Just to be clear, I substantially agree with Futurelawyer on the abject horror of twittering. If God wanted people to have Twitter pages he wouldn’t have made sphincters; there are some things that should be kept inside until the appropriate time.
Given that, it is disturbing that Yammer took home the top prize at TechCrunch50. Yammer brings Twitter to internal corporate communications. TechCrunch claims that 10,000 people and 2,000 organizations signed up for the service Monday, the day it launched.
Firms already have associates on the short electronic leash known as the BlackBerry. Many firms internally IM. What possible good could come from bringing this Yammer thing into the workplace?
From Yammer’s website:
Yammer is a tool for making companies and organizations more productive through the exchange of short frequent answers to one simple question: “What are you working on?”
As employees answer that question, a feed is created in one central location enabling co-workers to discuss ideas, post news, ask questions, and share links and other information. Yammer also serves as a company directory in which every employee has a profile and as a knowledge base where past conversations can be easily accessed and referenced.
Excuse me while I go to the bathroom, get a coke from the fridge, take a drag, stare longingly out of the window, and go back to blogging after the jump.
* Trial lawyers think the discovery process is broken. Don’t worry first year associates, nobody listens to silly trial lawyers. [BLT: Blog of the Legal Times]
* Some people like to use plagiarism detection software to figure out which briefs SCOTUS justices find persuasive. We’d like to use it to make fun of lazy SCOTUS clerks. [The Conglomerate via SCOTUSblog]
* This story includes four words that should never be in the same sentence. I’ll jumble them up because I don’t want to flippantly scar people for life: home, tape, sex, nursing. [How Appealing]
* Not everybody can go to a top 50 law school. Find out which schools outside of the top 50 have the most “productive” faculty. [Brian Leiter's Law School Reports]
* Anger Management. Look into it, Kayne West. [Gawker]
We received some chatter this week about DLA Piper shortening their summer program. Interviewees on the east-coast have been told that the program would be only 10 weeks long, as opposed to the 11 or 12 weeks they were expecting.
DLA Piper spokesperson Jason Costa assured us that scaling back was not a reaction to the downturn in the economy:
2/3rds of our summer programs were already ten weeks long. Some were a little bit longer and some were a little bit shorter. About a year ago we decided we were going to standardize most of our summer programs to a ten week term, which impacted a couple of offices on the east coast. The result is that all of the summer programs are going to be over by early August.
Costa went on to say that the change was made to so they could be finished with their summer program by the time OCI starts in late August.
More about the 2009 summer class after the jump.
Warning: This post strays from the snarky and strictly legal. The seventh anniversary of September 11 begs for a bit of solemnity after all. We were on the scene of the tribute today in Zuccotti Park in downtown Manhattan, next to the World Trade Center site.
Among those gathered in the park was Cheryl Shames of Long Island. Her brother, Andrew Zucker, then 27, was one of the five lawyers from Harris Beach who died in the collapse of the second tower on September 11, 2001.
Zucker worked as a volunteer fireman before going to Cardozo Law School. After a job as an assistant district attorney in the Bronx, he joined Harris Beach. He had started there August 2001.
According to his sister, Harris Beach hired a private investigator to evaluate the office’s response to the emergency. The investigator determined that Zucker’s “fireman instincts” helped save the lives of the seven Harris Beachers who managed to escape.
Just a little remembrance. We’ll return to the snark shortly.
After two weeks of political chatter over John McCain’s vice-presidential pick, one burning question remains: Will Bristol Palin’s wedding announcement run in the New York Times? If it does, dear readers, it may mark the first time a self-described “f–kin’ redneck” appears in that space. Be assured that LEWW, after stretching to find a legal angle, will cover it with the breathless snark you demand.
As is usually the case, all three of our weddings this week were officiated by Rabbis. So you may safely assume that there are no rednecks, and no pregnant brides. Just silky smooth prestige. Here are the finalists:
Tomorrow, the law students association at Boston College Law School will host its annual Boston Harbor boat cruise. Most law schools in the greater Boston area do some version of this. I’ve been on many, though I remember none.
