To: Attorneys All
From: Marc Edelman
Re: A Hearty Farewell
Today marks the end of my six-month externship as sports editor at Above the Law. On Monday, August 18, I will begin the next stage of my career as a visiting assistant professor at Rutgers School of Law in Camden, NJ. I will also continue my current affiliation with the Institute for Information Law and Policy at New York Law School.
During my brief stint as your sports law blogger, I enjoyed the opportunity to interact with many readers. To those of you that have reached out, thanks. It has been a pleasure to exchange ideas and share advice on breaking into the sports industry.
To David Lat, thanks as well for taking a leap of faith and inviting me, as an academic, to guest blog on your self-described “tabloid.” I know not all of our experiments worked perfectly (see, e.g., Monday Morning Quarterback); however, more often than not, the readership survived their traditional and sensationalist worlds colliding.
For those wishing to stay in touch, the best way to reach me is via email at either MarcEdel at camden dot rutgers dot edu or Marc at MarcEdelman dot com.
All the best,
P.S. For one final time … take it away, Statler and Waldorf.
* * * * *
Marc Edelman is an attorney, business consultant, published author and professor, whose focus is on the fields of sports business and law. You can read his full bio by clicking here.
To: Attorneys All
* Will work for laid-off Cadwalader attorneys be hard to find? [Am Law Daily]
* Legislation allowing FDA to regulate tobacco moves through House, heading towards veto. [Washington Post]
* Turkish court allows president and PM to remain in politics. [CNN]
* Former Thai PM’s wife found guilty of tax evasion, sentenced to three years. [New York Times]
* More litigation for Ed McMahon, this time $275K claimed by former counsel. [CNN]
Here it is, folks — the daily bar exam open thread. You know what to do.
To those of you who are done (e.g., people taking New York only): congratulations. To those of you with another day to go: good luck.
If you’re one of those people suffering through three days of bar examination hell — either because you’re in a state with a three-day test, or you’re taking two states back-to-back — you have our sympathies. Back in the day, we took the New York and New Jersey bar exams back-to-back. After a mind-frying two days spent taking the NY bar exam, we had to make the long drive home from Albany, to sit for the NJ bar exam the next morning. Fun stuff.
But don’t worry, you’ll survive. And statistically speaking, odds are that you’ll pass.
(We did, in both states — despite attending a law school whose graduates “tend to underperform in passing the bar.”)
Earlier: Bar Exam Open Thread: So How Was Day One?
Back to the big story of the day: the massive lawyer layoffs, almost in the triple digits, at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft. We thought now might be a good time to put up a fresh post, since the prior thread is getting a bit unwieldy (with 200+ comments — selected excerpts, after the jump).
So what’s there to add to the story? Let’s see…. Cadwalader issued a statement in response to our inquiries. It’s not terribly exciting — most of it repeats what CWT told the WSJ — but you can check it out, if you’re bored, after the jump.
We’re not career counselors, but you don’t need to be an expert to know that CWT is probably best avoided for the upcoming round of fall recruiting / on-campus interviewing. Generally you should run away from, not into, burning buildings (unless you’re a firefighter).
If for some reason you are still interested in working at Cadwalader — well, good luck with that. The firm is withdrawing from on-campus interviewing at a number of law schools. E.g., Rutgers – Newark (memo after the jump). The Rutgers memo states that CWT “will contact students independently to schedule interviews if they are selected.” In other words, don’t call them; they’ll call you.
Cadwalader cutting back on OCI isn’t terribly shocking. The firm has less manpower to cover fall recruiting, having laid off so many lawyers. It probably wants to reduce expenses related to fall recruiting (which can be a costly process for firms, especially if overnight travel is involved). And maybe the firm has concluded that the last thing it needs right now are more people on its payroll.
Finally, here’s a little tidbit we received by email:
At CWT in Charlotte, the attorneys who were fired came in this morning to find envelopes on their chairs breaking the bad news. Dicey move.
Dicey? We’re not so sure. The ginormous layoffs are already a PR disaster — and Cadwalader arguably wants to make itself seem like a less appealing place to work, at least in the short term.
But classy? Not very.
Remember, there’s more stuff after the jump: highlighted comments from the last thread, Cadwalader’s official statement on the layoffs, and an example of a law school career services memo announcing CWT’s withdrawal from on-campus interviewing.
Bloggers tend to be so hyper-connected that being away from Internet service for more than two hours can feel like an eternity. Due to the numerous e-mails flying around law firms, and the expectation of rapid response, lawyers tend to have a similar connectivity addiction. The Blackberry is the sweet, sweet drug that feeds the need.
We know how dedicated you all are to your Blackberries. What if you were forced to give it up in order to really go on vacation and get away from the firm?
UK-based Linklaters is doing just that, reports Law People.
Linklaters is reported having decreed, in a fit of concern for work/life balance, that lawyers leave their Blackberrys at home while on holiday (vacation to us).The order is designed to insulate associates, in particular, from the relentless rat race for a few sweet weeks a year, according to management. “Sometimes it’s the small things that count,” one partner averred. While another lawyer confessed that “I feel naked without my Blackberry and there are times when you just have to be reachable.” Whether the firm is successful in enforcing this edict is not yet clear.
We think this will just result in compounding of guilt, as attorneys feel the shame of obsessively checking their Blackberries while “on holiday,” and the need to hide the illicit Blackberry checking from the firm. What do you think about the policy?
