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Shearman & Sterling logo Above the Law blog.jpgSometimes it takes a while. But we usually get results, eventually.
Back in July, we published a post entitled Clerkship Bonus Watch: What’s Up With Shearman? Today, at 12:32 p.m., this email went around at Shearman & Sterling:

At the last meeting of the Associates Committee in New York, the committee representatives noted that we had fallen behind some other firms who had adjusted clerkship bonuses in 2007. As we mentioned at the meeting, we assumed that the firm would promptly respond with a clerkship policy consistent with the market.

Accordingly, I am pleased to report that because the firm places great value on the experience a clerkship provides, it has raised bonuses to $50,000, paid to associates who join the firm after August 1, 2007 and who complete a one-year eligible clerkship. For two one-year clerkships or two-years of clerkship experience, the firm will pay $70,000. An additional bonus is paid to U.S. Supreme Court clerks.

For details, please refer to the firm’s website.

This is the first clerkship bonus news in a while (since Dechert). Have we missed any developments? If you know of clerkship bonus news that we haven’t previously covered — use the site search function or the archives to check — please email us. Thanks.
Earlier: Clerkship Bonus Watch: What’s Up With Shearman?

Skadden Arps Slate Meagher Flom Abovethelaw Above the Law online legal tabloid.jpgThat’s the debate currently raging in the Los Angeles office of Skadden. It was triggered by some exuberant, multicolored emails from a Gay Colleague, promoting the Skadden LA AIDS Walk team.
From the delicious (but sporadically updated) Skadden Insider:

[T]he e-mails weren’t well received by everyone because “they are pretty aggressive and unprofessional. Just the tone of voice, the five thousand colors, the naming of names of who contributed and who didn’t.”

Our source continued: “And of course, some ignorant fools are going around saying, “I don’t go around calling myself the ‘straight associate’! Anyway, it was pretty funny. It was a gay gay gay Friday.”

Check out the full post, which reprints the (literally) colorful email, over here.
And read about another instance of public shaming at Skadden, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Skadden Gays: Out and Proud, or Tacky and Loud?”

LEWW logo.jpgWe had a tough time picking our finalist couples this week, and LEWW will be the first to admit that we’re not totally certain we chose the right three. (We’re sure our commenters and e-mailers will let us know if we’ve dropped the ball.) Specifically, in addition to our three finalists, we considered these three couples, and if you work at Shearman, Simpson Thacher, Wachtell, Willkie, or Ropes & Gray, you might want to click on those links to read about your colleagues or their spawn.
But onward to this week’s finalists! Here they are:

1.) Nisa Leung and James Lin
2.) Beth Schonmuller and John Williams
3.) Virginia Boyd and J. B. Lockhart IV

More on these couples, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Legal Eagle Wedding Watch 10.7.07: Sweet Virginia”

* Three-ring circus set up for Gitmo trials. [Los Angeles Times via How Appealing]
* Meanwhile, others at Gitmo may get new hearings. [New York Times]
* More ruminations on Genarlow Wilson; the Georgia Supreme Court is expected to rule soon. [Atlanta Journal-Constituion]
* House threatening to offend Turkishness. [New York Times]
* GlaxoSmithKline v. U.S. Patent Office. [WSJ Law Blog]

Monday mornings kinda suck. So here’s something to cheer you up and get your week started right. It’s a photograph, of higher quality than our last one, of a Sullivan & Cromwell bonsai tree:
bonsai 2 bonsai tree plant Sullivan Cromwell S&C Above the Law blog.jpg
Another S&C bonsai pic, in which the plant is artistically posed alongside additional booty sent by the firm to its offerees, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “A Monday Morning Pick Me Up: S&C Bonsai Porn”

