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?
* 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 Linkjob 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?
It’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.
Today 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]
To 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 crushingLikelihood 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.
While 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.
We 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 paneldiscussion 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.
Why 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]
Today is Friday, when we entertain offbeat reader requests. Like this one:
I’ve billed a couple of hours this week arguing with different partners about whether “pled” or “pleaded” is the preferred past tense form of “plead.” Can I get a poll? I wonder what Biglaw associates and old-school partners have to say about it.
I’ve generally found that most younger attorneys use “pled” while the more senior attorneys prefer “pleaded.” Anyway, just random thoughts for a Friday morning.
Back in our brief-writing days, we used “pleaded,” which we felt better captured the “past-ness” of the event. But that’s just our opinion. What do you think?
It appears that Jonathan Lee Riches — ATL’s favorite pro se litigant, who filed that famous $63,000,000,000.00 Billion lawsuit against Michael Vick — has some competition in the contest for craziest complaint.
Pro se litigant Gregory Newman has filed a lawsuit against “Covert Action Air Operations.” This entity does not exist. But that hasn’t stopped Mr. Newman from alleging that it erased his videotape of a “magnetic tornado” that descended upon his backyard.
Here’s an excerpt from the memorandum opinion dismissing the complaint, which describes some of Gregory Newman’s more colorful allegations:
You can read the two-page opinion — which includes some boilerplate and citations, perhaps helpful to the law clerks among you, for the proposition that complaints “that describe fantastic or delusional scenarios are subject to immediate dismissal” — by clicking here. Memorandum Opinion: Newman v. Covert Action Air Operations [U.S. District Court (D.D.C.)]
If you’re not already a member of Lateral Link, you can sign up through their website. Membership, which is free and confidential, allows you to learn about new legal opportunities as they become available. Successfully placed candidates will receive a $10,000 placement bonus. Position Type / Location: Law Firm – Tax Associate (Washington, DC) Position Description: The Washington D.C. office is seeking a mid-level tax associate to work on project finance transactions. This magic circle law firm makes The American Lawyer’s AmLaw 100 rankings. The firm’s practice areas include corporate, bankruptcy and restructuring, intellectual property, litigation, project finance, reinsurance and insurance, and tax. The successful candidate must have at least 3-6 years experience in partnerships, foreign tax planning, leveraged leasing, subchapter C and tax-exempt financing.
For more information, see job #7697 on Lateral Link. Earlier: Prior Job of the Week listings (scroll down)
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 six years. You can reach them by email: [email protected].
Since late last year, things have been booming in Hong Kong / China in cap markets, especially Hong Kong IPOs. M&A deal flow has recently been getting a bit stronger as well. Although one can’t predict such things with any certainty, all signs are pointing to a banner entire 2014 for the top end US corporate and cap markets practices in Hong Kong / China. This is not really new news, as its been the feeling most in the market have had for a few months now and things continue to look good.
The head of our Asia practice, Evan Jowers, has been in Hong Kong for about 10 days a month (with trips every other month to both Shanghai and Bejing) for the past 7 months (Robert Kinney and Evan Jowers will be in Hong Kong again March 15 to 23), and spending most of his time there meeting with senior US hiring partners at just about all the major US and UK firms there, as well as prospective candidates at all associate levels and partner levels, and when in the US, Evan works Asia hours and is regularly on the phone with such persons, as our the other members of our Asia team. Our Yuliya Vinokurova is in Hong Kong every other month and Robert is there about 5 times a year as well. While we have a solid Asia team of recruiters, Evan Jowers will spend at least some time with all of our candidates for Asia position. We have had long standing relationships, and good friendships in some cases, with hiring partners and other senior US partners in Asia for 8 years now.
Are you challenged by the costs and logistics of maintaining your office, distracting you from the practice of law?
Many small firms are successfully moving part—or even all—of their practice to a virtual setting. This even includes multi-jurisdictional practice spanning several states and practice areas, although solo and small partnerships are still the largest adopters of virtual law.
Can you do the same? The new article Mobile in Practice, Virtual by Design from author Jared Correia, Esq., explores how mobile technology bring real-life benefits to a small law firm. Read this new article—the next in Thomson Reuters’ Independent Thinking series for small firms—to explore how a mobile practice:
Everyone is talking about the importance of Social Media in Corporate America. But it is relatively safe to say that most law firms and lawyers are slightly behind the social curve. Most lawyers, at minimum, use LinkedIn, for networking. Some even use Twitter for pushing out short, pithy content, while many have Blogs, where they write their little hearts out. The adage “it is better to give than to receive” is not always true though in the world of Social. In the Social World – it is best to listen, give back and engage.
Social Media is a communications tool that can deeply educate you about the needs and wants of your clients and prospects when used in conjunction social media monitoring and sharing tools.
Take this quick quiz and see if you know how to use Social to help you engage more with your clients or to better service the ones you have.