Social conservatives are constantly carping about the threat that gay marriage allegedly poses to the institution of marriage. In response, proponents of gay marriage reflexively bring up the (rather tired) example of Britney Spears, and her joke of a marriage to Jason Alexander.* The debate gets pretty old, pretty fast.
Here’s what we want to know:
Waiting for an announcement of law firm associate bonuses? Take a number. Right now we’re exactly where we were yesterday: No news.
And no news isn’t necessarily good news. In our morning review of the message boards, this was the most interesting post:
The reason why no firm has announced yet is due to the fact that total comp will remain unchanged from last year to this. I work for a headhunter who talks with partners from different firms around the city. She tells me that almost every partner she talks to wants to see total comp unchanged year-over-year. She believes that no firm wants to lead with a decreased bonus from last year, and that is why no one has come out yet.
So don’t expect much in the way of a bonus this year and don’t go crazy buying stuff because your bonus may be much less than what you were expecting.
Now, this isn’t our personal prediction (and severalsubsequentposters took issue with this analysis). We’re guessing that there will be SOME increase in total compensation, even if it’s relatively modest.
But it’s certainly possible that the first mover will TRY to keep total compensation unchanged. After the first-mover firm gets leapfrogged, even if modestly, by a competitor, they will then match that competitor. And voila — the new market rate will be set.
Even if we don’t share this poster’s pessimism, though, we did want to draw your attention to this possibility. Think of it as an ATL public service announcement. Don’t count your chickens — or buy that new flat-screen plasma tv — before the bonus eggs are hatched.
P.S. As always, we implore you to notify us promptly, by email, as soon as you hear any actual bonus news. Please don’t assume that we already know about the news, that someone else will tell us, etc. We’d rather get dozens of repetitive emails than miss out on a big announcement. Total comp to remain unchanged [Infirmation / Greedy NY Board] Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of bonuses (scroll down)
We think online advertising is fantastic. Of course, we’re biased; it’s how we pay the bills around here. For more details about how to advertise on Above the Law — which has a large, demographically desirable, and highly targeted readership — click here.
But all advertising, whether in print or online, carries risks. For example, your ad could run next to content you might not like.
In yesterday’s Non-Sequiturs, Stella Q linked to an article about a man who pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a 92-year-old nursing home patient. This morning, tipster Patrick sent us this message (with attached screencap):
After clicking on your link, I feel bad for the poor SOB who got paid to be in the ad at the bottom of the page:
We concur. For a guy who could do up to ten years in prison, he sure seems rather cheery.
(In case you’re curious, the ad in question is for adult and continuing education programs at LaSalle University. If you click through to the page and don’t see the ad at first, simply “refresh” your browser, and it may reappear — it’s a revolving ad.) Man admits to fondling woman, 92 [PhillyBurbs.com] The Most Happy Fella [Wikipedia]
* How crazy are bedbugs, exactly? [CNN]
* Which of your personalities is the arsonist?. [CNN]
* Yo quiero to sue Taco Bell. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Chinese Gitmo detainees say the same evidence being used to detain them was used to clear five others. [Jurist]
* Maryland Court of Appeals considers same-sex marriage. [Jurist]
The latest news in the world of Borat-related litigation:
A judge on Monday told lawyers who filed a $30 million lawsuit accusing the makers of the hit movie “Borat” of misleading residents of a remote Romanian village that they must make specific allegations in their lawsuit if they want it to have a chance at success.
The lawyers said they would refile the lawsuit, which alleged the residents were duped into participating into what they thought was a documentary that would benefit them rather than the comedy hit “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.”
U.S. District Judge Loretta A. Preska reminded the lawyers that the lawsuit would have to have specific enough facts alleging the villagers were misled before she could order defendants to turn over documents that might help the villagers build their case.
* In Breathless, Michel (played by Jean-Paul Belmondo) remarks that the women of Sweden, despite their reputation, are pretty much like women everywhere: there are indeed many pretty ones, but most are plain or ugly. So you can understand why these two busted Swedish cops kept records of the former. [AP via MSNBC]
* Harold and Maude, the sequel — but even creepier. [PhillyBurbs.com]
* Justice really rained on this guy’s parade. [Greenville Online]
* Girls, what do you think position 13 is? (Yeah, you should watch this until the punchline.) [De Novo]
* I once innocently ordered a Strawberry Tsunami at Jamba Juice just days after the December 2004 tsunami. I’m dumb that way. Anyway, this smoothie has long been taken off the menu, but you should still proceed with caution when ordering anything with strawberries. [Los Angeles Times]
* I can’t help but use the phrase, “Who’s your Daddy?” whenever I can do so in total earnestness. [People]
We’ll be stepping away shortly to attend what should be a fantastic event: A Conversation on the Constitution: Perspectives from Active Liberty and A Matter of Interpretation. It’s being sponsored by the American Constitution Society and the Federalist Society, and we’re attending as a guest of the ACS (whom we thank for the gracious invitation).
Two Supreme Court heavyweights will be stepping into the ring. In the liberal corner: Justice Stephen G. Breyer, author of Active Liberty. In the conservative corner: Justice Antonin Scalia, author of A Matter of Interpretation. The referee: Jan Crawford Greenburg, of ABC News (who recently interviewed Chief Justice Roberts).
So if our posting is sporadic over the next few hours, it’s because we’re watching Justice Scalia and Justice Breyer trade benchslaps. Check back soon, either later today or tomorrow, for our full report on the jurisprudential battle to the death proceedings. Hasta luego!
It’s December, and you know what that means. In addition to law firm associate bonuses — which we’re still waiting for, with bated breath — we get to go to… Christmas HOLIDAY PARTIES!!!
