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100 dollar bill Abovethelaw Above the Law law firm salary legal blog legal tabloid Above the Law.JPGAfter we did a post about foreign clerkships, we received a number of follow-up inquiries. Readers wanted to know whether any firms pay clerkship bonuses to (1) staff attorneys and (2) administrative law judge clerks:

“I was wondering if there are bonuses offered for ALJ clerkships – you can clerk in D.C. for, among others, the EPA, the FERC, the Department of Labor . . . It seems like some firms carefully excludes these from their bonus policy, but others are a bit less clear on the question.
It seems to me, though, that if you’re going to a firm that does a lot of regulatory work, a clerkship with the appropriate agency would be quite valuable.”

“What about former administrative law judge clerks? For example, how much would one of the clerks coming from a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission judge this past summer pull from a DC energy firm?”

“Do you have information on whether firms pay clerkship bonuses to staff attorneys at circuit courts?”

We’re don’t know of such firms, but we’re not omniscient. If you know of any, please share your info in the comments. Thanks.

* Ahoy, matey. Happy Talk Like A Pirate Day! [TortsProf Blog]
* My kingdom for… $14 million? Someone tries to sell Belgium on eBay. [What About Clients?]
* If he wins his lawsuit against CBS and Viacom, Dan Rather can buy five Belgiums. [Overlawyered]
* David Bernstein on Chemerinskygate, Larry Summers, and academic freeom. [Los Angeles Times via Volokh Conspiracy]
* Ann Althouse wonders: “Speaking of upstart Taser-boy Andrew Meyer, how many Americans do you think would agree to get tased if it would get them the attention it got him?” [Althouse]
* Crime & Federalism, RIP. [Crime & Federalism via Volokh Conspiracy]
* Custom Cleaners, RIP. Roy Pearson, are you happy now? [Raw Fisher; Overlawyered; WSJ Law Blog]

H Rodgin Cohen full size headshot Sullivan Cromwell.jpgSullivan & Cromwell gives out Kiehl’s toiletries at conferences for gay law students and lawyers. But senior associates at S&C get an even better gift: cold, hard cash.
In a memo that was sent out by email within the last half hour, S&C Chairman H. Rodgin Cohen announced the creation of the “Senior Associate Supplemental Compensation Plan.”
The two-page memo appears after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Breaking: Sullivan & Cromwell to Pay Special Bonuses to Senior Associates!”

Larry Craig small Larry E Craig Larry Edwin Craig gay senator Idaho Above the Law blog.jpgHere’s a little riddle: What do these three senators have in common?

Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho)

Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska)

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska)

First, they’re all Republican senators from underpopulated sparsely populated states.
Second, they’ve all run into ethical, legal, or political problems. You know all about Senator Craig — in fact, more than you ever wanted to. As for Senator Stevens, see here and here. As for Senator Murkowski, see here.
What’s the third thing they have in common? Find out, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Ninth Circuit Curse”

Taser 2 lawyers taser client Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgIt seems that the family of this woman may have a stronger cause of action than Andrew Meyer:

A Clay County woman’s family said it’s seeking justice after their loved one died shortly after being shocked 10 times with Taser guns during a confrontation with police.

The family of 56-year-old Emily Delafield said it would take the Green Cove Springs Police Department to court, according to a WJXT-TV report….

Family attorney Rick Alexander said Delafield’s death could have been prevented and that there are four things that jump out at him about the case.

“One, she’s in a wheelchair. Two, she’s schizophrenic. Three, they’re using a Taser on a person that’s in a wheelchair, and then four is that they tasered her 10 times for a period of like two minutes,” Alexander said.

