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Mrs Henderson.jpgThis summer associate (or “vacation schemer”) story comes to us from across the pond. An attorney in the London office of Shearman & Sterling had an interesting take on appropriate summer associate events.
Legal Week reports that a bunch of Shearman partners and attorneys took the “trainees” out to the bars one Friday last month. As the night wound down, one of the attorneys decided to take a female summer to The Windmill (NSFW). Not a wise decision:

Shearman & Sterling has dismissed an associate in its London office after a vacation scheme student made a formal complaint about his behaviour during a night out.

The student, who has subsequently accepted a training contract position with another firm, lodged a formal complaint to Shearman alleging that she was taken to Soho strip club The Windmill by the associate last month.

An internal investigation at Shearman has resulted in the associate in question being dismissed for bringing the firm into disrepute.

The attorney in question should have done more to defend himself. He could have cast this as a highly reputable outing… or at least a little bit reputable. The Windmill is not just any old strip club; it’s an historic strip club. From its (NSFW) website:

Great Windmill Street in London’s Soho… where Laura Henderson was to create her world famous theatre staging the first nude stage shows in London in 1931….

[A] host of great British comedians began their careers at the Windmill. Among them were Peter Sellers….

[T]he story of Mrs. Henderson has been made into a hugely successful film starring dame Judi Dench, nominated for Hollywood’s presige’s [sic] Oscar.”

We’d think that mentioning the names ‘Peter Sellers’ and ‘dame Judi Dench’ in England would lead to all being forgiven.
Perhaps it would have been wiser to take a male summer, who could have better appreciated the “historic nature” of the club. But hey, you never know. Some female summer associates, far from having a problem with strip clubs, actually enjoy performing at them.
Shearman sacks associate after student strip club complaint [Legal Week]
Earlier: Summer Associate of the Day: Girl Gone Wild

ATL Idol Above the Law Idol AboveTheLaw Idol smaller.jpgThanks to everyone who voted in Round 1 of ATL Idol, the “reality blogging” contest that will determine the next editor of Above the Law. The polls just closed, at noon. Voter turnout was strong, with almost 1800 votes cast.
It was a competitive race. The top three finishers were within a few points of each other (and the top two were especially close). Here are the results:
ATL Idol Round 1 results.jpg
Congratulations to MARIN, SOPHIST, ALEX, and FROLIC AND DETOUR, who will all move into Round 2 of the competition. Saying farewell is EXLEY (who plans to pen a farewell post that we will bring you later).
Here’s what to expect from your ATL Idols this week:

  • a feature — i.e., a longer piece that will span multiple posts and days — starting tomorrow, and going through the week;
  • another head-to-head round, on Wednesday, to be reviewed by our celebrity judges; and
  • a freestyle post, on Thursday, on a topic of the contestant’s choosing (humorous or serious).
    Check back soon, to read more from your fabulous Idols!
    Earlier: Prior coverage of ATL Idol (scroll down)

  • If so, then you might enjoy this short video, in which a Houston Chronicle reporter hangs out with a few folks who just took the test.
    In response to the “what are you going to do now / I’m going to Disney World” question, interviewee Masoud Darvishi says he wants to “kiss…. girls.” One gets the sense, however, that that’s not all he’d like to do.
    The first interviewee, Adam Curley, is super-cute. But why no women in the video?

    Celebrating the Bar [Houston Chronicle]

    funny-pictures-pawshank-redemption.jpgIn last Monday’s ATL / Lateral Link survey, we asked you whether you were taking any vacations this summer.
    We received just under 900 responses, and the overwhelming majority of you reported that you will be escaping the office for at least a little while this summer.
    Overall, 86% of you have taken, or will take, a vacation, or at least a vacation day:
      * About 24% of respondents are taking a quick break of 1 to 3 days.
      * Another 18% of respondents reported summer vacations of 4 or 5 days.
      * 16% are taking between 6 and 8 days, and 13% are going for two weeks.
      * About 5% of respondents are taking 3 or more weeks.
    Among the attorneys who aren’t taking vacation this summer, 46% said that they just have too much work to get done. But 35% have the opposite problem: they need the hours. A surprisingly high number of respondents, 28%, said that they just don’t feel comfortable taking vacations. Only 7%, however, said that a partner told them not to take a vacation this summer. Another 7% are sticking around because they want to impress people, which will perhaps cause their peers to want to take more vacations themselves.
    Of course, whether in the office or out, not all attorneys can completely escape their responsibilities. An unlucky 13% of respondents have had to cancel vacation plans this summer, and 55% of respondents with uncancelled summer plans either did work or expect to work during their vacations.
    But hey, a busy summer is much better than the alternative, right?

    Justin Bernold is a Director at Lateral Link, the sponsor of this Associate Life Survey.

    potato chips AboveTheLaw Above the Law blog.jpg* Your potato chips are going to get healthier, thanks to California’s AG. [Associated Press]
    * The music industry needs to accept illegal music-sharing sites, per Radiohead’s example. [Financial Times via Drudge]
    * Nobel-prize winning author Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, whose writings criticized Soviet communism and labor camps, died Sunday. [New York Times]
    * Nuremburg vs. Guantanamo. [New York Times Magazine]
    * Obama is quite secure in his candidacy. He wants to give Michigan and Florida delegates a “full vote.” [CNN]
    * Many an Olympics fan has been swindled by fake ticket websites. One U.S. lawyer lost $12,000 and is looking to sue. [ Reuters]
    * “Home Alone” Israeli-style. Parents forget one of their five children in an airport duty-free store. [BBC News]

    playing card cuff links small.jpg* How summer associates should say goodbye to their law firms. [Corporette]
    * Gators seek to sink their teeth into Juicy Campus. [Legal Satyricon]
    * $150K for jilted bride. [MSNBC]
    * Death and taxes. [TaxProf Blog]
    * Cool cufflinks. [Fashionista]

