A CLE allowance of five grand sounds pretty great. Is our tipster correct about this? And is any other firm similarly generous?
P.S. CLE is on our mind because we just paid our New York bar dues (and filled out our CLE certification). We still keep up with our CLE requirements, ’cause you never know. And we’ll be scooping up some CLE credits on Friday and Saturday, when we’ll be covering the 2007 ACS National Convention here in DC. Marsha Marsha Marsha!!! Update: Yeah, we know we aren’t required to stay current with our New York CLE. But doing so gives us a warm and fuzzy feeling inside, that’s all.
On July 25, Bracewell & Giuliani joined the growing pack of Texas-based firms raising first- and second-year associate raises.
Houston-based Bracewell — with 391 lawyers in the United States, 306 of those in Texas — will raise first-year associate salaries to $160,000 and second-year associate salaries to $170,000 effective Aug. 1, says Melanie Hillis, a firm spokeswoman. Hillis says the firm, which is offering raises to first- and second-year associates in all seven of its U.S. offices, is still evaluating how to structure raises for third- through eighth-year associates.
Read the full article for an insanely detailed summary of the Texas pay raise action, which treats the subject like a high school history lesson: “On July 18, Houston-based Andrews Kurth…. On July 21, partners in Susman Godfrey….” (And who killed Archduke Franz Ferdinand?)
Speaking of Giuliani, we’re obsessed with the Obama Girl vs. Giuliani Girl music video. We admire and respect Rudy Giuliani, but even we had to laugh at this lyric: “Giuliani girl stop your fussin’ / At least Obama didn’t marry his cousin.”
(Also, the pillow fight at the end is AWESOME. And we love Kucinich Girl.) Bracewell & Giuliani First- and Second-Years Seeing Green [Texas Lawyer] Debate ’08: Obama Girl vs Giuliani Girl [YouTube via BarelyPolitical.com]
With fall recruiting season just around the corner (or already upon us at some schools), we’ve launched a series of open threads, where people can compare notes about law firms in different cities.
Here are the threads that we’ve put up so far (which we encourage people to revisit, even after they get bumped from the ATL front page):
We’ve hit the East Coast and the Midwest. Now let’s show some love to the West Coast (where the lunch hour is approaching — a peak time for visiting ATL).
Here’s an open thread for talking about law firms in San Francisco and Silicon Valley — the Bay Area. Please gossip away, responsibly, in the comments. Thanks. Earlier: Fall recruiting open threads for Boston and Chicago
People, please, be patient. We heard you the first time you asked us to confirm that Kirkland & Ellis has raised its clerkship bonus. It was not necessary to reiterate this request in the comments to every single post on ATL.
We reached out to Kirkland earlier this week, shortly after we started hearing this rumor, but we didn’t hear back from them until just now. From firm spokesman Brian Pitts:
I can confirm Kirkland’s clerkship bonus has increased to $50,000 and that it applies across all offices. As for serial clerkships and/or multi-year clerkships, Kirkland’s practice is to evaluate those on a case-by-case basis. Please let me know if you need anything else.
We thank Mr. Pitts and K&E for this information. We appreciate it greatly when firms respond to our requests for information that are relevant to prospective associates (many of whom read ATL).
The $54 million pants, as they’ve come to be known, were the subject of a widely mocked lawsuit that garnered international attention. Now, they have their own security guard….
On display [at a fundraiser last night] were what the Chungs say are the pants that Roy Pearson brought in, were misplaced, and were later found. The guests had appetizers and cocktails, and under the stern gaze of the security guard, some posed for photos with the pants.
In this week’s New York Observer, there’s an article (by yours truly) that may be of interest to ATL readers. It’s entitled Profits vs. Partners: Are the country’s top law firms going the way of the dinosaur?
You can check it out by clicking here. The piece has also been picked up by DealBook and the WSJ Law Blog (with a somewhat snarky title — but if we can dish it, we can take it).
The point of the article is not that law firms are becoming more businesslike and profit-oriented (yawn), but what this means for the profession — and also for firms as profit-maximizing businesses. Here’s an excerpt:
It’s a noteworthy shift for the legal profession, whose denizens like to think of themselves as intellectual types—and view their Wall Street cousins as money-obsessed philistines. Many angst-filled attorneys suspect they should have gone into something more tweedy and creative than relocating commas within merger agreements. As Clarence Darrow said, “Inside every lawyer is the wreck of a poet.”
