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animated siren gif animated siren gif animated siren gif drudge report.GIFWe expected this. Skadden has announced that they will discontinue the “special” bonuses from last year. Instead, they’ll be giving out the 2006/2007 standard package. From the memo, sent out by executive partner Bob Sheehan:

[W]e will pay the year-end discretionary bonus at the same levels by class seniority which associates received in 2007 and 2006. However, we do not think it is appropriate to repeat the “special” supplemental bonus that was instituted last year. That bonus reflected a strong and growing economy that contributed to a record level of profitability.

law firm associate bonus watch 2008 biglaw bonuses.jpgThe Firm has historically paid its associates at the “top of the market” in their respective local markets. While we do not know what other firms will do this year with regard to paying a supplemental bonus, we believe that our bonuses this year should be limited to the year-end discretionary bonus. What we will do in the future years, will, of course, depend on business conditions at the time and competitive compensation.

You will receive a memo early in December discussing your individual bonus. We appreciate the efforts you have all put in this year. You have contributed enormously to the success that we have achieved.

That should pretty much set the market.

The 2007 bonuses weren’t bad. And Skadden isn’t laying people off. It’ll be pretty hard to complain if this is where the market ends up.

And, not for nothing, it shows good form by Skadden for telling people what to expect before the holiday season starts. That winter vacation to the Dominican Republic can now proceed full speed ahead.

Read the full memo after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Associate Bonus Watch: Here Comes Skadden”

mayer brown logo.JPGA tipster reported a rumor today that we’ve heard a couple of times over the past week and a half:

Word on the street is that Mayer Brown had big layoffs today.

The problem is, that was the word on the street yesterday. And Tuesday. And last week the word on the street was that Mayer Brown associates would be on the street by Friday.

We’ve spent a lot of time sleeping on the street. At this point, we haven’t yet talked to one associate who has actually been laid off from Mayer Brown. Still, there’s an awful lot of chatter out there.

Mayer Brown weighs in, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Nationwide Layoff Watch: Speculation About Mayer Brown”

Gibson Dunn.gifThe homepage of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher asks: “What makes Gibson unlike any other firm?” One of our tipsters offers one possibility: Gibson summer associates have moonlight careers.

Found it funny that the model on the front page of this support site for adult websites is also the model on the Gibson Dunn career site (go to Hiring, then Law Student).

Tough Market, j/k.

We find it funny that you are on the support site page for adult websites, tipster. The support page links to such delightful sites as “Arab Street Hookers,” “Human Toilet Bowls,” and “The Amputee.”

We’ve gone back and forth between the Gibson and Porn Support site photos, and there is a strong resemblance. What do you think?

Gibson Dunn XXX same model.jpg


lolmoney.JPGWe’ve received over a thousand responses to last Monday’s ATL / Lateral Link survey on bonuses, and so far we’ve talked about when bonuses were and will (or won’t) be paid and how your billable hours look this year.

Today, we get down to the hardest numbers of all: what do you think you’ll actually get paid?

2007 was a very good year for bonuses, with over 90% of respondents (not counting stub years) reporting a bonus even though only 70% made 2000 hours.

Roughly half of you reported bonuses of at least $45,000. About 15% of you made $70,000 or more, and 7% of you claim to have broken six figures.

This year, well . . . not quite so much.

Details after the jump, so nervous T-10 1L can take a moment to prepare himself.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Associate Life Survey: Slightly Smaller Bonuses?”

eHarmony same sex settlement.JPGThe state of New Jersey has reached a settlement with the popular online dating website, eHarmony. Under the settlement, eHarmony agrees to provide its proprietary online matching service to same sex singles.

In return, the state of New Jersey will not pursue a civil rights action against eHarmony that the state would surely win:

The company also agrees to ensure that same-sex users are matched via the same or equivalent technology as that used for heterosexual match-seekers, agrees to charge same-sex users the same fees, and agrees to offer the same service quality and terms of service as heterosexuals.

Unless somebody wants to argue that eHarmony is a religious institution, I think the law is pretty clear on this one.

More information about the settlement after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “eHarmony ‘Catches The Gay’”

bed bugs bobrowsky.JPGA law student at Case Western Reserve is suing an upscale Cleveland apartment building because bedbugs drove him from 2 units in the building.