    We don’t know how we missed this. Fortunately, several commenters were more observant.
    They directed our attention to the tail end of the American Lawyer’s Midlevel Associate Satisfaction rankings (subscription / registration), released earlier today, and the subject of an earlier open thread:
    Cadwalader last place midlevel associates survey.jpg
    Yup, that’s right — Cadwalader came in dead last, 157 out of 157 ranked firms, in terms of midlevel associate satisfaction. And this survey was taken before the Wednesday morning massacre, which couldn’t have helped morale.
    Associates Survey 2008: National Rankings [American Lawyer (subscription)]
    Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of Cadwalader (scroll down)

    pole dancing paralegal legal assistant.jpgWhatever happened to asking your paralegal to make some binders? Or asking your secretary for some photocopying, or to fill out your expense report? When it comes to support staff, why are lawyers getting so demanding all of a sudden?
    First this. Now this, via the Tampa Tribune:

    A former legal assistant in Pinellas-Pasco Public Defender Bob Dillinger’s office has filed a federal lawsuit against him, alleging she was retaliated against after complaining that male lawyers had made sexually degrading remarks to her.

    Jessica A. Schwartz filed the lawsuit Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Tampa….

    [Schwartz's boss Alan] Bulnes and another lawyer, Brett Berger, [allegedly] had a conversation with Schwartz in which they suggested she pole dance in her office like a stripper, the lawsuit states.

    We bet those colored post-it flags would make great pasties.
    Ex-Legal Assistant Sues Pinellas-Pasco Public Defender [Tampa Tribune]
    Earlier: Paralegal: Will Collate, Will Not Fellate

    Dustin Hoffman Rain Man autism autistic.jpgThis post over at our sister site, Dealbreaker, may remind you of some of your colleagues. It reminded us of a partner we once worked with — a brilliant litigator, with a photographic memory, but not the easiest person to interact with socially. Writes Bess Levin:

    I’m sure it doesn’t come as a shock for me to point out that many of you are socially awkward, often fail to demonstrate empathy for your peers, and are prone to restricted patterns of behavior such as hitting the submit button over and over and over again when trying to comment.

    Which is to say, you likely all have a mild to major form of Asperger syndrome. Or do you? Take this quiz and post your results.

    The incidence of Asperger syndrome is probably higher among Dealbreaker’s Wall Street readership than it is among the more well-adjusted ATL crowd. But if you’d like to see where you fall on the scale, visit Dealbreaker, and take the test.
    (It’s 50 questions long, so it takes a few minutes to complete, but it goes by faster than you’d expect. We scored a 6. Feel free to post your score in the comments.)
    What’s Wrong With You? [Dealbreaker]

    pearl necklace Wachtell Lipton Rosen Katz.jpgBased on your feedback, it seems that the story of office sex between two Skadden summer associates may just be urban legend. But we don’t feel that bad, since it’s a story that very well could have happened — and surely has, in other years or at other firms.
    As promised, we’re going to make it up to you with a story from our former firm that is similar to the Skadden one. Having heard this tale from multiple sources during our time there, with no divergences in the pertinent details, we believe it to be true (although we do admit it’s old, from the mid-1990s).
    The story, while perfectly safe for work, does include reference to a specific sexual act (hinted at by the image at right). If this offends your sensibilities, please stop reading here. We try to keep the ATL front page PG-rated.
    But if you’re cool with this, read more, after the jump.

    double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Summer Associate of the Day the Mid-1990s: The Necklace Maker”

    Job of the Week Lateral Link ATL logo.gifThis week’s job, brought to you by Lateral Link, is a unique position at a top-flight, white-collar criminal defense boutique. In addition to personalized assistance from Lateral Link’s search consultants, Lateral Link now offers its Members a free session with a professional career consulting firm — for more information, click here.
    Position: White Collar Associate
    Location: New York, NY
    Description: This top firm is seeking a junior to mid-level litigation associate to join its top -ranked white-collar practice. With approximately 50 attorneys, this firm is consistently ranked as the top white-collar boutique in New York. The firm takes on criminal and civil cases that are often front page news. The firm is known for getting their people great front-line work experience in a variety of interesting cases. This firm is also well-regarded as an outstanding stepping stone to the DOJ as well as the US Attorney’s office.
    For more information about this position, or to apply, please see Position 9560 on Lateral Link. Current members can also contact their personal search consultant directly to discuss this position. Membership in Lateral Link is free and you can apply at

    American Lawyer August 2008 cover.jpgThe results of the Midlevel Associate Survey of the American Lawyer are out. You can access the charts here (subscription, we think; but we’re guessing most of you interested in this have access through your firms). And even though 2Ls are still several years away from being mid-level associates at law firms, those of you about to go through fall recruiting may still find these rankings to be of interest.
    Am Law describes the Midlevel Associates Survey as follows:

    Midlevel associates are generally regarded as the sweet spot in a law firm’s financial structure–thus the near obsession with retaining them. In our annual midlevel survey, 7259 third-, fourth-, and fifth-year associates from 180 firms gave us a glimpse of their working lives.

    We like how the American Lawyer, consistent with the worldview of its Biglaw partner readers, views midlevels as essentially billing machines with legs — “the sweet spot in a law firm’s financial structure.”
    The ten highest-scoring firms in the survey, plus collected links and your chance to comment, after the jump.

    double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The American Lawyer Midlevel Associates Survey: Open Thread”

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