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In a matter of hours, voting will end in the ABA Journal’s Blawg 100 contest. ATL is competing in the Gossip category. If you’d like to vote for us, or one of the other fine gossip blogs in the category, just click here.
We have a decent-sized lead, so we’re not going for the hard sell. In contrast, over in the Generally Speaking category, a fierce battle is raging between Overlawyered and Quizlaw — separated by about 30 votes, out of over 3,000 cast. Check out their respective plugs here and here, replete with “last-second dirty tricks.” Because no legal blog contest is complete without eleventh-hour chicanery — the stakes are too darn high.
As one blog contest draws to a close, another gets underway. Nominations are now being accepted for the Eighth Annual Weblog Awards (aka the 2008 Bloggies). There’s no “law” category (and, as of this year, no “Best African or Middle Eastern Weblog” or “Best Craft Weblog” category — may they rest in peace). But if you’re feeling nice, feel free to nominate ATL for either “Best Gossip Blog” or “Best Topical Blog.”
And here is yet another blog contest (because you can never have too many blog contests). It takes the form of today’s featured job survey, brought to you by ATL and Lateral Link:
Update: This survey is now closed. Click here for the results.
The ABA Journal Blawg 100 [ABA Journal]
The ABA Journal Blawg 100: Gossip [ABA Journal]
Eighth Annual Weblog Awards: 2008 Bloggies [official website]

Greenberg Traurig logo Above the Law blog.gifFrom the year-end message of Cesar L. Alvarez, CEO of Greenberg Traurig (one of our favorite firms here at ATL — see, e.g., here, here and here):

I had a few thoughts for 2007 and 2008 that I would like to share as my year-end message.

First, 2007. As of today, Sunday, December 30, 2007, we have collected $313.5 million during our collection drive and expect to collect approximately $16.5 million on Monday, the 31st, to reach $330 million for our December collection drive. Although we expect to be short by $10 million of our goal, this is still a great accomplishment when you consider the housing situation, the subprime issues and the dislocation of the credit markets that prevented a number of deals from being completed this year.

Read the rest of Cesar Alvarez’s message — in which he spreads holiday cheer doom and gloom, jawboning down associate compensation expectations — after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Is This A Law Firm, or the Salvation Army? Greenberg Traurig Launches ‘Collection Drive’ (and Hints at No More Pay Raises)”

associate bonus watch 2007 law firm Above the Law blog.jpgSince our last compilation of bonus news, which was issued before the holiday, we’ve received some new announcements. Some of them have been mentioned already in the comments, but have not yet appeared on the main page.
But we have verified them, and they are legit. So, for the record, here they are:
1. Dechert (New York): Memo after the jump. The email to New York associates was forwarded to Philadelphia associates, “[i]n the spirit of working on improving communications across the firm.” (Read: “So you don’t find out about it from one of those darn blogs first.”)
2. Mayer Brown (Chicago, Palo Alto, Washington, DC): Memo after the jump. In a nutshell, the bonuses “will be consistent with the amounts paid for 2006 work. In addition, a further discretionary bonus may be awarded to associates who have made contributions to the Firm significantly beyond expectations.”
3. Morrison & Foerster (New York): Memo after the jump. Market-level year-end and special bonuses “will be paid to all New York associates who progress with their salary class based on their annual evaluation and who are in good standing and employed with the Firm when the bonuses are paid.”

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Associate Bonus Watch: A Post-Holiday Round-Up”

clock.gifOver the break, a reader sent us this article, accompanied by a quip: “Looks like BigLaw is funding some new research.”
Our first reaction: A brain chemical you snort to replace sleep? It’s called “cocaine.”
But today we have a second reaction: Would such research, if funded by Biglaw, be a waste of time? Law firm associates — and partners — sacrifice sleep to rack up billable hours. But is the billable hour on the way out?
Over at Slate, in a piece entitled “How to Kill the Billable Hour,” Lisa Lerer writes:

[C]riticisms [of the billable hour] lobbed by academics, associates, and bloggers have had a negligible impact. Making such a significant change takes a more powerful force in law firm life: the client. And now, finally, the companies that pay millions in hourly rates are striking back, forcing their law firms to cut some tough, nonhourly fee deals. If anyone can tame the billable beast, it’s the clients who feed it….

Cisco, Pitney Bowes, Caterpillar, and several other large corporations have begun to force their law firms into alternative billing arrangements. The companies push flat fees and volume-based discounts, and ban young associates from working on their business, hoping to avoid paying through the nose for work that could be done more cheaply by paralegals or temp lawyers. They say that by eradicating or at least limiting hourly rates, they avoid cost creep, cut their bills, and better predict their expenses.

Writes an ATL reader who works at a prominent New York law firm: “Great. Now it won’t matter that I bill 2500 hours a year.”
A little more, on the other side of the rainbow.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Whither the Billable Hour?”

