A steam pipe exploded on Manhattan’s East Side, right in the middle of evening rush hour. One person is dead and more than twenty are injured. Eyewitnesses describe it as “the scariest thing I’ve seen since 9/11″ — a scene of mass hysteria, with “thousands running fearfully” through city streets.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg is giving a briefing right now. In the real-time coverage of these events on the New York Times’s excellent City Room blog, there’s a shout-out to one of your favorite law firms:
6:55 p.m. | Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, a large law firm with offices at 425 Lexington Avenue, at East 43rd Street, was one of many companies to evacuate their workers.
“It sounded at first like thunder, but it just didn’t end. It was a really loud, deep, sustained explosion,” said Andrew T. Frankel, a partner at the firm, who works on the 23rd floor. “We all looked out the window and saw black smoke just billowing up 43rd Street. It was pretty frightening, more for the unknown than anything. Nobody waited for the evacuation warning. Everybody headed for the stairwell and headed out of the building. People were tense, but calm.”
“We did floor sweeps and there’s nobody left in the building except the emergency response team in the lobby,” said an operator who answered calls to employees at the firm.
* Patent litigation: Ka-ching! But it’s tricky; proceed with caution. [Eric Goldman]
* More thoughts on Urinalgate. [Nasty, Brutish & Short]
* Rudy Giuliani on judicial appointments — featuring a shout out to Judge Roy Pearson, of $54 million pants infamy. [Pajamas Media; Instapundit]
* To Sue a Network. [1010wins.com]
* The scary thing about D.C. is the crime. [Washington Post]
* Help a brother out. Vote for Christopher Murphy, a lawyer in Washington, DC, in the Microsoft Home Office Makeover Contest! [Microsoft]
We’re late to the party on this one. Many of you have already emailed us this Slate piece, in which Daniel Gross goes to town on Simpson Thacher’s “Chow for Charity” program. Article title: “Fifteen Dollars Worth of Smug.”
We first read about Simpson’s program in this great New York Observer article:
[A]t Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, there’s a program called Chow for Charity: If summers and associates go out for a lunch that costs $15 or less per head, the firm donates the other $45 of each person’s lunch allowance to charities including Legal Aid, inMotion and Human Rights First.
For some, this is an appealing option: “It’s great for [the firms] to be able to say, ‘We realize these $60 meals are sort of stupid, so we give money to something good and everyone is happier,’” says an associate. Noblesse oblige never tasted so much like falafel!
The program is also discussed in the New York Times (fourth item) and the WSJ Law Blog.
What do you think of “Chow for Charity”? Take our poll, and opine in the comments, after the jump.
We continue our series examining perks or fringe benefits provided by legal employers. We’ve already covered technology allowances, gym memberships, marriage bonuses, and help with housing.
Today we tackle a subject that’s kinda boring, but very important: retirement benefits and financial planning. If you don’t think about this stuff now, you’ll be chewing ramen with your dentures in fifty years.
So what does your employer do on this front? Do you get a 401(k) or an IRA? Is there an employer contribution?
And one reader also wants to know: Do any firms provide their associates with help in terms of financial planning? Do they assist you in navigating the maze of confusing options?
Please discuss in the comments. Thanks.
What do you get when you put the three smartest judges on the Seventh Circuit — Frank Easterbrook, Richard Posner, and Diane Wood — on the same panel?
In this case, something weird. Very weird. It’s amusing to imagine this trio of legal geniuses wrapping their minds around such a bizarre fact pattern. Questions Presented:
(1) How can you tell when a gay co-worker is cruising you at the urinals?
(2) Is he checking you out — or does he just have a lazy eye?
We’re going to be offline for a few hours. If anything big happens while we’re gone, and we don’t write about it immediately, now you know why. (Posts that we drafted earlier will be published while we’re gone.)
We’re going to attend this event, about the economics of internet advertising — which, of course, is what pays the bills around here. If you enjoy reading ATL, please support our advertisers.
Yes, the event is sponsored by AEI, a right-of-center think tank. But the topic isn’t terribly partisan.
