On Friday, we reported that if you’re at Skadden, you can use your $3,000 technology allowance to buy an iPhone. We now have some clarifications about that good news.
From a Skadden source:
1. While you can use your tech allowance to buy just about anything “tech-y” at Skadden, the tech dept has made it clear that the iPhone is NOT compatible with Skadden tech infrastructure. See below [posting reproduced after the jump].
2. The iPhone isn’t excluded [from the tech allowance], but since you’re basically required to have a Blackberry for business purchases, they would likely frown on purchasing both a Blackberry (the monthly Blackberry service comes out of the tech allowance) and an iPhone (where the entire monthly phone-data package would likely be redundant).
3. What’s the point of having two devices strapped to your hip? Isn’t one enough? As soon as a reliable Blackberry client comes out for the iPhone, I think demand will force the tech folks to support the iPhone. Right now don’t even bother asking to get your Skadden email working on an iPhone.
We thank our tipster for explaining these finer points.
In the comments to our prior post, people expressed an interest in a forum for discussing workplace perks — i.e., “the fringe benefits that vary between Biglaw firms — tech allowances, book allowances, gym memberships, home loans, etc.”
We’re happy to oblige. But let’s do this in an organized way. Over the next week or so, we’ll put up a series of posts on fringe benefits, with each post dedicated to discussion of a specific type of perk.
Let’s get the ball rolling. Please treat this post as the open thread for discussion of technology allowances. Thanks.
They do things differently over in China. Here in the United States, for example, we like to put cats on TV. In China, they like to eat them.
And in the Chinese city of Xiamen, they take an approach to anonymous comments on the internet that diverges from the American way. From UPI:
A Chinese city plans to ban anonymous online postings after Internet users successfully campaigned to stop completion of a chemical factory.
The ban mandates Internet users must provide proof of their real identify when posting messages on more than 100,000 Web sites registered in Xiamen, the Times of London reported Saturday.
We’re not experts on internet use in China, so please excuse our ignorance, but we don’t understand how this ban is supposed to work. How does the ban stop people from posting as “GeneralTso888″? Sure, maybe the authorities can track you down through your IP address, if you dare to post as “Hot Pork Buns” (and that is not your real name). But couldn’t they have done that even before the ban?
And if the point of the ban is to establish some penalties for posting anonymously or under a pseudonym, that also seems like a waste of time. Doesn’t China already have enough pretexts for throwing people in prison?
P.S. Yes, we’re Asian — and part Chinese, in fact. Chinese city bans anonymous web postings [United Press International via Drudge Report]
Atlanta associates, don’t get us wrong. We are on your side. Here at ATL, we fully support the quest of associates in ATL to obtain just compensation for their law firm labors.
But it’s not a good sign when your local real estate market is going down the tubes, as suggested by an article in today’s New York Times. If you can buy a three-bedroom house for $134,000, the argument that you need a $160,000 starting salary is weakened.
And if “wages [in Atlanta] have been stagnant for much of this decade,” as the Times reports, it impairs your ability to vote with your feet — to tell your Biglaw bosses that, if salaries don’t improve, you’re going to take a different job down the street (even a non-legal one). One big factor placing upward pressure on associate salaries in New York is the need for law firms to compete with investment banks and hedge funds for talent.
Look, money isn’t everything. Working in Atlanta obviously has many non-monetary attractions.
But if more money is what you’re after, maybe you just need to move. Increasing Rate of Foreclosures Upsets Atlanta [New York Times]
* That’s one way to have “smaller government”. [CNN]
* Maybe the jury can pick a day to wear their “pimps ‘n hos” jumpsuits. [New York Times via How Appealing]
* Corzine signs New Jersey greenhouse gas legislation. [Jurist]
* So where was Hillary on Friday night? [AP]
Can you blame Attorney General Alberto Gonzales for not being more in the loop on the U.S. Attorney firings? He’s been holding down not one but TWO demanding jobs. Check out the DOJ homepage (unchanged as of this morning, despite this Friday afternoon post by Wonkette):
If Alberto Gonzales can survive the revelation that “he” is actually a female, drug-trafficking terrorist — who may possibly be related to Wilmer Valderrama — then clearly he’s untouchable.
Meanwhile, in other Justice Department news (expect announcements later today or tomorrow):
The stylish pumps of the fabulous Assistant Attorney General Rachel Brand, whose last day as head of the Office of Legal Policy is today, will be filled on an acting basis by another former Kennedy clerk, Brett Gerry (OT 2000).
Do you know this man? His name is Peter Barta, and he’s ATL’s Lawyer of the Day Weekend. If you did what he allegedly did — see here and here (plus more links collected below) — you deserve to be honored on more than one day.
Lots of interesting debate in the comments over the wild rumor that Skadden might raise starting salaries to $195,000 before the year’s end.
Some think it’s crazy talk. Others note that it might simply mark a return to Skadden’s prior practice of paying above-market base salaries, combined with smaller year-end bonuses (designed to bring total comp for Skadden associates up to market, depending upon other firms’ year-end bonuses).
Anyway, regardless of what you think about that gossip, here’s something that’s confirmed:
tipster: interesting tidbit ATL: I’m all ears tipster: skadden will reimburse associates for iphone purchases from their tech allowance ATL: oh cool! tipster: Pretty much makes skadden associates the coolest on the planet!
