That’s the question we attempt to tackle in our latest New York Observer column. It’s illustrated with an Aquagirl cartoon, seen in miniature at right. Click on the thumbnail to be taken to the article, where you can see the original version at full size.
In the piece, we lament the relative dearth of summer associate stories this year. It certainly has been a quiet summer at New York law firms.
But with respect to the rest of the country, did we speak too soon? We’re hearing some delicious SA gossip out of Minneapolis.
But we’d like to get more details and confirmation before running with it. If you can help us out, please email us. Thanks.
Update: Martha Neil of the ABA Journal gives us a kind shout-out over here.
Further Update: You can read about the Minneapolis summer associate story over here.
David Remes, who made Law Blog headlines last week for removing his pants at a news conference in Yemen, is leaving the firm, according to the Legal Times, which reported the news over the weekend. Remes will reportedly devote himself exclusively to human rights litigation.
Last week, we reported that Remes (Columbia, Harvard Law), who’s representing 15 Yemeni detainees at Guantanamo Bay, removed his pants at a news conference in Yemen. Remes was attempting to demonstrate what he feels are the inappropriate body searches that detainees are undergoing several times per day.
“At the press conference in Yemen — this is a society where the rule of morality is so strict — I wanted to drive home the degree of humiliation that these searches cause by illustrating a typical body search,” Remes told the LB.
We have not yet seen the new Batman movie, The Dark Knight. It’s too bad we’re not summering at Simpson Thacher in New York. Have you seen the film? Does it live up to the hype?
Meanwhile, Batman star Christian Bale was arrested in London, before being released on bail. From the Daily Mail:
Batman star Christian Bale was released on police bail today after he was arrested on suspicion of assaulting two family members.
The Hollywood actor was questioned for four hours at Belgravia police station in central London and later bailed to a date in September pending further inquiries.
Bale, 34, is alleged to have lashed out at his mother Jenny, 61, and sister Sharon, 40, in his suite at Park Lane’s Dorchester Hotel on Sunday night.
We prefer not to give you the context for caption contest photos, but the background on this one is as exposed as the lawyer in the photo. It’s up on Yahoo! News, the WSJ Law Blog, and the ABA Journal, among other places. It got more publicity over the weekend, with the news that David Remes, the pants-dropping partner in the picture, is leaving Covington & Burling (as reported by the Legal Times; see also the WSJ, via New York magazine).
We’re pushing on with the contest, since we had over 200 entries. These are our finalists:
A. “Ladies and gentlemen, I’ll be brief…”
B. “Million Dollar Pants Lawsuit: Part 2″
C. “Ya know, John, I think the school board had something else in mind when they asked for an assembly on the how the penal system works.”
D. “Having been found guilty of malpractice, the lawyer literally had his pants sued off.”
E. “Another unsuccessful effort to get ‘junk’ science before the jury.”
F. “And now my junior partner has something he’d like to say…”
G. “[Y]our honor, i thought you said you wanted to take a closer look at the briefs.”
H. “You think that jury was hung?”
I. “Counsel, the phrase ‘may it please the court’ is NOT a literal request.”
J. “Other Van Winkle Law Firm partners have expressed concern that Joe represented his favorite extracurricular activity a little too enthusiastically in his ‘Meet Joe’ bio photo.”
Having just discussed Janet Jackson (or her breasts), we’re going to remain on the subject of music. This installment in our continuing series of open threads on career alternatives for attorneys — i.e., “things you can do with a law degree other than Biglaw (or contract attorney work)” — is inspired by lawyer turned rapper Mekka Don.
There are many attorneys out there with musical side projects. When do you decide to take the leap and dive into your music career full-time? According to Mekka Don, the answer is “after one year at Weil.” He wrote to us in March:
My name is Emeka Onyejekwe (aka Mekka Don) and in the spring I left my job at a top ten law firm in order to help save Hip Hop. I graduated from NYU in 2006 and worked at the firm for a little less than a year. Many people (probably including you, lol) think I’m crazy, but I believe it was a calling from God. I’ve begun to memorialize what I am doing through a reality show.
He may be too late. According to Nas, hip hop is dead! But good luck with that.
