* Why does Wall Street get all the juicy scandals? We’re jealous of our DealBreaker colleagues. [Dealbreaker]
* Larry Ribstein’s take: “it’s hard not to think that it’s really all about dispute a few weeks ago between [the NYT's Andrew Ross] Sorkin and Dealbreaker’s John Carney.” [Ideoblog]
* Are you in the top one percent of U.S. taxpayers ranked by adjusted gross income? And which states are home to the richest of rich taxpayers? [TaxProf Blog]
* “Would you trust a law professor to be President?” [Althouse]
* Speaking of law profs, they may boycott the annual AALS meeting, due to the hotel owner’s opposition to same-sex marriage. [National Law Journal via TaxProf Blog]
* An interesting interview of Fried Frank partner Jonathan Mechanic, a superstar of the real estate bar. [New York Observer]
* Russian judge: “If we had no sexual harassment we would have no children.” [Telegraph (U.K.)]
* Why does Wall Street get all the juicy scandals? We’re jealous of our DealBreaker colleagues. [Dealbreaker]
[Ed. note: This post is by FROLIC & DETOUR, one of the finalists in ATL Idol, the "reality blogging" competition that will determine ATL's next editor. It is marked with Frolic & Detour's avatar (at right).]
Demanding bosses come with the territory in our line of work. Several less-than-loving legal employers have been profiled here on ATL, and you’ve shared some fine examples of bossal abuse. But until today, we’ve never undertaken a search for the worst boss in the legal profession.
This week, we want to find the ultimate briefcase-hurling, insult-spewing master of the legal boss’s art. ATL will get the ball rolling by offering the first nominee:
Senior Judge Suzanne B. Conlon, a living legend of the Northern District of Illinois, is a true judicial diva. She even fired a staff member who refused to carry the judge’s lunch up 17 flights of stairs on a day when the elevators weren’t working. But those in the know tell us that Judge Conlon didn’t reach the pinnacle of her achievements in bossery until September 11, 2001.
Judge Conlon is famous for her punctuality and for her ruthless enforcement of deadlines. So when federal marshals evacuated the Dirksen courthouse that sunny morning, she stayed put in her chambers. One clerk began to make made preparations to leave, per the instructions of the guys with guns. Judge Conlon decreed [paraphrasing]: “It is a TUESDAY, you are here till SIX, and if you leave, don’t come back.”
So he left and didn’t come back.
Can you top this, readers? We bet you can. Tell us why your boss (or former boss) deserves the Worst Legal Boss honor at email@example.com or in the comments. We’ll select the most outstanding candidates and post the full list of nominees on Thursday.
[Ed. note: This post is by SOPHIST, one of the finalists in ATL Idol, the "reality blogging" competition that will determine ATL's next editor. It is marked with Sophist's avatar (at right).]
Why does my television constantly tell me that being an attorney is: glamorous, “fun,” and yet so easy that any idiot can do it? I caught a preview for TNT’s new lawyer show, Raising the Bar, and, after my seizure, I realized that dramatic license has gone too far.
So, with a nod to the Coolest Law Firm bracket, I bring you the “Lionel Hutz Invitational.” Which of the following characters has done the most to mislead our friends and family about the true nature of our profession? Let’s keep it to characters created after 1990, so the kids can play along.Today, I’ll start with the quarterfinals, I’ll update the progress on Thursday, and on Friday we’ll vote on the finalists. But I sense how much ATL readers love to write in candidates, so please comment on the fictional donkeys that didn’t make my cut (I cannot watch Eli Stone or Shark). Perhaps I will run my own “shadow poll” based on the most popular write-in choices.
See the field after the jump.
Last week, we gave you a post on on-campus interviewing (OCI) cancellations by law firms at three schools. We wondered whether it might be an emerging trend. The flood of e-mails and comments in response suggests that it is.
We’ve compiled a long list for nervous law students. The firms or offices listed below have canceled plans to interview students on campus at certain law schools (or, in some cases, all law schools — the office isn’t hosting a 2009 summer program). When possible, we’ve specified the firm’s office, the law school reporting the cancellation, and the scope of the cancellation (e.g., 3Ls only).
Update / Correction: Please note that this list has been updated and corrected in various ways since it was originally published. Refresh your browser to get the latest version. Thanks.
Akin Gump –
Philadelphia and Dallas offices (Georgetown)
[Ed. note: Akin's Philly office was never signed up to interview at Georgetown in the first place, so there was no cancellation.]
