You know the drill. We’re still taking summer associate stories; if you have one to share, please review our submission guidelines, and then email us.
Here’s the latest:
1. Superhero name: The Vanimal
2. Special power(s): Ridiculous self-aggrandizement; creeping out female colleagues; writing erotic correspondence.
3. Summered: Balch & Bingham, “several summers back.”
4. Claim to fame: From our tipster:
“The Vanimal was an odd duck from [law school redacted] who liked to talk about himself in the third person and refer to himself as ‘The Vanimal.’ E.g., ‘the Vanimal doesn’t drink’ — which was pretty out of place at a traditional southern firm. [Ed. note: The origins of this bizarre 'Vanimal' moniker will have to remain obscure; to say more would risk revealing his identity.]
“In addition to calling himself the Vanimal and speaking in the third person, he would make a V with his fingers — like a peace sign, but palm inwards — which he held up while he talked.”
You’re dying to find out what the erotica writing is about, right?
Find out, after the jump.
Firms continue to raise their clerkship bonuses, although the pace of announcements seems to be slowing.
Here’s the latest addition to the $50K/$70K Club:
“Kramer Levin increased its clerkship bonus to $50,000 for one year and $70,000 for two years. The info is on their NALP page.”
Indeed it is. You can access the firm’s form by running a search on this page.
And if you’re looking for a continually updated compilation of clerkship bonus information, we refer you to this list, over at the Law Clerk Addict blog. Very helpful!
P.S. Random factoid about Kramer Levin: it’s the former Biglaw home of the WSJ Law Blog’s Peter Lattman, who practiced litigation there for two years in the 1990s. Vault 100 clerkship salary bonus chart [Law Clerk Addict Blog]
Today’s Biglaw benefit of the day: charitable contributions (matching or otherwise).
Let’s start with the gold standard of perk providers, Kirkland & Ellis. From a tipster:
K&E matches charitable contributions, up to $500 a year, for associates. And for summer associates, too.
You can donate to any nonprofit, not just your law school. I thought that was pretty cool.
Indeed — the flexibility is nice. Wachtell Lipton makes charitable contributions on behalf of its associates, or at least they did when we were there, but these donations would just go to your law school.
(But hey, don’t look a gift-gift horse in the mouth. The donations by WLRK were made in your name, no matching from you required, and they were good-sized: several hundred dollars. Nothing that would embarrass you in the annual list of alumni givers.)
What’s your firm’s approach to charitable contributions? Please share in the comments. Thanks.
This resignation letter has been making the rounds by email. Whaddya think?
The conventional wisdom about farewell emails and resignation letters is to keep them short and sweet. Say as little as possible, and only say positive things, even if untrue (“I greatly enjoyed my time at [Biglaw X]“). Above all, don’t burn any bridges.
But if you’re leaving the legal profession altogether — and you’re really, really sure that you’re never coming back — is it okay to let off some steam? To tell them how you REALLY feel?
Please opine on that question, and anything else you see in this farewell letter, in the comments.
(But please don’t name the individual who sent this letter. We’ve intentionally redacted his name from the missive. Thanks.)
P.S. Speaking of Greenberg Traurig, does anyone know what ever happened on this insane front? Did the firm ever respond? If you can enlighten us, please do so by email. Thanks.
We’re still accepting amusing or embarrassing summer associate stories. If you have one to share, please review our submission guidelines, and then email us.
And now, on to today’s story:
1. Superhero name: The Claw
2. Special power: The ability to pinch every cent out of the summer lunch budget.
3. Summered: Vault 50-100 firm (DC), summer 2005 [Firm name intentionally omitted to allow more details without danger of revealing identity.]
4. Claim to fame: From our tipster:
“Harvard 1L ordered a five-pound lobster during lunch at The Palm (~$100). Wrapped huge (empty) claw in napkin, returned to office, took photo, and emailed photo to a number of people, including several prominent partners who had been at another table in the restaurant.”
5. What happened next: “To much astonishment (and consternation) inside the firm, The Claw received an offer to return for 2L summer. Turned this offer down, however, reportedly because it required too long a return period.”
“According to well-substantiated rumor, The Claw then went to another DC firm for 2L summer, where various acts of poor judgment and attitude resulted in a no-offer. The Claw’s success during 3L interviewing is currently unknown.”
The usual rules apply: please do NOT name this former SA, or speculate about his identity, in the comments. Thanks. Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of summer associates (scroll down)
We often miss New York, where we lived for five years before moving down to Washington. But not all the time. We didn’t miss it last month, for example, when there was that huge steam pipe explosion.
Or today, when the city was thrown into chaos by massive rains and flooding. From a Gotham tipster:
Did you hear that the subways in much of NYC were flooded out this morning, due to a fierce rainstorm very early? It was coming down in torrents when I went to the gym this morning at 5:30, my usual time, although it had basically stopped by the time I headed for the subway at 8 a.m.
I ended up walking over 2 hours to get to school…. Might be a fun thread to ask how biglaw folks in NYC got to work today.
Here’s some follow-up on our Lawsuit of the Day, Greer v. 1-800-Flowers. Plaintiff Leroy Greer is suing the online florist for revealing to his wife that he had flowers delivered to his girlfriend — resulting in said wife divorcing his sorry ass.
Some readers who have seen the complaint offered these comments:
2. In terms of damages, “the guy is asking for $1 million (it’s in the demand letter).”
3. “Please note on page 25 (the receipt) that the delivery “MUST INCLUDE… Cuddly Plush/ Stuffed Animal” (emphasis in original). The occasion for the flowers was “Love & Romance.”
Yup, that’s right. Take a look at the receipt for yourself (Exhibit D to Greer’s Complaint):
Note the handwritten scrawl at the bottom of the receipt, presumably from Greer’s wife: “Be a man! If you got caught red handed then don’t still lie. Your tmobile has her number so why still lie.”
