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spanking Society of Janus spank Herman Thomas Above the Law blog.jpgMobile County Circuit Judge Herman Thomas is ATL’s Judge of the Day. He takes the prize for his innovative approach to sentencing. From the Mobile Press-Register:

Authorities are investigating allegations that now-suspended Mobile County Circuit Judge Herman Thomas periodically removed prisoners from Mobile County Metro Jail and spanked them in a room at the courthouse, according to courthouse sources involved in the inquiry.

Once inside the room, according to the sources, the judge would ask the young men to drop their pants and prepare to be spanked with what they described as a wooden or fraternity-like paddle.

To quote ex-inmate Paris Hilton, “That’s hot.” We agree with these commenters:

“[I]n San Francisco we have lots of people who pay $200 a session for that kind of treatment. Perhaps this judge has a bright future in Bay Area.”

“That’s some kinky place. I think Senator Larry Craig would like to break INTO that prison!”

More details — including a description of the secret six-by-eight room that allegedly served as the judge’s S-and-M dungeon — are available here.
Authorities investigating paddling allegations against Judge Thomas [Mobile Press-Register]
Judge Accused Of Paddling Inmates []

X Men small X Summers X Summer Associates Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgFor those of you who might be interested, here’s another version of yesterday’s story about the Bruised Booze Cruiser — a Kirkland & Ellis summer associate who got slugged by a local lass in Chicago (after getting drunk on the firm-sponsored booze cruise and calling said woman a “fat bitch”).

We actually received many accounts of this event. The one that we decided go with came from someone who was at K&E this summer and attended the events in question, so we viewed it as fairly reliable.

But here’s a second version, also from someone who claims to have been there. And we like it — in some ways, it’s even better than the original — so we’re passing it along.

According to our latest tipster, the Bruised Booze Cruisier (hereinafter “BBC”) was acting up even before the after-party where he got punched by a girl woman. From this second source:

[The BBC] had upset one big-time partner before ever getting to the bar that night (and, if the golf outing story is true, he had notes from two partners sent to recruiting). The cruise ship played music during the 3rd of July fireworks, and at one point, the “Imperial March” from the Star Wars movies came on.

The summer (maybe a big fan of the movies?) decided to narrate the song by attempting to recreate Darth-Vader-esque breathing noises. His wanting everyone to hear, though, meant the noises were less breaths and more zombie moans, which weren’t appreciated by the young children on board.

A senior partner near the summer, whose children were frightened and upset by the noises, wrote to recruiting about the guy before the story of the bar fight ever came out.

That’s pretty great — but there’s more. Check it out after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Bruised Booze Cruiser: An Alternate Account”

A tipster drew our attention to this Craigslist posting, to which he appended a single line of commentary: “Discriminatory? Ha Ha.”
It seems that only the title of the posting implicates motherhood. The main body of the listing refers to the candidate as “he or she,” and the job responsibilities do not require a maternal figure. E.g., breastfeeding the CEO is not required.
Moms Wanted – General Counsel, Part time/flexible hours (Midtown East) [craigslist]

Great Britain United Kingdom England British flag Union Jack.jpgLately we’ve been talking to a lot of 2Ls about the law firm recruiting process. From these conversations, we’ve learned that (1) a fair number are interested in working abroad, especially in the fabulous (and fabulously expensive) city of London, and (2) many law students treat the Vault law firm rankings as the Gospel.
In light of these two facts, we expect that many of you will be interested to learn that Vault just released its second annual Top 50 UK Law Firms Rankings. You can check them out here (main page) and here (prestige rankings).
Not surprisingly, the so-called “Magic Circle” firms still hold the top five spots on the list. But they have played musical chairs amongst themselves.
Please treat this post as the open thread for U.K. law firms. If you’d like to discuss what it’s like to work for one of these shops, this is the place to do it!
The Vault 50 Top UK Law Firms [Vault]

We’ve made this point before in these pages, and we’ll make it again: not every recent law school graduate is on the $160K (or even $145K) scale. Many newly minted lawyers are pulling down salaries that fall well short of the six-figure mark.
Check out this interesting graphic, which shows the distribution of full-time salaries for all members of the Class of 2006 who reported income data to their respective law school (22,665 graduates):
Distribution of Full Time Lawyer Salaries Above the Law blog.jpg
As you can see, the median salary for class of 2006 law school graduates is $62,000. There’s a peak around the $135K-$145K mark (recall that the jump to $160K took place in 2007), but there’s an even larger peak around the $40K-$50K mark.
Professor William Henderson has these observations:

What are the implications of this chart?

