Yesterday’s Lawyer of the Day here at ATL, Andrew Speaker, is a 31-year-old personal injury lawyer from Atlanta. He is currently infected with a drug-resistant strain of tuberculosis. He got married and honeymooned in Europe, then returned home — initially flying into Canada, from which he drove back to the United States — to have his TB treated.
His critics argue that Andy Speaker, in traveling despite being urged not to by the CDC, endangered his fellow passengers, exposing them to a potentially fatal illness. His defenders point out that he is not symptomatic — and that many of us might have done the same thing in his shoes.
Anyway, enough commentary. You’ve all read agreatdeal about this story already. Time for a pair of (unscientific and imprecise) reader polls:
Jessica Cutler, the former Senate aide whose online sex diary landed her a book deal and a Playboy photo spread but got her kicked off Capitol Hill, has filed for bankruptcy….
Cutler has spent much of her time [recently] fending off a lawsuit by ex-boyfriend and fellow DeWine staffer Robert Steinbuch, who claims Cutler’s blog publicly humiliated him. He is seeking more than $20 million in damages.
In court documents filed in the case Thursday, however, Cutler says she can’t even pay her American Express bill, legal fees and student loans. She submitted to the judge a copy of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition filed in New York dated Wednesday.
The lawsuit is being closely watched by online privacy groups and bloggers because the case could help establish whether people who keep online diaries are obligated to protect the privacy of the people they interact with offline.
Our advice to Jessica: retain William P. Smith to represent you in bankruptcy court. You can pay his fees in “Happy Meals.”
On a more serious note: How did the Washingtonienne wind up in this financial predicament?
We’re not so good with math, so please help us out. We run some numbers, after the jump.
Time to take a little Friday afternoon break and vote for ATL’s Legal Eagle Couple of the Month for May 2007!
Last month’s contest was extremely close; we have a feeling this one won’t be, but time will tell. We’ve certainly got plenty of diversity this time: Jews, WASPs, Jersey folk, and law professors!
If you’re ready to vote, here’s the poll. If not, click on the “Continue reading” link below, to study up on our candidate couples.
If you’re a summer associate at a large law firm, wondering how to conduct yourself over the next few weeks, you can consult various “survival guides” (assuming you need instruction on how to “survive” lunches at four-star restaurants). See, e.g., here and here.
But at the end of the day, being a good summer associate is just about demonstrating good judgment. Or at least not horrendous judgment. Heck, even Aquagirl got an offer.
Of course, showing good judgment may be easier said than done. Via the deliciously dishy Skadden Insider blog:
Last week a certain New York Office summer associate decided it was appropriate to expense his bar tab from a post-welcome party night out with a few fellow soon-to-be-3Ls. We’re sure the boys had a blast, given that the bar bill included several bottles of Cristal. The fearless leader of the group — you know, the one who actually had the balls to submit the multi-hundred dollar bill for reimbursement — got a bit of a lecture about judgment and appropriate expenses.
The biggest mistake the boys made, we hear, is that they failed to bring any lawyers with them. Dumb. Always insulate yourselves with an associate or two (or if the bar bill is $900, 20 lawyers) and never, never, never put your credit card down.
Congratulations to “Skadden Cristal Boy.” You are ATL’s Summer Associate of the Day!!!
Update: This post is subject to some corrections. Please click here.
We expect this is just the first of many SA screw-ups over summer 2007. Pursuant to our previous request, please send us your funny, interesting, or embarrassing summer associate stories, by email. Thanks.
Some of you have been clamoring for a post discussing why Jenner & Block has been dragging its feet on associate pay raises. Pretty much all of Jenner’s traditional peer firms have already bumped to the $160K pay scale in Chicago and Washington, DC. Why hasn’t Jenner?
We’ve heard some interesting theories floated to explain Jenner’s slowness. But we’re not in a position to share these rumors until we have more corroboration.
Can you help us out? If you have actual knowledge about what’s going on with Jenner, please email us (subject line: “Jenner & Block”). Thanks.
* Libby doesn’t want to go to jail. [AP via How Appealing]
* Wilson sues CIA so she can get her book on. [New York Times]
* Kevorkian’s a free man. [CNN]
* Local coverage of TB Andy, featuring a quote from Jimmy Carter’s grandson Jason Carter, a classmate of Speaker’s at UGA Law. [Athens Banner-Herald (free registration required)]
The Atlanta lawyer who has been quarantined with a case of drug-resistant tuberculosis, Andrew H. Speaker, has become an overnight celebrity of the legal world. And we’re happy to bring you more information about him.
First, from a fellow alum of the University of Georgia Law School, who knows Andrew Speaker personally:
He was a generally well-liked, pretty gregarious fellow, who did reasonably well in law school as far as I know.
I like it when a product of UGA Law makes the national news, but not this way!
[T]he patient, who had hastily left Rome earlier this week after CDC officials begged him to go into isolation at a hospital there, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Tuesday that he thought the security was excessive.
“I’m a very well-educated, successful, intelligent person,” he told the paper. “This is insane to me that I have an armed guard outside my door when I’ve cooperated with everything other than the whole solitary-confinement-in-Italy thing.”
