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Not Hiring sign.jpgWhat can men do against such reckless hate?

Unless you are in the top 3rd of your class at a top school, or in the top 10% of your class at a lower ranked school, fall recruiting is kicking your ass. After sifting through nearly 300 comments to our fall recruiting open thread, one dominant theme emerges:

What’s different this year is that the bottom 60% at top schools and the bottom 90% of lower-ranked schools is not doing well.

In Part I of our fall recruiting follow-up, we’ll explore some general themes and discuss which markets are particularly struggling. In Part II we’ll look at which law schools are doing fine, and which ones are not living up to their promises of milk, honey, and money.

Many commenters had stories of great fall recruiting success, much like I have awesome “stories” about that one time I had sex with this one girl … and her sister, in Canada. But even if we leave aside some of the unattributed tales of personal greatness, the consistent meme is that top students are still doing just fine.

For everybody else there seems to be a clear move by firms to limit the size of their summer classes:

offer guarding seems prevalent; firms don’t want to accidentally end up with big classes that they have to no-offer because too many took summer positions.

Here’s another take:

T-20 school, top 20% w/ journal. I had 14 callbacks all within the V25 in NY. I ended up going on 9 of the 14 and took an offer at a V15 because I honestly was exhausted by the process and didn’t think I would take any of the remaining firms over what I had if they panned out. Of those 9 however, I only received 3 offers. I was told that last year 67% of callbacks in NY resulted in offers. I could be inept, but since I had around a 70% callback rate, I don’t think that’s likely. Additionally, almost none of my friends have offers. I really think the firms are trying to exercise more control by only extending offers to those they are certain are going to accept.

Reports about which legal markets are worth avoiding after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Fall Recruiting Follow-Up: Part I”

jacob javits convention center ny bar exam.jpgHere at ATL we like to start rumors, fan their beautiful flames, and hope to God that the winds do not change and burn the house down. Being a wet blanket is no fun.

But unfortunately we received one tip that was just too good to be true:

There’s a rumor going around that some NY scores have been leaked. I’ve seen it on a few message boards and my father (???) called me and almost lead me to crap my pants when he told me one of his … friends just found out she passed the NY bar.

I think it’s a load of crap, but maybe something worth noting?

We hoped that some students had been told they had passed, while others were left with the terrifying noise of silence. But a quick call to the New York Board of Law Examiners revealed that the rumor was untrue.

(Side note: When you call the NY Board of Law Examiners they put you on hold and play a little song. Ours was “I just called to say I love you” by Stevie Wonder. Has anybody ever called BOLE and said “I just wanted to thank you for administering that awesome bar exam. I thought it was a fair and accurate representation of everything a practicing attorney needs to know. I passed easily. I just wanted to say thanks.”

No, right? That has never happened. So why play that particular song to people who are most likely on the verge of tears and calling to bitch about something? Do they think they’re “funny?” The only song you should hear when calling BOLE is “Three Little Birds” by Bob Marley.)

Anyway, BOLE press person John McAlary had a good laugh when we asked him if NY bar exam scores had been leaked early. Once we convinced him that we were not “nervous T-10 1L” he assured us that no scores have been leaked because none are available:

We are still in the process of processing and grading the exams. If anyone says that they have their scores, they are lying. … I couldn’t even tell you today if any of the 11,000 exam takers passed … the results simply are not finished yet.

McAlary said that NY scores would be ready in November, just as they always have.

So don’t listen to the lies exam takers. No New York scores are available yet. But you don’t have to wait much longer. Just hope and pray New York doesn’t use some bastardized version of “iBaby.” We assume you’ll want to actually be able to see your scores once they are released.

Earlier: Open Thread: Bar Exam Results For Illinois

pacino plays biglaw associate.JPGBack in the eighties, the popular myth was that all Manhattan attorneys had a leather briefcase, a good blue pen, and a Scarface-sized bowl of cocaine on their desk. Sadly, by the time I got to Biglaw the briefcase had been replaced by a canvas bag with a gaudy firm emblem emblazoned on the side like the mark of the beast. The nice pen was replaced with a desktop computer designed to block The Onion. And the coke was replaced by the marvelous ephedrine they used to put into Red Bull.

But perhaps London attorneys are poised to relive the NYC glory days. A new study reports that hard drug use is on the rise in the U.K.:

One partner claims he knows “people who just make a phone call from their office and nip down to reception to pick up their delivery” — something that happens in every big law firm, he claims.

The survey, by the magazine Legal Business, also says that there is evidence of “cocaine clubs” in law firms’ basements and of partner-led games of poker and taking cocaine with clients. But it also finds that law firms are ignorant or indifferent to the problem. One lawyer is quoted: “I spanked £100,000 on cocaine in one year and no one noticed.

If a partner ever invited me to a coke and poker party I would still be in rehab a practicing attorney today.

The key similarity between Britain today and the America of yesterday seems to be the total professional indifference to drug use:

The legal profession, unlike other classic professions such as medicine and teaching, does not give a damn, as long as you are profitable.

