According to the non-theme-songsong (mp3) of Nixon Peabody, the firm is “the best to work with” and “the best to work for.” At NP, “it’s all about the team, it’s all about respect, it all revolves around integrity.”
And top of the line ingredients. From the Washington Post:
Big-time lawyers are pros at waiting for judges’ tough decisions, but yesterday afternoon at Nixon Peabody in the District, some may have posted fewer billable hours until results of the firm’s 19th annual cook-off were handed down.
The competition pits men against women, which could lead to actionable territory and dangerous stereotyping. Yet, it has helped build camaraderie among all departments, firm employees say, pointing to Nixon Peabody’s ranking among Fortune magazine Top 100 Best Companies to Work For, three years running.
Wow, they really milk that honor for all it’s worth! Kudos to NP’s public relations department for placing this puff piece in the Post. The firm’s PR operation has come a long way from the days when they threatened bloggers over leaked musical homages (and generated unflatteringpublicity for themselves).
More discussion, after the jump.
There have been some rumblings on this blog of a slowdown in judicial clerk hiring, even as firms raise clerkship bonuses to $50K.
Today’s ATL / Lateral Link survey digs a little deeper into who is (or isn’t) hiring judicial clerks, and what their bonuses look like. Update: This survey is now closed. Click here or here for the results.
– Justin Bernold is a Director at Lateral Link, the sponsor of this survey.
[Ed. note: Today we bring you some "news you can use": a practical look at how political choices might affect your personal finances. This post is by Ted Frank, who blogs at Overlawyered.com and PointofLaw.com, and who has guest edited ATL in the past. Take it away, Ted.]
BigLaw lawyers love Obama. If one searches by law firm various databases on-line for campaign contributions, one sees an overwhelming sea of blue, and most of it to Obama.
But how will Obama affect BigLaw wallets? On Above the Law, we regularly see commenters threaten to abandon law firms for falling $5,000/year short of market. I therefore thought it worthwhile to examine the effects of Obama’s tax and spending plans on take-home pay.
We all know that Obama wants to end the Bush tax cuts. That is a 3% bump across the board to the bad old days when associates faced a marginal federal tax rate of 36%.
But the real hidden tax is that Obama plans to end the social-security tax cap. Right now, you may notice, sometime during the summer or early fall, your take-home pay suddenly goes up because they stop deducting FICA. Current law caps social security taxes: in 2008, the cap is at $102,000. Obama proposes to abolish this. That mid-summer bump will be no more: add about several thousand dollars to your annual tax bill.
But social-security taxes are not only on employees. The government also charges 6.2% to employers that you never see on your W-2s. But rest assured the partners see this, and will notice that the expense of keeping an associate has risen several thousand dollars a year when FICA taxes double and triple. Will they swallow that additional expense, or take it out of your bonus?
Find out, after the jump (or click here).
* President pushes House on FISA. [CNN]
* EPA may exempt “toxic gases” from factory farm reporting requirements. [Washington Post]
* Congress may ask DOJ to investigate Clemens’s testimony, not McNamee’s. [New York Times]
* Ford pushing employees to accept buyout packages. [New York Times]
* UAW strikes at American Axle in MI and NY. [MSNBC]
* Five former execs found guilty in AIG fraud case. [WSJ Law Blog; New York Times]
This just in: the super-fabulous Monica Goodling, one of ATL’s all-time favorite people, is engaged! Monica Marie Goodling, of Alexandria, is engaged to be married to Michael Krempasky, of Falls Church. The wedding is planned for later this year.
The future bride, a consultant, previously served as senior counsel to Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales and White House liaison at the U.S. Department of Justice. She graduated cum laude from Messiah College and received J.D. and M.A. degrees from Regent University.
Mr. Krempasky is a senior vice president at Edelman, a full-service, global public relations firm. He is also a founder of RedState, a leading conservative blog.
Although Monica Goodling and Mike Krempasky are a “power couple” here in Washington, their story goes back more than a decade and originates outside the Beltway. Look for more details later, either in these pages or elsewhere (e.g., their official engagement or wedding announcement). Update: More details about their courtship appear here.
Congratulations and best wishes to the happy couple! Full-size engagement photographs, exclusive to ATL, appear after the jump.
* “Can Michigan universities use proxies for race after the ban on racial preferences?” Professor Brian Fitzpatrick answers in the negative. [PrawfsBlawg]
* ATL’s new sports columnist, Marc Edelman, gets a shout-out from Brett Trout in Blawg Review #148. [BlawgIT via Blawg Review]
* Who’s the most scandalous Filipino lawyer in America? Your undersigned blogger, of course! [Philippine Daily Inquirer via ABA Journal; Soloway]
Florida lawyer Jack Thompson, who is completely crazy somewhat colorful, has surfaced inthesepages before. But he has never been an ATL Lawyer of the Day.
With this post, we officially bestow the honor upon him. From Game Politics:
[T]he Florida Supreme Court alleged [last] week that controversial Miami attorney Jack Thompson has “abused the legal system by submitting numerous frivolous and inappropriate filings in this Court.”…
The Daily Business Review reports that a December document was specifically mentioned in the Court’s show cause order (PDF) to Thompson:
“The court described one of Thompson’s recent filings in detail. [Thompson] dubbed it a ‘children’s picture book for adults,’ interspersing images with text in his motion due to ‘the court’s inability to comprehend’ his arguments.”
Seriously. Check part of the filing out by clicking here (Word document). It sure is purdy, ain’t it?