Such questions of professional identity aren’t just theoretical; they have ramifications for law firms as businesses. If law firms become “just like banks,” but with smaller paychecks, firms may lose their appeal to the talent they must attract in order to thrive.
In other words: Is Biglaw, by emphasizing money so much, hoisting itself by its own petard? If it’s all about the benjamins (baby), why not just go to an i-bank or hedge fund? Are firms going to lose their top talent to the world of finance — which would then impair Biglaw’s ability to thrive as a business?
(If Biglaw has nothing to offer but monetary rewards, which are offered in larger amounts by Wall Street, will law firms end up as dumping grounds for the mathematically-impaired? (Please don’t take offense; that includes us. We can’t balance our checkbook without a calculator.))
More excerpts and discussion — including predictions from law firm consultants about when the next round of associate pay raises is coming, which we know you’re dying to hear — after the jump.
We continue our series of posts about summer associate misadventures. If you have an anecdote you’d be willing to share, please check out the submission guidelines, and then email us.
We’re continuing with our theme of summer associates as superheroes. Move over, X-Men; make way for the X-Summers!!!
1. Superhero name: The Nekkid Sleeper
2. Special power: Drunken, semi-nude slumbering.
3. Summered: Baker & Hostetler, Cleveland, summer 2001
4. Claim to fame: From a Midwestern tipster:
“After a Saturday-night firm event, followed by a non-firm-sponsored night of drinking, The Nekkid Sleeper found himself stranded downtown without a car. It was after the rapid (light rail line) shut down for the evening, and he didn’t have enough money for a cab, so he decided he’d crash in his office at the firm.”
“One problem: That summer, the firm didn’t have enough office space for all the summers, so every other week, the summers would have to rotate offices. This particular week, The Nekkid Sleeper’s office was a cube in the firm’s library. The Nekkid Sleeper stumbled up to the firm library, found a sofa, and passed out in a drunken haze. It was hot and humid, so he unconsciously (or so he claimed) removed his shirt sometime in the middle of the night.”
“All was well until 6 a.m. Sunday, when a female partner who had a big upcoming trial wandered into the firm library to get a book — and saw what she thought was a half-nude hobo, sprawled out on the firm’s nice sofa….”
5. What happened next: “Rumor was that the incident happened about a week before the mid-summer reviews were to take place, and he got a stern lecture about inappropriate behavior… Word on the street was that he got an offer, but took a clerkship and then never returned to the firm.”
(The usual rules apply. Please don’t name the Nekkid Sleeper or speculate about his identity. Thanks.) Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of summer associates (scroll down)
You know you’re a celebrity when everyone has an opinion about you. And by that standard, Nina Totenberg, who covers the Supreme Court for NPR, is definitely a celebrity. Ever since we first started writing about Ms. Nina, we’ve received tons of messages and stories about her.
We feel like we’re running confirmation hearings for La Totenberg — or maybe hearings to decide whether she should be reappointed dean of the SCOTUS press corps. Witnesses have been coming forward with alternating positive and negative accounts.
Since our last post was decidedly anti-Nina — excerpts from the memoir of John Hockenberry, a former NPR colleague of hers — it’s time for something positive. This message comes from one of Nina Totenberg’s current colleagues, Ari Shapiro:
I interned for Nina seven years ago, and I’ve been her colleague at NPR ever since. I have to disagree with the assertion that she’ll “ruin the career of anyone who crosses her.” I think Tom Goldstein and Jan Crawford Greenburg got it exactly right. Nina has been unfailingly kind, generous, and helpful to me. Because I cover the Justice Department and she covers SCOTUS, we work together all the time. My cubicle is just outside of hers (yes, she has a cubicle – no office, no couch), so I see her nearly every day. She has been an extraordinary mentor and colleague, and she is always supportive. Having seen seven years’ worth of her interns come and go, I know that most of them feel the same way.
I do agree with you on one point, though. Nina is utterly fabulous. I’ve never met anyone like her, and I mean that in the best possible way.
We thank Mr. Shapiro for these thoughts.*
So, after reading all about her, what do you think of Nina Totenberg? Take our reader poll, after the jump.