But I guess it’s exactly that kind of drunk boat behavior that the BC cruise team are sick of. A tipster sent along sternly worded email in advance of tomorrow night’s festivities:
Unfortunately, over the past several years, we have had some troubling incidents on the boat cruise that have marred this event. These incidents were all caused by excessive alcohol consumption.
Is there any point to being on a boat in the middle of Boston Harbor unless you intend to consume alcohol excessively? It’s not like you can fish, swim, or gamble. What else are you supposed to do?
The email goes on to list specific incidents that have “marred” the boat cruise in the past:
One year, a law student was detained and arrested by the State Police while trying to board the boat while intoxicated. A few years ago, the boat was forced to return to port shortly after leaving dock because of a seriously intoxicated student on the cruise. Last year, there was a fight between two law students and one sustained a serious, and possibly permanent, injury.
As our tipster aptly put it, “I’m still trying to figure out if this was meant as a warning or an advertisement.”
Tickets are still available!
The full email is reprinted after the jump.
On Wednesday, Duke responded to Andrew Giuliani’s lawsuit. Duke claims that they were well within their rights to kick Giuliani off the school’s golf team.
Duke alleges that Giuliani threw an apple in another teammate’s face, injured a teammate, and was verbally abusive to one of the coaches.
Sounds about right.
You can’t believe everything you read in our comment threads, but one commenter on our initial post seems to have known exactly what Giuliani-time meant for Duke golfers:
Apparently, Giuliani threw an apple at another kid’s face who was also on the Duke golf team. The apple caused some damage to the kid’s face. O.D. [Vincent III, the coach of the golf team] is a class guy and has always been fair to everyone on the team. As evidenced by the fact that Giuliani is not back on the team, his ex-teammates don’t really like him at all. Not to mention the fact that he’s not good enough to be on the starting five. From an inside source, Giuliani was a “virus” on the team.
Does your firm run a corporate blog? If so, would you post comments to it? Employers are struggling with the question of what to do about employee blogs, and their responses prove just how old and out of touch corporate leaders can be.
In the National Law Journal, one attorney tries to define blogging in a way that Angela Lansbury would understand:
“It’s the modern-day version of the suggestion box,” management-side attorney Zachary Hummel, a partner in the New York office of Bryan Cave, said of employee blogging. “It’s growing exponentially and so more and more employers are facing the issue of how far do we let employees go before we take action.”
A suggestion box? Kind of like how instant messaging is the modern day “carrier pigeon.”
And what does “take action” mean? If an employer wanted to stop employees from blogging about their employers on the firm dime, they could just stop hosting blogs. That’s taking action. What Hummel is suggesting is called “scapegoating” one employee that crosses some intangible and ill-defined line and making an example out of them.
The problem with employer sponsored blogs is that they are not done for the benefit of the employees or for “company morale.” They exist because employers like to pop their collars and this sounds like a great way to do it, so long as they can strip the blog of anything useful, confidential, offensive, or true.
More layers of corporate control after the jump.
When it comes to the television bench, the great state of Florida seems to be the feeder court. See the list of Floridian judges turned TV judges at the end of this post.
But Florida doesn’t have a monopoly on television jurists. From the Fulton County Daily Report:
Writing that “God has called me to a higher place,” Fulton County State Court Judge Penny Brown Reynolds on Monday notified Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue that she would resign, effective Oct. 22, to embark on her new career as a television judge on “Family Court with Judge Penny.”
Because the television bench is certainly a “higher place” than the real thing. Higher-paying, at least — and God wants us all to be rich.
In her letter to Perdue, Reynolds said she leaves with a legacy that “includes a current case docket, never having been reversed by an appellate court on any criminal matter and only reversed in a few civil matters.”
That’s an impressive record for a judge who was appointed to the bench back in 2000. Georgia’s loss is the boob tube’s gain. We wish Judge Reynolds the best in her new role. Judge to Resign Next Month for TV Gig [Fulton County Daily Report via Law.com]
The problem with being a government lawyer is that you don’t have a lot of control over which “government” you are working for. Even if you have a non-partisan, non-patronage position, anytime a new administration takes power there is the possibility of turmoil.
