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Future.of.Reputation.jpgDavid didn’t expect me to get the scoop. No doubt, he’s been reading the reviews of Dan Solove’s new book, The Future of Reputation Gossip, Rumor, and Privacy on the Internet.
I downloaded a free copy of Chapter 1.
Don’t know if Lat has read this review by PajamasMedia’s culture critic, David Freeman, who writes:

Shame and gossip and questions of personal reputation have been with us for millennia. In our time, however, they’ve gone electronic. The resulting change in the way the world communicates with itself is as significant to speech as anything since the invention of moveable type.

David probably noticed that Frank Pasquale posted a mini-review of the book he calls “a fun read that also manages to be a scholarly work on cyberlaw.”

Solove draws us in with the old classics of humiliation–South Korea’s infamous “dog poop girl,” Jessica Cutler’s embarrassed paramour, and the Star Wars kid. Each sparked an avalanche of comedy, critical comment, spoofs. . . . and, like hope at the bottom of Pandora’s box, a tiny bit of sympathy as we wonder: will we be next?
Pace Andy Warhol, that’s not likely, but Solove uses the titillating stories to explore a deeper question: do we have any right to control true information about ourselves? Or influence the way we are portrayed? If somebody posts a vicious lie, they can be liable for defamation. But what about disclosure of private facts–should we have any right to stop that?

Okay–titillating stories–we’d buy the book to read more of that, but when do we get to read about David Lat?
“The parts about David have not been excerpted or discussed elsewhere,” teased Solove, in an exclusive interview with Above the Law. “It basically tells his story – then the rest of the chapter launches into a discussion on the good and bad aspects of anonymous blogging! In the same chapter I also discuss the legal protections on anonymity, Wikipedia, the trade-off between anonymity and accountability, how anonymous bloggers can be unmasked if not careful, and the clash between privacy and free speech.”
“If only I could get the poop on David Lat, I’d be able to write a preview for the book,” I cajoled, “It’s a tough audience! Gimme something to placate the fanboys.”
Okay, after the jump…the excerpt about David Lat…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Professor Solove gives us the poop on David Lat”

“Put Life on Your To-Do List and consider McInnes Cooper. In a nation-wide survey, McInnes Cooper was rated by its associates as one of the top firms to work for in Canada.”

You’ve got to give McInnes Cooper credit for using real lawyers in their video, unlike Allen & Overy.
The video has two story lines interwoven; a serious look at the firm and comedic episodes of the prospective student interview. Does it work?
They’ve got comments disabled on the YouTube page for the video, so it’s hard to know what the feedback might be from students they’d like to recruit. I suppose the agency that produced this video must have run it by some focus groups.
I think the firm comes off looking good in this one. And the interview scene where the lawyer takes a hair blower to the student’s… I won’t spoil it for you.
Anyway, you’ve got to give McInnes Cooper full marks for closing the pitch with a real hot Asian associate giving the ol’ “come-on and call me” in French!

Allen.Overy.logo.gifAllen & Overy in the UK has over-produced a hiring video that uses real actors to portray A&O solicitors engaged in really interesting work for global clients.
Watch the video here at RollOnFriday, which offers this take on it:

Presumably the prosaic reality of 15 hour days drafting intercreditor deeds and dealing with IT problems would not make great TV. And my, what a lot of TV there is: it goes on for an age, and watching it is like wading through treacle as cast members mention “the deal” every five seconds.

The film laboriously tracks “the deal” in minutes, hours, and days, walking us through the boring lives of A&O partners, associates and trainees in the split-screen style of 24. The performance of the associates falls well short of the drama of Boston Legal. In the end, it would have been a more believable if the deal had collapsed in the last-minute negotiations, like in the real world, where heads would roll on Friday.
Anyone seen better–or worse–law firm recruitment videos?

white.case.logo.gifThis just in from a tipster. It can’t possibly be true, so we’re taking it as a joke.
If you’re an associate at the firm, or work for Mr. Grinch at Biglaw, please let us know in the comments below. Tell us this can’t be true.
Tell us you’ve seen worse. What is your firm’s policy for the upcoming holiday season?

