Some helpful tipsters reminded us: today is the birthday of [swing] Justice Anthony M. Kennedy. Happy Birthday, Justice Kennedy!
We asked one reader, aspiring lawyer Andrew Cohen,* for thoughts on writing up a short post. His response:
“You don’t. You write a ridiculously long post that both praises and denigrates him, pretending to come out clearly one way or another, but writing so murkily that no one can tell how you actually feel.”
And let’s throw in some flowery rhetoric, too. Considering that it’s AMK’s birthday, a shout-out to the “mystery of life” would be quite apropos. Update: Thanks for the reminder. Birthday wishes also go out to Justice Kennedy’s most famous former clerk: Judge Alex Kozinski! Justice Kennedy Turns 71 [How Appealing]
* We include Mr. Cohen’s name with his permission (and wish him good luck on the bar exam tomorrow). But our default rule at ATL is anonymity for all correspondents.
Working in the legal profession, and especially at a large law firm, generally comes with a lot of fringe benefits. So our series of posts on Biglaw perks is by no means complete.
Here’s the perk that we’ll discuss today: office art (or a decorating budget). If you’re going to spend thousands of billable hours a year in that space, shouldn’t it be beautiful?
When we were at a firm, if you asked the office manager, you’d be taken to a special art closet. It was full of random items that were deemed unsuitable for other spaces within the firm — e.g., hallways, conference rooms, partner offices — but were there for the taking by associates. We selected this weird orange-brown-white composition, a painting that looked a lot like a collage. It had a certain “so bad it’s good” quality to it.
Other firms will give you a budget for decorating your digs. We hear, for example, that Kirkland & Ellis gives associates something like $300 $350 for art and office decor. A source tells us: “People use it to frame their diplomas and bar admission certificates. It’s nice.”
So, what does your employer do for you on this front? Please discuss, in the comments. Thanks. Update: To read about law firm art collections (as opposed to art in associate offices), see here. “A Robe Called Paul Weiss” [WSJ Law Blog]
Are you addicted to Facebook? You’re not alone.
Hopefully the site’s legal troubles will not interfere with its continuing viability. Facebook withdrawal could be almost as severe as Blackberry withdrawal (which loomed until the RIM litigation was settled).
If you’re an ATL reader and Facebook user, check out a top ten list of recommended Facebook groups, after the jump.
Last week we told you about a fellow at Katten Muchin Rosenman in Chicago, who managed to achieve the impossible feat: he got fired from a summer associate gig. This is even more impressive than merely getting “no-offered” at the end of the summer. We wrote:
1. A summer associate in the Chicago office of Katten was fired earlier this month (believed to be the week of July 9, 2007).
2. His employment was terminated because (a) he allegedly engaged in inappropriate sexual conduct with female summer associates, variously described as “repeatedly smack[ing] the asses of female summers” or “playing grab ass with female summers,” and (b) he allegedly made racially insensitive jokes, in front of multiple attorneys.
In the wake of this story, a reader sent us this message:
Apparently, the WSJ Law Blog “Rules of Etiquette” for summer associates need minor revision. Here are my suggested changes.
You can check out the new and improved etiquette handbook, after the jump.
Ever since our original request for colorful stories about the delicious Nina Totenberg, the doyenne (or maybe the dean?) of the Supreme Court press corps, we’ve experienced an avalanche of anecdotes about this larger-than-life legal journalist.
We still have a few reports in the queue. Here’s the latest contribution:
Any discussion of Totenberg must include John Hockenberry’s recountings of her diva-like attitude around the NPR newsroom. He writes about her in his well-known memoir, Moving Violations. Note that Hockenberry implies Totenberg will ruin the career of anyone who crosses her. [Ed. note: YIKES.]
Go to Amazon and search for “Totenberg” in the book, John Hockenberry, Moving Violations: War Zones, Wheelchairs, and Declarations of Independence. Starting around page 174, you’ll read this…
If you haven’t tired of reading about Ms. Nina — we know we haven’t, but everyone’s different — check out the rest of this post, after the jump.
