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champagne glasses small.jpgAs we expected, celebrity professors Cass Sunstein and Samatha Power were the winners of last week’s July Couple of the Month voting, running away with over 60 percent of the vote. Congratulations to this nerdy-hot duo!
This week’s set of contestants might be the strongest we’ve seen this season. Their write-ups feature five Harvard degrees, a Rhodes, and one of Biglaw’s most exalted surnames. Here are the names of the newlyweds:

1. Geneviève Treuille and Daniel Wachtell

2. Melissa Langsam and Todd Braunstein

3. Amanda Schwoerke and Stephen Sachs

Read more about these couples — and see their pictures — after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Legal Eagle Wedding Watch 8.24: Herb-al Essence”

outsourcing biglaw aba tsunami.gifRemember when “outsourcing” was something that only blue collar workers with “some” high school education had to worry about? Well, those days are long gone, and now the global economy is officially poised to raid Biglaw jobs.
In an opinion (PDF) made public on Tuesday, the ABA declared shipping legal work overseas to be ethically permissible. The New York Law Journal reports that the first causalities will likely be contract attorneys brought in for extra muscle during document intensive litigation.
But we know it won’t stop there. Check in with any other industry that has to face off against a subcontinent of educated, English-speaking professionals willing to do the work for fractions of what Americans demand. It’s not pretty.
To be sure, we can count on the ABA to erect other (largely protectionist) policies, to ensure that high-end legal work remains the sole purview of partners graduates from accredited law schools.
Yet so long as Biglaw remains big business, how long before the work of junior associates can be cost effectively shipped overseas? It’s not like firms want to go to $190K for incoming associates.
People already in the pipeline should be fine. But change is coming to our profession. This ABA decision isn’t the tip of an iceberg, it is the receding sea that anticipates a tsunami.
Make haste for high ground.
ABA Gives Thumbs Up to Legal Outsourcing []
Earlier: Biglaw to… Rupees?

Charlie Herschel Charles Herschel Weil Gotshal Manges Survivor.jpgThings are looking good these days for Weil, Gotshal & Manges. For the sixth year in a row, it made the top 10 of the Vault 100. It took fourth place in the American Lawyer’s A-List rankings, and turned in a strong showing in the magazine’s midlevel associate survey (#11 out of 80+ New York firms).
And Weil attorneys are an interesting crew, too. Some plunge into rapping careers. And some compete on reality shows!
Meet first-year associate Charlie Herschel. He’s a contestant on the latest season of Survivor, premiering on September 25. From his bio:

Charlie Herschel has been a fan of SURVIVOR since the first season and has been training for it ever since. A lawyer for one of the top 10 most prestigious law firms in the world, Herschel is ready to try his persuasion skills on a different type of jury.

This 29-year-old, marathon-running attorney and University of Pennsylvania graduate says he is above nothing when he gets to the island. Charlie’s strategy is to be authentic but with a twist. “With high risks, come high rewards, but the risks must be calculated.” The middle son of three boys and a native New Yorker, the Ivy Leaguer is not afraid to claw his way to the top.

Charles Herschel WGM headshot.jpgIf Herschel can survive in the Biglaw jungle, Gabon should be a piece of cake. And there’s precedent for lawyers faring well on Survivor. E.g., Yul Kwon (winner of Survivor: Cook Islands, and a year behind us at YLS).
Now, large law firms can be a bit stodgy. Some don’t react well to their associates’ forays into reality television. See, e.g., David Otunga (from I Love New York 2, and no longer at Sidley); Jeremy Anderson (from The Bachelorette, and no longer at Hunton & Williams). But see Denise Gitsham (welcomed back by K&L Gates, after appearing on The Bachelor); Stacy Rotner (still at Sidley, after appearing on The Apprentice; guess it’s more respectable than I Love New York 2).
What was Weil’s response to Charlie Herschel going on Survivor? Find out — and ogle photos of a shirtless Herschel — after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Another Law Firm ‘Survivor': Meet Charlie Herschel”

outcastkitteh128571633263553221.jpgWe have some bad news for this year’s summer associates. Based on Monday’s survey, brought to you by ATL and Lateral Link, about one in four attorneys at your firm didn’t like you.
The number of practicing attorneys who said “Summer associates, hate ‘em” narrowly beat the number of practicing attorneys who said “Summer associates, love ‘em,” by a margin of 25.06% to 24.82%. And while that edge may not be statistically significant, it still has to sting a little.
Among lawyers who had been practicing for more than two years, the gap widened considerably, to 30% vs. 22%.
And in Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas, and Miami, associates of all ages hated summer associates most of all, to the tune of at least 40%.
Mind you, half of practicing respondents were simply neutral on the question — but that’s still pretty cold comfort, in this season of cold offers.
Read more, below the fold.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Associate Life Survey: Summer Love… Or Lack Thereof”

comparing.jpgJudging from our traffic, readers are enjoying this rundown of the Vault 100. We do aim to please here at ATL. We appreciate those who have offered insights about firms in the comments.
Moving on to the next group (with prestige scores in parentheses):

61. Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP (5.608)
62. Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP (5.583)
63. Bingham McCutchen LLP (5.583)
64. Greenberg Traurig, LLP (5.478)
65. Holland & Knight LLP (5.416)
66. Heller Ehrman LLP (5.346)
67. Foley & Lardner LLP (5.266)
68. Steptoe & Johnson LLP (5.252)
69. K&L Gates LLP (5.242)
70. Kaye Scholer LLP (5.230)

As we move down the Vault list, “notable perks” are becoming less elaborate. This group is dominated by tales of free food, from endless soda at Greenberg Traurig to weekend doughnuts and muffins at Foley. And it appears that Pillsbury lacks a monopoly on cookie benefits; over at Cahill, lawyers are plied with “twice daily cookie trays.”
We note this food-related perk at Bingham: “If any lawyer takes out a more junior lawyer for drinks/dinner, he/she can submit the expense to the mentoring budget AND the senior person can get creditable hours.” Can you expense the roofies?
We invite you to compare and contrast these firms’ work, lifestyle, benefits… and cookies, in the comments.
Earlier: Vault 100 Open Threads – 2009

wiley rein pro bono.jpgYesterday, we criticized law schools for slavishly following the dictates of U.S. News and World Report. But a law firm responding to associate concerns is a different matter entirely.
A tipster informs us that Wiley Rein associates were told that up to 50 pro-bono hours would be credited towards meeting billable targets.
Firm Chairman Richard Wiley delivered the message personally to associates at an afternoon lunch yesterday. The new policy could be a response to the firm’s low pro-bono commitment rating in this month’s AmLaw midlevel survey (subscription).
Is 50 hours a “commitment,” or merely lip-service? How does the new Wiley Rein policy stack up with your firm’s?
American Lawyer Midlevel Associates Survey [American Lawyer (subscription)]
Earlier: The American Lawyer Midlevel Associates Survey: Open Thread

Golden Tee Live video game.jpgAside from occasional flurries of Golden Tee dominance, I rarely watch golf unless Tiger Woods is prominently involved. This makes me just like everybody else, a fact that the L.P.G.A has apparently noticed.
After unsuccessful attempts to woo Tiger into a sex-change operation, the L.P.G.A has a new marketing strategy: English-speaking golfers!
Starting in 2009, the ladies’ professional tour will suspend golfers who are not conversant in English.
Lest you think the ability to speak English has little to do with the entertainment value of hitting a ball and then walking after it, think again. Lisa Galloway, deputy commissioner of the tour, thinks that speaking English will help the sport attract sponsors and fans:

For an athlete to be successful today in the sports entertainment world we live in, they need to be great performers on and off the course, and being able to communicate effectively with sponsors and fans is a big part of this.

The lawyers weigh in after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Golf: The Language of the Elite”

Mayra Lizbeth Rosales Mayra Rosales.jpg* Those Bratz got a spanking, but not as severe a spanking as Mattel hoped. The jury awarded Mattel $100 million, rather than the $1 billion Quinn Emanuel’s John Quinn had requested. [CNN]
* U.S. District Judge John D. Bates rules Harriet Miers must testify before Congress. The big moment could come as early as next month. [Washington Post]
* Eight of the sixty judges sacked by former Pakistani president Pervez Musharaff have been reinstated. The others are still twiddling their thumbs. [BBC News]
* Barry Bonds wants to knock his case out of the park. His lawyers have moved to dismiss most of the government’s case against him for lying to a grand jury about steroid use. [Associated Press]
* In Mexico City, abortion is legal in theory, but not often in practice. Now the Mexican Supreme Court is considering overturning the one-year-old abortion law. [International Herald Tribune]
* Colorado U.S. attorney files charges in the Obama murder plot. The last name of one of the accused is Adolf. [Smoking Gun]
* How is Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick still in office? [Washington Post]
* Update in the case of the alleged half-ton murderess. Her attorney says she’s too fat to have killed her nephew. [CNN]

With the U.S. economy in the toilet, third tier or otherwise, law firms are building up their bankruptcy practices. They’re eagerly scooping up lateral associates in the field — and partners, too. From the American Lawyer:

Raniero D'Aversa Jr Ron D'Aversa Mayer Brown Orrick.jpgA rough 18 months for Mayer Brown got a little worse on Monday, when San Francisco’s Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe announced that Raniero “Ron” D’Aversa Jr., the co-chair of Mayer’s restructuring and bankruptcy practice, would join Orrick immediately.

