We continue our series of posts chronicling rampant internal strife at America’s top law journal, the Harvard Law Review. Prior posts appear here, here and here.
The standard caveats apply:
1. This material is not for everyone. If you don’t share our appreciation for tempests in teapots, you may have a “So what?” reaction. But if you do enjoy the hilarity of petty law school squabbles, then keep reading.
2. The internal emails reprinted below speak for themselves. After reading them, you may end up siding with the HLR editor or with president Andrew Crespo. We take no side in this controversy.
3. If you feel that we’ve missed something in our coverage, please email us (subject line: “Harvard Law Review”). We’re eager to hear from all parties to this dispute.
(Alas, it’s usually the case that one side leaks info to communicates with us more than the other. As a result, that side’s viewpoint may receive more coverage in these pages. E.g., Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell. If you want to level the playing field, you need to feed us information that supports your position.)
Discussion of the latest controversy, plus internal Harvard Law Review emails, after the jump.
Department of Justice official Brad Schlozman — who currently serves as Associate Counsel to the Director, in the Executive Office for United States Attorneys — is about to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee. His testimony is part of a panel entitled “Preserving Prosecutorial Independence: Is the Department of Justice Politicizing the Hiring and Firing of U.S. Attorneys?”
Maybe we’ll tune in, at least for a few minutes; but we don’t expect to watch the entire proceedings. Brad Schlozman is no Monica Goodling. And we can barely pronounce his last name.
On Friday night, in preparation for today’s session, the DOJ’s Office of Legislative Affairs (OLA) sent the Republican members of the committee a list of proposed “softball” or friendly questions for Schlozman. This question caught our eye:
Clevenger, you may recall, has raised allegations about the politicization of hiring at Main Justice. But he may be best known to ATL readers as a source for stories about that delicious DOJ diva, Shanetta Cutlar (about whom we’ve heard nothing new, sadly).
By the way, in case you’re wondering, question #5 wasn’t well-received by GOP staffers on Capitol Hill. We hear that the Republican staffers “are offended that DOJ expects them to do its political dirty work.”
Our tour of the country’s less-than-gigantic legal markets has swung through Denver, Hartford, and Philadelphia. Now we head out to the West Coast, to pay a visit to one of our favorite American cities: Seattle.
We couldn’t locate a good news article to kick off the discussion. But we combed through the ATL archives to find a few Seattle data points. Here are three firms and their starting salaries in the Emerald City:
These are all firms with their origins outside Seattle. What about homegrown firms, like Perkins Coie or Davis Wright Tremaine?
Please discuss Seattle associate salaries in the comments to this post. Thanks.
Here is a completely unsubstantiated rumor, which we’ll pass along anyway (’cause that’s what we do around here):
I cannot confirm this, but a friend of mine at Simpson Thacher claims that NYC firms are going to $190K soon.
Apparently, one of his friends from [law school] was on an interview and requested credit for her clerkship experience, whereupon the hiring partner said he was 90% sure that his firm was increasing first year salaries to $190K.
Wish I could provide more information.
We don’t know if New York law firms will raise associate starting salaries all the way to $190,000. But in light of the recent move to the $160K scale by most top firms in California, Washington, and Chicago, we wouldn’t be surprised to see New York City — with its hardworking associates, high-paying clients, and off-the-charts cost-of-living — increase base salaries again before the year is up.
(Another option: maybe they’ll just pay extra-large bonuses this year.)
Perhaps New York firms will raise starting salaries to $175,000 or $180,000, rather than all the way to $190,000. And they probably won’t move until the fall recruiting season, since there’s not much of an incentive to take action right now.
But that’s just our opinion. What do you think?
Take our two reader polls, which appear after the jump.
After a year away from the bench, U.S. District Judge Thomas Porteous Jr. will regain both his criminal and civil dockets next month, signaling an end to the long criminal investigation into his personal bankruptcy and possible misdeeds while a federal and Jefferson Parish jurist.
Chief Judge Ginger Berrigan said Thursday that Porteous will return to the U.S. District Court, Eastern District [of Louisiana], in mid-June after spending the past year secluded from friends and under the weight of grand jury hearings into his actions….