Interesting. Could this furnish a possible defense for 1-800-Flowers? If there was already ample evidence of Greer’s infidelity, can 1-800-Flowers really be blamed for his marriage unraveling? Earlier: Lawsuit of the Day: Greer v. 1-800-Flowers
[Legal recruiter Raffaele V.] Murdocca predicted that King & Spalding would not simply match the new Alston & Bird pay scale for more senior classes. “A lot of associates are upset with how much pay compression there is at Alston & Bird,” he pointed out.
Alston increased pay by $15,000 for first-year associates but in smaller increments for more senior associate classes, so there is only a $45,000 difference between the salaries of the firm’s first- and seventh-year associates….
“That is not a lot of money when dealing with very different levels of experience,” said Murdocca. “Mid-level and senior associates are doing a substantial amount of work and are very valuable. The firm does not want to upset them….”
For ATL readers in ATL, there’s additional discussion after the jump.
Our series of open threads on the workplace perks provided by large law firms continues. How could it not? The fringe benefits of Biglaw are seemingly unlimited.
Today’s reader request:
Another perk post option: a thread exploring BigLaw firm retreats, and other company-sponsored social events.
We like this idea. We’ve heard of firms holding lavish retreats, both for summer associates and full-time lawyers, in some delightful destinations. In many cases, lawyers can bring their spouses, turning the retreat into a paid mini-vacation.
By way of example, Hogan & Hartson has a retreat for its summer associates at a resort in the Blue Ridge Mountains. In recent years, Kirkland & Ellis has held a firm retreat for its full-time lawyers at the luxurious Hotel Hershey. Who wouldn’t want to hit the Chocolate Spa, for a “Couples Cocoa Massage” with Pepperdine Law Dean (and K&E Of Counsel) Ken Starr?
In the comments, please describe your fabulous firm retreat, in all of the mouthwatering, travel-porn detail you can muster. Thanks.
If you’re a married man planning on sending flowers to your mistress, we have a tip for you: do NOT use 1-800-FLOWERS (as if you needed to be told).
Check out this interesting case, filed in the Southern District of Texas (Houston), and included in this morning’s Courthouse News Service (subscription):
Leroy Greer v. 1-800-Flowers.Com Inc. 8/6/2007 H-07-2543
Breach of contract action in which the defendants agreed to keep the plaintiff’s order of flowers for his girlfriend private, with no record of the transaction mailed to him at his home or office.
Months later, the defendants sent a thank you card to the plaintiff’s home, and his wife called the defendants for proof of the purchase. The defendants faxed the plaintiff’s wife proof of his order of flowers for his girlfriend, which resulted in a divorce being filed.
Oh crap. In terms of tales of infidelity getting exposed, this one is definitely up there.
If plaintiff Leroy Greer prevails, what would be the appropriate measure of damages? Will 1-800-FLOWERS reimburse him for his divorce settlement, as a form of consequential damages?
And what about alimony — will they pick up the tab for that? Or can they just send his ex-wife a bouquet of carnations each month, for the rest of her life? Update: More details about the lawsuit appear here. Correction: Thanks, commenters. Scratch the reference to “alimony,” and replace it with “spousal support.” Leroy Greer v. 1-800-Flowers.Com (subscription) [Courthouse News Service]
So you spent a considerable amount of time courting, selling and maybe even doing some friendly stalking of that attractive lateral partner candidate with a sizable book. After he or she ignored your emails and didn’t return your calls, a few weeks go by and you read a press release in the legal media announcing the recent move to a competing firm.
Rats. Another one got away from you. You cringe when you consider how much time was spent in meetings that did not bear fruit. Your heart aches when recall how you were led to believe this was a marriage made in heaven.
You have been rejected.
The sting of rejection is painful, even for fancy law firms. But you need to find a way that you can turn this disappointment into a legitimate learning experience.
No, this isn’t a pre-party before we come back next fall for the real thing. This IS the real thing. Quinn Emanuel is pushing the envelope on recruiting. The party is now. This is when you meet the partners and associates face to face. This is when we begin the dance that could land you an offer for your second summer BEFORE school starts in the fall.
First: You come to the party. Second: If you like us, you send your resume after June 1, 2014. Third: If we like each other, you get an offer.
We’re not waiting for fall. We’re not doing the twenty minute thing. This party is the real thing!
We hope you’ll join us, and look forward to meeting you.
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 six years. You can reach them by email: [email protected].
Since late last year, things have been booming in Hong Kong / China in cap markets, especially Hong Kong IPOs. M&A deal flow has recently been getting a bit stronger as well. Although one can’t predict such things with any certainty, all signs are pointing to a banner entire 2014 for the top end US corporate and cap markets practices in Hong Kong / China. This is not really new news, as its been the feeling most in the market have had for a few months now and things continue to look good.
The head of our Asia practice, Evan Jowers, has been in Hong Kong for about 10 days a month (with trips every other month to both Shanghai and Bejing) for the past 7 months (Robert Kinney and Evan Jowers will be in Hong Kong again March 15 to 23), and spending most of his time there meeting with senior US hiring partners at just about all the major US and UK firms there, as well as prospective candidates at all associate levels and partner levels, and when in the US, Evan works Asia hours and is regularly on the phone with such persons, as our the other members of our Asia team. Our Yuliya Vinokurova is in Hong Kong every other month and Robert is there about 5 times a year as well. While we have a solid Asia team of recruiters, Evan Jowers will spend at least some time with all of our candidates for Asia position. We have had long standing relationships, and good friendships in some cases, with hiring partners and other senior US partners in Asia for 8 years now.
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