Rumor from the secretaries has it that Ashton [Kutcher] and Demi [Moore] might be up there too. Apparently Greg Markel, chair of the litigation department, said the firm let them use the conference room. He was supposed to take his picture with her — and didn’t know who she was until minutes before!
Wow. Are Biglaw partners even more cloistered than federal judges?
It’s no Michael Jackson sighting, but maybe you still care to know. Does that make CWT an “it” firm now?
Sorry, not quite. But it does make up for the bedbug infestation! Update: “Someone here also saw them setting up a ‘stars buffet’ outside of the conference room. LOL!”
Since we’re smack dab in the middle of clerkship application season, let’s turn the spotlight to clerkly compensation and benefits. We hear that some changes may be in the works. From a tipster:
[H]ave you heard anything about progress on a proposal to end/limit/change the salary “matching” program for federal clerks with private sector experience? Several judges I interviewed with mentioned that the salaries for clerks coming from jobs in the private sector (e.g., after a year or more working for a firm) are in flux pending a proposal to eliminate or change the bump that clerks coming from (higher paying) private sector jobs traditionally receive. My understanding is that these clerks traditionally received an increase in their step level within the applicable salary grade. Supposedly a decision on this issue was expected in September.
As a matter of fact, yes, we have. Nothing definitive. But more discussion appears after the jump.
“Dear Jim: Thanks for the great job you do pushing the mail cart around the office. You truly are a special person!”
[Charlie Savage signs a copy of his book for Aaron Zitner, politics editor for the Los Angeles Times.]
Earlier this week, we attended a delightful book party for Takeover: The Return of the Imperial Presidency and the Subversion of American Democracy, by Charlie Savage of the Boston Globe. Savage won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting, based on his work on presidential signing statements.
Photos and discussion of the star-studded event — after you win a Pulitzer, everyone is your friend! — after the jump.
* DOJ decides against filing hate crime charges in torture prosecution. [MSNBC]
* Another day, another perjury. [Newsweek]
* Fred Thompson’s legal work at Arent Fox scrutinized. [MSNBC]
* Criminal trial begins for leader of polygamist FLDS sect. [CNN]
* Harvard nursing mother sues med boards over exam breaks. [New York Times]
Who knew that such a little man could generate such big controversy?
In a nutshell (see the links collected below for more): Erwin Chemerinsky, the brilliant but controversial professor of constitutional law at Duke, accepted an offer to serve as inaugural dean of UC Irvine’s new law school. But then Professor Chemerinsky’s deanship was yanked as quickly as it was offered, based on the administration’s discomfort with Chemerinsky’s political views.
One tipster reminds us: “For those who took BarBri, Chemerinsky is the Con Law professor who can recite the entire lecture (2 days if I recall) from memory, without consulting his notes.”
Does anyone have a copy of, or know the contents of, Chemerinsky’s employment contract with U.C. Irvine? If so, please contact us by email. Thanks.
Also, you can take our reader poll about the controversy, which appears after the jump. New UC Irvine Law School Hires Chemerinsky as Dean, Then Fires Him for Political Reasons
[Brian Leiter's Law School Reports] The O.C. — Law School Edition [WSJ Law Blog] Could This Be True??? [PrawfsBlawg] Chemerinsky says UC Irvine rescinds offer to become law school dean [Los Angeles Times]
The fall recruiting process. Some firms mess things up; some firms live it up.
We’re hearing through the grapevine that this year, for students at schools with late on-campus interview weeks, Quinn Emanuel isn’t doing the whole callbacks-at-their-offices thing. Instead, they’re inviting the students they like in the on-campus interviews on a weekend trip at a resort in Deer Valley, Utah, to get a better feel for the firm and its attorneys.
Apparently former Stanford dean Kathleen Sullivan will be on the trip, to make a pitch to the students. There will also be DVDs with virtual tours of the offices, in case some interviewees want to know what their office would look like if they chose to work there.
It appears that Quinn is trying this out as a pilot program this year, with the late OCI schools (e.g., Harvard, Chicago, Yale). If it works well, then they might expand its use.
This strikes us as a cool and fabulous junket. But on the other hand, maybe people wouldn’t want to spend this much time on an extended callback. Thoughts?
UPDATE (9/13/07): More details about the experiment are available here.
Our somewhat flagging coverage of the perks or fringe benefits of law firm life is getting reinvigorated, thanks to your suggestions. If you have an idea for a perk that merits discussion, please review our prior coverage (scroll down), to make sure we haven’t covered it already. If we haven’t, then please send your idea to us by email (subject line: “Biglaw Perk Watch”).
A tipster submitted this interesting topic:
[Y]ou should do a thread on firms that allow associates to participate in equity compensation schemes, i.e., purchase stock in clients. This is pretty common among the native Silicon Valley firms, but nowhere else, and is the only way I see any upside to practicing law!
This practice was very popular during the late 90′s tech boom. But that was before the tech bubble burst.
