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There’s an interesting article on the Freedom of Information Act in today’s Los Angeles Times. Here’s an excerpt, which powerfully illustrates the importance of FOIA to our democracy:

A list of Freedom of Information Act requests that have been completed by the archives staff includes one for a photo of Bill Clinton jogging with a “Yale Whiffenpoof Club insignia” on his clothing, another for various files on UFOs and flying saucers, and one for the full name of the pastry chef who made a birthday cake for Chelsea Clinton.

Monica Lewinsky Monica S Lewinsky Monica Lewinsky Monica Samille Lewinsky.JPGYou mean the one that Monica Lewinsky jumped out of?
(On a serious note, we do not mean to diminish the importance of FOIA — which has been described as “a journalist’s best friend, and a blogger’s, too.”)
Clinton’s first-lady records locked up [Los Angeles Times]
What Bloggers Can Learn From Journalists [Poynter Online]

Don Imus Donald Imus nappy headed ho Above the Law blog.jpgJust like a certain Cleary-visiting Glamour editor, Don Imus isn’t a fan of the “nappy hair” look for women. And his right to say so, on the radio airwaves, is contractually protected. From the Associated Press:

Don Imus has reached a settlement with CBS over his multimillion-dollar contract after his being fired from his morning talk show and is in negotiations with WABC radio to resume his broadcasting career there, CBS and a person familiar with the negotiations said today.

Mr. Imus and CBS Radio “have mutually agreed to settle claims that each had against the other regarding the Imus radio program on CBS,” that network and Martin Garbus, a lawyer for Mr. Imus, said in a joint statement today.

The settlement terms are undisclosed, but the rumor on Drudge is that Imus is getting $20 million. That buys a lot of Hohos.
Imus and CBS Reach Settlement of Threatened Suit [Associated Press]

We monitor our site traffic closely. We pay attention to reader comments and emails, but our traffic stats are what we care about the most.
Our tracking software allows us to see what brings readers to ATL. Earlier today, a web surfer accessed this site by running the following Google search (for which ATL is apparently the second search result):

i went to a massage parlor yesterday in san francisco but i paid too much money. Now I’m horny as ever and I want to find a women to do it for free. Can you please help me google?

Doubtful. Maybe try Craigslist?

X Men small X Summers X Summer Associates Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgWe don’t know whether our latest summer associate superhero is also the Clifford Chance Lolita. Whether or not they’re one and the same, it’s still a worthwhile story:
1. Superhero name: Vampire Girl
2. Special power(s): Sucks your blood, eats your heart out.
3. Summered: Clifford Chance, summer 2007.
4. Claim to fame: “At the now infamous Clifford Chance Corporate Reception on July 12, 2007, this summer got drunk and started biting / making out with random people. The next day, she sent out the email pasted below.”

From: [Redacted]
Sent: Friday, July 13, 2007 3:12 PM
To: #NYC: Summers
Subject: apologies

To anyone I bit last night. It was my birthday, I drank far too much, and I tend to be aggressive and bite people. If you were a victim, you can be assured that I am not rabid.

[Redacted]
Summer Associate (not yet admitted to the bar)
Clifford Chance US LLP

Not rabid? Hopefully she’s not going into litigation.
5. What happened to her: Nothing; she has her offer.
The usual rules apply: please do NOT name this former SA, or speculate about her identity, in the comments.
If you have a summer associate story for us, please review our submission guidelines, and then email us. Thanks.
Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of summer associates (scroll down)

Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgMore Texas pay raise news. The latest: Gardere Wynne Sewell has raised starting salaries to $160,000, effective September 1. No word yet on more senior classes.
Memo after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Nationwide Pay Raise Watch: Gardere Wynne Sewell”

This farewell email was sent out last month by a librarian who left Patton Boggs, the prominent D.C. law firm.
It pretty much speaks for itself. We would just note that Patton Boggs, as one of the biggest lobbying shops in Washington, is chock-full of both lawyers and ex-politicians.

smiley face with bomb Above the Law blog.gifFrom: [redacted]
Sent: Tuesday, July 03, 2007 5:35 PM
To: *Everyone (DC); *Everyone 2445 M Street
Subject: Good-Bye Patton Boggs

After 8.5 years, today was my last day at Patton Boggs LLP.

Everyone knows what I think about the Law(yers) and politic(ian)s, so I won’t dwell onit [sic].