Arent Fox (Cornell)
Arnstein & Lehr – Chicago office
Baker & Hostetler – Orlando office
Barnes & Thornburg – Chicago office (John Marshall)
Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft – New York office (Case Western, Rutgers)
Cooley Godward – 3Ls (UCLA)
Dorsey & Whitney – New York office
Duane Morris – Philadelphia office (NYU)
Edwards Angell Palmer Dodge (NYU)
Faegre & Benson – 3Ls (UCLA)
Gunderson Dettmer – 3Ls (UCLA)
Kirkland & Ellis – 3Ls (UCLA)
Kirkpatrick Kilpatrick & Stockton (Georgetown)
McKenna Long & Aldridge
Mintz, Levin – Washington, DC office
Morrison & Foerster – L.A. office (
U. Penn.; Brooklyn Law School)
Seyfarth Shaw – (Boston University)
Simpson Thacher – Palo Alto office – 3Ls (UCLA, UVA)
Skadden (Brigham Young University, Catholic)
Stinson Morrison Hecker (University of Texas)
Strasburger & Price – Austin office (University of Texas)
Thelen Reid (UVA)
White & Case (Fordham)
[Ed. note: White & Case is interviewing very enthusiastically at Fordham, which it regards as a "key school" for the firm.]
Willkie Farr – Washington, D.C. office (Columbia)
[Ed. note: The Willkie Farr cancellations apply only to 3L interviewing.]
Winstead PC – Dallas office (Georgetown)
As some of you noted, canceling on-campus interviews may be a cost-savings strategy for firms feeling the economic squeeze. One of you suggested that law schools stop charging firms to interview on campus:
Maybe if some of the schools where firms are interviewing didn’t charge the firms so much to come on campus to interview, they wouldn’t be cancelling…. you know some schools don’t charge at all (and aren’t getting cancellations).
Some firms canceled 3L interviews only. That and rumors of an increasing number of cold offers and no-offers to this year’s summer associates suggest that firms will have limited spots for the Class of 2009.
After the jump, we’ve got a message from a 3L advice seeker, plus full memos from law schools on OCI cancellations.
- Aaron Charney, Alex Kozinski, Ann Althouse, ATL Idol, Eliot Spitzer, Elizabeth Halverson, H. Rodgin Cohen, Jeremy Pitcock, Pictures, Thomas Goldstein
[Ed. note: This post is by MARIN, one of the finalists in ATL Idol, the "reality blogging" competition that will determine ATL's next editor. It is marked with Marin's avatar (at right).]
From ergonomic wrist supports to dual computer monitors, law firms wring every ounce of productivity from the attorneys they haven’t axed (yet). But while firms close branch offices and fire scores of lawyers, we submit that the answer to the current economic slump isn’t merging firms – it’s merging people. Everybody knows that two lawyers are better than one. It’s time for firms to get both and pay half; time for attorney mating.
No more legions of staff attorneys or filibuster roll-calls. Say goodbye to team meetings that resemble the Last Supper. Through attorney mating, firms can combine, say, the skills of master litigators with those of corporate powerhouses in order to produce uberlawyers with the efficiency of ten Aeron chairs. Using genetic samples from parent attorneys and the latest in Photoshop technology, we’ll give you a sneak peak at the offspring of some of the most sought-after combinations.
Read more, after the jump.
[Ed. note: This post is by ALEX, one of the finalists in ATL Idol, the "reality blogging" competition that will determine ATL's next editor. It is marked with Alex's avatar (at right).]
On-campus interviews are just around the corner. Biglaw firms are soldiering on with their recruiting efforts despite a crap economy. We can’t help but think, though, that recent layoffs and OCI cancellations have introduced a new level of anxiety into the process. Poor little 2ls; the gravy days are over. If it was critical before, it’s even more critical now: don’t mess up your interview.
It’s hard to say exactly what it takes to ace a 20-minute interview in a cramped hotel room or a cubbyhole in your law school. I’ve been on both sides of the ball for OCI, and I’m still not sure.
I had an interview as a law student where one of the two partners talked on his cell phone (loudly) in the bathroom while the other, feet resting on the bed, spoke without pause for 20 minutes about character. I didn’t say a word. I work at that firm now.
I’ve recommended that my firm hire less accomplished kids because they had funny hobbies and didn’t breath out of their mouths. And, as a general rule, I’ve nixed anyone who recited information from my bio.
The entire process is somewhat arbitrary. It really depends, in large part, on the personality of your interviewer. I think we can agree, however, that there are things that you should never say or do.
Tell us your OCI horror stories in the comments. Awful questions, awful answers, inappropriate comments, etc. We’ll post the best of the worst on Thursday.
We interrupt the spirited smackdown of ATL Idol to bring you a couple of LEWW-related announcements. First, as expected, Team Ho-Glover scored a decisive win in June’s Couple of the Month voting. LEWW salutes this glorious SCOTUS – WGWAG – Friend-of-Lat juggernaut!
In other news, two notable grooms didn’t make our list of finalists this week. The first is Lee Bollinger, son of current Columbia University president (and former University of Michigan president) Lee Bollinger. And the second is Paul Lieberstein, who looks a lot like that guy who plays Toby in The Office. Because he is that guy.
