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Jimmy Page.jpg* It appears University of Iowa political science professor Arthur H. Miller has met an untimely end. [Ace of Spades HQ; TaxProf Blog]
* Joe Biden’s reputation for never shutting up is already the stuff of legend. [The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times]
* More expectation management with Biden. [Supreme Dicta]
* Oh, now I see, those summer outings were really tests. [Portfolio]
* No theme from Blawg Review this week, but at least now we know why Jimmy Page and his titanium replacement hips were invited to the closing ceremonies. [Texas Appellate Law Blog via Blawg Review]

Will Work for Food 2 Above the Law blog.JPGCorporette has entered the fall interviewing fray with their own top ten list of interviewing tips.
They really seem to think that successful interviewing requires effort, preparation, and study. They suggest keeping detailed notes on every conversation you have, networking, and even setting up Google and Westlaw alerts so you are up to speed on the latest legal news.
I know that the economy is in bad shape, but I’m not sure that turning into a crazy stalker person is the right way to go.
Then again, following Corporette’s guide is probably better than showing up hung-over and asking for a Bloody Mary.
The problem with any interviewing “advice” is that it needs to be tailored to the person. If you are socially awkward and talk like Michael Phelps, you probably want to rehearse everything you are going to say beforehand and speak only when forced. If you have Jerry McGuire-esque living room skills, you want to keep your head in the moment and trust your instincts.
Memorizing 15 fun-facts about every partner at the firm is an option, but there is no one path to success.
10 Things About … Interviewing [Corporette]

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer Feld LLP logo.jpg“My Gump, my Gump, my lovely Akin Gump. Check it out….
What’s going on at Akin Gump? That seems to be what many of you are wondering, based on some comments posted to a recent open thread featuring the firm:

“What is happening to Akin Gump DC? I saw that a bunch of lit partners just left.”

“I’ve heard the same thing…. Akin appears to be losing tons of partners and the DC office is rumored to be in turmoil. It does, however, have Tom Goldstein, which is sure to attract gunners who think they’ll be arguing cases in three years.”

“I read somewhere that the changes at Akin are part of some larger strategic plan. Anyone know anything about that?”

As a matter of fact, yes — Kim Eisler does. He writes, over at Washingtonian:

Over the past few months, 950-lawyer Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld has lost about 45 lawyers, including two of its rainmakers, Michael Madigan and Richard Wyatt Jr. Tensions are said to be high, with partners in the New York office unhappy that the Washington lawyers are not producing their share of revenue. To increase productivity, Akin Gump pushed out 5 percent of its lawyers who, in management’s view, were not generating enough income. The firm also closed its office in Taipei, one of 12 it maintained outside of Washington, and insiders predict the money-losing Beijing office will be next to go. The China offices have been expensive failures in the eyes of New York partners, who are pressing Washington to stop the bleeding….

The firm still has several stars, including criminal-defense lawyers John Dowd and Michele Roberts, Supreme Court litigator Tom Goldstein, and lobbying-practice head Joel Jankowsky, and is counting on them to pull Akin Gump out of its tailspin.

These boldface names are familiar to the ATL readership. John Dowd is the defense lawyer of Monica Goodling (and the former boss of the Akin Gump Escort). Tom Goldstein, the celebrated SCOTUS litigator, was a judge on ATL Idol.
To read more about comings and goings at Akin Gump, check out Eisler’s complete piece, available over here.
Clock Is Ticking for Strauss’s Firm [Capital Comment / Washingtonian]
Earlier: Fall Recruiting Open Thread: Vault 31-40 (2009)

associate layoffs cost money.jpgThis weekend, the New York Times explored the cascade of sadness left behind after massive layoffs. Aside from fear, the Times noted that there can be a productivity downgrade that shows up in real economic terms.

Too often, their anxious and overworked remaining employees become risk-averse and unproductive, or leave for other jobs. As companies hire new workers or turn to outside vendors to compensate, the short-term savings from layoffs can evaporate.