Despite that order to show cause from the Florida Supremes, Thompson is unrepentant. As he told the Daily Business Review:
I have a right to file anything I want with the court. It is beyond bizarre that they think they can tell me I can’t seek relief. They can deny relief, but they can’t tell me I can’t seek relief.
We bring you some news from the University of Virginia School of Law, which last year was voted America’s Coolest Law School by the readers of Above the Law. UVA has a new dean: Professor Paul Mahoney. Congratulations, Dean-To-Be Mahoney!
Professor Mahoney, who will replace John C. Jeffries Jr. as dean when Jeffries steps down in July, has a glittering resume: MIT, Yale Law, clerkships for Judge Winter (2d Cir.) and Justice Marshall, and four years at S&C. He joined the UVA law faculty in 1990. Word on the street is that Paul Mahoney was “the internal favorite” and that “students [are] pleased” by his selection, which didn’t come as a surprise:
[H]e was widely expected to be the guy. I’m sitting in his wife’s class right now (she’s a prof here too), and not even she [Professor Julia D. Mahoney] has said anything about it. Just prattling on about bailments…
Meanwhile, while we’re training the spotlight on Charlottesville:
Journal tryouts are ongoing at UVA and presumably other law schools. This is the official Feb Club blog’s take on journal tryouts…
We tend to emphasize Biglaw over the in-house world here at ATL. When we do talk about in-house lawyers, it’s often in the context of their complaining about the legal bills they get from large law firms — and how much first- and second-year associates earn these days, despite being short on knowledge and experience.
But don’t shed tears for chief legal officers, general counsels, and the in-house lawyers who work under them. As shown in our latest batch of survey results, they’re very happy with their jobs.
Part of that happiness may stem from their compensation. Check out this Inside Counsel report (PDF) on in-house compensation, or this Legal Blog Watch summary of the report. While they may make less than their counterparts in large law firms, they’re still doing very well for themselves. For GCs’ Salaries, Survey Says: Ka-ching! [Legal Blog Watch] Payday: How does your compensation compare? [InsideCounsel] Payday: Full Report (PDF) [Inside Counsel] Earlier: Featured Job Survey: Does the In-House Always Win?
The powers-that-be at Mayer Brown have made their decisions on bonus and salary adjustments, as announced in an email last night. And it appears that they’ve taken a page from the Dechert playbook, according to one associate:
“The second paragraph [of the memo] is a shock. We were never informed of financial ramifications for failing to enter our time.”
It might be slightly annoying, but it’s the growing trend. Expect more firms to adopt policies that tie compensation to timely time entry. Email exhortations without financial consequences don’t seem to be very effective.
(And it’s arguably not that big an imposition. You already slave away at the firm for ten or twelve hours a day — so what’s another five minutes at the end, to enter your time before heading home? It’s just a matter of getting into the habit of doing it, instead of letting a backlog build up.)
The Mayer Brown memo, after the jump.
We received 1,062 responses to our ATL / Lateral Linksurvey on in-house aspirations.
As shown in the charts below, over half of associates are satisfied or even “very satisfied” with their current positions, but about half would still like to go in-house. Associate Responses: Are You Satisfied With Your Current Job?
Associate Responses: Would You Like To Go In-House?
Find out why and where associates want to move, and what in-house counsel are thinking themselves, after the jump.
If you are considering a virtual law practice, you know that many of today’s solo firms started that way. But why are established, multi-attorney law firms going virtual?
Many small firms are successfully moving part—or even all—of their practice to a virtual setting. This even includes multi-jurisdictional practice spanning several states and practice areas, although solo and small partnerships are still the largest adopters of virtual law.
Can you do the same? The new article Mobile in Practice, Virtual by Design from author Jared Correia, Esq., explores how mobile technology bring real-life benefits to a small law firm. Read this new article—the next in Thomson Reuters’ Independent Thinking series for small firms—to explore how a mobile practice:
Reduces malpractice risk
Enables you to gather the best attorneys to fit the firm, regardless of each person’s geographic location
Leverages mobile devices and cloud technology to enable on-the-spot client and prospect communication
Transitioning in-house is something many (if not most) firm lawyers find themselves considering at some point. For many, it’s the first step in their career that isn’t simply a function of picking the best option available based on a ranking system.
Unknown territory feels high-risk, and can have the effect of steering many of us towards the well-greased channels into large, established companies.
For those who may be open to something more entrepreneurial, there is far less information available. No recruiter is calling every week with offers and details.
In sponsorship with Betterment, ATL and David Lat will moderate a panel about life in-house and we’ll hear from GCs at Birchbox, Gawker Media, Squarespace, Bonobos, and Betterment. Drinks, snacks, networking, and a great time guaranteed. Invite your colleagues, but RSVP fast, as space is limited.
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 seven years. You can reach them by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s that time of year again when JDs are starting to apply for 2L summer jobs and 2L summers are deciding which practice area to focus on.
For those JDs with an interest in potentially lateraling to or transferring to Asia in the future, please feel free to reach out to Kinney for advice on firm choices, interviewing and practice choices, relating to future marketability in Asia, or for a general discussion on your particular Asia markets of interest. This is of course a free of cost service for those who some years in the future may be our future industry contacts or perhaps even clients.
For some years now Kinney’s Asia head, Evan Jowers, has been formally advising Harvard Law students with such questions, as the Asia expert in Harvard Law’s “Ask The Experts Market Program” each summer and fall, with podcasts and scheduled phone calls. This has been an enjoyable and productive experience for all involved.