As noted by Alan Kopit, hosting a holiday party is fraught with legal peril. If you’re planning to host such a party, protect yourself against civil liability: include this handy warning, courtesy of Dahlia Lithwick, with all your invitations.
Despite every precaution, people WILL make drunken fools of themselves at holiday parties this year. Bankruptcy lawyers will karaoke to Livin’ on a Prayer; senior associates will puke all over their $1,800 suits; and abundant paralegal ass, male and female, will be grabbed. Wildly inappropriate behavior and egregious forms of misconduct will occur.
Earlier this year, we requested embarrassing summer associate tales, and you obliged. Then we asked for interview horror stories, and you delivered — big-time. So given the time of year, you can guess what we want now: mortifying stories from holiday parties.
Yes, that’s right. If (or rather when) someone does something scandalous or embarrassing at your office holiday party, we want to hear about it. Stories from this year are preferred; but if you have a juicy story from a past year that hasn’t made the rounds yet, we’ll gladly consider it.
Please send such stories to us by email (subject line: “Holiday Party Stories”). We look forward to reading them!
P.S. While we’re asking you for stuff, would someone please send us the results of the NYU Law School hotties contest? Thanks. Mistletoe or Legal Woes? [Lawyers.com] Fa-la-la-la-lawsuit [Slate]
Our big sibling reports on the departure of high-finance hottie Suzanne Nora Johnson from Goldman Sachs, the obscenely profitable investment bank. Johnson, who served on the firm’s 23-member management committee, was the highest-ranking woman at Goldman Sachs.*
And as the WSJ Law Blog notes, in a post entitled Associates, You Too Can Become a Master of the Universe, Johnson is a former lawyer:
Before joining Goldman in 1985, Johnson (USC, Harvard Law) was an associate at Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett and clerked on the Second Circuit.
In case you’re not familiar with it — and we’re guessing you’re not — check out urbancougar.com (probably safe for work, although the IT people might snicker around you). Here is the website’s mission statement:
urbancougar: it’s not a stigma, it’s a sophisticated species of female who seeks the pleasure of younger males. She avoids the entanglements of a “relationship,” in favor of the freedom of the hunt.
She has overcome the taboos related to her sexual identity, embraced her true self, and now lives her life to its fullest. Always one for adventure, she knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to get it!
This website is a celebration of the urbancougar lifestyle, the women who embody it, and the prey who love them for it!
(For those of you who don’t even know what a “cougar” is, click here for remedial slang education.)
The site has a feature called UrbanCougar of the Month. And ATL readers will be happy to learn that the current UC of the Month is a lawyer! Meet “Kelly” of Denver, Colorado:
To read Kelly’s full profile, including a Q-and-A with this cougar-licious counselor, click here.
Does anyone have more information about Kelly — including, perhaps, her place of employment? If so, please drop us a line.
(For men in search of hot female lawyers, Denver appears to be where it’s at. The Mile High City boasts at least one other high-profile hottie of the legal profession.) urbancougar of the month: Kelly [urbancougar.com] Cougar [Urban Dictionary]
What does it mean to be “newly admitted?” To us, it means endless possibilities!
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Ed. note: The Asia Chronicles column is authored by Kinney Recruiting. Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates, counsels and partners in Asia than any other recruiting firm in each of the past six years. You can reach them by email: email@example.com.
Deal flow has clearly picked recently up for most US associates, counsels and partners in Hong Kong/China and Singapore. We are on the phone with a lot of these folks on a daily basis, many of whom we have known for years. Further, the head of our Asia team, Evan Jowers, and Kinney’s founder and president, Robert Kinney, frequently meet in person with leading US partners in Asia to assess their needs and keep on top of the inside scoop at as many firms as possible. The need for legal recruiting help in Asia from experienced recruiters appears to be live and well. In March, Evan and Robert were in Beijing at such meetings, in April, Evan was in Hong Kong, and for half of June Evan will be in Shanghai and Hong Kong. Thus its pretty easy for us to tell when there has been an across-the-market pick up in capital markets and corporate work.
On an average day in Asia when Evan and Robert visit firms, they typically have 5 to 9 meetings a day, mostly with US partners in the market. The reason they have these meetings is not simply because Kinney makes a lot of US attorney placements in Asia and that a particular firm may have openings; instead these are just visits with friends. After years of working together as business partners, the folks at Kinney are actually these peoples’ friends. The firms Kinney work closely with in Asia (which is just about every law firm – call us if you want to know the one firm in the world we will never place anyone with again, ever, and why) look forward to the visits, or at least act like they do. After seven years in the market, many of the client partners are former associate candidates. Also, these US partners see Kinney as a very good source of market information as well, because they know how deep their contacts are in the market and how frequently they are speaking to counterparts at peer firms.
In a land that is right here and in a time that is right now, a technology has arisen so powerful that it can replace basic human document review. Is it time to bow down before our new robot overlords?
First, here’s a little story about me: my life in the legal world began as a paralegal. My first case was a GIANT patent infringement case that was already six years old and had involved as many as five companies, multiple US courts, the ITC and an international standards committee. I knew nothing about any of this.
On my first day, my supervisor (a paralegal with at least eight other cases driving her crazy) sat me down in front of a Concordance database with a 100,000+ patents and patent file histories. “Code these,” she said. I learned that “coding”, for the purposes of this exercise, meant manually typing the inventor’s name, the title of the patent, the assignee, the file date, and other objective data for each document. I worked on that project – and only that project – for at least the first six months of my job. After a week or so, time began to blur.
What I know, in retrospect and with absolutely certainty, is that as time began to blur, so did my judgment. So did my attention to detail. If you could tell me that I did not make at least one mistake a day – one inconsistent spelling, one reversed day and month, one incorrectly spaced title – I frankly would need to see your evidence. I would not believe it. The human mind is trainable but it is not a machine.
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