Gnats drove him from a 3rd unit before he learned the definition of “insanity” and moved into another building:

In his lawsuit, Joshua Bobrowsky said the blood-sucking vermin in three Reserve Square apartments left him with painful welts and months of psychological and emotional distress. He seeks $142,000 in damages.

Apparently, Cleveland’s bug population is stepping it up a notch:

Robert Friedman, a lawyer for the apartment owners, the K&D Group, said the allegations are being investigated. …

“I represent a number of apartment owners around the Greater Cleveland area, and I can tell you that bedbugs seem to be a recurring issue,” Friedman said. “Certain tenants bring them in and they seem to get around. Unless the management is informed immediately, they can become a problem.”

Yeah, LeBron is totally staying in Cleveland when his contract is up.

More information about law student Bobrowsky after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Lawsuit of the Day: Law Student v. Monstrous Gnats and Bugs”

[Ed Note: Do you have a question for next week? Send it in to advice@abovethelaw.com]

pls hndle copy 2.jpgDear ATL,

As a 3L, coasting through his last year of school, I find the occasional moment to partake in a bit of “relaxation” by way of an unmentioned illegal plant.

I’m wondering though, other than a question about this on the Bar application, would I be subject to any type of drug testing for the bar or at my post-bar big law firm? Do firms ever drug test their employees?

– Panama Red.

Dear Panama Red,

If you show up to work with bags of White Castle or pester secretaries with questions about where your car’s at, firms may demand a drug test (based on boilerplate paperwork you fill out at the outset of your job permitting them to do so), and they can fire you without cause anyway. But as far as I know, no law firms routinely test associates for drugs, and neither does any bar-related process.

However, firms do prohibit associates from moonlighting or engaging in activities that would be detrimental to the business or reputation of the firm. Practically speaking this means you’ll have to get off Phish tour (editor’s note: they’re not reuniting, give up the ship) and turn in that ridiculous shell necklace from Hollister. The hemp one, too. God, this is embarrassing.

Since it would have only taken a Google search for you to have answered your own question, I’ll take your email as a cry for help and give you some actual advice. You need to lay off the weed and focus on passing the bar and keeping your job. Also, I see you didn’t get the memo about how everybody switched over to coke. Um, yeah. AWKWARD.

Your friend,

Marin

After the jump, Marin passes the blunt to Elie, who’s wearing a “Take Me Drunk I’m Home” t-shirt.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Pls Hndle Thx: The Chronic”

wrestler.jpg

* Former Alaska Senator Ted Stevens, who lost his bid for re-election on Tuesday, says he will not seek pardon from President Bush. [CNN.com]

* MJ says he is too sick to fly to testify at High Court in London in a breach of contract case. His opponent in the case, the son of the King of Bahrain, doesn’t buy it and says Jackson can be “bandaged up.” [BBC News]

* A Chicago federal court introduced a preliminary injunction that will put pressure on unionized pilots not to engage in the “sick outs” that led to the cancellation of hundreds of flights last summer. [Chicago Tribune]

* Clients choose boutique firms to sue big banks like UBS because the “Magic Circle” law firms won’t accept cases that could hurt the banks they represent. [Bloomberg.com]

* Wrestling gives you STD’s! Three wrestlers are suing York College of Pennsylvania coaches for letting players wrestle with active lesions. “Herpes simplex 1 is sometimes called herpes gladitorium because it is spread in athletics contests.” [Courthouse News Service]

gay marriage skadden.jpgThanks to the voters of California, we now live in a time where previously granted rights can be snatched away from law abiding citizens on the strength of majoritarian domination.

If you didn’t think that was going to spark a whole bunch of legal arguments (on both sides of the issue), you’ve never been oppressed by an otherwise “free” society.

So, let’s take a look at all the crazy things dribbling out of California right now. For my money, here’s the most ludicrous argument:

If opposition to same-sex marriage is to be understood as pure bigotry, then no accommodation for religious believers will be made. This is what people have got to understand is at stake in this conflict. It is not a scare tactic, or a made-up charge: there really will be a substantial effect on traditional churches, synagogues, mosques and religious institutions if gay marriage is constitutionalized.