Do firms continue to do it today? If so, how lucrative can it be for participants? Can any associates who have taken advantage of this benefit describe how they made out financially?
Please discuss in the comments. Thanks.
We have to step away for a bit. But we’ll leave you with some food for thought (and argument): a piece we just wrote for the New York Observer, timed to coincide with fall interview season, about New York law firms. Here’s a brief excerpt:
“[J]ust as certain sleeve cuts are all the rage at Fashion Week, some law firms are “hot”—and some are not. Having interviewed with firms exactly 10 years ago, I was curious: Who is this fall’s “It” Firm?”
We expect that many of you will disagree with our conclusions, condemn us as ill-informed or biased (or both), etc. That’s okay. Our point is to provoke. We’d like to become for the law firm world what Michael Riedel is to theatre: “Post columnist Michael Riedel’s gleeful skewering of Broadway’s shows and personages has made him a must read—and a must-hate—on the Great White Way.”
You can read the full column over here. It’s the first in what’s going to be a semimonthly column we’ll be writing for the Observer on New York lawyers and law firms. Enjoy (we think). Polish Those Portfolios! Legal Eaglets Seek Their Nests [New York Observer]
As noted yesterday, we’re smack in the middle of clerkship hiring season. Perhaps some of you are applying to judges based in Miami. Clerking in a tropical paradise — what’s not to like?
Possibly deadly toxic mold, that’s what. From an article by Julie Kay in the Daily Business Review (via SDFLA Blog):
Two studies performed at the historic David W. Dyer federal courthouse in downtown Miami show there are significant mold and air safety issues at one of Miami-Dade County’s oldest courthouses and suggest parts of the building are beyond repair.
The studies… were commissioned by the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Florida after U.S. Magistrate Judge Ted Klein became ill and died last year of a mysterious respiratory illness, and his fellow magistrate judges raised concerns about the building’s environment.
* Mandated calorie watching is struck down. [AP; New York Times]
* Mortgage lenders’ ads may violate FCC FTC rules. [MSNBC]
* Former Philippine prez gets 40-year prison sentence. [New York Times]
* China agrees to prohibit lead paint in children’s toys… [AP via MSNBC]
* Tennessee uses the chair for first time since 1960. [CNN]
Check out this interesting data about the campaign contributions of Yale faculty and staff, over at Instapundit. It prompted Glenn Reynolds to ask: “Why don’t the Yale Law faculty like Hillary?”
Good question. And here’s another: Even if the Yale Law faculty don’t like this distinguished YLS alumna, why don’t they at least send their (hopefully non-tainted) money her way? Don’t they want her to remember them when she’s President Clinton, looking to fill high-ranking Justice Department posts or spots on the federal bench? As the old saying goes, “Scratch a Yale law professor (or graduate) and you’ll find an aspiring federal judge.”
(The information originally appeared in this excellent Yale Daily News article by Andrew Mangino — who, by the way, helped us out with the reporting for this piece on law firm economics and culture.) Yale’s Diversity Problem [Instapundit] Profs donate heavily to Dems [Yale Daily News]
Hey, have you read Above the Law for like one single minute in the past month? If so, you probably know that we’re having this big blogger conference on March 14th at the Yale Club. Yeah, the Yale Club. You’ll be able to recognize me: I’ll be the only big… blogger guy surreptitiously holding a can of crimson spray-paint.
Speaking of coming, you should come. We’ve got CLE and all that. Click here to buy tickets to get CLE credit for listening to bloggers scream about stuff on the internet.
To refresh your memory, details on the panel that I’m moderating — almost entirely sober, mind you — follow.
My panel is called Blogs as Agents of Change, and we’re going to talk about whether all of these spilled pixels are actually making a difference. You know my view… just ask Lawrence Mitchell, but here are the panelists:
So you spent a considerable amount of time courting, selling and maybe even doing some friendly stalking of that attractive lateral partner candidate with a sizable book. After he or she ignored your emails and didn’t return your calls, a few weeks go by and you read a press release in the legal media announcing the recent move to a competing firm.
Rats. Another one got away from you. You cringe when you consider how much time was spent in meetings that did not bear fruit. Your heart aches when recall how you were led to believe this was a marriage made in heaven.
You have been rejected.
The sting of rejection is painful, even for fancy law firms. But you need to find a way that you can turn this disappointment into a legitimate learning experience.
No, this isn’t a pre-party before we come back next fall for the real thing. This IS the real thing. Quinn Emanuel is pushing the envelope on recruiting. The party is now. This is when you meet the partners and associates face to face. This is when we begin the dance that could land you an offer for your second summer BEFORE school starts in the fall.
First: You come to the party. Second: If you like us, you send your resume after June 1, 2014. Third: If we like each other, you get an offer.
We’re not waiting for fall. We’re not doing the twenty minute thing. This party is the real thing!
We hope you’ll join us, and look forward to meeting you.
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