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Hogan Hartson LLP Above the Law blog.JPGLate last month, we posted what appeared to be a White & Case memo, concerning requests for vacation during the Christmas week this year. There was some debate in the comments about the memo’s authenticity and/or how widely it was distributed (e.g., maybe it was just for the M&A group). But the gist of the memo, which shouldn’t be that shocking, is that everybody wants that week off — so if you were hoping to take vacation that week, you might want to rethink your plans.
Down in D.C., Hogan & Hartson apparently has a much more generous holiday policy. They just announced that, since Christmas and New Year’s Day fall on Tuesdays this year, the firm will be closed on both of the preceding Mondays: December 24 and December 31. The firm characterizes these office closings as “an expression of thanks for the dedication and hard work of our lawyers and staff this past year.”
But are associates happy about this news? In some quarters, it’s being viewed cynically:

We have been fighting with H&H regarding decent bonuses this year, especially given their usual disgraceful examples of bonuses. This seems to be their way of bonusing us (without actually paying). Give us more days off, so it is more difficult to make your minimum hours the next year. The partners are tight and don’t seem to want to pay any form of market or even reasonable bonuses despite unprecedented productivity and billing rates this last fiscal year.

For those of you who are curious, the Hogan & Hartson memo appears after the jump.
Earlier: Making the Case for a White Christmas at Biglaw

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Hogan & Hartson to… Two Extra Days Off!”

south carolina map bar exam controversy.jpgAs you know from our extensive coverage of Laptopgate, we follow bar exam controversies quite closely. So we can’t ignore what’s going on down in South Carolina (especially since we’ve been on a southern kick as of late, what with all our coverage of Emory Law School).
A very juicy possible scandal is brewing down in the Palmetto State. We believe the story was first broken by FITSNews. But for those of you who like your news sources older and more MSM-y, here’s an article from The State:

The state’s top court has changed the grades for 20 people — including the children of a prominent state lawmaker and a longtime circuit judge — who earlier flunked the test required to practice law in South Carolina.

The S.C. Supreme Court in last week’s order said the wills, trusts and estates section of the July exam would “not be considered” in determining a test-taker’s overall score, though the justices gave no reasons for their decision.

The students include the daughters of state Rep. Jim Harrison, R-Richland, chairman of the powerful House Judiciary Committee; and Circuit Judge Paul Burch of Pageland, The State confirmed Thursday in interviews with the two men.

More after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “What’s Up With the South Carolina Bar Exam?”

aileen mcgrath aileen marie mcgrath jason gillenwater jason e gillenwater.jpgIn October 2006, when LEWW reviewed her wedding, we wrote of Aileen McGrath (at right, with handsome hubby Jason Gillenwater):

Aileen is the President of the Harvard Law Review. HELLO!!! And this isn’t mentioned in the announcement, but we’ve learned that she’ll be clerking next year for Chief Judge Michael Boudin, of the First Circuit — feeder judge extraordinaire.

So, Aileen, have you picked which Supreme Court justice you’d like to clerk for?

She has. We’ve learned that Aileen McGrath (Harvard 2007 / Boudin) has accepted an offer to clerk for Justice Stephen G. Breyer in October Term 2008. One source tells us: “[S]he’s universally recognized as brilliant. She was president of the law review and a Sears Prize winner.”
We also hear that the fourth clerk to Justice Clarence Thomas for OT 2008 is a D.C. Circuit clerk (believed to be clerking for Judge David Sentelle). Will someone please give up the name?
Update: Her name is Claire Evans. She’s a 2002 graduate of Rutgers School of Law – Camden, and she’s the first alum of the school to score a SCOTUS clerkship. She clerked for Judge Jerome Simandle (D.N.J.) in 2003, and then for Michael Chertoff, back when he was still on the Third Circuit. Reports our source:

“Chertoff liked Claire so much that he took her to the Department of Homeland Security when he left the bench for Washington. Apparently, Claire continues to amaze and has now secured the most coveted of credentials — a U.S. Supreme Court clerkship.”

“[S]he holds the highest cumulative grade point average in the history of Rutgers School of Law – Camden. And, because of a grading change implemented the year after Claire graduated, it is now mathematically impossible for Claire’s epic GPA to ever be topped.”

Finally, expect more SCOTUS clerk hires in the near future. From an in-the-know tipster:

There’s movement among the justices now. At least Alito, Roberts, Kennedy & Breyer have scheduled interviews in the last few days. Kennedy has scheduled pre-screen interviews, at least some of which are with Judge Kozinski.

The current tally of OT 2008 Supreme Court clerks, with Aileen McGrath and Claire Evans added, appears after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Supreme Court Clerk Hiring Watch: OT 2008 (Update #7)”

* Mukasey confirmed as U.S. Attorney General [CNN; Washington Post]
* Merck settles thousands of Vioxx suits for $4.85 billion. [New York Times]
* Bernard Kerik indicted on fraud charges. [AP; New York Times]
And some items of interest from the ABA Journal this morning:
* “Associate loyalty” reaches a low. [ABA Journal]
* Law firm to open a branch in second life. [ABA Journal]

associate bonus watch 2007 law firm Above the Law blog.jpgThe firm of Kaye Scholer is the latest to jump on the bonus bandwagon. They’ve just announced year-end and special bonuses. The year-end bonuses are issued in ranges for each class; the special bonuses, to be paid “on a discretionary basis,” appear to be on the standard scale ($10k/$15k/$20k, etc.).
Memo after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Associate Bonus Watch: Kaye Scholer Announces”

dog French bulldog Above the Law blog.jpgLarge-firm lawyers are a busy lot. Who has time to walk the dog?
With this in mind, we pass along an inquiry from a reporter friend. She’s working on a story for a New York business publication about unusual perks at law firms — you know, like defibrillators.
Recruiters have told her that pet care services, such as dog-walking, are popular perks. But she has been unable to obtain confirmation. We also didn’t know offhand of specific firms that will pamper your pooch, as you bill away the hours.
But maybe some of you have this knowledge? If you know of a New York law firm that offers pet perks to its associates, please drop her a line, by email. Thanks.