Considered a rising star of the bankruptcy bar, the 44-year-old D’Aversa — whose book of business is said to exceed $5 million by sources familiar with his work and reputation — will be based out of the New York office of Orrick. The firm placed 27th in this year’s Am Law 100 rankings with gross revenues of $772,000 and profits per equity partner of $1.7 million.

Will D’Aversa be taking clients with him? There’s disagreement on that score. Roger Frankel, the (kinda scary-looking) chair of Orrick’s bankruptcy practice, said that “it’s clear that there will be significant clients moving with him.” But Mayer issued a statement claiming that “no disruption of any client relationships is expected.”
Mayer Brown Loses Restructuring Chief to Orrick [American Lawyer]
Ron D’Aversa bio [Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe]
Raniero D’Aversa, Jr. bio [Mayer Brown via Google Cache]
Earlier: Job of the Week: Bankruptcy Can Be Good

Derek Jeter Clarence Thomas David Tuason.jpg* Every time a law blogger gets sued subpoenaed, our sphincters tighten up just a little bit more. [Legal Blog Watch]
* Students at Delaware’s Widener Law School hoping to take Con Law with Biden may be sorely disappointed. [WSJ Law Blog]
* And here I thought it was impossible to express dislike for Clarence Thomas and Derek Jeter with the same train of thought. [Cleveland Plain Dealer via How Appealing]
* ATL’s comma police keep it together far better than the average bear. [Gawker]

Sarbanes Oxley for Dummies Sarbox SOX book.jpgThe constitutionality of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, enacted as part of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, was recently upheld — decision available here (PDF) — by a divided panel of the D.C. Circuit. But those who challenged the Board’s legitimacy are fighting on.
The appellants will either seek rehearing en banc in the D.C. Circuit or certiorari from the Supreme Court. In their efforts, expect them to draw support from the forceful dissent by judicial superstar Brett Kavanaugh (who is, by the way, familiar with this fine website).
If appellants seek succor from the SCOTUS, their pleas may fall upon sympathetic ears. From our colleague, former Skadden and Latham corporate lawyer John Carney, over at Dealbreaker:

Perhaps the most ominous sign for the PCAOB is the fact that Judge Kavanaugh clerked for Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, who would probably hold the swing vote if the case went to the Supreme Court. His dissenting opinion seems tailor-made to provoke the conservative wing of the court into striking down the board. Unless Congress acts to amend it, we’d bet the autonomous PCAOB is headed for extinction.

You can read the rest of his analysis — which will take you “back to Con Law and the halcyon days of youth,” in the words of one Dealbreaker commenter — over here.
Short Sarbanes-Oxley’s Accounting Board [Dealbreaker]
Free Enterprise Fund v. PBAOB (PDF) [U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit]
Sell Sarbanes-Oxley [New York Sun]
D.C. Circuit Affirms Constitutionality of Accounting Oversight Board [WSJ Law Blog]
Will a Lawsuit Unravel SOX? Firm Brings Constitutional Challenge [WSJ Law Blog]

utah negligent homicide big love.jpgHere’s a fact pattern: teen steals liquor, teen gets hammered, adult is called to help, adult drives teen home, teen dies, adult gets charged with… negligent homicide?
That’s the reality facing Candice Collard. The 24-year-old woman is being charged with homicide in Utah for failing to help Jess “Micade” Horrocks, 14, who died of alcohol poisoning this past April.
The charge seems especially harsh given that Utah has a criminal statute for failure to render aid. Uintah County Deputy Attorney Greg Lamb said that the homicide charge was warranted because Collard “failed miserably in several areas that could have prevented [Horrocks's] death.” Lamb admits that his office is taking a “novel” approach to this case, which should make Collard feel swell.
Collard drove the teen 13 miles to Collard’s home instead of 2 miles to the hospital. Horrocks did not receive medical attention until the next day
In retrospect, obviously, Collard’s choice was unwise. But Collard neither procured the alcohol nor sat there and poured it down Horrocks’s throat.
This charge puts the perverse in legal incentives. When ineffective help puts you in danger of a homicide conviction, wouldn’t you rather roll the dice with a failure-to-render-aid charge?
The “go screw yourself, kid” attitude is something we’d expect out of the Bronx, but Utah?
Woman charged in boy’s alcohol-poisoning death [Salt Lake Tribune via Fark]

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