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Barack Obama Senator Barack Hussein Obama Above the Law blog.jpgTime is running out on this month’s ATL Lawyer of the Year and Second Favorite Blog After ATL polls, both sponsored by ATL and Lateral Link.
So far, we’re up to just over 2,600 votes for Lawyer of the Year, and Wall Street Journal pick Loyola 2L is still going strong. Meanwhile, Barack Obama has a roughly 2.5 to 1 lead over Hillary Clinton, and Alberto Gonzales is stamping out civil rights stomping on music rights attorney Ray Beckerman . . . but pretty much nobody else.
On the blogging front, the Wall Street Journal remains the blog to beat, while Above The Law is still in second place and Volokh Conspiracy is on track for third, having opened up a hefty lead over Patently-O and SCOTUSblog. Write-in candidate Ms. JD has overpowered Overlawyered, and Likelihood of Confusion has turned the tables on Professor Bainbridge and is now closing in on Skadden Insider.
We’ll post the final results on Thursday.
But while you’re voting for the champions above, are you also voting with your feet at work? In last month’s ATL / Lateral Link job survey about 20% of you responded that you were considering leaving your current firms once you received your bonus. But that was before many of you knew what your bonuses were going to be.
So last week, we asked you whether your job searches were indeed underway. Find out if the answers changed after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Featured Survey Results: Polls, Bloggers and Job Searches”

* Resignation in Detroit text-message scandal (previously discussed here). [Detroit News]
* A proud American tradition unknown in the rest of the world: bail for profit. [New York Times]
* Legal luminaries at the SOTU. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Trial begins in alleged microwaving of infant. [CNN]
* TRO against Patriots’ Moss extended until after Super Bowl. [SI]
* Mortgage crisis may affect litigation departments. [WSJ Law Blog]
* U.S. jails Colombian FARC leader. [BBC]

associate bonus watch 2007 law firm Above the Law blog.jpgWe don’t really have any major bonus news to pass along. Here are a few items following up on previously reported developments:
1. Latham & Watkins: On Friday we reported on the LW bonuses, which were well-received by associates. We now have more detailed information, which appears after the jump.
2. McDermott Will & Emery: We wrote here about their decision to issue supplemental bonuses. Those bonuses have now been paid, and people are happy. More details after the jump.
3. Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft: As previously reported, the bonus situation over there is rather vague. An addendum, also after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Associate Bonus Watch: Some Updates”

laptop computer web surfer Above the Law.jpgRemember MacGate, at American University’s Washington College of Law? It was resolved. But technology problems persist at WCL:

Date: January 28, 2008 2:34:20 PM EST
Subject: Wireless at WCL

Dear Student Body:

The following problems have been discovered with the WCL network:

1. All access points in room 101 were either turned off, or nonfunctional for the past two years.

2. All access points on the 5th floor were located in elevator shafts, or other places where they did not provide coverage.

3. Certain points on the 6th floor were assigned the wrong IP address,and so did not provide access.

The Technology department is working to address these problems. If you continue to experience problems with the internet, please inform the Student Services Committee at [xxxx]. You can also file an online trouble ticket, when you find yourself in an area with internet access, at [xxxx].

Student Services Committee

At first we thought this was satirical, but we were assured that it’s not: “This is for real — we got it from the SBA today. Our wireless has been terrible recently.”
Your friends at ATL obviously want you to have wireless access in class. But we realize that some professors contend that internet access in classrooms is an impediment to instruction.

* Where do broken hearts Lawyers for Fred go? Into the open arms of Mitt Romney, who just picked up an impressive group of conservative legal eagles. [Mitt Romney]
* We previously linked to transcripts of the Kumari Fulbright 911 tapes, but now you can listen to them yourself (click here, then scroll down to the italicized link). Says a tipster: “The screams must have been pretty loud if that many people could hear them from their homes and from the street.” [Arizona Daily Star]
* Sangria is illegal in Virginia, so restaurants there serve “a bowdlerized version of the drink.” Ted Frank wonders: “[W]hen is someone going to bring a consumer class action against the Spanish restaurants serving faux sangrias without warning customers?” [Overlawyered via WSJ Law Blog]
* Is IP law sexy? Not to this “curvy,” aspiring actress. [New York Post; Ropes & Gray]
* Speaking of sexy, do you have a crush on Hillary? This kid does. [YouTube via Blogonaut]
P.S. Some of these items are a little stale (from last week). As we just mentioned, we’re clearing a backlog of items we’ve been meaning to write about.
Update: In response to this comment — no, we’re not done for the day. More posts to come.