When we posted yesterday’s open thread on Chicago law firms, to create a forum for people to talk candidly about Biglaw shops now that fall recruiting season is approaching, we weren’t sure how it would turn out. We worried that the comments would descend into useless trash talk, or that there wouldn’t be enough participants to make the thread useful.
We were pleasantly surprised. Most of the commentary on the Chicago thread is thoughtful and informative.
So we think we’ll do more of these city-focused threads — maybe two or three a day for the next week, until we’ve hit all the major legal markets.
Here’s the Boston thread. Please discuss Beantown’s big law firms — e.g., Ropes & Gray, WilmerHale, Goodwin Procter — in the comments. Thanks.
* D.C. Circuit wants truckers to get some rest. [New York Times]
* Malpractice defendants 2, Weis 0. [Fulton County Daily Report]
* This is one of those cases where the best punchline is so obvious that the headline already used it, so I’ll just quote it: “Levi’s sues the pants off of Polo.” [CNN]
* Gonzo on the hill again. [Jurist]
* The New York bride who was jilted by the 50 bullets pumped into her husband on their wedding day sues the NYPD. [CNN]
We’ve received three of them thus far. It appears that the bar examiners have been having, er, technical difficulties — some pretty serious computer problems. Needless to say, the hapless test takers are not happy campers.
For those of you who are interested, we reprint the stories after the jump.
The holiday season is upon us, and yet again, you have no idea what to get for the fickle lawyer in your life. We’re here to help. Even if your bonus check hasn’t arrived yet, any one of the gifts we’ve highlighted here could be a worthy substitute until your employer decides to make it rain.
We’ve got an eclectic selection for you to choose from, so settle in by that stack of documents yet to be reviewed and dig in…
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We currently have a very exciting and rare type of in-house opening in China at one of the world’s leading internet and social media companies. Our client is looking for an IP Transactional / TMT / Licensing attorney with 2 to 6 years experience. The new hire will be based in Shenzhen or Shanghai. Mandarin is not required (deal documentation will be in English) but is preferred. A solid reason to be in China and a commitment to that market is required of course. This new hire will likely be US qualified (but could also be qualified in UK or other jurisdictions) and with experience and training at a top law firm’s IP transactional / TMT practice and could be currently at a law firm or in-house. Qualified candidates currently Asia based, Europe based or US based will be considered. The new hire’s supervisors in this technology transactions in-house team are very well regarded US trained IP transactional lawyers, with substantial experience at Silicon Valley firms. The culture and atmosphere in this in-house group and the company in general is entrepreneurial, team oriented, and the work is cutting edge, even for a cutting edge industry. The upside of being in an important strategic in-house position in this fast growing and world leading internet company is of the “sky is the limit” variety. Its a very exciting place to be in China for a rising IP transactional lawyer in our opinion, for many reasons beyond the basic info we can share here in this ad / post. This is a special A+ opportunity.
If your firm is in ‘go’ mode when it comes to recruiting lateral partners with loyal clients, then take this quiz to see how well you measure up. Keep track of your ‘yes’ and ‘no’ responses.
1. Does your firm have a clearly defined strategy of practice groups that are priorities of growth for your office? Nothing gets done by random chance, but with a clear vision for the future. Identify the top practice areas for which you wish to add lateral partners. Seek input from practice group leaders and get specifics on needs, outcomes, and ideal target profiles.
2. In addition to clarifying your firm’s growth strategy, are you still open to the hire of a partner outside of your plan? I’ve made several placements that fit this category. The partner’s practice was not within the strategic growth plan of my client, but once the two parties started talking with each other, we all saw how it could indeed be a seamless fit. Be open to “Opportunistic Hires.” You never know where your next producing partner might come from, so you have to be open to it. I will be the first to admit that there is a quirky element of randomness in recruiting.
The traditional job application and interview process can be impersonal, and applicants often struggle to present themselves as more than just the sum of their GPAs, alma maters, and previous work history. ATL has partnered with ViewYou to help job seekers overcome this challenge. ViewYou NOW Profiles offer a unique way for job seekers to make a personal, memorable connection with prospective employers: introduction videos. These videos allow job candidates to display their personalities, interpersonal skills, and professional interests, creating an eDossier to brand themselves to potential employers all over the world. Check it out today!