On to this week’s contestants:
Click on the link below to read more about these impressive legal matches.
* Death row inmate in Ohio: “I’m too fat to execute.” [CNN]
* Court appearance for man who attacked and beheaded a fellow passenger on a Greyhound bus in Canada. This horrific story makes us reconsider using the NY-DC bus. [BBC]
* Lawsuit in NYC seeks to uncover the race of police shooting victims. [New York Times]
* Freddie Mac CEO ignored warnings from his chief risk officer issued as early as 2004. [International Herald Tribune]
* Osama Bin Laden disciple serving a life sentence in a supermax prison filed a pro se lawsuit because he doesn’t want his food x-rayed. [Smoking Gun]
* Analysis of the “Goodling Report” and the inner workings of the DOJ. [Legal Times]
* Court ruling means you can keep on skipping over the commercials. [Financial Times]
[Ed. note: This is the farewell post of EXLEY, who was eliminated yesterday from ATL Idol, the "reality blogging" competition that will determine ATL's next editor. It is marked with Exley's avatar (at right).]
When I was a teenager, some of my classmates and I got bussed to a public high school 40 minutes away. We were part of a program for social outcasts who scored well on a couple of standardized IQ tests, and we applied all of our angst and intellect to harassing our bus drivers — we bellowed Queen’s “We Will Rock You” at the top of our lungs, we threw our lunches and snowballs at other cars to try to cause accidents (sometimes successfully), and once on our way home we all stared stonily at the bus driver by way of his rear view mirror until he finally cracked, turned the bus around, and drove us back to school.
Through my brief stint as an ATL Idol contestant, I’ve come to appreciate both what Lat does, and how those poor high school bus drivers must’ve felt. You guys are as unruly as a centaur’s dark and frothy pubes.
Read more, after the jump.
* How long before wrestler Diamond Dallas Page sends Mayer Brown a cease and desist letter? [Unusual Activity]
* How should law school deans deal with a weak U.S. News ranking? [Law and More]
* How can you succeed in law school? [Res Ipsa Blog]
* Blawg Review #171 — with a shout-out to the Material Girl herself. [IP ADR Blog via Blawg Review]
This shouldn’t come as a huge surprise, but résumés from refugees of Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft are all over the street right now. One recruiter, at an outside headhunting firm, described receiving “a flood” of CWT résumés in the past week. An in-house recruiting coordinator at an Am Law 100 firm agreed, noting that, interestingly enough, a number of the CWT submissions appear to be from lawyers in departments largely untouched by the layoffs. People at Cadwalader seem to be heading for the exits, in droves — even lawyers in “safe” practice areas.
We can hardly blame them. When it comes to career planning these days, being proactive and playing defensively is smart. If you think there’s even a chance you might be laid off from your law firm (or that your law firm might dissolve), start exploring your options early. As the conventional wisdom goes, it’s generally easier to find a job when you have a job.
To be sure, five months of severance, which is what Cadwalader is giving the 96 lawyers it axed last week, is generous (but justified — lawyers who survived the January layoffs were told they’d have jobs at least through the end of the year). But five months goes by more quickly than you’d think — and the job market, as everyone knows, is
crappy not great. As reported by Am Law Daily, ten of the victims of the January layoffs at Cadwalader have yet to find new jobs, some seven months later.
Perhaps surprisingly, however, Cadwalader continues to bring on new people, even as it sends almost 100 attorneys into the unemployment wilderness. We got our hands on an email that was sent around firm-wide today, without even taking the dismissed attorneys off of the distribution, announcing the arrival of a new bankruptcy associate.
Check it out, after the jump.
America’s favorite plus-size jurist, Judge Elizabeth Halverson, is back in the news. The disciplinary hearing to remove her from the bench — figuratively, not literally — got underway today.
Earlier this afternoon, from a Halverson-following reader:
CNN.com has live video stream of the Judge Halverson trial/hearing. I just started listening to it, so there hasn’t been anything real juicy yet. The first issue was Judge Halverson’s ability to use the restroom and the adequacy of the facilities at the hearing location.
And an update:
[So far] nothing that is new news. Her bailiff has been testifying about all the things he had to do for her. They are on a lunch breach until 4 PM Eastern time.
Ah, Judge Halverson’s lunch break. Expect the proceedings to resume around…. 8 PM?
In defense of Judge Halverson, is she getting a fair shake from the State Commission on Judicial Discipline? From the AP:
Nevada’s state judicial disciplinary panel is being asked to ban a suspended judge from calling witnesses or introducing evidence during hearings next week that could strip her of her elected position.
Insert Guantanamo joke here.
Panel Asked to Limit Judge Halverson’s Defense in Hearings [Las Vegas Now]
Panel asked to limit judge’s defense in hearings [AP]