“It’s a bit grim, but since it’s a slow news day, perhaps you can use this story about a man who apparently murdered his wife, after he failed the Texas bar 4 times. As noted in the article, the alleged perpetrator had lobbied the Texas Supreme Court to lift the rule that limited law graduates to five attempts to pass the bar exam.”
A few weeks ago, we were getting bombarded with rumors of supposedly imminent New York pay raises. Davis Polk to $180K! Simpson Thacher to $190K! The gossip was runningrampant.
But in the last two weeks or so, with all of the turmoil in the stock market and tightening in the credit market, pay raise rumors have died. And now we’re hearing very different things. Like this:
[Y]ou are missing one of the bigger stories of the past week or two: to a large degree, the corporate departments of many of the major NY law firms have basically come to a halt. Plenty of people have nothing to do – at all.
At my firm, in the top 5 of the Am Law 100 rankings, things have gotten really slow. So far, few think it will be a long term problem, but people are beginning to wonder.
Why is this so big? If the corporate departments of these firms go downhill, everybody can kiss their pay raise to $190,000 goodbye. Will we go from 190 rumors to lay-off rumors?
That, dear friends, is the $160,000 question. More after the jump.
Bruce Masterson, chief operating officer of Socrates Media LLC, asked his outside counsel to customize a residential lease for all 50 U.S. states in 2003. The firm’s estimate: about $400,000. He rejected that price tag and hired QuisLex, in Hyderabad, India, which did it for $45,000.
“It was good quality,” said Masterson, whose Chicago-based company publishes legal forms on the Internet. “We’ve been working together ever since.”
Clients are pushing law firms like Jones Day and Kirkland & Ellis to send basic legal tasks to India, where lawyers tag documents and investigate takeover targets for as little as $20 an hour. The firms are reacting to a trend that will move about 50,000 U.S. legal jobs overseas by 2015, according to Boston- based Forrester Research Inc.
Biglaw partners may soon be telling associates: “If you don’t think $160,000 is enough to review documents for 2200 hours a year, fine. We’ll just ship your job off to India, where ‘Biff’ and ‘Jenny’ will be happy to be document drones — for under $9,000 a year. And if I have a problem with my laptop, they can help me with that too!” Jones Day, Kirkland Send Work to India to Cut Costs [Bloomberg News]
Lawyers work long hours. They end up sleep-deprived. Do their employers care to do anything about it?
From a recent New York Times article:
Q. If it’s natural to rest in the afternoon, why don’t more companies tolerate napping?
A. A few companies do offer nap rooms as a perk. And in some businesses where safety is paramount, some companies have seen the wisdom of permitting naps, Dr. Turek said.
Does anyone know of a law firm with a “nap room”? When we worked at a firm and got tired, after pulling an all-nighter or something close to one, sometimes we’d close our office door and take a brief nap in our chair. When we were stuck in the office all night, and waiting for something from Word Processing or Duplicating, we’d nap on our office floor (which was carpeted, thankfully).
But there has to be a better way. If medical residents who are on-call get nap rooms, why can’t Biglaw lawyers? That Yawn After Lunch Is Perfectly Normal [New York Times via Althouse]
* Nurse sues Pacman. [Reno-Gazette Journal]
* Defense rests in Spector trial. [CNN]
* Patent infringers in less treble. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Yeah, I’m sure Texas is going to stop killing people because Europe wants them to. [Jurist]
* State charges for Vick too? [AP via Yahoo!]
We’ve now covered over a third of the Vault 100 law firms in open threads. But that means we still have two-thirds to go (assuming we follow through to the end).
The next five firms are colorful. They include one firm that was featured in the Transformers movie, and another that used to employ a high-priced escort.
For your consideration (in Vault 100 order, prestige scores in parentheses):
* This is quite ingenious. [David Gulbransen via Blawg Review]
* Any guesses as to the Rolls-Royce-loving, Texas plaintiffs’ lawyer? [The Wealth Report]
* Speaking of the obscenely rich, Marquette University Law School continues to rake in the dough. [Empirical Legal Studies via PrawfsBlawg]
* “Arbitration is like a jail sentence…. a demeaning and abhorrent substitute for justice.” [Consumerist]
* Praying for somebody’s death doesn’t seem very Christian — even if they did rat you out to the IRS. [TaxProf Blog]
* When the Supreme Court reconvenes in the fall, where will Justice Scalia and his clerks go for lunch? [Washington Post]
Sadly, we’ll probably never learn whether former Clifford Chance partner Michael Bryceland was asked to “bend over” (a la Aaron Charney). Unlike Sullivan & Cromwell, CC settled the case quietly, for an undisclosed amount.
