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Hollywood sign Los Angeles LA City of Angels Above the Law blog.jpgAs we announced earlier today, we’re doing a series of open threads on year-end bonuses. We’re organizing them by city, since bonuses tend to vary by legal market.
This post — which some of you have been eagerly anticipating, judging from the attempts to hijack the New York thread — is about LOS ANGELES. Please discuss bonus policies at L.A. law firms in the comments. Thanks.
Earlier: Year-bonus open thread for New York.

* A synopsis of the Jena 6 controversy, and Glenn Reynolds’s thoughts on it. [Instapundit; Instapundit]
* We’re relieved to learn we’re alone in finding the “Don’t Tase Me” guy “slightly annoying.” [Wonkette]
* Should law professors impose mandatory attendance policies? [Concurring Opinions]
* Humorless lawyer who can’t handle being parodied in video game = Lawsuit of the Day. [PrawfsBlawg]
* White Judge With Asian Guy = Judge of the Day. Especially when she berates him for crying in court as he describes why he fled from China. [New York Times]

Bachelor The Bachelor Lawyer Attorney Above the Law Blog.jpgLawyers have a pretty decent track record as reality show contestants. We went to law school with Yul Kwon, winner of Survivor: Cook Islands. So maybe this idea isn’t as dubious as it might seem:

An alert reader sent us along his very own invitation to be on The Bachelor. ‘”Apparently they are randomly spamming New York lawyers,” says our spy, who works at a top-ten firm. Casting directors are looking for someone “who is successful, good-looking, has an out-going personality, is ready to settle down, is around 6 ft tall and, usually, is between 27 to 36 years of age.” Guess you’re shit outta luck, shorties!

“We’ve never had an attorney be ‘The Bachelor’ so we are definitely looking to go that route,” the e-mail admits. The producers seem to know a little bit about the law profession — specifically, that good catches are harder to find than you’d think. So they’re casting their net wide and offering $5,000 reward to anyone who finds an attorney who could make the show.

If you get cast on the show, please mention that you read about it on ATL — we’d be happy to collect the five grand.

But though they know a bit about lawyers, it’s clearly not enough. Here’s the last line of the e-mail: “Please DO NOT forward to the press. We try to make this part of the process as private as possible.” Silly casting agents! Don’t you know that 50 percent of all law firms’ billable hours are spent forwarding private e-mails?

So, so true. Please continue to forward us private emails, early and often.
Update: A reader forwarded us the original email, which appears after the jump.
‘The Bachelor’ Casting for New York Lawyers [New York Magazine]

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Here’s One Way To Escape from Biglaw”

H Rodgin Cohen full size headshot Sullivan Cromwell.jpgYesterday we broke the news of Sullivan & Cromwell’s new bonus program for its most senior associates. To read the memo from firm chairman H. Rodgin Cohen, click here.
Now we have more details, thanks to the WSJ Law Blog (which has a nice shout-out to us) and the New York Law Journal.
Some ballpark numbers, from the NYLJ:

A Sullivan & Cromwell partner who asked to remain unnamed said Wednesday that the supplemental bonuses would probably range from around $15,000 for fifth-years to around $30,000 for eighth-years.

With the supplemental bonus, the most senior associates at Sullivan & Cromwell can expect to earn total compensation of around $400,000, based on the current top base salary of $310,000 and last year’s $60,000 year-end bonus.

The WSJ Law Blog scored an interview with Rodge Cohen, who explained: “Retention is clearly an objective… 95% of the associates we lose we’re sorry to see go.”
Five percent = Aaron Charney + Gera Grinberg.
But will a little extra cash make a big difference in retention? Law firm consultant Peter Zeughauser has his doubts.
The WSJ also asked Rodgin Cohen about a subject near and dear to all of your hearts: possible increases in base salaries. Cohen said that the subject won’t be discussed for another month or so.
More discussion, plus a reader poll, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “More Details About the Sullivan & Cromwell Senior Associate Bonuses”

lunch callback girl red hat Above the Law blog.jpgWe regularly receive all kinds of wacky gossip related to the fall recruiting process. Some of these rumors are true, and some of them aren’t.
We found this rumor, about the Chicago office of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, quite amusing:

“I heard from a friend there that during summer associate callbacks, only students from ‘good schools’ get lunch. E.g., Harvard, Northwestern, University of Chicago.”

“Students from Illinois, DePaul, etc. must starve. You should look into this.”

Loyola (of Chicago) 2Ls: What say you?
We looked into this rumor. Alas, it appears to be untrue.
More after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Fall Recruiting Crazy Rumor Watch: Let Tier Two Grads Eat Tastykake”

White Case LLP Above the Law blog.JPGHere’s some law firm merger scuttlebutt that’s making the rounds:

Rumor is that White & Case is acquiring Moore & Van Allen, a native Charlotte firm with a national syndicated finance practice. Any truth to this?