Ladies and Gentlemen:
We have had an unprecedented number of lawyers requesting vacation during the Christmas week this year (24-28 December). Although it is always difficult to predict what our respective work levels will look like so far in advance, given the number of vacation requests received to date, it is unlikely we can accommodate them all.
To those of you who have requested time away during this period, to those of you planning to do so, and to those of you who have received a tentative approval to be away during this particular period, I would ask that you consider taking your vacation at another time or being both patient and flexible as we determine as we get closer to Christmas, how best we can meet the needs of the firm and of our clients – which are paramount – while trying to accommodate, as we would very much like to do, our associates.
Please feel free to call me should you wish to discuss.
Regards,
Neal
Neal F. Grenley
White & Case LLP
1155 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10036-2787

You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch.

SocialPressure.jpg
A few of the more-alert readers here have noticed there’s an unusual name in the byline, today.
Let me introduce myself. My nom de plume is Piercie Shafton, an evocative moniker for a guest-editor of Above the Law, I’m sure you’ll agree.
Don’t bother to Google me. I’m not that Piercie Shafton: “the meddling tool of wise plotters–a hair-brained trafficker in treason–a champion of the Pope, employed as a forlorn hope by those more politic heads, who have more will to work mischief, than valour to encounter danger.” But I imagine that, in another time and place, I may well have been a figment of the imagination of a lawyer who published controversial writings under an assumed name.
And so, I find myself at the keyboard, today, unexpectedly blogging away about stuff that is none of my damn business.
I feel this inordinate amount of social pressure to be a bastard.
Comments are open for suggestions…

* Who, Exactly, Is A Journalist? [Concurring Opinions]
* Law Student May Have Shot At Textbook With Assault Rifle [JournalGazette]
* Nixon Peabody Links Up With Boutique for London Launch — Everyone’s A Winner! [Law.com]
* Man gets life in ‘Curious George’ killing [CNN]
* “I’m not a morning person.” Child Abuse Excuse Riles Judge [New York Times]
* Courts and the Law: Justice’s Blind Trust [CQ Weekly]
* Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama: When They Were Young [New York Magazine]
* The Carnival of the Capitalists #211 includes law blogs this week.

K&L Gates Kirkpatrick Lockhart Preston Gates Ellis Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgYesterday’s tip about K&L Gates no longer making contributions to attorney 401k plans has been confirmed. We’ve obtained the memo, which our source introduced as follows:

Here’s the memo re: today’s post on K&L Gates. No further materials or communications have since occurred, save a videoconference from firm Chairman [Peter] Kalis, where in response to an associate questions as to why this benefit was cut, he essentially said that it was to make partners’ compensation packages more competitive due to required combined firm IRS changes.

I like how it says firm compensation remains competitive. Check out what the firm pays in the Bay Area and Los Angeles. How is that competitive?

In case you’re wondering, K&L Gates is not at the market rate of $160,000 in San Francisco and L.A. They instead pay associate starting salaries of $145,000 in those cities. See here and here.
The 401(k) memo appears after the jump.
Earlier: Biglaw Reversed Perk Watch: K&L Gates Cuts off 401(k) Contributions?
Biglaw Perk Watch: Retirement Benefits and Financial Planning

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* “Jesus, He’s a Quadripeligic, Not an Opossum.” [QuizLaw]
* On Michael Mukasey’s “top ten” list: Dial-A-Porn? [Washington Briefs; Washington Briefs]
* Peter Lattman has gotten a hold of Elana Elbogen’s complaint in the Case of the Pastel Hydrangeas. Still at large: a copy of the “Party Pants” article. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Not yet legal, but quite the legal eagle. [Los Angeles Times via Blogonaut]
* NY to 190K — Canadian! The Canadian dollar is now worth more than the U.S. dollar. Is that loonie, or what? [Soloway]
* TV Links, a Napster of sorts for television and movies, RIP. [Guardian Unlimited]

Alex Kozinski Alex S Kozinski Judge Above the Law hot hottie superhottie federal judiciary.jpgFor the limited but passionate segment of the ATL readership that avidly follows the federal judiciary and clerkship news, the past week has been a good one.
First, there was this very interesting Legal Times article by Joe Palazzolo, about the debacle known as the law clerk hiring process. Executive summary: “As in most family feuds, it’s the kids who suffer most. In interviews, newly hired law clerks rated this year’s hiring frenzy on a scale from ‘unfortunate’ to ‘an utter mess.’”

At the D.C. Circuit, lights shone in the windows of some judges’ chambers before dawn on Sept. 19. They had scheduled their first interviews between 6:45 and 7 a.m.

[Yale Law School Professor Christine] Jolls, who is a member of a committee of professors and deans that advises the Judicial Conference on the hiring process, says she got a 2 a.m. e-mail from one of her students who had just emerged from an interview with a 2nd Circuit judge. The judge had scheduled the interview for Sept. 19 at 12:01 a.m.