Like the swallows of Capistrano, now is the season we expect public sector birds to leave their mission and return to their Biglaw vacation grounds.
Yesterday Assistant Attorney General Alice Fisher announced that she would be rejoining Latham & Watkins. You might remember Ms. Fisher from our former editor’s open crush on the “brassy, blonde, tough-talking Fisher.” I’m staring right now at the 3 golden locks of Fisher’s hair ATL has “acquired” under questionable circumstances.
Fisher’s new position at Latham will be “global co-chair of the white-collar and government investigations practice group.” It’s good work if you can get it.
More new hires after the jump.
* Senators John McCain and Barack Obama will appear together today at the September 11 memorial service in New York City. [Time]
* Another scandal from the employees at the Interior Department. Sex, cocaine, and gifts from energy companies. [Washington Post]
* Speaking of sex scandals, toilet stall foot tapper Larry Craig wants to withdraw his guilty plea. [New York Times]
* Superior Court Judge John Suddock tried to warn Sarah Palin in 2005 against pursuing the firing of her trooper brother-in-law. She didn’t heed his warnings, but luckily, it seems like no one really cares about it. [CNN]
* Another suit against the world’s ugliest footwear. [Fox News]
The top 25 California law firms are staying in lockstep with regard to associate pay: $160K for first years, $210K for fourth years, $265K for seventh years.
According to The Recorder (via Law.com), only Sedgwick, Detert, Moran & Arnold paid below the market rate. They pay $130K to first years and only go to $197K for seventh years.
For the most part, firms have to play “follow the salary leader” in order to draw top talent. But in these times, some firms are desperate to cut back on associate compensation any way they can.
The idea floating around is to abandon lockstep salary progression based on year, and move to performance-based pay raises. Manatt, Phelps & Phillips has already abandoned automatic pay raises:
“I actually think the system in practice is very fair because it allows for those people who are overachievers to really be valued at what their skills are worth,” said Diana Iketani, the firm’s chief recruiting officer. On the other hand, she said, it reduces pressure on associates who would rather pace themselves or have different priorities.
Some firms that are not following suit, after the jump.
Ms. JD is hosting their 2nd annual cocktail benefit to raise money for the Global Education Fund. The event will be held on August 21, 2014 at 111 Minna in San Francisco. Our goal is to raise $20,000 to fund the legal educations of four dedicated law students in Uganda who count on our support to continue their studies at Makerere University during the 2014-15 academic year.
The Global Education Fund enable womens in developing countries to pursue legal educations who otherwise would not have access to further education. According to the World Bank, investment in education for girls has one of the highest rates of return to promote development. In Uganda, more than 45% of women over the age of 25 have no schooling at all, and men are more than twice as likely as women to have access to higher education. Together, we can work to end educational inequality. For more information about the program, please visit http://ms-jd.org/programs/global-education-fund/
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.
We at Kinney Asia have made a number of FCPA / White Collar US associate placements in Hong Kong / China thus far in 2014. Most of such placements have been commercial litigation associates from major US markets, fluent in Mandarin, switching to FCPA / White Collar litigation. Some have already had FCPA experience, but those are difficult candidates for firms to find (this will change in coming years as US firms are now promoting FCPA / White Collar to their 2L summers who are fluent in Mandarin and have an interest in transferring to China at some point).
Legal Week quoted Kinney’s Head of Asia, Evan Jowers, extensively in the following relevant article here.
There is a new trend in the market, though, where mid-level transactional US associates, fluent in spoken Mandarin and written Chinese, are interviewing for and in some cases landing junior FCPA / White Collar spots in Hong Kong / China at very top tier US firms.
When the LexisNexis Cloud Technology Survey results were reported earlier this year, it showed that attorneys were starting to peer less skeptically into the future, and slowly but surely leaning more toward all the benefits the law cloud has to offer.
Because let’s face it, plenty of attorneys are perhaps a bit too comfortable with their “system” of practice management, which may or may not include neon highlighters, sticky notes, dog-eared file folders, and a word processing program that was last updated when the term “raise the roof” was still de rigueur.