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Best Companies To Work For Fortune CNN Money Above the Law blog.jpgCongratulations to this quintet of five law firms, which just made Fortune magazine’s annual list of the 100 Best Companies To Work For (listed below in rank order):

19. Arnold & Porter: “Staffers get 12 weeks paid maternity leave and profit sharing of 7.5% of salary. The less you make, the less you pay for health-insurance premiums.”

Actually, a correction: 18 weeks (as of January 1, 2008).

31. Alston & Bird: “Both the legal and nonlegal staff get super benefits, including 90 days of paid maternity leave, coverage of fertility treatments, and concierge services.”

Concierge services? Fabulous. Atlantans, stop yer whining!

41. Bingham McCutchen: “They’re proud of their elite grads: 72 from nearby Harvard Law, 24 from Yale, and 20 from Stanford. They all start at $160,000 a year.”

55. Perkins Coie: “They value fun at this law firm. At 2007′s Lawyerpalooza battle of the bands, the Perkins Coie rock & rollers brought down the house (and took home the top prize).”

See also Nixon Peabody: “Fun is not prohibited here.” Speaking of which…

66. Nixon Peabody: “The law firm excels on policies for GLBT employees (a 100% rating from the Human Rights Campaign); it targets 3% of billable hours annually for pro bono work.”

Please send us any theme songs that are composed to commemorate these honors. Thank you.
100 Best Companies To Work For (2008) [Fortune]
Earlier: Bingham McCutchen: Land of the Amazons?

* Fed cuts fed funds rate by 0.75%, but stocks are still lower. [AP; New York Times; Washington Post]
* Clinton and Obama get snippy with each other in debate, raising questions about each other’s legal work. [Washington Post; New York Times; WSJ Law Blog]
* SCOTUS denies review in gigantic Enron-related investors’ lawsuit. [SCOTUSblog via How Appealing]
* Statutory interpretation makes for strange bedfellows in 5-4 ruling in Ali v. Federal Bureau of Prisons. [SCOTUSblog (PDF) via How Appealing]
* New York City revisits the issue of forced disclosure of calorie counts by restaurants. [AP via Drudge]

law clerk judicial clerkship Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgThe topic for today’s open thread: law firm recruiting of law clerks. From an exchange last week in the comments:

“The law firm clerkship recruiting season is picking up, with a lot of clerks’ cocktail parties scheduled in the next few weeks in NY. How about an open thread for clerks to discuss firms?”

“[H]ow about a thread with a list of shame for firms, big and small, that haven’t stepped up and offered clerkship bonuses to make up for the salary hit you take to clerk for a year?”

“Don’t be upset because you realize your clerkship experience is devoid of any value, as evidenced by the nominal clerkship bonuses. You would have been better off working for a large firm straight out of law school, but I understand that mediocre people need all the experience they can get before applying to a prestigious job, much like my own. P.S.: I didn’t apply to any clerkships because I knew (unlike yourself) that I would never recoup the time invested. I am sorry you wasted your time on a clerkship, but don’t be upset simply because firms place little-to-no value on your clerkship experience (and I use the term “experience” loosely).”

So here’s an open thread on Biglaw law clerk hiring. In the comments, feel free to trade notes on which law firms are especially welcoming of clerks, who’s leading (and lagging) on the clerkship bonus front, and whether the clerkship experience is worth it — which we expect to bring out the usual trash talking, from both the pro- and anti-clerking camps. Thanks.

455 Central Park West 455 CPW Above the Law blog.jpgIn Chicago, gay lawyers get to attend exclusive parties. In New York, they enjoy a finer prize: luxury real estate.

The law schools of Columbia and NYU have been battling over faculty superstars for several years. And now NYU is bringing out the heavy artillery: multimillion-dollar condo purchases. From the New York Times:

Columbia University, in a never-ending search for a larger campus, has long had an outpost for faculty housing at 455 Central Park West — 53 apartments in an 26-story tower attached to the French Renaissance chateau at West 106th Street.

So it was something of a surprise when a foundation associated with New York University bought a large condominium in the complex. The unit, which cost $5.2 million, is built into one of the huge turrets of the chateau…. The duplex apartment has a round living and dining room with 37-foot high ceilings and Central Park views, along with three more conventional bedrooms.

