* White House invokes executive privilege for Rove in Attorneygate. [CNN]
* Meanwhile, AGAG admits to maybe having caused some confusion. [New York Times]
* British Airways fined over half a billion dollars. [MSNBC]
* Whatchoo yelling and screaming about, Willis? [MSNBC]
* Young students try direct democracy, but not green beans. [CNN]
* White House invokes executive privilege for Rove in Attorneygate. [CNN]
The executive committee of Fulbright & Jaworski just took this action with respect to associate compensation in Texas:
“After due consideration of all relevant data and after listening to our clients, our partners, and our associates on the issue at hand, the Firm has determined that we will raise base compensation for associates in Texas offices in the classes of 2006 and 2007 to $160,000 per annum, effective today, August 1, 2007.”
“The Firm has commenced a comprehensive review of associate compensation and related recruiting and retention issues. These matters are of great importance to our partnership. We hope to complete this review by mid-autumn.”
Our tipster’s take:
“So F&J has punted even more than other Texas firms, only raising first years, probably because they already announced $165K for second years in DC with the deferred comp model.”
- Bad Ideas, Biglaw, Drinking, Gay, Lesbians, O'Melveny & Myers, Rudeness, Sexual Harassment, Summer Associates
We were rightfully ribbed for having so few details in yesterday’s post about the O’Melveny Mystery Man (hereinafter “Mystery”). Now we have more information about him, gleaned from multiple sources.
One source, who interacted with Mystery at lunches and over coffee, said that he “seemed very quiet.” But maybe he acts differently in a party context (i.e., after he’s had a few drinks). A second source, who spent time with Mystery on the notorious night of the firm retreat, described him as “obnoxious” and “a true frat guy.”
As for the alleged conduct on the evening in question, here’s what we’ve heard:
1. “[O]ne of the summer associates is a lesbian, but I don’t think most of us knew until this weekend since she brought her girlfriend. Everyone was at the hospitality suite on Saturday night, and the summer kissed her girlfriend on the cheek. [Mystery] yells out, “Whoa, what was that?!” and makes a totally un-PC scene, [making] both girls uncomfortable.”
2. “[O]ne of the first year associates had her fiance there, and he was drinking white wine. [Mystery] says: ‘Why are you drinking white wine? Are you a fag?’
3. “[Mystery] kept doing the ‘wink and point’ thing at a 3rd or 4th year female associate, telling her that she would be his drinking buddy for the night. She was creeped out.”
No, that’s not all. More misconduct alleged, after the jump.
In addition to fall recruiting season for law firms, clerkship application season is almost upon us. The “season” officially starts in September, when current law students are allowed to submit their applications for federal judicial clerkships.
But, as reported by the WSJ Law Blog, a fair number of judges are
cheating moving faster than the official timetable. In addition, the timing rules don’t apply to law school graduates. So judges are free to interview, for example, recent law school grads now at law firms.
If you’re in the hunt for a judicial clerkship, whether state or federal, here’s a great website that you should be aware of. From a tipster:
The new Clerkship Notification Blog is finally up and running. Please advertise this amazing resource to your readers and encourage them to quickly begin posting there. Some judges have already started interviewing grads…
Please take a look — and contribute to the pool of information, by commenting early and often.
To all clerkship applicants: Good luck!
The Clerkship Notification Blog (2007-08 Season) [official website]
Judges Behaving Badly: The Clerkship Edition [WSJ Law Blog]
This happened a few days ago, but we only found out about it just now. We pass along the information for your edification (see links below).
We won’t comment further. If you decide to comment, please do so responsibly. Thank you.
Accidental asphyxiation likely killed attorney [InsideBayArea.com]
Coroner investigating Daniel Weiser’s death [Palo Alto Online]
Daniel J. Weiser bio [Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati]
The American Lawyer’s 2007 Associates Survey is now available, via Law.com. Good stuff!
This year’s famous hike to $160,000 in starting pay for first-year associates did not buy hiring firms anything in terms of separating themselves from their competition. The firms that can afford to pay more will pay more; but there is a price point that not all Am Law 200 firms will be willing to match. We’re confident that that number begins with a 2.
What Press describes is similar to this excellent analysis, by Bill Henderson of the Empirical Legal Studies blog:
[T]he Big Law market is the midst of a “separating equilibrium”. In short, a few dozen elite firms are pulling away from their BigLaw peers in the competition for premium, price-insensitive work….
So what does the future look like? BigLaw will no longer be synonymous with “large full service firms”, which was the mantra throughout the ’90s. Successful financial services and labor & employment lawyers will tend to migrate to different firms [i.e., super-lucrative and less-lucrative firms, respectively].
In terms of leading New York firms — the shops with big-time transactional practices, and profits per partner of $2 million or more — we’d speculate that a move, to a starting salary at or close to $200,000, will happen in the next twelve to eighteen months. If it doesn’t happen in time for this fall recruiting cycle, it will happen in time for the next one.
The foregoing analysis assumes, of course, that U.S. law firms chug along nicely over the next year or two. If we have a general economic meltdown, then all bets are off.