Well, nobody wants a coked-up doctor trying to save you from a cocaine overdose. And nobody wants a coke-head teaching your kids. But if a little nose candy is going to make you work longer, why would partners particularly care what you do on the side?

Because you could die? Because partners care about your health? Right. You could be the last unicorn and you’d still bill 100 hours a week if there was work to be done.

Substance abuse problems that span the ocean after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “I Hear That ‘Magic Circle’ Powder Is Killer”

Obama smoking.JPGDoes anybody else think that the new President will enact new corporate regulations? Corporate counsel think that regardless of the winner this November, labor and employment regulation will increase.

The National Law Journal reports:

According to a recent survey of nearly 400 corporate counsel, six out of 10 corporate counsel expect this year’s presidential election to affect labor and employment laws at their companies.

You think? A brief perusal of McCain’s post meltdown statements reveals that he is now for more regulation. Meanwhile, Obama is a Democrat which means it’s entirely possible that his administration will regulate employee access to the executive bathroom:

Among the potential changes cited by the respondents were increased costs for health benefits and mandatory paid sick days; a resurgence of workplace regulation generally; and passage of the Employee Free Choice Act, which would eliminate secret ballots in union organizing drives and strengthen labor’s hand in negotiations over union representation.

Great. We all know how much corporate counsel love unions.

Other corporate counsel concerns after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Corporate Counsel Worried About The Election”

Weil.gifWe’ve been covering law firms’ attempts to reassure associates in these troubled times. Because of their respected bankruptcy practice, we’ve assumed that all was well at Weil.

Friday we received word that Weil isn’t just doing “well.” Apparently, “global financial crisis” is how you spell “straight cash homey” at Weil Gotshal. From firm chairman Stephen J. Dannhauser:

To date, our representation of Lehman Brothers Holdings has engaged a large swathe of the firm, more than 100 attorneys and staff working on the many matters this bankruptcy, the largest in US history, has spawned. In addition to the large team providing bankruptcy counsel to Lehman, Weil Gotshal’s corporate team has already aided the company in the structuring and execution of the two largest transactions ever in a Chapter 11 proceeding. These include the sale of substantially all of Lehman’s US investment banking business, its headquarters, two support facilities, and the broker-dealer business (including the real estate and infrastructure necessary to preserve that business) to Barclays, as well as the sale of certain investment-management assets, including the Neuberger Berman division, to private-equity firms Bain Capital and Hellman & Friedman.

We’ve noticed a paucity of Weil associates participating in our comment threads, but clearly that is because they are all very busy reupholstering their seat cushions with dollar bills.

Are we sure Weil will just be a bonus “follower” this fall?

Read the full memo after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Weil Gotshal Produces The Mother Of All “We’re Awesome” Emails”

Thumbnail image for DontMessWithTexas.jpg* Senators Obama and McCain head to Nashville for a town hall style face-off tonight. [CNN]

* More thoughts on Obama, McCain, and SCOTUS. A look at the judicial philosophies of the presidential candidates based on pivotal campaign speeches. [Wall Street Journal (subscription)]

* D.C. Circuit rules against forcing testimony from Harriet Miers, Joshua Bolten, and others, in the congressional investigation of U.S. attorney firings. [Washington Post]

* Scientists suggest that the urge to punish is hard-wired into our brains as a result of human evolution. But so is the urge to forgive. [New York Times]

* At least three U.S. attorneys, in New York and New Jersey, are probing whether Lehman Brothers misled investors before declaring bankruptcy. [Wall Street Journal (subscription)]

* The tables are turned. The city of McAllen sues Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott. [Houston Chronicle]

princeton review law school rankings.jpgPrinceton Review has released its annual (nonsensical) law school rankings. This year we are treated to the Best 174 Law Schools Rankings. The rankings are divided into 11 categories.

In this down market, the Best Career Prospects category seems appropriate. The top-ten law schools are:

1. University of Michigan Law School

2. Northwestern University School of Law

3. University of Virginia School of Law

4. Harvard University Law School

5. Boston College Law School

6. Stanford University School of Law

7. The University of Chicago The Law School

8. New York University School of Law

9. University of Pennsylvania Law School

10. Boston University School of Law

Notice that Yale Law School isn’t on this “best career prospects” list. I dare somebody to get into Boston College and Yale and go to Boston College because they think that is a better career move. Send ATL both acceptance letters and a BC transcript, and we’ll send you $100 and a photograph signed by God.

More ridiculous rankings after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Princeton Review Ranks Law Schools Too”

oktoberfest.JPG* Vince McMahon tags a motion to dismiss to quash wrestlers Chris Kanyon, Raven and Above Average Mike. If that doesn’t work it’s the steel jury box all the way. [Connecticut Employment Law Blog]

* The latest from the Citi/Wachovia/Wells Fargo cock fight is that they have agreed to a standstill on all litigation until noon on Wednesday. They will cease formal discovery until then. [WSJ Law Blog]

* Corporate attorneys might be interested that Delaware is starting an internet based “talk radio” station. [Delaware Talk Radio]

* It’s German-American day so we’re in for an Oktoberfest Blawg Review.