Porteous’ attorney, Kyle Schonekas, said federal prosecutors told him a few weeks ago that they didn’t intend to indict Porteous. He said the court then asked Porteous to resume duties at the court.
[I]t is time to turn your attention to Bingham. The firm has a national presence in four major markets that have all raised to 160k base (DC/SF/LA/Boston) and 2006 profits per partner well in excess of peer (and lesser) firms that are paying those market salaries.
What exactly is Bingham’s problem? Its associates deserve answers, and after one month of hearing about raise after raise, there is nothing but silence. Please do anything you can to squeeze some information from firm management before the firm starts bleeding associates and decimates its summer recruiting program for the year.
* 21 Jump Street in action! Perennially young and quirky Johnny Depp could probably still pull it off today. [Seattle Times]
* Can you think of anything better to do after renouncing the practice of law? [Law and Magic Blog (seriously)]
* Some perspective: at least there’s no evidence he ever videotaped high school boys showering after tennis practice. [Charleston Daily Mail]
* Some perspective: half of rich is still rich. And no embarrassing evidence of voyeurism had to come out in the proceedings. [Chicago Tribune]
* Speaking of which, eHarmony might be just the thing to cheer up Monica Goodling. [Time]
Time for an installment of ATL’s legal celebrity sightings column, The Eyes of the Law. This one is especially juicy.
We hear that last week, embattled Attorney General Alberto Gonzales was sighted in the Houston office of Vinson & Elkins — the firm where he was once a partner. His presence was not kept a secret, since he walked right past the offices of several summer associates.
Was AGAG just paying a friendly visit to some of his former partners? Or could his drop-by signify that he might be resigning as Attorney General and returning to his former stomping grounds (a la Harriet Miers, who returned to Locke Liddell after stepping down as White House Counsel)?
If you think we’re getting carried away, we’d like to remind you: office visits can be very revealing. Remember when a bunch of Weil Gotshal bankruptcy partners defected to Cadwalader back in March? A week before their move was announced, the ex-Weil partners were sighted in the Cadwalader offices, on an evening tour led by CWT chairman Robert Link and bankruptcy chairman Bruce Zirinsky.
If you have any scuttlebutt to add about Gonzales and V&E, please email us. Thanks. Update: According to this comment, “He was there for the funeral of a former partner — Rush Record.” This explanation sounds plausible to us, since Mr. Record did pass away last week.
This just in: Steptoe & Johnson has raised starting salaries in its Washington office to $160,000. We don’t know what they’re doing up the seniority ladder or in non-D.C. offices.
An email to incoming associates and a memo to first-year associates appear after the jump.
Two things we’ve heard recently (the first more definitive than the second):
1. Howrey LLP: Last week, they made a “secret announcement” — nothing in writing — of associate pay raises in Chicago, California, and Washington, DC.
2. Baker & McKenzie: In their Chicago office (and perhaps others), they sent around a memo similar to the Jenner & Block memo. It was basically “a non-committal memo, pledging to remain competitive, and acknowledging recent associate salary adjustments in the market.”
If you can provide us with more details, or have some associate pay raise news not previously reported herein, please drop us a line. Thanks. Update: The Howrey raises have been announced, but not yet implemented. When they will take effect, and whether they will be made retroactive, is unclear.
Hey, have you read Above the Law for like one single minute in the past month? If so, you probably know that we’re having this big blogger conference on March 14th at the Yale Club. Yeah, the Yale Club. You’ll be able to recognize me: I’ll be the only big… blogger guy surreptitiously holding a can of crimson spray-paint.
Speaking of coming, you should come. We’ve got CLE and all that. Click here to buy tickets to get CLE credit for listening to bloggers scream about stuff on the internet.
To refresh your memory, details on the panel that I’m moderating — almost entirely sober, mind you — follow.
My panel is called Blogs as Agents of Change, and we’re going to talk about whether all of these spilled pixels are actually making a difference. You know my view… just ask Lawrence Mitchell, but here are the panelists:
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.
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