Annual Survey Shows the New Reality of Associate Life [The American Lawyer]
Associate Survey: Want to Leave? Big Law’s OK With That [WSJ Law Blog]
Howrey Associate Pay Scale: What Merit Really Means [Empirical Legal Studies]
We push forward with our series on summer associate screw-ups. If you have a tale to tell, please review our submission guidelines, and then email us.
In light of our earlier item about the bocce court at Venable, we thought this story would be apropos:
1. Superhero name: The Magnificent Mooner
2. Special power: Ability to destroy all hope for an offer in a matter of seconds.
3. Summered: Briggs & Morgan, “a few years ago”
4. Claim to fame: “Went lawn bowling (the Midwest equivalent of bocce) with the firm, after being ridiculously quiet all summer. After a day of drinking, culminating in his bowling the winning ball, he decided that the only appropriate reaction was to drop his pants in celebration.”
5. What happened to him: “[A]n offer was not in his future.”
We assume he didn’t file a lawsuit over getting no-offered. But there is precedent for an accused mooner going to court, claiming overreaction to his overexposure.
(The usual rules apply. Please don’t name the Magnificent Mooner or speculate about his identity. Thanks.)
Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of summer associates (scroll down)
Lawsuit of the Day: High School Wise Ass Claims He Got a Bum Rap
We love pro se litigants here at ATL. Like the guy suing Michael Vick, alleging that Vick stole his dogs and abused them, subjected him to “microwave testing,” and pledged allegiance to Al-Qaeda.
Today’s pro se litigant is a defendant rather than a plaintiff. From an article warning that representing yourself can be risky (who knew?), in the Virginian-Pilot:
Charles Willis knew he was no match for the prosecutor.
Police had given him a citation for illegally parking in a fire lane at a home improvement store in Chesapeake, and the Hickory man wanted to fight it.
But on his income – he’s retired and lives on his Social Security disability check – he couldn’t afford it. So on Tuesday morning, the 58-year-old made his way to Chesapeake Circuit Court with his walking cane, armed with a briefcase filled with notes and pictures from the scene.
Like a growing number of defendants these days, Willis was going to represent himself.
Ruh-roh. We suspect this won’t end happily.
Read more, after the jump.
We resume our occasional series on the perks or fringe benefits of Biglaw life. Today’s thrilling subject: bar dues. From a reader:
Would you mind including paying for bar dues/section memberships and ABA memberships/section dues in your series on fringe benefits at law firms?
Okay, sure. We don’t know if this will be terribly exciting, since (1) most big firms pay for bar fees and ABA dues, and (2) the sums in question aren’t very large. We have a vague recollection of some top firm — Cleary? — that had a “tradition” of having lawyers pay their own bar fees, but we don’t think that’s the case any longer (and Cleary’s NALP form says they pay bar fees and bar association membership dues).
So we’re not expecting much — but we’re happy to be proven wrong. Please discuss, in the comments. Thanks.
He’s back!!! Or is it possible Michael Jackson has been quietly lurking in our region ever since his early-a.m. Smithsonian tour last week?
The sometimes-reclusive, sometimes-exhibitionist performer was spotted Wednesday evening in the downtown law offices of Venable LLP. One spy said he looked exactly like — well, himself: black sunglasses, black jacket, white shirt, black pants, white socks, black loafers, a pair of oversize bodyguards.
For those lucky enough to glimpse Jackson, his appearance explained a memo the firm had just put out, warning staffers not to gawk at clients.
We’d love to see that memo (which we hear was actually just an email). As for what Venable is doing for the King of Pop, we think they represent him in some IP matters. Maybe he’ll sue our uncle for unlicensed use of “Thriller”?
Update: Roger Friedman of Fox News reports that “Jackson was in the law offices of Venable LLP to give a deposition in the $30 million lawsuit brought by his former manager, Dieter Wiesner.”
More Venable eccentricity, after the jump.
We have a few associate pay raise developments to report this morning. Some of these items were announced some time ago, but they haven’t written about in these pages until now. Here they are:
1. Arent Fox: The firm now pays a starting salary of $160,000 in New York, D.C., and California, according to the firm website, which a tipster pointed out to us. (But that $20,000 clerkship bonus is pretty chintzy.)
2. Seyfarth Shaw: The firm, which dragged its feet on the last pay raise, has no current plans to raise again. From a Chicago associate:
“Our executive committee recently had a meeting and it was decided that salaries would not be raised to 160K for offices outside of New York. Chicago will continue to be behind market. I’m not so sure about the Boston, D.C. and L.A. offices, but if Chicago is not bumping, those offices are most likely staying behind as well. Maybe you should do one of those Baker & McKenzie and Greenberg Traurig bar charts on Monday morning for Seyfarth Chicago. As much as this firm is trying to be a major Chi-town player, it isn’t paying like one. We are pretty bummed.”
3. LeBoeuf Lamb: The firm has raised to the $160K scale in its Houston office. Memo after the jump.
* In defense of AGAG, intelligence director McConnell acknowledges secret programs. [CNN]
* Plea in US soldier in Iraq rape case. [MSNBC]
* The top three Democrat contenders have lawyer spouses. Here’s a look at the style of HLS grad Michelle Obama. [MSNBC]
* Jury selection begins in trial of backup punter stabbing starting punter in thigh. [ESPN]
* Eastern Conference champion Cavs pulling a Pearl Jam on Ticketmaster. [Plain Dealer]