The National Law Journal also has some stern advice for layoff-happy firms. According to Bruce McEwen of Adam Smith Esq., “law firms that slash associate numbers in hopes of keeping profits-per-partner high may be headed for trouble.”
What else law firms can try, beyond going to $190K, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “When Layoffs Cost Money”

Philip Berg Philip J Berg Barack Obama lawsuit.jpgAlthough Barack Obama is just days away from accepting the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination (acceptance song speculation here), some Hillary Clinton supporters refuse to give up. From the Philadelphia Daily News:

Barack Obama’s presidential campaign has faced so many false rumors about his family history that it has put his birth certificate on the Internet: he was born in Honolulu, nearly two years after Hawaii became a state, making Obama a U.S. citizen by birth.

But that hasn’t stopped Montgomery County lawyer Philip J. Berg from challenging Obama’s qualifications to be president.

Berg, a Hillary Clinton supporter, announced he’s filing a federal lawsuit today, claiming that Obama lost his citizenship when his mother relocated the family to Indonesia when Barack was a boy.

Under the law, however, moving to a foreign country does not negate an American’s citizenship.

Bad enough for Rule 11? In Berg’s defense — or maybe not — he makes other claims, too (e.g., that Obama was actually born in Kenya). You can check out the full complaint by clicking here.
Raining on Barack’s Parade [Philadelphia Daily News (fourth item)]
Berg v. Obama: Complaint (PDF)

sniperkitten.jpgOver the last several weeks, we’ve run quite a few ATL / Lateral Link surveys about summer associate issues like assignments, offers, and, of course, lunch.
But no matter what the survey topic, two debates have consistently emerged in the comments:
1) Are summer associates an appropriate use of firm resources and associate time?
2) Are the LOLcat pictures accompanying the surveys absolutely awesome, or really annoying?
Of course, it’s not that surprising to see summer associates and LOLcats — two creatures linked by their youth, their frequent proximity to food, their occasional fluffy nature, and, alas, their occasional misspellings — prompting relatively parallel debates among ATL readers (especially since those similarities prompted the use of LOLcats as pictures for the summer associate surveys).
And now that the summer programs are over and the on-campus interview season has begun, both debates are in full swing.
On the substantive front, a number of firms are heavily weighing the impact of summer programs on firm resources (like cash), and many are now narrowing their on-campus recruiting or even scrapping summer programs altogether in some offices, as Kash covered over here.
Meanwhile, on the fluffier front, the LOLcat debate also surged last week. Check out some of the funnier comments, and take today’s survey, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Associate Life Survey: Darn Kids (and Kittens)”

olympics beijing flag law firms.jpgJingoistic competition is fun, but why should handing out medals be the sole province of the IOC? Athletes and David Rivkin should not be the only ones getting a taste of Olympic glory.
Here at ATL, we’ve put law firms on the (imaginary) field of competition and are now ready to reveal the gold medal winners in a number of sports.
After the jump, see the winners, and weigh in on which firms would be champions in sports we did not pick for prime time.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Law Firm Olympics”

Harry Shasho Bentley hit and run driver.jpgWhat a colossal d-bag. From the New York Daily News:

A Coney Island businessman is suing the city for damaging the Bentley he was driving when he killed a Brooklyn dad in a hit-and-run accident.

Harry Shasho, who pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident, says the NYPD failed to safeguard the battered black 2005 Bentley GT luxury sedan that was impounded as evidence of the fatal crash. He’s asking for at least $190,000.

It sounds like Shasho needs a bit of a reality check:

Shasho says the Bentley was in “excellent condition … with no noticeable defects or damage” when he turned himself in, according to the suit filed in Brooklyn Federal Court.

The police report tells a different story. It describes the car as crumpled and the windshield “depressed and fractured” by the violent impact with [victim Louis] Couch that left his body parts strewn across the street.

The suit seeks damages from the city, the NYPD and the Brooklyn district attorney’s office.