Thanks to everyone who has responded thus far to our call for summer associate stories. We’ve received a number of colorful anecdotes, which we’ll be publishing over the next few days (or weeks, if the supply holds up). If you have a story you’d like to share, please check out the submission guidelines.
We like this one ’cause it’s weird — not just your typical tale of SA inebriation, followed by a drunken hookup and/or fistfight. Check it out:
1. Superhero name: The Swiss Mister
2. Special power: The ability to consume massive quantities of hot chocolate.
3. Summered: Lord, Bissell & Brook, Chicago, “a few years ago”
4. Claim to fame: From a source at the firm:
at the firm, there are kitchens on every floor. the kitchens have various drinks for the people to have while working: coffee, tea, and hot cocoa.
there is a protocol — it’s not that hard. if you are thirsty, or cold, or just want something nice and caffeinated, you go there and get a drink. common sense, right?
well, on this guy’s floor, meeting services noticed that every night, the hot cocoa drawer was empty. they would refill it, and the next night it would be gone again. it was very bizarre… since the coffee and tea are more popular anyway, especially during the summer. the drawer is big. it holds a lot of packets of hot cocoa. but, every night… it was all gone.
it turns out this summer associate was stealing all of the hot cocoa. every day.
Read more — including how he was apprehended, and whether he got an offer — after the jump.
The folks over at litigation powerhouse Susman Godfrey like to toot their own horn. But that’s okay, because they have a lot to boast about. The firm has been tremendously successful, and it pays its people very well (especially in terms of bonuses).
So this news should come as no surprise to anyone. From the Texas Lawyer:
Over the weekend, Houston-based Susman Godfrey joined the growing list of Texas-based firms opting to compensate Texas associates at rates comparable to their New York counterparts.
According to firm spokesman Shawn Raymond, the partners at Susman decided on July 21 to raise associate salaries effective Aug. 1 to $160,000 for first-years, $170,000 for second-years, $175,000 for third-years, $180,000 for fourth-years, and $190,000 for fifth years — after which lawyers at the firm are considered candidates for partnership.
“We want to attract the best and brightest at this firm,” Raymond says when asked about the changes.
That’s one short partnership track — which makes up for the relatively small salary increases after the second year. (And considering that pay levels for Texas associates beyond the second year are still up in the air, it’s not clear that Susman is even below market.) Susman Godfrey Raises Associate Salaries, Effective Aug. 1 [Texas Lawyer]
This story has been making the rounds in New York summer associate circles. We’ve known about it for a while, but we wanted to get more corroboration. Now that we’ve heard the same details from multiple sources, we feel that it’s fair game.
In the style of Page Six, we’re doing it as a blind item.* Here you go:
A partner at Clifford Chance was seen making out with a summer associate at the corporate reception [on Thursday, July 12]. The two were seen leaving together when a fifth-year associate ran out and told the partner: “Dude, you don’t want to do this.”
Now THAT is a good associate. The model associate is like an extension of the partner’s mind — the sober part.
So are summer associates fair game? Read the rest of this post, after the jump.
* She was listed in the NYT wedding announcements as an HLS magna grad — and would have gotten away with it, if it wasn’t for you meddling kids! [Jossip] [FN1]
* Don’t dress up in a giant pink bunny suit and hang out by a bank, unless you want to get yo’self tasered. [FourthAmendment.com]
* Thelen kicks O’Melveny’s ass — in dodgeball. [Legal Pad]
* Not worth a separate post, but here’s a link, plus a comment: “Dickie C is taking the reigns while GW gets poked in the anus. What’s funny about this is how the media reports this as news. As if Dick isn’t always in control.” [AFP]
[FN1] In response to an email we received: our tagline is tongue-in-cheek. We have no reason to doubt the Times’s explanation that the magna mistake resulted from “an editing error,” and not any attempt at deception by the bride.
(Jeez, people, you need to lighten up a bit…)
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!