vote ballot Above the Law blog.jpgLast week was a busy one in terms of bonus news. In addition, we were prevented from publishing as much as we wanted by technical difficulties (which lie outside the jurisdiction of your undersigned blogger, a mere writer and not a tech person).
Our recent neglect of the “misbehaving lawyers” beat has given rise to a backlog of possible Lawyers of the Day. We’ve decided to clear the backlog by tossing out five nominees and having you vote on who should get the honor.
Click on each lawyer’s name to read more about their alleged misadventures. Then vote on who should be our Lawyer of the Day.
1. Todd Paris: This North Carolina lawyer was held in contempt after a judge caught him reading Maxim [quasi-NSFW] in court. “When [Judge Kevin] Eddinger gave Paris a chance to respond he apologized and ‘stated in his view the magazine was not pornography, was available at local stores and that he did not intend contempt,’ the [contempt] order said.”
2. Beth Modica: “A former suburban prosecutor and PTA president had sex with two underage boys, joined many other teens in booze and pot parties and kept it all a secret from her police chief husband, officials said Tuesday. Beth Modica, 44, was indicted on 35 counts alleging statutory rape, criminal sex acts, sex abuse and endangering children. Wearing an olive-gray suit and handcuffs, she pleaded not guilty at her arraignment in Rockland County Court and was ordered held on $75,000 bail.”
3. Mikal Hanson: “Pierre police early Thursday morning arrested an assistant U.S. attorney, who is accused of drunken driving and speeding. Mikal Hanson, 52, an assistant U.S. attorney in Sioux Falls, was stopped by police shortly before 1 a.m. for speeding, said Pierre Police Chief Elton Blemaster. The arresting officer could smell alcohol on Hanson and asked him to perform field sobriety tests, Blemaster said. ‘Mr. Hanson didn’t complete them as instructed,’ he said.”
4. Canadian Senator Mobina Jaffer: “Liberal Senator Mobina Jaffer is under investigation by the Law Society of British Columbia for allegedly overbilling one of her legal clients, including charging for 30 hours of work in a single day…. Jaffer has been called before the law society to account for more than $6 million in legal bills charged to her former client, a Catholic missionary order known as the Oblates of Mary Immaculate.”
5. Jay Grodner: From the Chicago Tribune (via

Jay Grodner, the Chicago lawyer who keyed a Marine’s car in anger because the car had military plates and a Marine insignia, finally got his day in court last week. Grodner pleaded guilty in a Chicago courtroom packed with former Marines. They came to support Marine Sgt. Michael McNulty, whose car Grodner defaced in December, but who couldn’t attend because he’s preparing for his second tour in Iraq….

“You caused damage to this young Marine sergeant’s car because you were offended by his Marine Corps license plates,” said Judge [William] O’Malley….

“That’s because there is a little principle that the Marine Corps has had since 1775,” the judge continued. “When they fought and lost their lives so that people like you could enjoy the freedom of this country. It is a little proverb that we follow: “No Marine is left behind.

“So Sgt. McNulty couldn’t be here. But other Marines showed up in his stead. Take him away,” said the judge and former Marine.

So those are the five contestants. Here’s the poll:

Pamela Bookman Pam Bookman University of Virginia Law School Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Above the Law blog.jpgThings have been quiet on the Supreme Court clerk hiring front. There are rumors that Justice Alito has finally finished hiring for October Term 2008, but nobody seems to know who the lucky winners are. If you know, please drop us a line.
We do, however, have some news. A tipster reports:

Justice Ginsburg just hired a 2006 UVA Grad to begin clerking summer 2009. I knew Pamela Bookman (pictured) in law school, and not only is she incredibly smart, she is remarkably fun and down to earth. Kudos to Pam!

For confirmation, see this article, which has the story of how Pam Bookman got an offer from RBG on the spot:

Even though Bookman [who is clerking for the International Court of Justice in The Hague] currently lives thousands of miles away from Washington, D.C., she was still able to arrange an in-person meeting with Ginsburg. Two weeks after receiving an e-mail from Klarman saying that Ginsburg wanted to interview her, Bookman traveled to Washington while visiting her parents during winter break. Bookman chuckled that her interview was her first time ever visiting the Supreme Court. After chatting with Ginsburg about international law, the justice offered her the job on the spot.

“It was thrilling, it was surreal,” she said. “I’m still not sure this is real.”

The current tally of OT 2008 and OT 2009 SCOTUS clerks, with Pamela Bookman added, appears after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Supreme Court Clerk Hiring Watch: Another 2009 Hire
(And What’s Up With Justice Alito?)”

Debevoise Plimpton LLP Above the Law blog.jpgBiglaw is becoming kinder and gentler. The number of large law firms enhancing their parental leave policies continues to grow. The latest to join the club: Debevoise & Plimpton.
From a (male) tipster:

18 weeks. Not bad. Of course, since I’m unlikely to give birth to a child anytime soon, I’ll have to be satisfied with 10 weeks.

Also, what’s with this “primary childcare giver” business? Of the new parents I’ve known, the first few months seemed like one needed at least two primary childcare givers, if not more. Eh, I doubt D&P will be sending auditors into associates’ homes to check who bills the most hours with the baby.