Clarence Thomas book My Grandfather's Son Above the Law blog.jpgWelcome. If you’re at home, tune in to C-SPAN, which is rebroadcasting the recent book party for Justice Clarence Thomas. Justice Thomas’s eagerly anticipated memoir, My Grandfather’s Son, is now in bookstores — and topping the bestseller charts (to the relief of his publisher, HarperCollins, which reportedly paid him a $1.5 million advance).
7:05: The party is being held at the elegant, red-brick Capitol Hill home of radio host and syndicated columnist Armstrong Williams. Expected to attend: 250 guests, including six Supreme Court justices, Vice President Dick Cheney, and several U.S. senators.
Armstrong Williams is interviewed. He explains that the party has been in the works since June. An overwhelming turnout is expected; more people were turned away than allowed to attend.
7:08: Justice Thomas climbs the stairs. When he enters the kitchen — which is right at the top of the stairs, and thus (oddly) where everyone enters and exits — he’s greeted by hearty applause.
Various guests hug him. One guest gushes over his 60 Minutes appearance. CT explains that CBS News made no promises about the nature of its coverage. Interesting. Considering how flattering that segment was, and how uncritical Steve Kroft was in his questioning of Justice Thomas, one might have suspected that Brangelina-type stipulations were in place.
More after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Liveblogging the Clarence Thomas Book Party”

trophy 2 eyes on the prize.jpgHey look! Nominations are now being accepted for Best Law Blog.
We have shame enough not to nominate ATL. But not enough to express the hope that someone else might — before Monday, when the nomination process closes.
Hope you’re having a great weekend!
Update: Thanks for the nomination! You can second the nomination by clicking on the little plus sign.
Best Law Blog [The 2007 Weblog Awards via How Appealing]
Most Popular Law Blogs [Blawg Review]
P.S. Also, thanks to everyone who responded to our last shameless plug. Because of your generosity, we’re now just $45 short of our fundraising goal for the New York City marathon. See here.
(Before the shameless plug, we were $725 shy of the mark. So thanks, ATL readers, for joining the fight against cancer!)

Britney Spears VMA girlfriend still looks good all you haters.jpg* U.C. Berkeley has settled on a new name for its law school. Check it out, it’s quite brilliant. [Blogonaut]
(But we’ll probably still conduct the reader poll mentioned here, just for the heck of it.)
* Strained attorney-client relations between Britney Spears and Anne Kiley? Apparently Brit has “trust issues” (in addition to that whole missing-panties problem). [OK! Magazine]
* Wow, this guy is quite a tool. Thankfully he’s not a lawyer — which you could infer from the facts that (1) he lives in Atlanta and (2) he brags about his compensation. [Gawker; follow-up here and here from DealBreaker]
* Judge of the Day. [St. Petersburg Times via Blogonaut]
* Exciting happenings this weekend: (1) the CSPAN rebroadcast of the Clarence Thomas book party, and (2) the nuptials of the Wall Street Journal’s Peter Lattman. Congratulations and best wishes, PL! [WSJ Law Blog]

Andrew Bruck Building a Better Legal Profession Above the Law blog.jpg
Andrew Bruck takes a question at Wednesday’s press conference.

Every now and then, we leave our apartment. We did so on Wednesday, to attend the press conference of Law Students Building a Better Legal Profession, where the organization unveiled its law firm diversity rankings (accessible here; Los Angles Times article here).
It was quite informative. For those of you who might be interested — and we’re guessing there are a number of you, judging from the robust commentary on our earlier post — read more, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “ATL Field Trip: The Building a Better Legal Profession Press Conference”

email e-mail message microsoft outlook Above the Law.jpgLast week, USA Today ran an article about “Email-Free Fridays” or “Zero Email Fridays.” Earlier this week, the Wall Street Journal ran pretty much the same article.
But it’s an interesting piece, and it relates to an issue that many of us confront: email overload. The problem is especially acute for lawyers at large law firms, but it’s not limited to their ranks.
From the WSJ:

A growing number of employers, including U.S. Cellular, Deloitte & Touche and Intel, are imposing or trying out “no email” Fridays or weekends. While the bans typically allow emailing clients and customers or responding to urgent matters, the normal flow of routine internal email is halted. Violators are hit with token fines, or just called out by the boss.

