It’s often said — especially by associates who have nothing to do the whole day, then get an assignment at 5 p.m. that’s due the following morning — that lawyers (read: partners) aren’t very good managers. This shouldn’t come as a huge surprise, since very few of them are trained in management. This also explains why many top firms have a CEO or CFO — an MBA-type, rather than a lawyer, tasked with overseeing the business aspects of Biglaw (so the lawyers can focus on lawyering).
If you’re an associate with an MBA degree, will law firms compensate you for that additional expertise? One reader is curious:
I was wondering if you could start a thread or do some research about JD/MBA bonuses. I’ve heard, for instance, that Weil gives a $50K bonus plus a year’s credit, while Willkie gives a $40K bonus plus a year’s credit. I’ve also heard that Latham gives a $20K bonus and no credit.
I’m trying to get a better sense of what market is for JD/MBA. I’m also curious about what happens when you clerk (i.e., whether it would be similar to doing a 2 year clerkship and hence a 70K bonus at top firms).
Are these figures correct? Any other thoughts or additional information on this subject? Please share what you know, in the comments.
Here’s a related inquiry, from a second reader:
Please consider opening a perk thread dealing with non-CLE continuing education — that is, firms which will pay for or assist with tuition costs for ongoing educational programs or degrees, such as MBAs.
We tend to doubt there are many firms that will pay for their associates to get business degrees, since firms have little incentive to make their associates even more attractive to investment banks and hedge funds than they already are. But we’re happy to pose the question to our readership. Anyone?
P.S. We already did a perk thread on regular CLE, which you can access here.
Last week we alluded to the possibility that Roy Pearson, plaintiff in the notorious $54 million pants case, might not be reappointed to his post as an administrative law judge. That possibility is now one step closer to being realized. From the Washington Post:
A city commission has voted to formally notify Administrative Law Judge Roy Pearson that he may not be reappointed to the bench, according to a government source.
In a letter sent to Pearson yesterday, the Commission on Selection and Tenure of Administrative Law Judges cited not only Pearson’s infamous failed lawsuit against Custom Cleaners, but his work as a judge the past two years.
So it’s not just about the pants. Pearson was also talking trash about his chief:
Concerns about Pearson’s temperament as an administrative law judge preceded the publicity about the lawsuit this spring….
In e-mails sent to his fellow judges and cited in the letter, Pearson’s contempt for Chief Administrative Law Judge Tyrone T. Butler was evident. In one of the missives, he spoke of protecting himself from any attempt by Butler “to knife” him. In another, he questioned Butler’s competence and integrity.
* Relaxed and confident, with a mischievous grin and a wag of her finger, our favorite lawyer-turned-politician declares: “I’m your girl.” [YouTube]
* Crickets chirping on the Fourth Circuit, as former conservative bastion drifts leftward. [Washington Post]
* If you employ illegal immigrants, watch out: the feds are coming. [New York Times]
* WSJ Law Blog uses “benchslap,” a coinage of ours, in a headline — about a patent case, no less. Impressive! [WSJ Law Blog]
* A piece about the other Mike McConnell — the intelligence czar, not the brainy Tenth Circuit judge — and his role in putting together the just-passed surveillance legislation. [New York Times]
* En banc D.C. Circuit says: No experimental drug hits 4 terminally ill. (We briefly mentioned this decision yesterday, and some commenters had a lively debate about it, but here’s the MSM coverage.) [New York Times; Washington Post]
If you’re looking for something to do in an hour and a half, why not check out the new legal thriller on FX, Damages?
This new television series stars Glenn Close, whom we have worshiped ever since Fatal Attraction. We love a strong woman, who knows exactly what she wants — and will stop at nothing to get it.
The litigatrix role that Glenn Close plays in Damages has some similarities to Alex Forrest in Fatal Attraction. Here’s the show’s synopsis:
DAMAGES is a legal thriller set in the world of New York City high-stakes litigation. The series, which provides a view into the true nature of power and success, follows the turbulent lives of Patty Hewes (Glenn Close) the nation’s most revered and reviled high-stakes litigator and her bright, ambitious protégé Ellen Parsons (Rose Byrne) as they become embroiled in a class action lawsuit targeting the allegedly corrupt Arthur Frobisher (Ted Danson), one of the country’s wealthiest CEOs.
As Patty battles with Frobisher and his attorney Ray Fiske (Željko Ivanek), Ellen Parsons will be front and center, witnessing just what it takes to win at all costs, as it quickly becomes clear that lives, as well as fortunes, may be at stake.
Tonight’s episode is the third installment of the series. Some thoughts on the first two episodes, from two readers and from us, appear after the jump.
* A Brazilian judge has ruled that soccer is not a gay sport. The court reserved judgment on tennis and beach volleyball. [Keeping Up With Jonas]
* Going against almost all of his D.C. Circuit colleagues, Chief Judge Douglas Ginsburg votes in favor of experimental drugs. Why are we not surprised? [SCOTUSblog; How Appealing]
* State governments are notoriously cheap. But if you can’t afford Big Bills, then why did you hire Big Law? [Legal Pad]
* Kirkland & Ellis launches its new website; Peter Lattman flirts shamelessly with comely corporate partner Linda Myers. [WSJ Law Blog; Kirkland & Ellis (press release)]
We run ATL on a shoestring budget, so we can’t exactly afford to send reporters across the country. Taking the train up to New York, to cover a hearing in L’Affaire Charney, is already a big deal for us.
So we’re delighted when tipsters give us eyewitness reports on breaking news. Today we had a correspondent in the courtroom when the jury returned with its verdict in the stock options backdating prosecution of Gregory Reyes, the former CEO of Brocade Communications.