[LawPundit via Blawg Review]

law firm merger small.jpgThe Lawyer reports that Allen & Overy might be in merger talks with Shearman & Sterling:

A&O is occasionally tempted by the thought of a market-busting merger. It approached Freshfields back in 2006, as exclusively revealed in The Lawyer (see story).

Senior partner David Morley is moving to New York next week for three months (see story). This is being taken in New York as proof that a deal is in the offing.

A&O has nicked a whole load of Shearman’s Germans – though by rights this ought to rule out a deal with the rest of the firm.

Shearman needs help. (Actually, this is incontrovertible.)

After the jump, could this actually happen?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Law Firm Merger Mania:
Allen & Overy + Shearman & Sterling = A&S&S??”

There are many strange visuals floating around during these days of financial uncertainty. Here are some interesting ones we saw over the weekend.

The first is from Sheppard Mullin‘s new Menlo Park office:

shepard mullins temp office.JPG

That is one way of saying “we have no clue how long we’re going to be here.”

Meanwhile, others exact pictorial revenge after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Pictures Of Our Times”

ropes gray logo.JPGLast week we told you that Jenner & Block held a firm-wide pep talk to assure associates that everything was going great.

Apparently, this is the new trend. Terrified associates are being told that they have nothing to fear, for now.

Last week Ropes & Gray’s chairman Brad Malt sent out this email:

We’re living in extraordinary times, and I know many of you are concerned about what the current turmoil in the financial markets might mean to us here at Ropes & Gray. I’d like to offer some thoughts on why we are well positioned to weather the turbulence in the marketplace.

Our firm is over 140 years old, in no small part because we always build for the long term. We have weathered many recessions, starting with the Panic of 1873, and we have always emerged stronger. Today, we possess many competitive advantages, including diversified practice offerings and a diverse client base. Thankfully, we do not depend for our bread and butter on the kinds of companies or markets that are most troubled right now. While recent events have felt unsettling for many people, nothing that is happening should distract us from continuing to execute our strategic plan and deliver excellent client service.

The recent turmoil in the financial markets has also presented the firm with important opportunities to advise clients, including some of the companies affected by recent events. Among the many examples, we obtained a temporary restraining order for our broker-dealer client, Ameriprise Financial Services, in the first case involving a money market fund to “break the buck.†An extraordinary cross-disciplinary and cross-office team reached a multi-billion dollar agreement to purchase Neuberger Berman’s investment management business and Lehman Brother’s fixed income and alternative asset businesses. We are representing various senior officers of major financial institutions in investigations of sub-prime lending activities and related class action lawsuits. And we have advised numerous hedge funds, CDO funds, mutual funds and other clients on other aspects of the market situation, including analysis of distressed securities, advice about credit default swap counterparties, advice about the new short-sale restrictions, and bankruptcy rules.

In the longer term, we are very well positioned to take advantage of opportunities that will arise from the changing market environment, and we continue to invest in lawyers and staff to help us do so. We were delighted recently to welcome our associate Class of 2008, and we actively continue to hire for summer 2009 and beyond.

To be clear, we are not immune to what’s happening in the wider world. However, I believe the strengths we have built in our firm, our proven agility in addressing changing market landscapes, and the dedication and high caliber of you, our people, will enable us to withstand the short-term market challenges. As always, we are grateful for your continuing hard work and commitment.

This letter reads somewhat like DPW and Debevoise emails where those firms touted their post-meltdown successes.

O’Melveny & Myers shows firms how to send a spooky reassurance email after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “We’re Super: Thanks For Asking”

ATL has an article this week lamenting the absence of females in the legal blogosphere. C.C. Holland writes:

The question is not a new one, but it’s gaining traction in the blogosphere lately as the old concern spawns new debate. And it seems to be true that the majority of high-profile legal blogs, whether in academia or the practice of law, are helmed by men.

Sites such as Above the Law (David Lat), How Appealing (Howard J. Bashman) and Balkinization (Jack M. Balkin) are each authored or edited by one man. The China Law Blog is written by Dan Harris and Steve Dickinson of Harris & Moure. The Volokh Conspiracy, another popular law blog, list 18 contributors, none of whom are female. The woman blogger whose name comes up most frequently in the legal space is law professor Ann Althouse, but her blog isn’t primarily about legal issues.

We object! For one thing, Above The Law is “authored or edited” by a new man, editor in chief since August Elie Mystal. (David Lat is ATL’s founder and still near and dear to our hearts, as a regular contributor and managing editor of our parent company Breaking Media.)

Additionally, the gender-ambiguous C.C. neglects to note that the ATL ladies outnumber the men these days, as some may have noted last week in our self-congratulatory post. ATL’s XX team consists of Laurie Lin, Hope Winters, Marin and yours truly.

More on the female law blogger question, and bikini photos, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Hey! ATL has female bloggers and an EIC with a gender-neutral name”

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