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associate bonus watch 2007 law firm Above the Law blog.jpgYesterday we wondered: “[A]re associate bonuses and layoffs just two sides of the same coin?”
The answer, at least at Clifford Chance, would appear to be yes. Just one day after announcing layoffs (of admittedly small scale — six associates), CC has announced year-end and special bonuses. The bonuses are at market levels and not tied to hours (or being “reasonably busy,” whatever that might mean).
Memo after the jump.

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(For the Survivors)”

Aaron Charney headshot Aaron B Charney Aaron Brett Charney.JPGThe settlement of the litigation between Aaron Charney and Sullivan & Cromwell is not even two weeks old, but we miss the case already. So that’s why we decided to write about the case for our column in this week’s New York Observer:

So exactly how much did it cost Sullivan & Cromwell to make Aaron Charney go away? That’s the parlor game New York lawyers have been playing since late last month, when a settlement was reached between the white-shoe law firm and its former associate, who had sued S&C for sexual-orientation discrimination. Most memorably, Charney said that a partner dropped a document on the floor and told him to “bend over and pick it up—I’m sure you like that.”

Although it was a P.R. nightmare for S&C—where’s Michael Clayton when you need him?—Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell offered countless hours of entertainment and schadenfreude for the Big Law chattering class. The lawsuit was first filed in January, so it took nine months to deliver this baby.

From S&C’s perspective, Rosemary’s. You can read the rest of the column over here. (For the irony-impaired among you, please note that our “calculations,” with their mock precision, are not to be taken seriously.)
One more observation about the case, after the jump.

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It appears that this site has some devoted readers over at Akin Gump.
Check out the email, after the jump.

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* A close look at the lawyers’ intensifying protests in Pakistan. [Slate]
* Execs defend Yahoo in emotional hearing. [New York Times]
* Dole loses pesticide case; jury awards farmers $3.2 million. [Los Angeles Times]
* “Transformers” star arrested for obstinate shopping. [CNN]
* Justice Thomas question watch continues. [WSJ Law Blog]

associate bonus watch 2007 law firm Above the Law blog.jpgFried Frank has announced year-end and special bonuses for its associates and special counsel in its New York office. The numbers are consistent with those previously announced by other firms.
But whether this is a true market match is unclear, since the firm is a bit vague with respect to what percentage of associates will receive “special” bonuses. From the memo: “We will also be paying a one-time special bonus to associates on a discretionary basis based on performance…”
Read the full memo, after the jump.

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associate bonus watch 2007 law firm Above the Law blog.jpgSkadden associates were notified of their bonuses by emails to individual classes, so we have no global memo confirming the numbers up and down the ladder.
But we have confirmation of the year-end and special bonus matches for the classes of 2007, 2005, and 2004.
Developing… Check back for updates.
Several updates, after the jump.

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(And Not Just In New York)”

What’s going on with law schools these days? Strange and scary things are afoot. Last month, there was the Indiana University law student who shot up his casebooks. In September, St. John’s University Law School was placed under lockdown, after a gunman was spotted on campus. There was also the rumorunfounded, as it turned out — that Regent law student Adam Key brought a gun to school.
Now we learn this, from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:

UW School of Law University of Washington School of Law Seattle Above the Law blog.jpgUniversity of Washington law students are on alert after graffiti appeared on campus last week that threatened their lives, but some are upset about how little information they’ve been given.

The threat, directed toward Law School students and the Law School, was found scrawled across the wall of a campus bathroom Oct. 30. UW officials declined to reveal the exact wording of the graffiti, but School of Law Dean Greg Hicks summarized the sentiment as being that the school is “training up little Nazis.”

Really? Isn’t that what Harvard Law School is for? Or maybe Regent?
More after the jump.

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Who lives in Arkansas? And designs MySpace pages? And likes to post on, appropriately enough, Craigslist?