Third, as several commenters pointed out, Speaker’s wife, Sarah Cooksey, appears to have a personal website.
A screencap, plus links and more discussion, after the jump.
May and June are the peak months for law school graduations. And you know what that means: dreadful graduation gifts.
So we’ve decided to embark upon a quest to find America’s most egregious graduation gift. If you have a nominee, please send it to us by email (subject line: “Worst Graduation Gift”). Please include a photograph of the gift if possible.
Pictured at right, the current frontrunner: a New York City snow globe, given to a recent Columbia Law School grad, by his out-of-town aunt (who was very proud of her find). Our tipster wondered: “I LIVE in New York. What do I want with an NYC snowglobe?”
P.S. We assume that the two tallest buildings in the snow globe are supposed to be the Twin Towers. If so, they’re not a very good likeness. They look more like 125 Broad Street — the not-so-happy home of Sullivan & Cromwell.
Here is the annotated engagement announcement for Andrew Speaker — aka “The TB Guy,” whom we just named our Lawyer of the Day — and his wife, Sarah Cooksey.
It’s a tale that’s abounding in irony. Check it out:
By email and in comments, readers have expressed significant curiosity about associate compensation at Williams & Connolly, the elite, Washington-based litigation boutique. We’d like to help; but we don’t have anything to report at the current time.
Here are some questions that we’d like your thoughts on:
1. Base Salaries. Historically the firm has paid above-market base salaries, but no bonuses. Back in March, Williams & Connolly raised to $165K. At that time, when homegrown D.C. firms were paying 145/155/170, a starting salary of $165,000 was well above the market.
But now that Washington-based firms have raised to 160/170/185, will Williams & Connolly raise again to stay ahead of the competition? Or might they stay at $165,000, but start paying bonuses?
2. Clerkship Bonuses: Speaking of bonuses…. The last we heard, Williams & Connolly paid a clerkship bonus of $25,000. Is that still correct? Do they differentiate between district and circuit court clerkships? What about people with two years of clerkship experience? Inquiring minds want to know.
Update: A current offeree confirms that the W&C clerkship bonus is still at $25K.
3. Summer Associates. A rumor, from a tipster:
The word is that summers aren’t being paid the first-year associate rate. They’re getting $2500 a week, while other DC summers are getting $3100.
The holiday season is upon us, and yet again, you have no idea what to get for the fickle lawyer in your life. We’re here to help. Even if your bonus check hasn’t arrived yet, any one of the gifts we’ve highlighted here could be a worthy substitute until your employer decides to make it rain.
We’ve got an eclectic selection for you to choose from, so settle in by that stack of documents yet to be reviewed and dig in…
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.
We currently have a very exciting and rare type of in-house opening in China at one of the world’s leading internet and social media companies. Our client is looking for an IP Transactional / TMT / Licensing attorney with 2 to 6 years experience. The new hire will be based in Shenzhen or Shanghai. Mandarin is not required (deal documentation will be in English) but is preferred. A solid reason to be in China and a commitment to that market is required of course. This new hire will likely be US qualified (but could also be qualified in UK or other jurisdictions) and with experience and training at a top law firm’s IP transactional / TMT practice and could be currently at a law firm or in-house. Qualified candidates currently Asia based, Europe based or US based will be considered. The new hire’s supervisors in this technology transactions in-house team are very well regarded US trained IP transactional lawyers, with substantial experience at Silicon Valley firms. The culture and atmosphere in this in-house group and the company in general is entrepreneurial, team oriented, and the work is cutting edge, even for a cutting edge industry. The upside of being in an important strategic in-house position in this fast growing and world leading internet company is of the “sky is the limit” variety. Its a very exciting place to be in China for a rising IP transactional lawyer in our opinion, for many reasons beyond the basic info we can share here in this ad / post. This is a special A+ opportunity.
If your firm is in ‘go’ mode when it comes to recruiting lateral partners with loyal clients, then take this quiz to see how well you measure up. Keep track of your ‘yes’ and ‘no’ responses.
1. Does your firm have a clearly defined strategy of practice groups that are priorities of growth for your office? Nothing gets done by random chance, but with a clear vision for the future. Identify the top practice areas for which you wish to add lateral partners. Seek input from practice group leaders and get specifics on needs, outcomes, and ideal target profiles.
2. In addition to clarifying your firm’s growth strategy, are you still open to the hire of a partner outside of your plan? I’ve made several placements that fit this category. The partner’s practice was not within the strategic growth plan of my client, but once the two parties started talking with each other, we all saw how it could indeed be a seamless fit. Be open to “Opportunistic Hires.” You never know where your next producing partner might come from, so you have to be open to it. I will be the first to admit that there is a quirky element of randomness in recruiting.
The traditional job application and interview process can be impersonal, and applicants often struggle to present themselves as more than just the sum of their GPAs, alma maters, and previous work history. ATL has partnered with ViewYou to help job seekers overcome this challenge. ViewYou NOW Profiles offer a unique way for job seekers to make a personal, memorable connection with prospective employers: introduction videos. These videos allow job candidates to display their personalities, interpersonal skills, and professional interests, creating an eDossier to brand themselves to potential employers all over the world. Check it out today!