* For law students. Let’s face it: $40K to $55K per year is just not enough to pay down the avg. $85,000 debt (especially as interest rates climb) and still enjoy any kind of lifestyle that a professional degree is presumed to confer. The national median starting salary for a 2 to 10 lawyer firm is $50,000. There are a lot of struggling alumni out there. And do we really need more law schools? For many, getting a JD is a very risky financial proposition, especially when you factor in bar passage.

Loyola 2L (or should that be Loyola 3L?): Bill Henderson feels your pain.
To access a larger version of the chart, and to read the rest of Professor Henderson’s interesting analysis, click here.
Distribution of 2006 Starting Salaries: Best Graphic Chart of the Year [Empirical Legal Studies]
Earlier: It’s Hard Out Here for Non-Top-Tier Law School Graduates

* It wasn’t me. [Legal Blog Watch]
* Well, I’m a pretty famous celebrity, so I got that going for me… [CNN]
* Divorce for Shaq. [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]
* Look what you’ve done, Specter. [CNN]
* Should we file RICO charges against Tom Cruise? [Jurist]

X Men small X Summers X Summer Associates Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgLabor Day has come and gone. But even though summer is unofficially over, we still have a few summer associate stories for you.
We heard lots of rumors about the Chicago summer who, as described by one source, “got decked by a girl” after a firm-sponsored, Fourth of July boat cruise. According to one version of the story, he showed up to work the next day black and blue.
After poking around, we’ve assembled what we believe to be a fairly reliable account of the incident. The black-and-blue part isn’t true, but the general outlines of the story are accurate:
1. Superhero name: The Bruised Booze Cruiser
2. Special power(s): Improvised musical composition; ability to take it on the chin, from a member of the fairer sex.
3. Summered: Kirkland & Ellis, Chicago, summer 2007
4. Claim to fame: From our tipster:

After the Fourth of July boat cruise, one of the summers tied one too many on. At the after-party, while passing a drink to a friend, he stuck it right across the face of a girl standing nearby.

Understandably annoyed, the girl said something sort of snarky. He responded by a signing an improvised song to her, which went something like, “Fat bitch, fat bitch, you are such a fat bitch.”

After he went on for about a minute, she decided she had had enough of his ditty. She emptied her drink over his head — then socked him in the jaw.

Awesome. We’re applying the “You Go Girl” tag to this post.
Find out the Booze Cruiser’s fate, both medically and professionally, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “X-Summers: The Bruised Booze Cruiser”

suit jacket tie business casual dress code Above the Law blog.jpgWe’re picking up our somewhat dormant series of posts on the perks or fringe benefits of large law firm life. Today’s topic: a business casual dress code.
When we were at a firm, we didn’t enjoy this particular privilege. In fact, our firm required business attire on every weekday — even Fridays during the summer. It was also one of the last places to allow women to wear pantsuits.
Many legal employers, however, do allow lawyers to dress in business casual attire, as long as they don’t have a client meeting or court appearance that day. At the Legal Aid Society of New York, you can even show up in casual attire on such a day, and just change in your office before heading off to court.
But could a trend be starting in the other direction? One tipster reports:

Our Firm is considering moving to a “professional” dress code after years of business casual. This means all of us struggling associates will have to dole out significant cash to populate our suit collection (save for that one d****e-bag who was wearing suits ever since he was a summer).

Was hoping you could do a post to see if this is a pandemic movement — and whether associates have won clothing stipends to defray the cost of change.

So, any takers? Does your firm have a business casual policy? If so, how likely is it to stay that way?