Here are more details on the Skadden technology allowance, from the firm website:
The firm provides up to $3,000 to attorneys for the purchase of technology equipment at the commencement of employment. After 2 years of service, the firm provides additional allowances for the purchase of approved technology equipment.
* If you live in Detroit (and work for the city), shouldn’t you be happy if someone wears perfume to the office? [Overlawyered]
* Even harder to sue than the AutoAdmit defendants? [The Boy Genius Report]
* “Goldman Sachs. Hundreds will die. We are inside. You cannot stop us.” Law enforcement is investigating. [DealBreaker]
* Paging everyone who is studying for the bar. This link is a little old — but it contains a false imprisonment hypothetical! [Quad-City Times]
The NYT has served up a relatively weak batch of candidates this week. That’s okay with us; we needed to be brought down to earth after the heights of last week’s eminence-fest.
Still, a warning: There’s not an Ivy League degree to be found in this column, so those of you who are nauseated by the couplings of mere Duke-UVA grads may want to avert your eyes and ponder what a cesspool the Times has become.
Here are the finalists:
[Thumbnail image. Click to enlarge. Photograph provided courtesy of Oona O'Connell.]
Today has been painfully slow, even for a Friday. Thankfully, we can always return to a subject that never fails to give a rise to our traffic: Oona O’Connell, the fabulously glamorous young lawyer who has graced the pages of Playboy.
Remember the ATL tipster who first informed us of Oona O’Connell? As you may recall, Ms. O’Connell was pretty pissed:
Oona O’Connell is my given name. It was the name my parents chose for me and I found it very hurtful to hear it described by your ignorant ‘tipster’ as coming from a ‘porn-name generator’.
After reading our recentemailcorrespondence with Oona O’Connell, the tipster felt bad — and expressed his sentiments in an email.
Check out his message, after the jump.
In our recent post about Nina Totenberg’s poorly received graduation speech at Georgetown University Law Center, we solicited your anecdotes about her. La Nina is the Great Diva of the Supreme Court press corps, and colorful stories about her are legion.
We received a few submissions. Here’s one to get the ball rolling:
My county bar colleagues and I got sworn in to the SCOTUS bar back in [the late 1990s]. It was a real thrill. We got to meet the Clerk of Court and had a private coffee-and-danish session with Justice Ginsburg.
The thrill of it was almost ruined by seeing Nina Totenberg chewing gum in court while a couple of decisions were handed down. We’re talking chewing it like cud, Britney Spears style. I was not impressed.
And later that day, Totenberg was spotted driving down Constitution Avenue… with a baby in her lap!
We recognize, of course, that Nina Totenberg has many defenders and devoted fans — groupies, even. After all, “[d]ue of extremely high demand,” this NPR gift item — the Nina Totin’ Bag — is out of stock:
Troubling. Deeply, deeply troubling.
Have a Nina Totenberg tale to tell? Send it to us by email (subject line: “Nina Totenberg”). Thanks. The Nina Totin’ Bag [NPR Shop] Earlier: Worst Graduation Gift: Nina Totenberg as Your Commencement Speaker
Are you challenged by the costs and logistics of maintaining your office, distracting you from the practice of law?
Many small firms are successfully moving part—or even all—of their practice to a virtual setting. This even includes multi-jurisdictional practice spanning several states and practice areas, although solo and small partnerships are still the largest adopters of virtual law.
Can you do the same? The new article Mobile in Practice, Virtual by Design from author Jared Correia, Esq., explores how mobile technology bring real-life benefits to a small law firm. Read this new article—the next in Thomson Reuters’ Independent Thinking series for small firms—to explore how a mobile practice:
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 six years. You can reach them by email: [email protected].
Since late last year, things have been booming in Hong Kong / China in cap markets, especially Hong Kong IPOs. M&A deal flow has recently been getting a bit stronger as well. Although one can’t predict such things with any certainty, all signs are pointing to a banner entire 2014 for the top end US corporate and cap markets practices in Hong Kong / China. This is not really new news, as its been the feeling most in the market have had for a few months now and things continue to look good.
The head of our Asia practice, Evan Jowers, has been in Hong Kong for about 10 days a month (with trips every other month to both Shanghai and Bejing) for the past 7 months (Robert Kinney and Evan Jowers will be in Hong Kong again March 15 to 23), and spending most of his time there meeting with senior US hiring partners at just about all the major US and UK firms there, as well as prospective candidates at all associate levels and partner levels, and when in the US, Evan works Asia hours and is regularly on the phone with such persons, as our the other members of our Asia team. Our Yuliya Vinokurova is in Hong Kong every other month and Robert is there about 5 times a year as well. While we have a solid Asia team of recruiters, Evan Jowers will spend at least some time with all of our candidates for Asia position. We have had long standing relationships, and good friendships in some cases, with hiring partners and other senior US partners in Asia for 8 years now.
Everyone is talking about the importance of Social Media in Corporate America. But it is relatively safe to say that most law firms and lawyers are slightly behind the social curve. Most lawyers, at minimum, use LinkedIn, for networking. Some even use Twitter for pushing out short, pithy content, while many have Blogs, where they write their little hearts out. The adage “it is better to give than to receive” is not always true though in the world of Social. In the Social World – it is best to listen, give back and engage.
Social Media is a communications tool that can deeply educate you about the needs and wants of your clients and prospects when used in conjunction social media monitoring and sharing tools.
Take this quick quiz and see if you know how to use Social to help you engage more with your clients or to better service the ones you have.