That may have been a bit much.
Wheelchair-Bound Woman Dies After Being Shocked With Taser 10 Times [Local6.com via Drudge]
Earlier: Sadly, John Kerry Wasn’t Tasered (But He Could Have Used the Electricity)

Bill Lerach William Learch William S Learch Above the Law blog.jpgAs we mentioned in passing yesterday, infamous plaintiffs’ lawyer William Learch will be pleading to a federal conspiracy charge, related to his involvement in Milberg Weiss’s secret scheme to make payments to name plaintiffs in class-action cases. Under the deal that was so skillfully cut by Lerach’s lawyer, John Keker of Keker & Van Nest, Lerach will cough up $8 million in forfeiture and fines and serve one to two years in federal prison.
Is Bill Lerach getting off easy? Quite possibly. But a judge still has to sign off on the deal.
Not surprisingly, Lerach spread his cash around liberally among several Democratic candidates for president. But his favorite was fellow plaintiffs’ lawyer John Edwards. From Ben Smith over at Politico:

Edwards and Biden each gave away money from Lerach; no word yet on whether Hillary will give back the money he gave her 2006 Senate campaign.

Edwards, though, is particularly tied to him. Though he’s giving away the $4,600 from Lerach, Lerach is also listed as a bundler, and employees of the lawyer’s firm are his third-largest group of donors, mostly giving in the first quarter.

If we had to choose between disgraced Democratic fundraisers, we’d pick Norman Hsu over Bill Lerach any day. That Hsu is so cute — he looks like a Treasure Troll! And he didn’t intend to skip out on court the other day. He was “sick and confused,” you see, and “may have thought he was boarding a Bay Area Rapid Transit train when he instead caught an Amtrak train heading out of the state.”
The Lerach Case [Politico]
Fortunes Darken for Lawyer Melvyn Weiss [New York Sun]
Bill Lerach Agrees to Plead Guilty [WSJ Law Blog]
Is Bill Lerach Getting Off Easy? [WSJ Law Blog]
Hsu Didn’t Intend To Skip Court, Spokesman Says [CBS5.com]

law clerk judicial clerkship Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgLast week we asked, “What’s going on with clerkship salaries and benefits?” Now we have some answers.
Yesterday the Judicial Conference issued a press release that discussed law clerk salaries, among many other subjects. Here are the money (haha) quotes:

The Conference today also voted to continue implementing its cost-containment program by adopting a series of recommendations relating to law clerks and the Judiciary’s Court Personnel System in general….

[T]he Conference agreed that each judge will be limited to one career law clerk. Those 291 career law clerks now in chambers where more than one career law clerk is employed will be able to retain their career status in those chambers, with the assent of their judge, or with another judge if their judge dies, retires, resigns or is otherwise unable to retain a law clerk. Most federal law clerks are “term” clerks and typically serve one or two years. “Career” law clerks are expected to serve four or more years. This new policy limits a term law clerk’s term of employment to no more than four years, to be applied prospectively for current term law clerks. Another step replaces law clerk salary matching with a system aimed at achieving salary parity between those law clerks who gain their work experience within the Judiciary and those who gain their experience outside the Judiciary.

For those of you who might be interested in this subject — e.g., people interviewing for clerkships this week — additional commentary appears after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Law Clerk Salaries and Benefits: Thus Spake the Judicial Conference”

backpack awareness day Georgetown University Law Center AboveTheLaw.jpgYou don’t have to take our word for it. Just attend “Backpack Awareness Day” at Georgetown:

Backpack Awareness Day
Join us in the Chapel Area
1:30-3:30 p.m.
September 20th

Tips to Prevent Back Problems:

- Wear both straps to distribute the weight evenly

- Wear the backpack resting evenly over the middle of the back. The backpack should not extend below the low back

- Adjust the straps so they are not too loose but still allow for free arm movement and ease in putting on and taking off the backpack

- Carry only those items needed for the day with the heaviest items closest to the back

- When selecting a backpack, choose one with

- A padded back
- Hip and chest belts
- Multiple compartments
- Reflective material to enhance visibility at night

Who knew that wearing a backpack could be so hard?
As weird Georgetown Law events go, Backpack Awareness Day isn’t as much fun as GULC’s yearly 1L moustache contest. That competition, which “renders the male 1L population even more unattractive than usual during finals period,” features “a dog show-style competition, kegs, professors judging, drunk spectators, 2L interlopers, and a Burt Reynolds commemorative plate for winner.”
But if you’re desperate for a way to procrastinate, perhaps Backpack Awareness Day will do the trick.
Moustache Law [official website]

Kid Nation small CBS Above the Law blog.jpgIt’s a subject of tremendous importance, since it has a major effect on the day-to-day lives of associates, but it doesn’t get talked about as much as one might expect. So to everyone going through the fall recruiting process right now, don’t be afraid to ask:

How does the law firm assign work?