And to atone for this visit to the premises of AEI, guess what? We’re going to spend the better part of two days later this month (July 27-28) covering the 2007 ACS National Convention, here in DC. If you’d like to attend, it’s not too late to register; you can do so by clicking here.
(If you’re planning to attend the ACS convention, look out for us — we’ll be easy to spot. We’ll be snapping photographs of the fabulous Judge Marsha Berzon, as if she were Angelina Jolie on the red carpet.) Update (2:30 PM): We’re back. Today’s event was co-sponsored by the left-leaning Brookings Institution, so our conscience is clear. The Economics of Internet Advertising: Implications for the Google-DoubleClick Merger [American Enterprise Institute] Fifth Annual ACS National Convention: Toward a Just Future [American Constitution Society]
Word on the street is that Vinson & Elkins has raised salaries for its Texas and Washington associates. But we haven’t confirmed it directly with someone at V&E. If you can confirm this rumor, please email us. Update (11:08 AM): That was fast; thanks! It’s confirmed: V&E has raised associate salaries for first- and second-year associates.
Things are more complicated for more senior classes. Basically they’re adopting a deferred compensation system, dependent upon hitting an hours target (2000 “Firm Credit Hours”).
For all the gory details, check out the memo, which is posted after the jump.
From a reader who uses MySpace (no, not a 14-year-old girl in Manassas):
Totally random, and not necessarily newsworthy, but the attached MySpace profile appeared randomly on my “cool new people” list when I logged in.
(Random spam like this, in the form of fake profiles — usually of attractive women from ex-Soviet republics, but apparently now of people who follow Charney v. S&C — is one of the many reasons we prefer Facebook.) facebook is better than myspace group [Facebook]
In the wake of the quasi-scandal that the divine Dahlia Lithwick has dubbed Divagate, we’ve received several defenses of that legend of the Supreme Court press corps, NPR’s Nina Totenberg.
We previously shared with you an email from Tom Goldstein, who once interned for Totenberg (just as Cate Edwards is doing this summer). Today we bring you celebrity correspondence from another SCOTUS superstar: Jan Crawford Greenburg!
Check out her message, which includes a detailed discussion of seating arrangements in the Supreme Court press gallery, after the jump.
What’s the hardest bar exam in the United States? No, it’s not California.
Sure, California is hard. The whole three-day thing is a bitch, and the passage rate is low.
But Cali ain’t got nothing on Guam. Check it: a ZERO PERCENT pass rate.
Don’t believe us? Just ask the three people who took it last July!
If you think most legal technology misses the mark, LexisNexis Firm Manager® wants to change your mind. Read more about it here.
Built with input from hundreds of solo and small-firm attorneys across the country, it’s made for practitioners who’d rather build the firm of their dreams than deal with the hassles of running a business.
· Go Mobile, Stay Connected.
See all your firm’s information, wherever you are, on whatever device you’re using. Access and update client files, enter billing, search & share documents and more. It’s just like you’re in the office, only you’re not.
When Chintan Panchal decided to leave a global BigLaw partnership to start his own firm, he could only hope that he would face the high-quality problem of firm building that many had cautioned him about. Focused on the uncertainty surrounding of a new firm launch, he decided to tackle staffing needs, IT challenges, and financial planning requirements after he had built up his legal practice.
Panchal Associates LLP–a corporate/finance and outside general counsel boutique–was quickly off to a great start. Clients and matters were flying in the door, and Chintan soon had a team of lawyers and staff with a variety of operational needs. To continue building an excellent team and provide them with a competitive benefits package, to expand his physical presence to include a European practice and additional partners, and to scale his operations and IT capabilities to support this growing enterprise brought with it demands of time, money, and expertise. Chintan knew he needed help.
“With the assistance of NexFirm, we have upgraded the capabilities of our firm to meet, and in some cases exceed, the standards we were used to at our former BigLaw firms. Operationally, we can now attract and service clients we didn’t have the bandwidth to support in the past, and continue to build our team with the best and brightest legal talent in the industry,” said Chintan Panchal, adding “It has worked out quite well in our case; NexFirm is an essential partner for us.”
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…
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