Winnable high profile ENTRAPPMENT [sic] case Lawyer needed

Need a good lawyer who is willing to get paid a little slower but also can have a logo done by me and a web page or High Definition commercial done as well. Very winnable case and high profile. Please help my brother who was entrapped. You can check out my art on my myspace page. My myspace page can be found at

Update / Warning: You really should know this by now, if you’ve ever visited a MySpace page, but mute your speakers before checking it out. Like 95 percent of MySpace pages, this one also features loud and irritating music.

Our tipster quips: “At least there’s still good work in Arkansas without Wal-Mart.”
Maybe the kindhearted sister should reach out to this fellow Craigslist poster. He’s not admitted to the Arkansas bar; but he could probably do some legal research, since it sounds like he has some time on his hands. Who says graduates of top-tier law schools don’t also suffer employment woes?
Winnable high profile ENTRAPPMENT case Lawyer needed [craigslist]
Seeking Law Clerk Position [craigslist]

Michael Mukasey small Chief Judge Michael B Mukasey SDNY Above the Law blog.jpgThe Senate Judiciary Committee just voted in favor of the nomination of Michael Mukasey to serve as attorney general. The tally was 11-8, with two Democrats — Sens. Chuck Schumer and Dianne Feinstein — joining all the Republicans in supporting him.
What had been looking like a nailbiter of a nomination should sail through the full Senate fairly easily. The floor vote on the nomination should take place by next week.
Congratulations, Judge Mukasey!
Nomination of Mukasey Sent to Full Senate [New York Times]
Panel Sends Mukasey Nomination to Senate [Washington Post]

defibrillator automatic electronic defbrillator defibrillation Above the Law blog.jpgPerhaps taking a page from ATL’s Biglaw Perk Watch, the Texas Lawyer recently published a survey of the perks offered to associates at some of the state’s biggest law firms. It’s not available online, sadly, but a tipster sums it up:

Most are either trivial or to be expected, but the one that stands out it the “automated electronic defibrillator” offered by Fulbright & Jaworski.

Aren’t they essentially saying to new associates, “We anticipate that you may be afflicted with cardiac arrest while working here”? Why on earth would this be touted as a “perk”?!

Indeed. Even if you do have defibrillators on the premises, which most large organizations probably should have, it seems odd to boast about them. It’s like telling your recruits that you offer fire extinguishers — nice to know, but not exactly a “perk.”
You can check out the full list of Fulbright perks after the jump.

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Clifford Chance CC Above the Law blog.jpgThese are interesting times for the world of Biglaw. Some large law firms are feeling so flush they’re giving out not one but two bonuses this year. Others are laying off associates. Sharing space in the pages of ATL are dueling features: Associate Bonus Watch and Nationwide Layoff Watch.
Before the next round of bonus news, it’s time for some layoff coverage. In the New York Law Journal, Anthony Lin has this report:

In one of the first clear signs that slumping credit markets are causing economic pain at law firms, Clifford Chance on Monday laid off a group of associates in the structured finance area.

John Christian, the partner in charge of the London-based firm’s U.S. personnel committee, said the firm had made a difficult “business decision” to lay off the six associates in a practice group that worked exclusively for credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s. The lawyers in the group had reviewed the documentation S&P used to rate mortgage-backed securities, the market for which has collapsed in recent months.

“We concluded this work just wasn’t coming back,” Christian said. He declined to discuss the severance packages offered to the associates, but one of those terminated said they were offered three months’ salary with no bonus. Indeed, the associate said the timing of the layoffs seemed designed to deprive the targeted associates, all of whom were relatively senior, of their bonuses.

Interesting. So are associate bonuses and layoffs just two sides of the same coin?
More after the jump.

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* Lockdown of Pakistani legal system intensifies. [CNN]
* Reggie Bush investigated for receiving gifts while at USC. [Los Angeles Times]
* Keanu sued for Porschal assault. [MSNBC]
* Peter Lattman on the charms of the dormant Commerce Clause. [WSJ Law Blog]

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