Greenberg logo.gifWe kinda love Greenberg Traurig. There’s always something wacky afoot over there, whether it’s an unorthodox resignation letter or a recruiting reception debacle.
Now, we haven’t verified this latest tale, so consider it mere rumor. But here’s what one tipster told us:

A partner in one of Greenberg Traurig’s international offices sent out a long and angry firmwide e-mail, criticizing the firm for raising money for a charity which provides phone cards to soldiers overseas. Apparently, he was angry about the war, President Bush… , etc.

I don’t have a copy of it — a friend of mine who works in the NYC office had it — but it is worth getting and posting, if you don’t already have a copy. One of the firm’s managing shareholders responded; it too is worth posting, I think.

We haven’t seen this ranting email, and we haven’t been able to get our hands on a copy. But it sounds like just the kind of over-the-top correspondence that we love to publish in these pages.
Do you have a copy of said email? If so, please do share, either by emailing us or posting in the comments. Thanks.
Update (2:15 PM): That was fast; thanks. The email exchange, which is pretty catty and amusing, appears after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Greenberg Traurig: Always Something Crazy Going On”

Jenkens Gilchrist LLP Jenkins Gilchrist Above the Law blog.jpgIn the wake of the Nixon Peabody theme song controversy, several of you emailed us about the recruiting video prepared by the ill-fated, now-defunct law firm of Jenkens & Gilchrist. One reader drew this interesting connection:

A few years ago, the now defunct law firm of Jenkins & Gilchrest made a recruitment video that made the rounds because it was very ridiculous. Here is a link to the video and a story about it.

The interesting thing is that apparently after Jenkins folded, a number of its lawyers started the Chicago office of Nixon Peabody. See here.

Probably just a coincidence (since the Jenkins tape was definitely made in Austin), but it does appear that corny promotional videos follow these people around. And it does give us another opportunity to laugh at bad law firm recruiting videos.

Correction: As noted in the comments, and confirmed by this article from the American Lawyer, the video wasn’t a recruiting tool per se. Rather, it was the firm’s (winning) submission for a “Most Spirited Company” video competition, sponsored by the Austin Business Journal.
As we previously observed, the video is “mortifying.” But we don’t think it’s as bad as the painfully earnest Nixon Peabody song, since the Jenkens video is arguably tongue-in-cheek.
That’s just our opinion. Check it out for yourself:

Jenkens & Gilchrist – Where Every Day is Game Day [Google Video]
Lawyer video (safe for work, especially if you’re at Jenkens & Gilchrist) [ Inside Opinions - Legal Blogs]
Jenkens & Gilchrist’s Video Pep Rally Pumps Up Controversy [American Lawyer]

* God, are we really still talking about Chertoff for AG? [WSJ Law Blog]
* Nifong gets a day in jail for contempt. [CNN]
* North Korea is still with the terrorists. [New York Times]
* Apparently the Law Blog is doing a Senate JD whip count later, and for now they’ve got some other stuff about JDs in the Senate. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Closeted congressmen, watch out. [Washington Post]

Kilpatrick Stockton LLP AboveTheLaw Above the Law blog.jpgOne of the firms from this morning’s open thread, Kilpatrick Stockton, recently announced associate pay raises.
We heard the news from multiple sources. Here’s what one had to say:

Kilpatrick Stockton raised salaries on Friday, effective 1/1/08 (in all markets). 145K in Atlanta and all NC offices, 160 in NY, DC and for IP associates firm-wide.

Only first year numbers have been released. Presumably, the NY, DC and IP scale with be the standard uncompressed 160 scale. The firm, like many others, is waiting for things to settle in Atlanta and expects (based on the need to match others) to substantially exceed Alston Bird’s scale.

From a second tipster:

[H]ere is Kilpatrick Stockton’s memo on raises (issued at 4:34 on the Friday before the long weekend). Note that it looks as though the capital markets group will not be getting the same raise as everyone else (they are now 15K/yr ahead of everyone but IP).

The complete memo appears after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Nationwide Pay Raise Watch: Kilpatrick Stockton”

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