The limits aim to encourage more face-to-face and phone contact with customers and co-workers, raise productivity or just give employees a reprieve from the ever-rising email tide. Emails sent by individual corporate users are projected to increase 27% this year, to an average of 47 a day, up from 37 in 2006…. And one-third of users feel stressed by heavy email volume, according to a 2007 study…. Many check email as often as 30 to 40 times an hour, the study showed.

Managers complain that rather than confronting problems, employees use email to avoid them by passing issues back and forth in long message strings, like a hot potato. Email reduces face-to-face contact among co-workers and clients; terse, poorly phrased messages further strain those relationships. And it is spilling into weekends, chaining employees to computers when they should be relaxing.

So, are email-free Fridays a brilliant idea? Or is this policy just not feasible? Take our poll:


P.S. We’re hopelessly behind in our email. After we deal with a message, we file or delete it, leaving only pending items in our inbox. Right now our inbox contains 2,471 pending items.
Unfortunately, due to the sheer volume of email we receive, we can’t respond personally to every message. If your email does require a response, and you haven’t heard from us for a while, please email us again, by way of friendly reminder. Or here’s a novel concept: try calling!
Fridays go from casual to e-mail-free [USA Today]
A Day Without Email Is Like… [Wall Street Journal]

sadomasochism s&m s and m sadist masochist dungeon Above the Law blog.jpgSince we started off today on a somewhat sordid note, we might as well keep going down the same path. From the AP:

Adrian Exley was wrapped tightly in heavy plastic, then bound with duct tape. A leather hood was put over his head with a thin plastic straw inserted so that he could breathe, and he was shut up in a closet.

That, apparently, was the way Exley liked it. But the way it ended — with Exley suffocating — was not what he had in mind when he traveled from Britain for a bondage session with a man he had met through a sadomasochism Web site.

Exley’s body was discovered in the woods last year, two months after he was bound up in the bondage “playroom” Gary LeBlanc had built in the basement of his suburban Boston home.

LeBlanc, a 48-year-old Gulf Oil sales executive, detailed his responsibility in the fatal bondage session in a five-page suicide note, just before he put a gun to his head and killed himself.

Now the question is: Since Exley consented to the sex play, can LeBlanc be held responsible for his death?

LeBlanc committed suicide, but the issue still matters:

Exley’s family is suing LeBlanc’s estate for unspecified damages, claiming wrongful death. Many bondage enthusiasts are watching the case closely, seeing it as a lesson in where to draw the line of responsibility on consensual but dangerous sex.

Additional sensational and salacious details appear in the full article.
Moral of the story: If you’re into this sort of thing, before doing anything, make sure your partner signs a waiver, assumption of risk, and release of liability form. Then transmit an executed copy to a third party prior to the liaison, so there’s contemporaneous documentation. Good luck.
Deadly consent: Bondage death raises legal issues [AP via CNN]
S&M for Beginners [Tango]

Here is the latest Job of the Week, courtesy of ATL’s career partner, Lateral Link. To refresh your recollection:

“Because Lateral Link does no cold-calling and is more efficient than traditional recruiting firms, successful candidates receive $10,000 upon placement.”

Position: Hedge Fund Specialist
Description: A $3+ billion hedge fund based in Greenwich, CT, is seeking a candidate to handle Hedge Fund and RIC taxation. The day-to-day responsibility is for fund group’s second stand-alone fund, a RIC. The Company handles special situations, event-driven, and distressed and focuses on five lines of business: bank debt, capital structure arbitrage, special situations / classical distressed, rescue finance, and direct lending.
* Work with tax director on fund structuring for and deal structuring for funds.
* Coordinate quarterly and annual RIC compliance in conjunction with Big Four firm engaged to do significant compliance and consulting work and prepare returns
* Analysis of fund’s deal activity to determine when tax treatment/timing differs from GAAP books
* Calculation of monthly tax provision for corporate subsidiaries
Position Requirements:
* Minimum 4 years tax experience, with significant hedge fund and/or RIC experience
* CPA preferred
* Self-motivated and works well in team environment
* Strong written / oral communication skills
* Ability to multi-task
* Bright, self-motivated person interested in working in collegial and professional environment that rewards quality productivity
To apply for this position, please visit laterallink.com.

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