The law firm perks keep rolling in. From a source at Seyfarth Shaw:
Following the recent trend of enhanced BigLaw perks, Seyfarth announced changes to their leave policy for associates. Previously, associates were given 4 weeks of vacation per year. Now, associates can now take (at least hypothetically) as much leave as they want so long as they get their work done.
This was a bit of a non-event given that associates can’t even find time to take their original 4 weeks of vacation, but the sentiment was nice anyway.
What Seyfarth associates are really waiting for are the “Associates Meetings” scheduled for this week. Word on the street is that salaries are going up. How much they will go up is the real question.
But don’t get too excited, people — we’re not talking “NY to 190.” Recall that, at least outside New York, Seyfarth is not yet on the $160K scale (at least according to their NALP forms).
The Seyfarth Shaw vacation memo, after the jump.
* Is it okay for a law professor to exclude white students from her review sessions? [Blackprof via PrawfsBlawg]
* Speaking of law profs, students like ‘em hot. And we needed a research paper to tell us this? [TaxProf Blog]
* A utilitarian analysis of the question we raised on Valentine’s Day: Should lawyers date other lawyers? [Law and Letters]
* More on last month’s “pleaded” vs. “pled” debate. We feel vindicated in preferring “pleaded.” [SW Virginia Law Blog; Indiana Law Blog]
* Professor Dan Solove, author of The Future of Reputation, photographed in a pensive state for Money Magazine. [Concurring Opinions]
* Some ruminations on the use of Post-it-brand tape-flags in document review. We can relate, but we’re dating ourselves — isn’t most doc review done on computers these days? [PrawfsBlawg]
* A cycling-inspired Blawg Review (#147, for those of you who are counting). [Rush on Business via Blawg Review]
We received about 600 responses to last week’s ATL / Lateral Linksurvey on leave and part-time arrangements. One reader made a very interesting suggestion in the comments:
Justin – how about you keep a list of where law firms are on parental leave? Sort of like the list Lat kept going showing who was being delinquent on raising salaries. Those lists made a big influence at some firms that were reluctant to give associate salary raises – a list like this could likewise make a world of difference in parental benefits.
I like this idea a lot, and while I won’t be calling it a “list of shame,” I’ll be keeping a running table of maternity leave policies, starting later this week. If you’d like to make sure your firm’s info is accurate, please take the survey (which will stay open for a while) or send us a tip.
In the meantime, let’s focus on a slightly different data point from the survey. In addition to questions about leave, which we’ll talk about later this week, we asked whether you would be interested in working fewer hours for less pay if your employer gave you the option. See the results after the jump.
Happy Presidents’ Day! In honor of the executive branch, unitary or not, ATL will be on a reduced publication schedule today.
* Where’s the beef? Not on your grocery shelves, thankfully, as the USDA orders the largest meat recall in its history. [Washington Post]
* Obama woos Edwards. [AP]
* “Harold and Kumar Escape From Guantánamo Bay,” plus other representations of Gitmo in popular culture. [New York Times via How Appealing]
* It’s getting hot in here: Pending legislation would require climate change to be taught in California public schools. [San Jose Mercury News via Drudge]
* Municipalities mull ordinances to limit where sex offenders hang out. [New York Times]
* More recusals in the Massey Energy case. Is there anyone left in West Virginia who can hear this case? [WSJ Law Blog]
* Turnout low and tensions high as Pakistan goes to the polls. [New York Times]
* Happy independence day — in Kosovo. [Washington Post]
Greetings from the great — but frigid — city of Chicago. We’re hanging out with friends and doing some sightseeing, but the main reason for our visit is this event, taking place on Thursday (and open to the public):
While in Chi-town, we will also be meeting readers at an ATL “Happy Hour,” similar to the event we held in Miami last year. It will take place on Wednesday, February 20, sometime after work (time and place to be determined). Update: The Chicago “Happy Hour” will take place on Wednesday, February 20, from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., at Miller’s Pub (134 S. Wabash). Hope to see you there! Schedule of Events [University of Chicago Law School Federalist Society]
Sweet home Alabama. It’s the home of law schools that have given us greatstories in the past.
A fairly recent story, involving a student at the University of Alabama School of Law who got into a silverware spat with his roommate, was on the lighter side. But our latest tale from UA is more serious — especially in the wake of yesterday’s tragic shootings at Northern Illinois University.
Read more, after the jump.
There are reasons to read the New Hampshire Union Leader even after primary season is over. Check out this great article:
A Boston-based federal judge wore a black cocktail dress, fish-net stockings and high heels when police arrested him for drunk driving after he rear-ended a pickup truck last week, sources said.
U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Robert Somma, 63, struck a plea deal with the city Wednesday in which he pleaded no contest to a first-offense misdemeanor driving while intoxicated charge in Manchester District Court. In exchange, the judge agreed to pay $600 in fines and penalties and a 12-month license suspension….
The arresting officer made no mention of the judge’s attire in the written report police provided to the media other than to note the judge “had a difficult time locating his license in his purse.”
Two sources confirmed Somma was wearing a cocktail dress, women’s hose and high heels when his Mercedes-Benz E320 sedan struck a pickup truck stopped at a red light on Elm Street about 11:29 p.m. on Feb. 6.