associate bonus watch 2007 law firm Above the Law blog.jpgSorry to leave you unattended for a while — we were off appearing on this panel. We left some items to be published in our absence, but unfortunately, continuing technical difficulties — which frustrate us even more than they frustrate you — prevented their posting.
In case you’re wondering, we have no confirmed Biglaw bonus news to report right now. It seems that nowadays firms are holding their bonus news until the end of the day, perhaps in the hope that it will be less disruptive to associates billing away hours. But that just means associates spend the mornings and afternoons wondering about their financial fates — and visiting sites like this one.
Anyway, we do have some bonus news, of a different sort. From a lawyer at the U.S. Department of Justice:

Any thought of doing a post on government attorney bonuses? Such as they are, that is. Might give some of the Biglaw associates who are wailing and gnashing their teeth a little perspective.

Just to get the ball rolling, my year-end bonus was $694.28. And as a special bonus, I got 8 hours of annual leave. Woot!

Are you at a firm that’s giving out standard year-end bonuses, but not “special” bonuses (or at least not across the board)? Well, look on the bright side: at least your bonus is denominated in the thousands.
Feel free to discuss your experiences with government lawyer “bonuses” in the comments. Thanks.
Earlier: Associate Bonus Watch 2007 archives (scroll down)

Emory Law School.jpgIn response to yesterday’s post about recent events in Emory Law School’s career services office (which has generated an insane number of comments), we received an email from Dean David Partlett. We thank Dean Partlett for his message. Here it is:

Dear David,

I write regarding questions surrounding Laurie Hartman’s resignation from Emory School of Law a few weeks ago. Given the level of discussion surrounding this topic, I feel a little clarification is necessary.

Laurie Hartman served as Assistant Dean of Career Services at Emory for three years. During that time, the law school underwent an extensive external review of the office and received high marks for the strength of the services provided by the office. Dean Hartman, after serving for three years, decided to resign from her position to pursue other career opportunities. Her resignation was amicable. As you know, there is never a good time for a staff member in an office as important as Career Services to leave. Given the critical nature of services provided by this office, the administration of the law school moved quickly to address the vacancy.

Read the balance of Dean Partlett’s message, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “What’s Going on at Emory Law School? Dean Partlett Explains”

Clifford Chance CC Above the Law blog.jpgIf you’re looking for confirmation of the Clifford Chance bonus announcement we posted yesterday, check out this short article from Legal Week.
In other CC news, the firm is making overtures to LGBT lawyers, in the wake of its own Brokeback Lawfirm scandal. From TheLawyer.com:

Clifford Chance is setting up a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) network just months after settling a sexual orientation discrimination claim from former competition partner Michael Bryceland….

Clifford Chance tax partner Stephen Shea, who has been active in setting up the LGBT group, said the firm established the network to further foster diversity, but also to respond to client demand. As reported by The Lawyer (21 May), JPMorgan now asks prospective panel firms for diversity statistics and companies such as Transport for London are following suit.

This is par for the course — and in the U.S., too. If you want law firms to focus more on diversity, or if you think they focus too much on it already, you need to look to their clients. Much of Biglaw’s current emphasis on diversity is being driven by clients: Fortune 500 companies that want to be able to say they have diverse teams of lawyers handling their legal matters.
Clifford Chance Joins the N.Y. Bonus Wars [Legal Week]
Clifford Chance set to launch gay network [TheLawyer.com]
Earlier: Associate Bonus Watch: Clifford Chance Matches (For the Survivors)

James Shull Judge James Michael Shull James M Shull Above the Law blog.jpgOn some days, the posts just write themselves. From Blogonaut:

James Michael Shull is no longer a Virginia Judge, thanks to the decision of the Virginia Supreme Court that unanimously upheld his removal from the bench.

Shull’s misconduct on the bench included ordering a woman to pull down her pants in open court during a hearing—ostensibly to view a claimed injury—exposing everything not covered by a pair of g-string panties the woman was wearing.

If she was humiliated, she deserved it. What was she doing in a g-string? Everyone knows that acceptable courtroom attire is a sober black skirt suit — with granny panties underneath.

Schull also decided child custody matters by tossing a coin in the air, initiated ex-parte contact with witnesses outside the presence of the attorneys for either side in a dispute, and was discourteous to litigants.

Independent of making them strip in open court, of course.
Judge Defrocked for Deciding Cases by Coin Toss, Making Woman Pull Pants Down in Court [Blogonaut]

New York University Law School NYU Law School Above the Law.JPGOkay, CLSers, so NYU Law School has surpassed you in the U.S. News rankings. But here’s some consolation: at least your law library is a zone of normalcy (as law libraries go, that is).
Late last year, NYU’s law library was taken over by a mystery smell. And now it has a new problem.
Check it out, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Some Gloating Material for Columbia Law Folks”

* Pakistan sets parliamentary elections. [CNN]
* What’s going on with the AMT? [ABA Journal]
* State Department absolves Blackwater of certain shootings. [MSNBC]
* Initial OJ hearing begins today. [MSNBC]
* Reno businessman pleads guilty during murder trial. [CourtTV]

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