Sounds fabulous! Who gets to inhabit this fabulous pad?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Lawyerly Lairs: Gay Gotham Edition”

Kumari Fulbright small Facebook Arizona law student beauty queen Above the Law blog.JPG* A Virginia lawyer reveals a secret he held for a decade, causing a death sentence to be commuted to life in prison. [New York Times; Washington Post]
* Kumari Fulbright 911 tapes released. Truth be told, they’re a little disappointing — nothing Kumari-specific in them. [KVOA News 4]
* Chief Justice Elliott Maynard of West Virginia recuses himself from further participation in a case involving a coal company executive with whom he traveled (previously discussed here). [New York Times]
* You can call trial lawyers many things, but don’t say they’re not dogged: John Edwards remains in the presidential race, despite his growing string of losses. Is he aiming for the role of convention kingmaker? [Politico; New York Times]
* In other election news, the Obama campaign calls for an investigation of alleged voting irregularities in Nevada. [AP]
* NY AG Andrew Cuomo investigates college study abroad programs. [New York Times]

Last month, our ATL / Lateral Link job survey asked you when your firms paid bonuses, and whether you were planning on changing jobs once those bonuses got paid. About 20% of you responded that you were considering leaving your current firms.
For some of you, this meant waiting until you got your bonus. For others, this meant asking the new firm to match the bonus you’d be leaving behind. And for yet another group, the bonus was irrelevant; you just wanted out.
Well, now that most firms have given associates at least some idea of what their bonuses will be — and most have even paid them — is your job search actually underway?
[Update: This survey is now closed.]
We’ll share the results from today’s survey next week. In the meantime, feel free to drop some comments about what your firms are doing to keep you. Cookies? Chair massages? Wear your jeans to work days? New lactation rooms? Or, dare we ask . . . retention bonuses?

Martin Luther King Jr Day MLK Day On Day Off Above the Law blog.jpgIt’s a government holiday, so public sector employees get the day off. And the markets are closed, so Wall Street is out today too.
But not everyone gets Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a holiday. From an incensed tipster:

[A friend] at Price Waterhouse Coopers forwarded this offensive message, which was sent from the head of PWC US to all US employees. It is one thing for firm management to decide not to observe Dr. King’s birthday. It is quite another to dress up that decision, which was clearly motivated by a refusal to bear the costs of observing the holiday, as a noble gesture in honor of Dr. King’s achievements.

Clearly, the firm believes that its employees (many of whom are attorneys — hence the email to Above the Law) are unintelligent enough to believe that this thinly veiled insult was intended to honor Dr. King. Even more offensive is the fact that the firm denigrates Dr. King’s extraordinary struggles and achievements by equating them with the daily work of accountants, auditors and tax professionals as they work to save tax dollars and maximize profits for mega-corporations.

The comparison is laughable and utterly offensive. I trust that ATL will not allow the insult to go unnoticed.

We’ll let you be the judge. Check out the message, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “PricewaterhouseCoopers to Employees: No Holiday for You”

Martin Luther King Jr Dr Rev.jpgToday we celebrate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the pioneering civil rights leader. Dr. King’s birthday was actually on January 15th, but the holiday is observed on the third Monday of January each year.
Many of you are not in the office today, in honor of the holiday. If you’re not at work, we hope that you are enjoying the day off. (We are around, but will be posting less than usual.)
If you are looking for something to do, we suggest that you treat today as an opportunity for public service. You can look up a service project in your area at MLKDay.gov.
Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day!
Blawg Review #143 [Public Defender Stuff via Blawg Review]
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service [MLKDay.gov]

supreme court small with heart above the law atl.JPGTo San Francisco, apparently, to clerk on the Ninth Circuit.
We hope that the author of this email is clerking for one of court’s slave-driver judges. He needs to be kept busy, so he won’t have time for any more literary endeavors.
“Pleaded” or “pled” may be a matter of personal preference. But turns of phrase like “I had to have breakfast with my unit” and “the inadequate salve of an orgasm” ought to be criminalized — even in the Ninth Circuit.
Correction: We’ve heard from the woman who received the email. As it turns out, she works for the Ninth Circuit; the sender does not (although he is an attorney, in southern California). She construes the references to the Ninth Circuit to mean “that the job he currently has is *his version* of the Ninth Circuit — that is, his dream job.”
“It Was A Risk — Dating You. Risking My Reputation. Where Was Respect For That?” [Jezebel]