As usual, the argument ends there. People like to talk about the “substantial effect” on religious institutions, without naming one concrete effect. See, in this country, we have civil marriages and religious marriages. I’ve yet to talk to a supporter of gay marriage who wants to the state to force a priest or a reverend or a rabbi to perform a gay marriage in a house of worship. Heck, in the Catholic church at least, you can’t get straight-married by a priest in a church unless you submit yourself to hours of religious indoctrination and lie about your relationship with contraceptives.

(Christ, did I just say that out loud? Now I have to go to confessional again before Christmas. Damnit.)

Nobody is going to mess with the right of religious people to “not condone the gay lifestyle.” America reads you loud and clear. You’re not gay, you have a huge penis, and that one time in college you were just really drunk. The private feelings of religious people towards gay people are strictly between religious people and their Jesus (who preached a lot about love and tolerance, but whatever).

The impact of gay marriage on the 1st Amendment is nil. As many (many, many) people have pointed out: if you don’t like gay marriage, then don’t get gay married. Thank God we have an entire constitutional amendment that allows churches to marry whomever the hell they want to without interference from the state. It’s a good thing that all gay rights advocates want is for gays and lesbians to have a legal bond commensurate with what straight people can achieve on a pirate ship.

Okay, but the 1st Amendment argument against gay marriage is a total red herring. After the jump, California drags us into some more complicated legal issues.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Prop 8:
When The Law Stops Acting as a Shield and Starts Acting as a Sword”

carnivorous nightmare.jpg* Are you a lawyer and a vegan? If you’re not too weak, click on the link. [Professional Vegan]

* It turns out that the guy who started this company used to be a lawyer in Dallas. [World Beer Company]

* I can’t wait until Wendy Savage gets to play Wendy Savage in the Wendy Savage Story that is sure to be coming to a theater near you. [f/k/a]

* International tax rates on individuals are falling, in case Republicans are looking for some exit options before Obama takes office. [TaxProf Blog]

* There are many sides to the SEC v. Mark Cuban case. It’s not our place to judge, we just bring the popcorn. [The Cuban Revolution]

wurtzel book cover.gifGenerally, it is not cool to make fun of people who don’t pass the New York Bar Exam.

Generally.

However, Elizabeth Wurtzel puts us in a difficult position. A) She’s a public figure, B) She really doesn’t seem to care. When the New York Observer approached her with the news that Gawker alerted the world that she failed the bar, Wurtzel responded:

“Wow, really? I had no idea. I didn’t even see that. That’s interesting,” Ms. Wurtzel said of the report, with an awkward half-smile.

Well, what was she supposed to say?

I’m so ashamed and embarrassed, and Gawker has compounded my misery. I wish I could cry but I have no more tears left. I wish the public would just leave me alone so I can hang myself in the privacy of my own bathroom.

Why give the haters any opening? Going quietly into the night is a fine option.

So, why isn’t ATL just leaving her alone? After the jump.

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Eric Holder new DOJ boss.JPGNewsweek is reporting that Covington & Burling partner Eric Holder will be picked as the new U.S. Attorney General:

Holder, who served as deputy attorney general during the Clinton administration, still has to undergo a formal “vetting” review by the Obama transition team before the selection is final and is publicly announced, said one of the sources, who asked not to be identified talking about the transition process. But in the discussions over the past few days, Obama offered Holder the job and he accepted, the source said. The announcement is not likely until after Obama announces his choices to lead the Treasury and State departments.

Holder would become the first African-American to head the Department of Justice.

Holder received his B.A. and J.D. from Columbia. Obama’s transition team is still debating Holder’s deputy:

One top candidate, favored by Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel and other former Clinton White House officials, is Elena Kagan, dean of the Harvard Law School and a former lawyer in the White House counsel’s office under Clinton. Another top candidate, favored by other Obama advisors, is David Ogden, a former chief of staff to Attorney General Janet Reno, who is currently heading Obama’s Justice Department transition team. Kagan brings legal policy credentials; Ogden has more experience in the Justice Department trenches.

Will Holder depoliticize the DOJ? We hope that is near the top of his agenda.

Obama’s Attorney General [Newsweek]

Newsweek: Holder is Next Attorney General [The BLT: Blog of the Legal Times]

Earlier: Legal Stars of the New Administration

Lawyers Poised To Rule The World

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