The email announcing Debevoise’s policy, plus a list of firms that have recently enhanced their parental leave policies, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Biglaw Perk Watch: Debevoise & Plimpton to 18 Weeks”

University of Alabama School of Law Above the Law blog.jpgWe were pretty lucky in the law school roommate department. During our 1L year, we lived with a high school friend who was in New Haven doing medical research. During our 2L year, we roomed with a friend from college: the brilliant Steve Engel, a former law clerk to Judge Kozinski and Justice Kennedy, who currently serves as a deputy assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Counsel (and who recently testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in that capacity, on the legal rights of Guantanamo Bay detainees).
Both were highly considerate roommates. Neither tried to purloin our silverware, which is the allegation made in this angry letter from a University of Alabama 2L to his former roommate. It begins:

Dear Roommate:

Oneida Journey Silverware Above the Law blog.jpgThis is a letter regarding your use and possession of my silverware and tableware. I regret that I have to tell you this in writing, but all of my attempts to speak to you in person were thwarted by your unwillingness to speak directly to me.

I wish to be as tolerant as possible so we can live together peaceably. However, your impermissible possession and misappropriation of the bulk of my silverware, as well as my stoneware bowls, is no longer acceptable.

The silverware in question was purchased entirely by me for my use. It is relatively new, bought in 2007, and cost approximately $75. The silverware in questions [sic] consists of Oneida’s “Journey” (4 setting) and also an Oneida Silverplate (2-setting which is coated in actual silver). I did not object to you using it at first (although you never asked for permission), but I reasonably thought you understood that your use had to be within some bounds of reason. You have continually used silverware without returning it to the kitchen. This has meant there is insufficient silverware for me, the owner, to use. This is unacceptable under any condition. Placing dishes and silverware in the kitchen does not waive my right to have reasonable possession or use of it.

The letter gets more over-the-top as it goes along. It culminates with a threat to bring a civil action for the tort of conversion.
Read the rest, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Law School Roommate Lunacy: In re Oneida Silverware”

Last month we asked you which holidays you worked on, or expected to work on, during 2007. About half of you reported that you had worked on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
In today’s ATL / Lateral Link survey, we see how you fared last week. Did you take the day off to honor a champion of civil rights, or did you make it a “day on”?
[Update: This survey is now closed. Click here for the results.]
In the meantime, at least one of you noticed that I am not Dave Lat. I’m actually Justin Bernold, a Director in Lateral Link’s Boston office. I’m also a friend (and fan) of Dave’s from college and the author of, among other things, the Associate Pirate (Arr is for Resume!) blog.

* Top candidates turn to trial lawyers for support. [Washington Post]
* More recusal requests expected in WV Supreme Court. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Former NFL player’s wife files malpractice suit over surgery. [ESPN]
* Suffrage suffers in Mexico. [MSNBC]
* How to count primary delegates (and an explanation of the “superdelegates”). [New York Times; New York Times]
* “It’s just not realistic” to present major new initiatives, but the SOTU will still be on every channel tonight. White House speechwriters are not on strike. [CNN]
* Super-litigator Tom Barr of Cravath, RIP. [New York Times (death notice); WSJ Law Blog]

associate bonus watch 2007 law firm Above the Law blog.jpgWe’ve been hearing a bit about the bonuses paid out by Latham & Watkins. It seems that LW associates are quite pleased.
Going back to our post from earlier today, it seems that one tipster’s speculation about a meeting to spin bad news was off the mark. A second LW source had this rebuttal:

Sometimes our offices have meetings to discuss bonuses. I am aware of one office that had a similar meeting last year, on the day in which bonuses were given. I think it’s more to go through the bonus memo and answer any questions, rather than to break any bad news.

And apparently there was no bad news to break. If this chart (posted at AutoAdmit) is correct, Latham associates did pretty well for themselves.
We haven’t received confirmation of the chart (yet — we’re working on it). And the chart also doesn’t reflect unspecified additional amounts paid out in New York. But LW sources did write in to say they’re pleased with their hauls:

“I think people are pretty happy with what they received.”

“Overall, bonuses are better than ever. They matched or more than matched in every market, for people who hit 1900 billable hours (a goal that is very clear — there was no doubt from the day I was hired that I needed 1900 to get a bonus). Bonuses in non-NY offices are far higher than they were last year (minimum – $35,000) and New York seems to have matched and/or exceeded the Cravath model. Overall, I am very happy!”

If you’re at Latham and can confirm the chart or provide us with more info, please drop us a line. Thanks.
Update: The accuracy of the chart has been confirmed for us by multiple sources at Latham.
Latham bonus memo for 2007 []
Earlier: Associate Bonus Watch: Reading the Latham Tea Leaves

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