It might not sound very sexy. But the assignment system employed by a law firm might determine whether you’re staying until midnight every night while the guy next door, who’s getting the same paycheck — and maybe even the same bonus, if you’re at a firm with lockstep bonuses — is leaving every day at 6 p.m.
There are many different ways that firms can handle the issue of assigning work. Some have an assigning partner (or partners); some have a non-lawyer administrator who makes assignments; some have a “free market” system. Sometimes assignments and hours are tracked by computer, and sometimes they’re not.
Please discuss the subject in the comments. To get the ball rolling, we reprint a recent memo from Bingham McCutchen that lays out their approach to the issue. You can check it out after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Fall Recruiting Open Thread: What’s Your Firm’s Assignment System?”

Michael Mukasey Chief Judge Michael B Mukasey SDNY Above the Law blog.jpgWe’ve done relatively little about the nomination of former judge Michael Mukasey to serve as attorney general. While the WSJ Law Blog was dredging up his third-grade book reports — okay, not quite, but some college newspaper articles that he may or may not have written — we didn’t have much. But now we’d like to atone for that, with a piece we just did for the New York Observer.
We speculate that Michael Mukasey might be in D.C. longer than he might expect, especially if his good friend Rudy Giuliani wins the presidency (and possibly even if fellow New Yorker Hillary Clinton does). We discuss how he might have come to be picked as AG, despite not being a D.C. denizen like Ted Olson, Laurence Silberman, or George Terwilliger:

Mr. Mukasey was simply more of a known quantity to the White House than the typical Beltway outsider. The White House staff includes three former assistant U.S. attorneys from Manhattan, as well as other ex-New York lawyers who regularly practiced before Mukasey as a judge. Among the New Yorkers at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Mr. Mukasey enjoyed great respect, and was viewed as ideologically acceptable too, especially on war on terror issues.

The rest of the piece, including a discussion of what might be called the Curse of the Southern District (from President Bush’s point of view), is available here.
Mr. Mukasey Goes to Washington [New York Observer]
An Old Friend Joins Giuliani in a Spotlight [New York Times]

* O.J.’s really just pulling all of these stunts so that he can make it up to the Goldmans. [CNN]
* Jury hung for the moment in Spector trial; judge might send them back in to consider manslaughter instead. [BBC]
* To catch a predator-catcher. [Athens Banner-Herald]
* She needs to undergo some tests for crazy. [CNN]
* I say once you get old enough to play with it, it’s your call. [WSJ Law Blog]

Managhan Kortum Managhan Law Firm Above the Law blog.jpgIn case you missed this story from last week, here’s a recap. Earlier this month, a plaintiffs’ lawyer in Montana by the name of William Managhan sent out the following email, to the entire Montana Trial Lawyers Association:

From: William L. Managhan
To: Montana Trial Lawyers
Sent: Sunday, September 09, 2007 6:32 PM
Subject: [mtla_members_all] Firm Name Change

Managhan & Kortum-Managhan Law Firm will no longer be known as such. The name is returning to Managhan Law Firm as Santana Kortum-Managhan is leaving the firm. Turns out that she was having sex with Tim McKeon of Anaconda while attending MMLP hearings in Helena.

Call me silly but I no longer fill [sic] comfortable with her as my law partner or wife. Some will think this is an inappropriate announcement, but considering the small legal community in our state, I might as well preempt the roomer mill [sic]. Please address communication to William L. Managhan through Managhan Law Firm.

More discussion, including accounts of our telephone conversations with Bobbi Bonnington and Tim of Anaconda, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “An Update on the Managhan Law Firm (aka ‘My Wife Is Sleeping Around and That’s Why We’re No Longer Law Partners’)”

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