ABA Journal’s July issue has a profile piece on the “legal hustler.” Taking the struggling artist career route sounds challenging. To make ends meet, Onyejekwe is “modeling, event planning and sports marketing along with running a small legal practice with his sister.”
Does a legal background help much in this career? Once you make it big, those contracts classes may come in handy. It also looks to be useful in the comments on the ABA piece. Someone questioned Mekka Don’s use of “Law & Order” for the title of his mixtape, and he responds by citing the “fair use” doctrine.
More on Mekka Don, after the jump.
A day in the life of a rapper sounds a bit better than 12 hours of doc review. Here’s the description in his e-mail to us:
A typical day in the life of Mekka Don can involve a Phat Farm photo shoot in the morning, then hitting the movie set in the afternoon where he is playing a lead role in an independent film. Of course, the day wouldn’t be complete without laying some tracks in the music studio then popping into one of Mekka Don’s parties at night. Add in negotiating a contract or litigating a case for a legal client and Mekka Don earns his additional moniker – “the Legal Hustler”.
In the ABA Journal piece, Mekka Don says he doesn’t regret law school, and that he loves the law, but that he hasn’t been getting a whole lot of support from the legal community.
Q: What sort of reaction are you getting from the legal community?
To my face they say it’s cool, but behind my back there are a lot of negative responses. Some black lawyers think this is the worst possible thing I could have done in the black community. But almost every piece of criticism is from someone who’s never heard my music.
So one downside to pursuit of your music dreams is fellow lawyers making fun of you… until you make it big! Then they’ll all be lining up to represent you.
We and our sponsors on this series of articles, Kinney Recruiting, Inc., have taken some heat in the comments and our inboxes over the last two months. Now that we have slowed up a bit at work, after being slammed for several weeks, next week we’ll move forward with more substance about what it’s actually like to work here in Asia.
Perhaps what follows will assist some of you in understanding why Kinney’s involved. We thought it might be cathartic (for us) and informative (for you) for us to lay out why we turn to Kinney Recruiting as a source of information for these posts.
This article discusses what we think you should look for in a U.S. associate recruiter for the Asia market. We’ll use Kinney as an example, because we think they make the grade, but we aren’t saying that only Kinney can do a good job representing a U.S. associate in the Asia markets.
If you are considering a job search in Asia, you should put a lot of thought into the recruiter selection process. Don’t just go with the next recruiter that cold calls you. The process is much more complicated than simply making a move down the street or to another domestic market. It’s a higher-risk process for both the candidate and the target firms.
We suggest that you ask any recruiter who wishes to represent you in Asia the following questions before sending in your resume:
1) How many U.S. associate placements has the recruiter made in the particular Asia market you are targeting? Some U.S.-based recruiters that claim expertise in Asia have actually made few if any placements there, and many Asia-based recruiters have placed exclusively locally-qualified attorneys.
2) Can the recruiter provide five or more references of past U.S. associate placements in Asia?
3) Can the recruiter provide detailed information about the interview / hiring process? The process can take months and include numerous phone calls, video conferences, and Asia travel.
4) Who are the specific partner contacts the recruiter has at each target firm and in your practice area?
5) How much time does the recruiter spend in Asia each year? Ask for details regarding particular cities and firm office visits.
6) Can the recruiter provide details regarding expat / cola / housing packages at each firm you are targeting?
7) Can the recruiter provide you with details regarding the practice focuses at each of your target firms, including sample deal sheets?
There are many more questions to ask at early stages of the process, but these should help you determine whether the recruiter you’re dealing with can truly add value to your job search.
If the recruiter can’t answer these questions in a way that demonstrates familiarity with the Asia markets, could he/she still place you? Sure he could. A doctor who has never taken out an appendix could probably get yours out safely, too. But do you want your doctor experimenting on your appendix, or someone else’s? Be realistic — you want the best services if you are going to be trying your luck in Asia these days. A recruiter who has won the trust of hiring partners through repeated experiences with them will not only have more information to add to the mix for you, but will also be more likely to get the ear of the people who will make decisions about whether your future will be with a good firm out here.