We reached out to both firms for comment. A White & Case spokesperson issued this statement:

“We do not respond to inquiries of this kind.”

Should we take that as a “yes”?
If we hear back from Moore & Van Allen, we’ll let you know. If you have any info, please email us. Thanks.

Wachtell Lipton Rosen Katz CBS building Abovethelaw Above the Law Blog.jpgAs you’ve made clear to us, through comments and via email, you’re dying to talk about year-end bonuses. For example:

– If your firm has a bonus policy that’s spelled out in advance, what are the general terms?

– If it’s a bonus based on billable hours, what are the cutoffs?

– If your firm doesn’t have a bonus policy, what are you expecting (or hoping) to receive this year as a bonus?

Here’s an open thread for discussion of bonuses at law firms in New York. We’ll roll out posts for other major legal markets over the next week or two.
We might compile bonus information in a more organized fashion at a later point in time. But for now, this will have to do. Have at it!
Update (1:10 PM): Originally this post was oriented around firms (alphabetically), but we’ve decided it makes more sense to organize by city. As this commenter correctly notes, “bonus policies vary more along market lines than firm lines.”

Michael Mukasey Chief Judge Michael B Mukasey SDNY Above the Law blog.jpgAre you trying to remember whether any of your law school classmates or colleagues clerked for former judge Michael Mukasey (S.D.N.Y.), President Bush’s nominee to replace Alberto Gonzales as attorney general?
Well, you’re in luck. Every single one of Judge Mukasey’s former law clerks signed a glowing letter of recommendation for the judge, in which they praise him as a jurist and mentor and urge his speedy confirmation as AG. Their letter was transmitted to the Senate last night.
You can check out the letter, including the list of signatories, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Michael Mukasey’s Former Clerks: They Like Him, They Really Like Him”

Fourth Circuit 4th Circuit US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.jpgThe Honorable H. Emory Widener, of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, passed away yesterday morning. From the Bristol Herald Courier:

Judge H. Emory Widener, 83, died at his Abingdon home around 11 a.m. Wednesday, according to court personnel in Bristol Virginia….

Widener began his law career in the Navy, then opened a private practice in Bristol in 1953. Ten years later, he was appointed to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia.

President Richard Nixon appointed Widener to the 4th Circuit in 1972, and he reached senior status in July, Schrinel said.

A source notes:

I was sad to hear that Judge Widener passed away. They literally worked that man to death. I’ve heard that the other judges on the Fourth Circuit basically begged him to stay active until Bush could find a replacement… He complied — but a replacement was never confirmed.

The Fourth Circuit is now operating at two-thirds capacity. It has 15 judgeships and five vacancies. For more detailed discussion of the state of the court — long regarded as a conservative bastion, but now up for grabs — see this article, published when Judge Widener took senior status in July.
A 4th Circuit Court of Appeals judge from Abingdon, Va., died on Wednesday [Bristol Herald Courier]
Judge H. Emory Widener Jr. steps down as active member of 4th Circuit [The Daily Record]

We noted this development in passing yesterday. Now here’s an AP article with a great title:
Dry Cleaner in Pants Suit Closes Roy Pearson.jpg
And then she headed off to a clerkship interview?
P.S. Results of our recent fashion poll after the jump.
Dry Cleaner in Pants Suit Closes [AP]

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Ambiguous Headline of the Day”

robot intellectual property IP law Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgSometimes it seems like we talk about the same handful of general practice Biglaw shops again and again. So let’s mix things up a bit. Here’s a suggestion from a loyal reader:

I’m in the field of patent law. It might be interesting to post a Fall Recruiting Thread that discusses both patent boutiques (Finnegan Henderson, Fizpatrick Cella, Kenyon & Kenyon) and general practice firms with a strong IP practice (Kirkland, Irell, MoFo, Jones Day, Ropes & Gray).

Yes, it might. So here’s that post — an open thread in which people can talk about firms that specialize in or excel at intellectual property law.
(Last month we had a post dedicated to discussion of compensation issues at IP firms. But this open thread is intended to be broader, to go beyond pay to discuss quality of life, strong practice areas, type of work, etc. Enjoy.)
Earlier: Nationwide Pay Raise Watch: IP Firms

* Didn’t they just execute somebody with an electric chair? And this is what gets them in trouble with the Constitution? [Jurist]
* Mel Weiss to be indicted. [New York Times]
* Oh, Al Sharpton, you’re incorrigible. [CNN]
* Judge withdraws jury instruction in Spector case; has he set up an easy appeal if there’s a conviction? [CNN]

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