Loyola 2L blog blogger comment commenter Above the Law blog.jpgThis announcement, apparently from celebrity commenter Loyola 2L, was posted earlier at the WSJ Law Blog (which recently named him their Lawyer of the Year). But in case you missed it, check it out:

—–Original Message—–
From: [Deleted]
Sent: Tuesday, January 01, 2008 12:26 AM
To: Above the Law; WSJ Law Blog
Subject: Retirement email from the poster Loyola 2L

Dear WSJ Law Blog and Above the Law,

I hope the new year treats you well. This is the blogger known as “Loyola 2L.” First off, I hope you can see why I combined you into one recipient. I know it’s rude to combine recipients, but both of your blogs have been a central part of my life for the past year and I couldn’t write one without the other.

No offense taken — we’re honored to be in such distinguished company.
Read the rest of his message, below the fold. (An ATL New Year’s resolution: Use more synonyms for “after the jump.”)

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Loyola 2L Hangs Up His Keyboard?”

New Year fireworks in London Happy New Year Above the Law blog.jpgHappy New Year, dear readers of ATL! We hope that you had an enjoyable and restful holiday season; we know we did.
Now we’re back, after a pleasant holiday hiatus. Did you miss us?
We’re looking forward to another fun year of dishing legal gossip, as well as chronicling associate pay raises and partner profits (God willing). We’re still in the process of catching up on email and legal news, so please bear with us. If you have a juicy tip to share, please do email us.
Here are some of our ATL-related New Year’s resolutions:

1. Wake up earlier. (When you work from home, it’s easy to oversleep.)

2. Respond more promptly to emails that require a response.

3. Stop feeling guilty about not being able to respond to every last email (because, given the volume of email we receive around here, it’s not possible to respond individually to each and every message — for which we apologize).

We’ve shown you ours; now you show us yours. Have you made your New Year’s resolutions yet? If so, feel free to share them in the comments. If not, check out the interesting links below, from some of our favorite non-legal blogs, which offer guidance and reflections about the resolution-making process.
Once again, we wish you fun and prosperity in 2008!
Economics and New Year’s Resolutions [Freakonomics / NYT]
Will Your Resolutions Last Until February? [Well / NYT]
It’s January 2008. Make a happiness-project resolution now! [The Happiness Project]
Start a Happiness Project for 2008! [The Happiness Project]
Earlier: Happy Holidays from ATL!

Legal%20Eagle%20Wedding%20Watch%20NYT%20wedding%20announcements%20Above%20the%20Law.jpgThe Legal Eagle Wedding Watch is kicking off 2008 with a few leftovers from 2007. But we think you’ll agree that these offerings are worth savoring. These couples have got a little bit of everything: brains, looks, athletic ability, and (something that never goes stale) lots and lots of money.
Here are the contenders:

1.) Ellen Zajac and Teddy Schwarzman
2.) Stephanie Alperin and Eric Biderman
3.) Erica Greenbaum and Mark Gerson
4.) Katherine Van Loon and Jon Steitz

More about these couples, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Legal Eagle Wedding Watch 11.11 – 11.25: Jamaican Me Wealthy”

* Dahlia Lithwick lists the Bush Administration’s 10 dumbest legal arguments of 2007. Number 3 is “Alberto Gonzales.” [Slate]
* Law student/beauty queen charged with kidnapping and torturing ex-boyfriend. [Fox News]
* Murdered Bronco cornerback’s family and teammates await arrests. [MSNBC]
* Banished words list once cited by AZ Supreme Court justice includes “surge,” “organic,” and “it is what it is.” [CNN]
* Rodriguez surprised by WVU lawsuit after bolting for Michigan before contract expiration. [ESPN]

To read ATL posts from December 2007, please click here. Thanks.

Benazir Bhutto Pakistan Above the Law blog.jpg* Rest in peace, Benazir Bhutto; God knows you weren’t able to live in it. [CNN]
* That seems like a pretty good starting point for liability against the zoo. [BBC]
* We don’t know if you know Tom Goldstein, but he’s a pretty big deal. [SCOTUSBlog]
* If he could only apply all of that genius to acquiring some money to actually make a mortgage payment… [WSJ Law Blog]

Superdome Louisiana Superdome New Orleans Hurricane Katrina Above the Law blog.jpg* NRA defends the rights of hurricane victims to shoot at the National Guard keep guns. [AP via How Appealing]
* French “aid” workers sentenced to eight years of hard labor in Chad “orphan” case. [Jurist]
* Apparently if you’re a rapper you can show up at court when you damn well please. [Athens Banner-Herald]
* If you feel guilty about it, at least you can take comfort in the fact that you’ve helped set up an appeal. [CNN]

* Would a holiday search be unreasonable? [Findlaw via How Appealing]
* Is the DOJ passing up a chance to crack down on plaintiff’s lawyers? [WSJ Law Blog]
* Nothing but a G string. [CNN]
* Toby Keith puts his boot in the defendant’s ass in the form of a $2.8 million verdict for his family in a suit over the wrongful death of his father. [AP via Asbury Park Press]

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