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law firm merger.jpgThelen has laid off attorneys and changed its name, the law firm equivalent of hitting the gym and getting a makeover. Now they’re back in the club and looking for a mate.
Leigh Jones of the National Law Journal reports:

Thelen and Nixon Peabody are in merger talks, with a possible agreement pending, according to sources close to the situation. The law firms have been in extensive talks, with Nixon Peabody leaders traveling to San Francisco to meet with Thelen leaders, according to two sources.

Wasn’t this the plot to the movie Made of Honor? Nixon plays the role of Dr. McDreamy, with its dulcet law firm song. Thelen is the cute platonic friend, who suddenly starts looking really hot when she’s about to get hitched to somebody else.
Given the amount of coverage ATL devotes to these two firms, we wholeheartedly endorse the pairing. Maybe we could convince them to adopt a firm mascot — Nixlen Kittens, anyone?
Thelen in merger talks with Nixon Peabody [National Law Journal via]
Earlier: Law Firm Merger Mania: Thelen Sending Out Feelers?
Law Firm Merger Mania: Everyone’s a Winner at…. Nixon Pillsbury?

Foley Lardner LLP logo Above the Law blog.jpgFoley & Lardner. You’ve heard the rumors. We’ve heard the rumors. Foley & Lardner have heard the rumors and chosen not to respond. But the smoke screen cannot obscure the summer structure fire.
Multiple tipsters coalesced around these numbers: 9 of 21 Foley Chicago summers received offers. But six of those offers went to IP attorneys, leaving non-IP summers with a stunning 3 of 15 success rate.
I’m no mathlete, but that doesn’t look like the 90% offer rate like we’ve been hearing from other firms.
And as we’ve seen with other firms, going to a top school was no summer offer safety net. Again, thus far the firm isn’t talking so we can’t know for sure, but it appears that HYS summers went 0 for 4 at Foley Chicago.
Read what people are saying below the fold.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Nationwide No Offer Watch: Foley Didn’t Get the Memo.
43% Offer Rate? Tastes Like Burning. “

john_mccain.jpg* Senator John McCain had a tough act to follow after the electrifying Wednesday night speech by his VP pick, Sarah Palin. He accepted the nomination and promised that change is a-comin.’ [Washington Post]
* Nearly 400 protesters were arrested outside of the Republican National Convention last night. For singing a Rage Against the Machine song? [CNN]
* A Texas inmate slated for execution next week says the judge and prosecutor in his case were too friendly outside the court. A hearing has been set to investigate the alleged love affair and the fairness of the trial. [New York Times]
* California voters like medical marijuana, but the courts and AG Jerry Brown are not the biggest fans. [Los Angeles Daily News]
* Arthur Culvahouse wins! []
* The Kilpatrick saga has come to an end. This is a look at the three Michigan laws that brought about his downfall. [Detroit Free Press]

googel chrome lawsuits ready.jpgGoogle is getting into the browser wars with their new Chrome product.
As Futurelawyer points out, who needs a new browser (besides anybody who still uses IE)? But Chrome is made by Google and Google knows what they are doing so we assume the product will sell.
Take a closer look at the boilerplate Terms of Service Agreement, before you download the browser. We’re not sure if Google’s lawyers were trying to make hours or just drunk, but if they had their way, Chrome would own everything, everywhere, forever. From Valleywag:

[A]ny “content” you “submit, post or display” using the service — whether you own its copyright or not — gives Google a “perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute” it?

Valleywag goes on to list a bunch of other ridiculous rules that you “agree” to when you click “yes” on the internet.
I love it when clients go out of their way to create jobs for IP litigators. It’s a faltering economy and everybody should be doing their part.
Update: Google has revised the ToS for Chrome. See here (via a commenter).
The 5 most laughable terms of service on the Net [Valleywag]
Google Chrome – Do We Really Need A New Browser? [Futurelawyer]