Our source filed this report:
Jury verdict: Guilty on all counts. Not really a scoop, since it’s all over themedia. But we were there and wanted to share.
Courtroom was two rows of press, armed with laptops and blackberries, and three rows of N.D. Cal. externs, armed with nothing else to do during the last week of their externships. And miscellaneous district court clerks, hangers-on, and family.
Reyes’s family was sobbing when the deputy read off the verdict. It was pretty rough. Then a couple of jurors broke out in tears too. Can’t say I envy them.
Or, for that matter, Gregory Reyes. The former member of the Forbes 400 — which he first appeared on at age 37, with a net worth of $1 billion — is presumably headed for federal prison. Update: ATL’s San Francisco correspondent had this to add:
Judge Breyer [Charles R. Breyer, li'l brother of Justice Breyer] gave the defense one week to file a motion for new trial, partly because he wants to be able to rule on it while the case is fresh in his mind, but also because he’s confident that both sides will be able to staff it on that schedule, or something to that effect. I love it when judges basically tell big firms, “You’ve got enough manpower to throw at this.”
Sentencing is set for November 21. Reyes gets to remain free until then.
News of an amusing appellate decision, from that leading source of legal news, ESPN:
A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that a filly can’t be named “Sally Hemings” after Thomas Jefferson’s most famous slave and reputed lover.
The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati ruled that the Jockey Club can legally bar horse owner Garrett Redmond from naming his 4-year-old horse after Hemings.
We can understand the Sixth Circuit’s reluctance to allow anyone to “ride Sally Hemings.” Thomas Jefferson already tried that, and his historical reputation will never be the same.
But the court’s decision was grounded in law as well as good taste:
Judge Alice Batchelder, writing for the three-judge panel, said Redmond has other options that may be approved by the Jockey Club, which forbids horse owners from using names of famous or notorious people without special permission.
No “famous or notorious” people? So much for Redmond’s fallback option, “Wanda Sykes.”
Did being denied this name of choice have an adverse effect on the horse’s performance? Quite possibly:
The horse, now known as “Awaiting Justice,” ran at Churchill Downs on July 1 and at Ellis Park in Henderson on July 25. She did not finish in the top 3 in either race.
Several of you have drawn our attention to this news, from the Texas Lawyer:
Today, Haynes and Boone partners plan to tell the Dallas-based firm’s Texas associates their salary scale will increase, retroactive to Aug. 1, to the new market rate of $160,000 for first-year associates.
Haynes and Boone partner Terry Conner says the new salaries for second- and third-year associates will be $170,000; $180,000 for fourth-years; $190,000 for fifth-years; $200,000 for sixth-years; $205,000 for seventh-years; and $210,000 for eighth-year associates.
The firm plans to increase its associates’ bonuses and alter the basis on which those year-end packages are calculated.
Specifically, Conner says, Haynes and Boone will offer bonuses of as much as $5,000 to first-year associates and as much as $70,000 to eighth-year associates. As in the past Haynes and Boone management will require associate classes, as a group, to achieve certain billable-hour totals for bonuses to be distributed.
1. Goulston & Storrs: Raised to 160K. See here. I think that leaves Nutter, McClennan & Fish, Sullivan & Worcester, and Nixon Peabody as the only major Boston shops that have not raised to 160K. (Heck, even Day Pitney raised a little.)
2. Nixon Peabody: They should change some of the information on their website. Go here, navigate to the summer associate program, and click on the “compensation” tab. The salary box states that “Salaries reflect the geographic markets in which our offices are located.” To be more accurate, there should be an “Except for Boston, San Francisco, and Washington” at the start of the sentence.
Just thought you should know.
And we just thought our readers should know. We thank our correspondent for this information.
Despite all the Biglaw bitching from unhappy associates, it’s generally agreed that the perks of law firm life are pretty sweet.
We continue our series of posts on the fringe benefits of Biglaw. From a reader:
How about a post on (paid) maternity/paternity leave and part-time schedule policies?
We already did a post on part-time policies. But we’re happy to dedicate this post to discussion of maternity and paternity leave policies.
This idea was seconded by another reader (albeit with reservations):
Eventually you may want to get into maternity/paternity leave policies, but I think the comments on that one may be a little out of control.
We’re guessing this reader was alluding to past commenter infighting, on the subject of parenting responsibilities and high-powered legal careers. See, e.g., the child care post and the part-time status post.
Vigorous debate is great. But this time around, please try to keep things civil. Thanks.
Position Description: Headquartered in Baltimore, MD, Vertis Communications provides marketing services from conception through design, production, and distribution for more than 2,000 clients, including grocery stores, retail chains, newspapers, and ad agencies.
The company is seeking a broad-based corporate transactional attorney with experience reviewing, negotiating, drafting and editing non-standard customer contracts, vendor agreements, bank finance transactions, lending agreements, finance documents, and nondisclosure agreements.
At large law firms around the country, summer associate programs are nearing their end. But we still have a decent supply of summer associate stories. If you can add to our cache, please review our submission guidelines, and then email us.
This latest SA tale is, like that of Aquagirl or Jonas Blank, something of a classic. As a result, most of you have probably heard it already. But for those of you who haven’t, here it is:
1. Superhero name: The IncrediPaul(Hastings) Hulk
2. Special power: Ability to transform from a mild-mannered South Asian fellow into a raging, belligerent a**hole — with the aid of just a few drinks.
3. Summered: Paul Hastings, Los Angeles, summer 2006.
4. Claim to fame: This narrative is a bit lengthy — but it’s worth it. Check it out, after the jump.
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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