Blackberry Withdrawal [Law People]
Last month, an ATL / Lateral Link survey found that roughly 28% of associates were afraid that they could lose their jobs this year, up from just 10% of associates in December.
That number might be even higher today, given recent events.
But should 28% of associates be afraid? On the one hand, there are relatively few firms listed in Bruce MacEwen’s layoffs table. On the other hand, that table doesn’t track “stealth layoffs”, and there are rumors of stealth layoffs at several firms around the country.
So, today’s survey will try to add a little more granularity. Is there really bad news afoot at your firm?
Update: This survey is now closed. Click here for the results.
Justin Bernold is a Director at Lateral Link, the sponsor of this Associate Life Survey.
Here’s the second half of the “head-to-head” round of ATL Idol. If you’re not up to speed on what’s going on, background information is available in this prior post (or just scroll down the front page).
You can check out the second half of the head-to-head round, featuring the blogging of FROLIC AND DETOUR, SOPHIST, and MARIN, after the jump.
Welcome to the first half of what we’re calling the “head-to-head” round of ATL Idol, the reality-TV-style talent search for Above the Law’s new editor. The second half will published later this afternoon.
To refresh your recollection, here’s how this round will work:
We’ll publish the contestants’ different takes on the same story (actually, a pair of comparable stories — the contestants can choose). The head-to-head round is designed to show how the bloggers all tackle the same or similar stories, to eliminate any advantage one might derive from an extra-juicy set of facts.
This is also the round that will be reviewed by ATL’s panel of celebrity judges: Ann Althouse, Tom Goldstein, and Dahlia Lithwick.
Check out the first half of the head-to-head round, in which ALEX and EXLEY write about the same story, after the jump.
Nationwide Layoff Watch: Bingham Axes Staff
(Not earth-shattering news; we just want to be thorough.)
Okay, this is not the most exciting layoff news ever. It pales in comparison to the massive bloodshed over at Cadwalader this morning, which forced us to break out the Drudge siren. It reminds us of those Kaye Scholer secretarial layoffs from May, just not as big.
But when it comes to law-firm layoff coverage, we try to be as thorough and as granular in detail as possible. If people click on the Layoffs tag here at ATL, they should be able to access, in one place, news of all acknowledged — and some unacknowledged — layoffs at Am Law 200 firms, covering both lawyers and staff.
So, with that said, check out the WSJ Law Blog, for news of staff cuts at Bingham McCutchen.
Bingham McCutchen Lays Off 10 Staff Members [WSJ Law Blog]
Earlier: Nationwide Layoff Watch: Kaye Scholer Lays Off Five Secretaries
[UPDATE on 04.03.09: Case dismissed.]
Paralegal-ing is a rough gig. Paralegals tend to get the legal drudgery similar to that done by first year associates, without the six-figure paycheck. And if you’re a paralegal for Richard Laminack, a titan of the Texas plaintiffs’ bar, you may also be asked to receive unwanted advances, fellate expert witnesses, and help defraud clients.
The American Lawyer reports on paralegal Angela Robinson’s complaint (PDF), filed against Laminack and the two firms at which she worked for him. (We have to wonder why she followed him to the second firm despite the workplace horrors. Cf. Anita Hill.)
Here’s a choice excerpt, available in full after the jump:
That is certainly above and beyond the paralegal call of duty.
The website of Laminack, Pirtle & Martines says that it’s their “honor and priveledge [sic]” to represent clients. And defraud them? According to Robinson’s complaint, Laminack “ordered checks on non-existent medical records for Fen-Phen clients and then docked the cost of the records checks from the clients’ settlement shares.”
(What is it with Fen-Phen lawyers and cheating clients? The WSJ Law Blog had extensive coverage of the Kentucky attorneys accused of bilking their Fen-Phen clients out of millions.)
Robinson put up with the sexual harassment for years; she alleges she was terminated when she confronted Laminack about the Fen-Phen scheme. She wants $55,000 for wrongful termination and back pay. A longer version of the salacious bits of her complaint, after the jump.
Just to close the loop on this prior report, the talks between Alston & Bird and Los Angeles-based Weston Benshoof have borne fruit. Alston’s acquisition of Weston is official. From a firm-wide email just issued by A&B managing partner Richard Hays:
This morning, the partners voted overwhelmingly to expand the firm into California with the opening of two new offices. The Los Angeles-based Weston Benshoof firm and their 83 attorneys will become a part of Alston & Bird and, additionally, we will be opening an office in Silicon Valley with a group of eleven (11) intellectual property lawyers formerly with Akin Gump.
The complete memo appears after the jump. The official press release from Alston & Bird appears here (PDF).
Elsewhere on the A&B front, we’ve been hearing all sorts of rumors about goings-on over there — some of them in comments, and some by email. There may be nothing to them; but if there’s anything to report, you know where to reach us. Thanks.
Later today, and according to plan, we’ll bring you the head-to-head match-ups in ATL Idol. This will give you, and our judges, the opportunity to see how different bloggers tackle the same story.
But when we do, you’ll see just five write-ups. There is a long tradition in reality contests of competitors voluntarily departing, rather than being voted off — e.g., Jack Mackenroth of Project Runway (Season 4). In that tradition, ATL Idol ARNIE BECKER has decided to call it quits.
We offered Arnie the chance to issue a farewell message, like many reality shows, but he demurred. So the precise reasons for his departure — fear of the formidable competition? an inability to handle ATL’s exceedingly candid commenters? — will remain a mystery.
We wish Arnie the best of luck in his future endeavors. And now, back to the contest — head-to-head posts will appear shortly.