abramoff kilpatrick and bears.jpg* Bad news for Jack Abramoff: he got four years. Good news for Jack Abramoff: they’ll stipulate that “Tiny” can only bend him over and [redacted] then begin [censored] right before he [dear god no] and tosses his salad. So he’s got that going for him. [WSJ Law Blog]
* A Texas judge invalidated the patent of NuBra, suggesting that a strapless bra that enhances cleavage yet can be worn under sheer clothing is not one of the top ten greatest inventions of this decade. [Fox Business via ABA Journal]
* Is Sarah Palin in favor of jury nullification? [Volokh Conspiracy]
* How come we never hear anything about building a wall across our Canadian border? [Overlawyered; Inside Toronto]
* Is the plaintiff in this case Svetlana Kirilenko from the Sopranos? [Supreme Dicta]
* A lawyer’s guide to reading to your kids, in case you’re up for partner. [National Law Journal (subscription)]
* Detroit, your long sexual nightmare is at an end. Finally the denizens of the city can go back to wishing they were somewhere else in peace and tranquility. [Detroit Free Press]

outsourcing biglaw aba tsunami.gifOur recent post about outsourcing sparked some interesting debate about whether junior-level work will be shipped out of the country in the near future.
The commenters seemed to break into three camps: (1) you’re an idiot, outsourcing is already here; (2) you’re an idiot, ain’t nobody gonna take my job, USA, USA; and (3) you’re an idiot.
Fair enough on all counts. But wherever you stand on the issue it should be noted that people are trying to convince your partners to outsource, now.
Ron Friedmann of Integreon, a large legal process outsourcing firm, has written a treatise to convince firms to outsource the work most junior associates do for a living. He starts out talking in language managing partners love:

Until recently, firms emphasized revenue growth over cost reduction. They have merged, invested in marketing, added practice groups, and opened offices around the world. Now, however, with a recession likely, cost control is of growing interest.

Most people should know what “cost control” is code for. But let Friedmann do the double talk:

Outsourcing converts fixed costs to variable ones and avoids the need to borrow. Many law firms are under-capitalized. Partners may therefore want to avoid fixed commitments and to minimize borrowing. Similarly, law departments have small capital budgets and like to avoid locking in headcount. For both, outsourcing provides flexibility and avoids capital commitments.

Capital commitments? Like summer associate programs that offer rising 3Ls jobs over a year before they report to work? Great.
Friedmann tries to be funny, after the break.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Outsourcing: Here’s the Pitch”

Barack Obama Senator Barack Hussein Obama Above the Law blog.jpgDid you watch Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin’s speech last night? Of course you did; it was a must-see. And regardless of your politics, you can’t deny that she delivered it superbly, with polish and poise. In short, at least as a stylistic matter, it was the Best Speech Ever.
But how was the Palin speech as a matter of substance? The AP fact-checked it and identified some issues:

PALIN: “The Democratic nominee for president supports plans to raise income taxes, raise payroll taxes, raise investment income taxes, raise the death tax, raise business taxes, and increase the tax burden on the American people by hundreds of billions of dollars.”

THE FACTS: The Tax Policy Center, a think tank run jointly by the Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute, concluded that Obama’s plan would increase after-tax income for middle-income taxpayers by about 5 percent by 2012, or nearly $2,200 annually. McCain’s plan, which cuts taxes across all income levels, would raise after tax-income for middle-income taxpayers by 3 percent, the center concluded.

Who cares about Kansas — what about Biglaw associates (and partners)? How would they be affected by Obama’s tax plan? With their six- and seven-figure salaries, some are doing a lot better than “middle income.”
Check out some surprising numbers, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Calculate Your Obama Tax Cut!”

bic layoffs no offers.jpgWhile we continue to pester firms about no offer information, it appears that one firm dipped significantly below the 90% threshold for summer associate offers, at least in the New York office.
Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney is another firm that has reported an oversubscribed summer associate class. That said, Buchanan Ingersoll spokesperson Lori Lecker reports that the summers were at least busy:

[W]e had more than enough work to keep all of our summer associates busy throughout the course of the program, and we received positive feedback from the class on the quality of work. We generated over 300 projects for our summers to work on this year.