If you know, feel free to identify the judges who scheduled these insanely early interviews, in the comments.
Second, for those of you follow clerkship bonus developments, on Tuesday the ever-helpful Law Clerk Addict posted an updated Vault 100 clerkship bonus chart. You can access it here.
Third, today the National Law Journal serves up a delightful profile of the nation’s #1 judicial superhottie (male), Judge Alex Kozinski of the Ninth Circuit. As of December 1, make that CHIEF Judge Kozinski. Congratulations, Your Honor!
Links to the aforementioned sources, plus excerpts and commentary on the Kozinski profile, appear after the jump.
Update: Also after the jump, some scuttlebutt about which judges were conducting the midnight and early morning interviews.

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100 dollar bill Abovethelaw Above the Law law firm salary legal blog legal tabloid Above the Law.JPGReaders of ATL are obsessed with lawyer compensation. But so is the mainstream media, it would appear — even in places outside New York, Washington, and Los Angeles.
From a piece by John-Laurent Tronche in the Fort Worth Business Press:

While local law firms are staying competitive, it doesn’t always pay to follow the nationwide trend to raise salaries for first-year associate lawyers.

A Texas pay raise explosion was sparked in mid-July when Houston-based Vinson & Elkins raised its first-year associate pay from $135,000 to $160,000, part of a nationwide move to match New York salaries. The firm’s pay hike prompted fellow Houston firm Andrews Kurth to raise salaries the next day, followed by a host of other big Texas law firms, including Dallas firms Haynes Boone and Thompson & Knight….

The move to match New York salaries is a matter of reputation, said David Lat, editor in chief of abovethelaw.com, a Web site that has been tracking the nationwide pay raise. But that reputation to “play ball with the big boys,” he said, isn’t always economically sound.

You can read the rest here. And a few days ago, the Des Moines Register “rewrote the WSJ story about lawyer salaries,” as one of you put it. (Well, Amir Efrati, remember what Coco Chanel once said: “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”)
The Register article begins:

Jason Fernandez never expected to be delivering flowers six months after he graduated from law school. But there he was – a graduate of the top-tier University of Iowa College of Law – navigating Washington, D.C., streets to deliver bouquets at $8 a pop.

Hey Jason: as long as you don’t deliver flowers to this gal or this guy, you’ll be fine.
(As it turns out, Jason won’t have to worry about sending flowers to difficult customers. He subsequently made the leap up from flower delivery to personal injury law.)
Sometimes dollars don’t make sense [Fort Worth Business Press]
Law school graduates finding soft job market [Des Moines Register]

Dean Christopher Edley, listen up. The people have spoken, and here is their verdict. UC Berkeley’s Boalt Hall should be renamed… the White Guys With Asian Girls School of Law!

Don’t like this idea? That’s okay. At least we didn’t charge you $25,000 for it.

white guys with asian girls wgwag School of Law Above the Law blog.jpg

UC Berkeley dropping Boalt Hall from law school’s official name [San Francisco Chronicle]

Earlier: Renaming Boalt Hall: Please Cast Your Vote
Hey ATL Readers: Help Rename Boalt Hall!

Latham Watkins LLP Above the Law blog.JPGAs we previously wrote, there appears to be no truth to rumors of possible layoffs at Latham & Watkins. But even mentioning the words “layoff” and “Latham” in the same post got some people upset. We’d like to share some of the responses we received:

[T]he idea of layoffs [at Latham is] ridiculous. NYC M&A is still busy as hell, and on the whole the pace numbers, despite the traditional August lulls (read: not just credit market, it’s AUGUST) are very solid. They’re still bringing in laterals and still printing money.

And here’s a correction to the suggestion of possible slowness at the firm:

[O]ne of the comments you posted had incorrect data. The New York office was only at 90 percent pace for September, as some of your commenters noted. But for the year to date, even after a very slow August and September, New York’s pace is well over 100 percent. In fact, the office is about where it was last year, so things are nowhere near as bad as the doomsayers would have you think.

Plus, in the last week, things have began picking up substantially. In a few months, maybe we’ll be back to “NY to 190!”

Finally, we got our hands on firm-wide memo from Chairman and Managing Partner Robert Dell, discussing “firm culture.” It’s not very exciting, and it’s probably best read as a welcome to new associates, as opposed to some veiled discussion of layoffs.
If you’re curious, you can check it out after the jump.

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