Next week we’ll look at the actual state of the market out here in Asia, market by market. While the five of us have Singapore, Hong Kong and Tokyo covered, we’ll also be gathering data from our colleagues at firms in mainland China and other parts of Asia. If you know of specific openings or needs in these markets, please contact us. Earlier: Prior installments of the Asia Chronicles (scroll down)
[Disclosure: Kinney Recruiting, which has made more placements of U.S. associates and partners in Asia than any other firm in the past two years, is the sponsor of this post.]
British barrister Max Mosley is the president of the International Automobile Federation (F.I.A.). When he’s not overseeing Formula One, he’s allegedly into sadomasochistic sex play. Unfortunately for him, a $5,000 “party” that he arranged was caught on hidden cameras by News of the World, a British tabloid. The encounter, now on YouTube, involved German prison guards and lots of spanking.
Mosley is now seeking punitive damages from News of the World for invasion of privacy — and for giving the story a Nazi spin. Such suits are almost never a good move from a PR-standpoint, since the trial brings even more attention to the source of embarrassment. Now every one from the New York Times to ESPN is reporting on it.
Taking the witness stand at the start of a two-week High Court hearing, Mosley said he had paid $5,000 for the “party,” but insisted no Nazi fantasies were involved. The News of the World said participants wore German-style uniforms and spoke in German as they acted out scenes involving prisoners and guards.
Mosley said he and the women had acted out a German prison scenario, but without any military aspect.
Next time, Mosley should probably stick to British prison scenarios, to avoid the possible Nazi confusion.
The Nazi allegations are especially sensitive because Mosley is the son of the late Oswald Mosley, leader of Britain’s fascist movement before World War II and a friend of Adolf Hitler.
“There was not even a hint of that,” Mosley said of the Nazi claims. He said he could “think of few things more unerotic than Nazi role-play.”
But, apparently, having a prison guard tell him to bend over a bench does the trick. More salacious details, after the jump.
These allegations are unconfirmed. We pass them along merely because everyone is talking about them — and you want to know what everyone is talking about, even if it turns out to be inaccurate, which is why you read sites like this one.
From Ken Layne of Wonkette (whose post has received, as of the time of this posting, 35,682 page views):
This may come as a shock, but a prominent anti-homosexual Republican attorney general has apparently been caught having homosexual sex intercourse with his homosexual gay male assistant. Bonus: The dude’s wife caught him, in their bed. This is the rumor that the AG’s office has officially denied, so now of course everybody is spilling the sordid details.
AG in question is Troy King, who, of course, is only interested in outlawing homosexuality and sex toys. His gay lover is either a college “buddy,” or a very young youngster and “Homecoming King” from Troy University. What are the odds of a dude named Troy King getting caught in bed with a Homecoming King from Troy University? This seems like a wacky sitcom plot, on a gay porn channel. (Is this what that Will & Grace was about?)
Based on his headshot, the boyishly appealing King is something of a hottie (at least by state attorney general standards; maybe we should have a state AG hotties contest, since they’re all public figures and fair game). But we were still amused by the reaction of Wonkette commenter “HomoPolitico”: “What really pisses me off is that THIS guy is nailing prime college jock ass and I’m not.”
We also liked this quip, a few comments down in the thread: “Wait? A bed!? Not a truck stop or a bathroom stall? What a conservative.” Anti-Gay Alabama A.G. Caught Being Gay [Wonkette]
You’ve got to throw some more shame on the bedbug issue! According to the housing people, six Columbia Law School summer associates who are living in Lenfest Hall (the law school housing building) have brought Cravath bedbugs home, and the building’s infested!
They hired a “scientist” to run around with a bedbug-trained sniffing dog to root out the infestation; the building’s supposed to be crawling with them. WTF?
How can a firm like Cravath not be on top of something like this? Now I’ve got to be worried about catching cooties…
Look, punk: those are Cravath bed bugs. They’re too good for you. Count yourself lucky that they’ve decided to grace your crappy dorm with their presence.
If you stop your whining, and ask nicely, they might do the Cravath walk. Up and down your back.
Check out the fabulously fun attorney bio page of the North Carolina-based Van Winkle Law Firm. Each of the attorneys has a normal bio, featuring practice highlights and professional affiliations. But the firm has decided to liven up some of their lawyers’ profiles with links to an alternate bio — click on the “Meet [Lawyer Name]” link at the bottom of the page — which reveals the attorney’s hobbies, likes and dislikes. (Okay, there aren’t dislikes, but there should be.)
