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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”

ATL Idol Above the Law Idol AboveTheLaw Idol smaller.jpgAnd now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for. The polls in ATL Idol, our effort to find this site’s next top blogger, are open. You can text your vote to Ryan Seacrest vote for your favorite Idol in the online poll, below.
Polls will remain open over the weekend. Voting for round 1 will conclude on MONDAY, AUGUST 4, at noon (Eastern time). The one contestant with the fewest votes will be eliminated. The remaining four will move into round 2.

Earlier: Prior ATL Idol coverage (scroll down)

ATL Idol Above the Law Idol AboveTheLaw Idol smaller.jpgLater today, we will open the reader polls in ATL Idol, the “reality blogging” competition in which you will select the next editor of Above the Law. Before we do that, however, we’d like to give our panel of “celebrity judges” the chance to weigh in on the contestants.
Reader opinions on the competitors have been all over the map, as well as overwhelming in volume, with hundreds of comments posted in total. So hopefully this concise commentary, from experts in legal blogging, will be clarifying.
To refresh your recollection, the distinguished judges are:
ATL Idol Judges AboveTheLaw Idol Above the Law Idol panel.jpg

  • Ann Althouse, Robert W. & Irma M. Arthur-Bascom Professor at the University of Wisconsin Law School, and author of her eponymous blog, Althouse;
  • Tom Goldstein, head of the D.C. litigation practice and co-head of the firm-wide Supreme Court practice at Akin Gump, and founder of SCOTUSblog; and
  • Dahlia Lithwick, senior editor of Slate (where she blogged at Convictions), author of two books, and a contributor to the New York Times and the Washington Post (among many other publications).
    Read the judges’ reviews, after the jump.

    double red triangle arrows Continue reading “ATL Idol: The Judges Speak (Week 1)”

  • Not Hiring sign.jpgThis sign captures the flavor of the past week in law firm news, including the massive layoffs at Cadwalader and the office closings at Akin Gump. If you have other tips for us, send them to us here.
    The law firm pain is starting to be felt even by those still in law school. We’ve been forwarded various emails announcing that some firms or offices have canceled on-campus interviews for 2009 prospective summer associates, including the New York office of Dorsey & Whitney, the Chicago office of Midwestern firm Barnes & Thornburg, and, as we reported on Wednesday, Cadwalader (at certain law schools, e.g., Rutgers – Newark). Here are excerpts from the notices:

    From John Marshall Law School:
    I received notice from the head of recruiting at Barnes & Thornburg that the firm will not be having a summer program in its Chicago office next summer. Therefore, the OCI option for that firm has been removed from Symplicity.

    From Columbia Law School:
    The New York office of Dorsey & Whitney LLP will no longer be interviewing at EIP (ed. note: Early Interview Program) as they have decided not to have a formal summer associate program in 2009.

    From Rutgers Law School:
    Also, please note that Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP, scheduled to interview on campus on August 13th, has had to cancel and will contact students independently to schedule interviews if they are selected.

    We expected large law firms to power on with their summer associate programs, so we were somewhat surprised to hear that Dorsey & Whitney is suspending its program in New York. Then again, it was a rather small program — about five summer associates in 2007, per the firm’s NALP form (PDF). A Dorsey spokesperson had this comment:

    It is true that the New York office of Dorsey & Whitney will not sponsor a formal summer associate program in 2009. We have made this decision based upon our hiring needs in the New York office at this time. This decision with respect to the New York office summer associate program does not preclude the possibility of hiring an incoming class for 2010 in our New York office. The firm’s other offices that have traditionally sponsored summer associate programs will continue to do so.

    Have other firms canceled their OCIs at your school? Please let us know in the comments, including your school, the firm, and the firm office.
    See full notices from firms regarding OCI cancellation, after the jump.

    double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Fall Recruiting Open Thread: Some OCIs are DOA”

    * Lehman to unload mortgage assets? [New York Times]
    * Monster reaches $47.5 million settlement. [WSJ Law Blog]
    * YouTube baby food poisoner arrested. [CNN]
    * Two of Snoop’s groupies arrested. [MSNBC]
    * Scientist about to be indicted in anthrax mailings case apparently committed suicide. [AP]

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