Most firms don’t bother to tout how much work their summer class had, but Buchanan is fighting specific reports that attorneys are struggling to make their billables firmwide. Just two weeks ago it was reported that barely a quarter of the firms 500 lawyers were on target, and that average associate hours had fallen below 1,650.
So the summers had work, but did they get jobs? More on that after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Nationwide No Offer Watch: Buchanan Ingersoll”

EC map constitution.jpgMy new colleague over at Dealbreaker has written a somewhat modest proposal. John Carney proposes creating an auction market for Electoral College votes, so that states which are traditionally overlooked during presidential elections (like New York) can recoup some political relevance in the free market.
Among general concerns about the fundamental nature of democracy, I’m pretty sure Carney’s elegant proposal is illegal, unconstitutional, and could possibly lead to the creation of subatomic black holes that could end life on earth.
But I’m always up for a spirited legal debate. If anyone disagrees with my reading of the 12th Amendment, please feel free.
Still, many people (who do not live in Ohio or Florida) believe that the EC needs some serious tweaking. But few people agree on how to do it.
So … write your own amendment. Is a straight popular vote really the way to go, or does that disproportionally represent populous coastal states? If you like Carney’s suggestion, how can he make it work constitutionally?
You can’t change the nature of the democratic process without talking to the lawyers.
Could We Have A Market For Electoral College Votes? [Dealbreaker]

Arthur Culvahouse, chairman of O’Melveny & Myers, was in charge of vetting Sarah Palin and has been taking some heat.

But Culvahouse has more to worry about than the National Enquirer. Culvahouse is locked in a high-stakes political battle to keep his chairmanship at O’Melveny. O’Melveny’s policy committee, which recommends the chairperson subject to ratification by the full partnership, failed to select a clear winner over the past few weeks.

So now the sharks are circling….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “McCain Veep Vetter Culvahouse Tries to Hang On”

Van%20Winkle%20Law%20Firm%20Lawyer%20Ken.jpgWachtell may be the most prestigious firm out there (according to Vault), but it has the industry’s worst Web site, as rated by Jonathan Thrope of the American Lawyer. We’re not completely sure we trust his judgment though, since he was “sucked in” by Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice’s animated dog. We waited for it to do something cool, but it just stretched and yawned.
According to Thrope, law firms are getting more serious about online marketing and using Web sites to create a distinctive brand. In general, law firm sites strike us as fairly dry. And boring. There are a few exceptions, like the Van Winkle Law Firm’s split personality bio page. North Carolina-based Van Winkle adds a personal touch to its site with dual bios (and photos) for many of its attorneys: one with professional highlights, and another focused on hobbies and life outside of work.
Other firms experiment with offbeat advertising, but seem to be using it to recruit attorneys, not clients. Like Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle’s creation of a Facebook page, and Stoel Rives’ free-style running promo on YouTube.
Of the assortment of staid sites in the AmLaw 100, five made Thrope’s cut for the worst. Check them out after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Worst Law Firm Websites”

Hamptons mansion shingle style cottage.jpg[Ed. note: This is a continuation of the story started in this post by ATL guest columnist Hope Winters, which you should read first if you haven't done so already. It's about Hope's friend Anna, a young Wall Street lawyer and self-described "summer wife."]
It’s the first week of August. At around five o’clock, Anna’s BlackBerry begins buzzing with invitations to fancy restaurants like Amaranth or Cipriani, courtesy of the much older partners looking for summer wives. Anna likes to network and she likes to eat, so she’s game.
You’d never guess it by her lithe frame and recessed chest exposing clavicle bones, but Anna can eat and drink … a lot. And like all girls, she just likes attention — attention best demonstrated at lavish restaurants, and hotel bars where cucumber Martinis are served all night long. Anna is into the glam. She wears conservative charcoal gray Diane von Furstenberg dresses, but accessorizes sexy — strappy black sandals that crisscross at the ankles, dangling gold earrings, and a black lace camisole ever-so-subtly revealed. So if a much older, frumpy partner wants to be seen with her, he better be taking her somewhere gorgeous.
In any event, as the summer goes by and the dinners multiply (followed always by an invitation for a “nightcap” at the partner’s apartment), Anna grows increasingly fond of one of her suitors, Abraham. She realizes that it’s time for her to grow up, settle down, and take a summer husband. He has been courting her for a long time now. Calling her. Wining and dining her. Complimenting her. Texting her. Even sending her a car and driver.
He wants her. She is everything right that is wrong in his wife.
Finally, Anna capitulates. Very well — I’ll be your summer wife.
Read more, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Summer Wives (Part 2 of 2)”

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