So far this month, over 1,500 of you have voted on who should receive two significant accolades.
Our Second Favorite Blog Of The Year After ATL survey, sponsored by ATL and Lateral Link, is still dominated by the Wall Street Journal. But the Volokh Conspiracy, Patently-O, and SCOTUSblog are putting up a fight, write-in candidate taxgirl is creeping up on write-in candidate TaxProf Blog, and added-because-we-love-him candidate ProfessorBainbridge.com is just crushing Likelihood of Confusion (whom we also love).
Meanwhile, nominations for ATL Lawyer of the Year have been dominated by Loyola 2L, Aaron Charney, and Barack Obama (which is probably the only time you’ll see those folks on the same list). Hillary Clinton — who’s already Legal Diva of the Year, as far as we’re concerned — is close on Barack’s heels, and there are a smattering of nods for others.
rainbow pot of gold Above the Law blog.jpgWhile both of those surveys remain open, today we reveal results from last month’s ATL / Lateral Link survey about your potential prize: Will you make partner?
More than 1,600 of you responded to last month’s survey, and, generally speaking, you’re a pessimistic bunch. Only about 14% of you thought that you would definitely make partner at your current firm, with another 13.6% holding tentatively positive expectations. About 7% of respondents thought that they would make partner somewhere, but not at their current firms. The remaining two thirds of you either don’t think you’ll make partner, just don’t know, or simply don’t care. The most junior associates were the least likely to believe they’ll make partner.
The good news is, those of you who don’t make partner might still have jobs at the end of the day. Roughly 43% of you responded that your firms are not “up or out.” Thirty percent, however, believe the axe will fall if they don’t make partner. The rest of you simply don’t know.

bullhorn announcement public service announcement Above the Law blog.jpgWe don’t normally do this (and probably won’t make this a regular feature). But since we have a few on hand right now, we’d like to pass along the following public service announcements:
* Attention Washingtonians. There’s an interesting panel discussion taking place here in D.C. next week: “Practicing Law in the E-Court of Public Opinion: How the Internet Can Make or Break a Lawyer’s or Law Firm’s Reputation and What You Can Do About It.”
We are on the panel, along with Mark Britton of Avvo, Andrew Mirsky of Mirsky Legal, and fellow bloggers Carolyn Elefant, of My Shingle, and Jonathan Frieden, of E-Commerce Law. [Avvo Blog; MyShingle.com]
* Attention Asian American lawyers and law students (but all are welcome; this isn’t the K&E GLBT party). There’s an interesting conference taking place next month in Philadelphia, PA: “Emerging Asia: Shedding New Light on the Legal Landscape.” We’re delivering the keynote address at dinner. [APALSA]
* Attention South Asian lawyers and law students (but again, all are welcome). There’s an interesting conference taking place next month in Los Angeles, CA: “Reflecting Back, Reaching Forward: Building on a Decade of Progress.” [NASALSA]
* Attention essayists. Check out this essay contest: “How Do We Close the Gap Between Baby Boomers and Millennials on Work/Life Balance?” It’s sponsored by Ms. JD and The Project for Attorney Retention. Prize of $1,000; entry deadline of February 29. [Ms. JD]
* Attention prospective bone marrow donors. A tipster writes:

A former Simpson Thacher associate needs a bone marrow transplant, most likely to come from someone Jewish, and we’re trying to notify as many people as possible to get on the donor list.

More details, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “A Collection of PSAs from Your Friends at ATL”

Kirkland Ellis LLP gay party GLBT LGBT Above the Law blog.jpgWhy was Cinderella stuck in the office doing document review, while her wicked stepsisters nibbled on caviar and danced the night away?
Maybe Cinderella worked at Kirkland & Ellis, and her sisters were of the Sapphic persuasion. From a K&E tipster:

The Chicago office of Kirkland & Ellis hosted a “GLBT only” party last night. The email invitation is below.

It’s illegal under Illinois law to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation in the workplace. But they shouldn’t be expected to know that as attorneys, should they?

Here’s the invite:

The GLBT Subcommittee of the Firmwide Diversity Committee cordially invites All Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) Attorneys and Staff to a Winter Cocktail and Hors d’Ouevres Reception Today, Thursday, January 17, 2008 Sidebar Grille.

221 N. LaSalle
Chicago
5:00 P.M. — 7:00 P.M.

Truth be told, we aren’t deeply troubled. Regardless of their technical status under the law, events for lawyers who share common interests happen all the time.
So lighten up, Mr. Tipster! You probably wouldn’t have liked the music anyway — or, for that matter, being ogled by those twinks from IT. And you definitely wouldn’t have appreciated being hit upon by that bear from Duplicating.
As a certain ATL commenter might say, “Guys in my high school used to throw special gay parties all the time. They called it Drama Club. It was no big deal.”
P.S. A more serious issue is presented by K&E’s summer associate diversity fellowship, previously discussed by Professor David Bernstein over at the Volokh Conspiracy.
Diversity Fellowship Program [Kirkland & Ellis]
Illegal Fellowship at Kirkland & Ellis? [Volokh Conspiracy]

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