Not the kind of case you’d like to take to a jury.
Hit-and-run driver claims city didn’t take care of his Bentley after crash [New York Daily News]

comparing.jpgWe’re back with another installment in our series of open threads on the Vault 100. This is an opportunity for insiders to sound off on their firms for the benefit of wannabe potential first-year and lateral associates.
Here are the next ten on the Vault list, with prestige scores in parentheses:

41. Baker Botts LLP (6.096)
42. King & Spalding LLP (6.066)
43. DLA Piper (6.039)
44. Baker & McKenzie (5.982)
45. Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati (5.976)
46. Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP (5.974)
47. Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP (5.941)
48. Dewey & LeBoeuf (5.924)
49. Fulbright & Jaworski LLP (5.906)
50. McDermott, Will & Emery (5.892)

The most interesting set of “notable perks” in this bunch can be found at Boies Schiller. On the upside, there is an annual trip to Jamaica for attorneys and their families — in December, no less — but on the downside, it’s a “sweatshop run by a genius.” This makes us think of David Boies as the legal profession’s Santa Claus — who likes to take the elves to Montego Bay.
We invite the curious to ask questions about these firms, and for those in-the-know to take pity.
Earlier: Vault 100 Open Threads – 2009

WWE logo lawsuit.png* A 72-year-old accountant from Minnesota challenged the IRS, and won. The accountant now wants a second Boston Tea Party. [Associated Press]
* Wilmer Hale has launched a series of associate blogs as part of a new recruiting effort. [BLT: The Blog of Legal Times]
* The Olympics aren’t the only thing bailing on Beijing. The managing partner for Cadwalader’s Beijing office is moving to Allen & Overy in Shanghai. []
* Wrestlers Chris Kanyon, Raven and Above Average Mike are trying to smackdown the Vince McMahon in court. The three brought a class-action lawsuit against the WWE claiming that they are employees, not independent contractors. [Connecticut Employment Law Blog via Overlawyered]
* D.C. Circuit upholds constitutionality of Public Company Accounting Oversight Board. [Bloomberg via WSJ Law Blog]
* Former L.A. Times editorial page editor sues ex-girlfriend over “Grazer-gate” controversy; she claims it’s retaliation for a restraining order. [THR, Esq. via Gawker]

Barack Obama Joe Biden Democratic presidential ticket 2008.jpgIn a text message sent out at around 3 a.m. today, Senator Barack Obama announced his running mate: Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr., of Delaware.
Lawyers should be happy with Obama’s veep pick. There are lots of legal angles to Senator Biden:

  • like Obama (Harvard Law ’91), Joe Biden is a lawyer by training (Syracuse Law ’68);
  • he practiced law in Wilmington, Delaware, for a few years (before being elected to the U.S. Senate in 1972, at age 29);
  • since 1991, he’s taught a seminar in constitutional law at Widener University School of Law; and
  • he’s a longtime member, and former chairman (1987-1995), of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Legal background aside, are you happy with Joe Biden as Obama’s VP nominee? Sound off, in the comments.
Biography: Joe Biden [Senator Joe Biden (official website)]
Obama chooses Sen. Joe Biden to be running mate [CNN]

Mickey Mouse Steamboat Willie.jpg* Say what? UT isn’t the top law school in Texas? [TaxProf Blog]
* As of now, Barack Obama hasn’t named his running mate. But who wants to be VP anyway? As Peter Feld observes, “in recent years, the vice presidential nomination has become a near-certain ticket to oblivion.” [Gawker]
* Mickey Mouse isn’t protected by copyright? Woo-hoo! Let’s use a picture of him to decorate this post. [Los Angeles Times]
* Supreme Courtships, the TV show, didn’t pan out. But maybe Supreme Courtship, the new Christopher Buckley book, will fare better. [Washington Post]
* How to go to law school like a porn star. Traci Bryant — an adult-film actress, licensed prostitute, and 1L — says it’s all about “thinking outside the box.” We have no doubt. [Bitter Lawyer]

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