Of course, if you have any details, please feel free to send them to us by email (subject line: “Clifford Chance”). Thanks. Revealed: CC pays out in sexual orientation claim [TheLawyer.com]
A Bronx judge had a court clerk’s wife handcuffed and tossed in a cell for contempt – because she whispered “a**hole” after her husband was kept late at work, a state panel has charged.
Family Court Judge Marian Shelton screamed at the woman, “He’ll leave when he’s finished his work, not when you tell him!” before ordering court officers to take her to a holding cell for the weekend….
Pretty awesome. Should we be surprised to learn that Judge Shelton’s wedding was presided over by another colorful and cantankerous New Yorker, then-Mayor Rudolph Giuliani?
Interesting enough, Judge Shelton is being eyed for elevation — but not to an appellate court. Details after the jump.
Can you wear white after Labor Day? Or drink a gin and tonic? Or tell a summer associate story?
August is almost over, and our series of SA stories is winding to a close. If you have an anecdote to share, please review our submission guidelines, and then email us.
1. Superhero name: Loose Lips
2. Special power(s): Ability to broadcast his sexual misadventures from coast to coast — in the pre-internet age.
3. Summered: A Los Angeles Biglaw firm, summer 1988. (As we’ve said before, we’re happy to post old stories; this is a “greatest hits” compilation.)
4. Claim to fame: From our tipster:
“Two summers from top-10 east coast schools, one female, one male, were working at the main office of an LA Biglaw firm. The firm had just installed an elaborate door-locking system. When the office door was locked, a red ‘Do Not Disturb’ light appeared outside the office. An unlocked office, door closed or open, had a green light.”
“Late in the day, after the support staff had left, these two associates slipped into the office of one of them. (They had private or semi-private offices.) After they closed (but didn’t lock) the door, the female associate began pleasuring the male associate.”
“A senior associate, seeing the green light, walked into the office — and got an eyeful.”
Learn the fate of our star-crossed lovers hook-up participants, after the jump.
We alluded to this briefly last week (item #3). But since a number of you have emailed us about it, let’s take a second look.
Judge John Plough, of Portage County, Ohio, is our hands-down Judge of the Day. From the Law & Justice Unit of ABC News:
Portage County Judge John Plough had assistant public defender Brian Jones arrested for contempt of court last week after Jones refused to begin a misdemeanor assault trial because he said he was unprepared. Jones was assigned to the case one day earlier….
Plough’s ruling prompted an outcry from defense lawyers, both in Ohio and across the country. Carmen Hernandez, president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, said in a statement that defense lawyers have an ethical obligation not to start trial if they are not prepared.
“Asking a lawyer to go to trial without preparation is like asking a doctor to perform surgery before diagnosing the patient,” she said.
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 seven years. You can reach them by email: email@example.com.
It’s that time of year again when JDs are starting to apply for 2L summer jobs and 2L summers are deciding which practice area to focus on.
For those JDs with an interest in potentially lateraling to or transferring to Asia in the future, please feel free to reach out to Kinney for advice on firm choices, interviewing and practice choices, relating to future marketability in Asia, or for a general discussion on your particular Asia markets of interest. This is of course a free of cost service for those who some years in the future may be our future industry contacts or perhaps even clients.
For some years now Kinney’s Asia head, Evan Jowers, has been formally advising Harvard Law students with such questions, as the Asia expert in Harvard Law’s “Ask The Experts Market Program” each summer and fall, with podcasts and scheduled phone calls. This has been an enjoyable and productive experience for all involved.
Whether you’re fresh off the bar exam or hitting your stride after hanging a shingle a few years ago, one thing’s for certain: independent attorneys who start a solo or small-law practice live with a certain amount of stress.
Non-attorneys would think the stress comes from preparing for a big trial, deposing a hostile witness, or crafting the perfect contract for a picky client.
But that’s nothing compared to the constant, nagging, real-life kind, the kind you get from the day-to-day grind of being a law-abiding attorney.
Connecticut plaintiffs-side boutique litigation firm (12 lawyers) seeks full-time associate with 2-4 years litigation experience, top tier undergraduate and law school education. Journal or clerkship experience a plus; highest ethical standards and strong work ethic required. Familiarity with Connecticut state court legal practice is preferred, but not required.
The firm handles sophisticated, high-end cases for plaintiffs, including individuals and businesses with significant claims in a wide array of matters. Our cases often have important public policy implications, and are litigated in state and federal courts throughout Connecticut. Representative areas of practice include medical malpractice, catastrophic personal injury, business torts, deceptive trade practices and other complex commercial litigation, and products liability.
Additional information can be located on our website, at www.sgtlaw.com.