jesus to join the crowd of gawkers assembled outside Ledger’s apartment).
1. Rights to remains. Sometimes this can become an issue, as it did in the case of Anna Nicole Smith. Earlier this week, the Ohio Supreme Court heard a case about a law providing that body parts removed during an autopsy are classified as medical waste (which usually results in the incineration, rather than burial with the body).
It fortunately appears this won’t be an issue in Ledger’s case. Although additional blood and tissue testing still needs to be done, his family will be taking custody of his body, according to the NYT’s City Room blog.
2. Pending projects. Heath Ledger’s sudden passing raises issues with respect to projects he was involved with. From the Hollywood Reporter:

Of particular importance to Hollywood will be the future of Terry Gilliam’s The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, which had very recently begun shooting. After dealing with the shock of losing Ledger to unfortunate circumstances, the film’s producers and lawyers will have to consult with their production lawyers and the insurance firm that indemnified the film to decide whether to recast, restage and/or rewrite the film to work around Ledger’s absence, or whether Ledger’s death presents an irresolvable barrier to completion of the film.

More analysis, including discussion of insurance recovery issues, over here.
3. Funeral protestors. Exact funeral plans for Heath Ledger are not yet known. But when it does happen, it could get ugly. A tipster raises a legal question:

Check out this story [about how members of the antigay Westboro Baptist Church plan to protest at Heath Ledger's funeral, because of his work in "Brokeback Mountain"].

Here’s my question. These [SOBs] are saying horrible, offensive, disgusting things. When does the fighting words doctrine come into play, and does the fighting words doctrine protect me if I punch out one of these bastards? Because I would really like to.

Feel free to opine in the comments.
Update: More about that Jesus seminar, from the WSJ Law Blog.
Heath Ledger’s Death Leaves Big Legal Question [THR, ESQ. / Hollywood Reporter]
Anti-Gay Church to Protest Ledger Funeral [ABC News]
What Are They Teaching at NYU Law These Days? [Traditional Notions]
Where Were You When? [Concurring Opinions]
The Passion of the Christ: The Trial of Jesus [NYU School of Law]

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