Each attorney with an alternate bio has dual photos. One is the staid, professional photo, and the other is a “character photo,” giving visual clues to their interests outside of work. It reminds us of playing dress up with Barbie and Ken dolls.
For example, this one goes from boring lawyer to crazy biker!
Witness the other transformations — note that you can click on each image to be taken directly to the featured lawyer’s webpage — after the jump.
Back in May, we broke the news of the engagement of celebrity professors Cass Sunstein and Samantha Power. Both are Harvard-trained lawyers and high-profile advisers — current in Sunstein’s case, and former in Power’s case (see Monstergate) — to fellow HLS grad Barack Obama.
In the fall, Professor Sunstein will be teaching law at Harvard, where Professor Power teaches at the Kennedy School of Government. His relationship with Power reportedly played a major role in his decision to leave the University of Chicago, his longtime home in legal academia.
If you doubted our original report about the Power-Sunstein engagement, your doubts were misplaced. It’s now official. From the Irish Independent:
The man who brought them together was unavoidably detained elsewhere. Barack Obama has the small matter of a US presidential campaign to fight.
[On Friday], a world away in rain-lashed Co Kerry, two of his friends tied the knot. The wind blew and the rain poured down but it could not spoil a very special Fourth of July for Samantha Power.
Obama’s former adviser married Professor Cass Sunstein in Mary Immaculate Church, on the edge of the sea at Loher near Waterville, Co Kerry.
Irish-American academic and writer Samantha (38) arrived for her marriage to the 54-year-old law professor at the church in the parish of Caherdaniel, the home turf of 19th century politician, the Liberator Daniel O’Connell.
The couple met while working on the Obama presidential campaign.
The celebrated Sunstein and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Power are boldface names, and the person who brought them together is probably going to be the next President of the United States. But because their nuptials were not featured in the august pages of the New York Times — we wonder why they didn’t submit themselves (because they would have made the cut if they had) — Power and Sunstein are not eligible for consideration in the next installment of Legal Eagle Wedding Watch.
But we obviously could not let their wedding go unremarked. Hence this special report, which you can think of as “LEWW Supp.”
As promised, we’re back with our second installment of LEWW this week. We think you’ll agree that this one features some of our finest contestants of the season. A SCOTUS clerkship (finally!), a Rhodes, more YLS grads — enjoy this special Independence Day edition of the Legal Eagle Wedding Watch!
Here are the names:
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: email@example.com.
Things have changed recently in Korea – a few of our US and UK client firms are looking, very selectively, for a lateral US associate hire. Until just recently, there was not much hiring like this going on in Korea, since US and UK firms started opening offices there. We have already placed two US associates in Korea in the past month at top firms. Most of the hiring partners we work with in Korea do not actively work with other recruiters.
If you are a Korean fluent US associate in London, New York or another major US market, 2nd to 6th year, at a top 20 firm, with cap markets or M&A focus (or mix), or project finance background, and you are interested in lateraling to Korea to a top US or UK firm, please feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Our head of Asia, Evan Jowers, was just in Korea recently, and Evan and Robert Kinney will be in Korea in a few weeks. We are in the process of helping several firms open new offices in Korea (a number of which are interviewing our partner level candidates) and also helping existing offices there fill openings.
Professor Joel P. Trachtman has developed a unique, practical guide to help lawyers analyze, argue, and write effectively.
The Tools of Argument: How the Best Lawyers Think, Argue, and Win is a highly readable 200-page book, available for about $10 in paperback or e-book. Chapters focus on foundational principles in legal argument: procedure, interpretation of contracts and statutes, use of evidence, and more. The material covered is taught only implicitly in law school. Yet, when up-and-coming attorneys master these straightforward tools, they will think and argue like the best lawyers.
For most attorneys, time spent managing the books is a necessary evil at best. Yet it is undeniably a crucial aspect of running a successful practice. With that in mind, we invite you to view or download a free webinar by Above the Law and our friends at Clio to learn how to better manage your finances.
Take this opportunity to learn what it takes to streamline your accounting and get the most out of your time. The webinar agenda:
● The basics of accounting for lawyers.
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Do not miss this crucial chance to optimize your accounting practices. Save time and get back to billing!