As real as it may seem, it was only in your dreams. From the WSJ Law Blog:
We called around to firms to find out whether associate salaries, called economically-irrational in some quarters, have finally (or, at least, for now) hit a ceiling. The answer seems to be yes.
“We’re not going to do anything,” said Orrick spokeman Allan Whitescarver, noting that law firms compete for talent with investment banks and consulting firms. “Times aren’t good for them either,” said Whitescarver. “We’re going to sit tight and keep the salaries capped.”…
Other firms, including WilmerHale and Milbank, also told the Law Blog that, for now, first-year salaries will stay at $160,000.
These announcements aren’t the most exciting things to read (or report on). But we’ve spoken to a number of associates and law students, especially women, who follow them closely. So we’ll continue posting them (and they’re easy to skip over anyway).
The latest law firm to improve its parental leave policy is Mayer Brown. Check out their memo, issued earlier today, after the jump.
Not by the home run king, but by the prosecutors pursuing him. From ESPN:
Federal prosecutors mistakenly filed court papers Thursday that incorrectly stated that Barry Bonds failed a steroids test in November of 2001 — one month after breaking the single-season home run mark.
U.S. attorney spokesman Josh Eaton now says that the reference in Thursday’s government court filing regarding Bonds testing positive was actually referring to a November 2000 test that was previously disclosed in the indictment of Bonds and had already been reported.
Our source observes, “considering how widely reported this was — all over the national media, including CNN-style blanket coverage from ESPNews — during a week when the spotlight is on steroids in baseball already (the Clemens congressional hearings), it had to have been awfully embarrassing for the department.”
Based on this post and this one, today is shaping up as Filing F**k-Up Day at ATL. U.S. filing typo spurs erroneous Bonds drug report [ESPN]
Here’s the latest Job of the Week from ATL’s career partner, Lateral Link. Because Lateral Link does no cold-calling and is more efficient than traditional recruiting firms, successful candidates receive $10,000 upon placement. Position: Assistant General Counsel – Capital Markets Location: Washington DC Description: This alternative asset management company is seeking an attorney to serve as an internal counsel in the legal department. The attorney will participate in the negotiation and review of financing documentation, including offering materials, credit agreements, sale or purchase agreements, inter-creditor agreements, security documents and servicing agreements and facilitate the closing of such transactions. Responsibilities include:
· Finance/Capital Markets: Represent the Company and its affiliates as borrowers or issuers in various types of financings, including warehouse and other syndicated credit facilities, CLO/CDO transactions, and public and private offerings of debt and equity.
· Corporate and Securities Law: Provide advice and counsel on a variety of corporate and regulatory matters, including traditional corporate law and corporate governance matters, securities law compliance and SEC reporting.
· Other responsibilities include, but are not limited to, drafting amendments and waivers to loan agreements and confidentiality agreements. Skills Requirements:
• 3rd to 5th year associate at major national law firm.
• Outstanding academic credentials with a J.D. from a respected law school.
• Experience in Capital Markets or Corporate Finance practice area required; general corporate and securities law experience a plus.
• A skilled team-oriented attorney, willing to perform all transaction related tasks from due diligence to drafting, negotiating and closing.
• Ability to work in fast-paced deal environment.
• Business oriented, practical and bottom-line approach to decision making (versus overlawyering and academic). Maturity and practical thinking necessary.
• Generally flexible with working hours Company Description: This company, both directly and through its global asset management business, is an investor in management and employee buyouts, private equity buyouts, and early stage and mature private and public companies. The company provides senior debt, mezzanine debt and equity to fund growth, acquisitions, recapitalizations and securitizations. The company and its affiliates invest from $5 million to $800 million per company in North America and $5 million to $500 million per company in Europe.
For more information, see job # 6439 on Lateral Link. Earlier: Prior Job of the Week listings (scroll down)
The legal industry is being disrupted at every level by technological advances. While legal tech entrepreneurs and innovators are racing to create a more efficient and productive future, there is widespread indifference on the part of attorneys toward these emerging technologies.
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 seven years. You can reach them by email: email@example.com.
We at Kinney Asia have made a number of FCPA / White Collar US associate placements in Hong Kong / China thus far in 2014. Most of such placements have been commercial litigation associates from major US markets, fluent in Mandarin, switching to FCPA / White Collar litigation. Some have already had FCPA experience, but those are difficult candidates for firms to find (this will change in coming years as US firms are now promoting FCPA / White Collar to their 2L summers who are fluent in Mandarin and have an interest in transferring to China at some point).
Legal Week quoted Kinney’s Head of Asia, Evan Jowers, extensively in the following relevant article here.
There is a new trend in the market, though, where mid-level transactional US associates, fluent in spoken Mandarin and written Chinese, are interviewing for and in some cases landing junior FCPA / White Collar spots in Hong Kong / China at very top tier US firms.
When the LexisNexis Cloud Technology Survey results were reported earlier this year, it showed that attorneys were starting to peer less skeptically into the future, and slowly but surely leaning more toward all the benefits the law cloud has to offer.
Because let’s face it, plenty of attorneys are perhaps a bit too comfortable with their “system” of practice management, which may or may not include neon highlighters, sticky notes, dog-eared file folders, and a word processing program that was last updated when the term “raise the roof” was still de rigueur.