Farewell to everyone as I doubt we’ll meet again in this life or the next.

Good-bye Patton Boggs.

Our tipster reported her fear that the embittered ex-exployee might go postal: “I came to work the following day using the side entrance because, well, I didn’t want to take any chances….”

Lisa Nicole Carson Ally McBeal Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgLawyers aren’t known for being the most stylish of professionals. So Cleary Gottlieb brought a fashion magazine editor in for a luncheon talk, to give some fashion and style pointers. From Jezebel:

[A] recent slide show by an unidentified Glamour editor on the “Dos and Don’ts of Corporate Fashion” at a New York law firm shed some light on the topic, according to this month’s American Lawyer magazine.

“First slide up: an African American woman sporting an Afro. A real no-no, announced the ‘Glamour’ editor to the 40 or so lawyers in the room. As for dreadlocks: How truly dreadful! The style maven said it was ‘shocking’ that some people still think it ‘appropriate’ to wear those hairstyles at the office. ‘No offense,’ she sniffed, but those ‘political’ hairstyles really have to go.”

Not surprisingly, such un-PC sentiments didn’t go over too well at Cleary:

The story ends happily, with the law firm Cleary Gottlieb’s managing partner Mark Walker, who wasn’t at the lady luncheon, sending everyone an email pointing out the stupidty of the Glamour editor and of fashion magazines and yeah pretty much all the things we here at Jezebel hold so near and reviled.

So whose bright idea was it to bring in the Glamour editor anyway?
If you’re at Cleary Gottlieb and have more details on this episode, please email us. Thanks.
‘Glamour’ Editor To Lady Lawyers: Being Black Is Kinda A Corporate “Don’t” [Jezebel]

youve got mail Greenberg Traurig resignation letter Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgRemember the former Biglaw associate who recently left Greenberg Traurig — and whose departure caused a stir, due to his rather frank resignation letter?
This associate’s farewell message was widely circulated by email. We posted it here — where it generated some 150 reader comments.
Opinions were all over the map about the author and his letter. Some commended him for his candor, while others chided him for self-indulgence. But regardless of your views of him, it’s clear that his resignation letter struck a nerve, resonating with associates at large law firms around the country.
We caught up with the writer of the resignation letter and conducted a brief interview with him, over email. You can check it out after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “An ATL Interview with the Greenberg Traurig Letter Writer”

Jose Padilla 2 Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpg* Closing arguments in the Jose Padilla case. The prosecution calls Padilla, not known for being brainy, the “star recruit” of his terror cell. [New York Times]
* Justice Kennedy tells lawyers to do stuff. He’s pretty good at that by now. [Associated Press via How Appealing]
* Will a lawsuit over the NSA’s email surveillance be able to go forward? Oral argument tomorrow; stay tuned. [Washington Post]
* Brooke Astor, the celebrated socialite and philanthropist at the center of an ugly legal battle last year, passes away at 105. [New York Times via WSJ Law Blog]
* Qualcomm’s general counsel, Lou Lupin, resigns. His interim successor: former U.S. Attorney Carol Lam, one of the controversial firing victims. [WSJ Law Blog]

Thompson Hine LLP Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgLast week, Thompson Hine raised starting salaries in some of its Ohio offices, effective January 1, 2008. The new first-year associate salaries: Cincinnati, $115,000; Cleveland, $125,000; and Dayton, $115,000.
Memo after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Nationwide Pay Raise Watch: Thompson Hine”

* A non sequitur, quite literally. [QuizLaw]
* A taxonomy of Wall Street women. Could a similar thing be done for Biglaw babes? [DealBreaker]
* A Bloggingheads TV “diavlog” between law professor Ann Althouse and Washington Post fashion critic (and Pulitizer Prize winner) Robin Givhan. [Althouse; Bloggingheads.tv via Instapundit]
* A new installment of Blawg Review, with several shout-outs to ATL. Thanks, Sheryl! [The Inspired Solo]

Rick Presutti apartment 2 small Leticia Presutti Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.JPG
The miseries of life at a large law firm are regularly chronicled in these pages. But don’t forget: It’s a living. And if you make partner at a top firm, it’s a very, very good living.
From an anxious reader:

I’m a 2L about to start the whirlwind of OCI at my law school. So I’ve been following the recruiting threads, if not eagerly, at least with an acute sense of anticipation and dread for what life will be like after the honeymoon of next summer.

I’m left with an overriding question: What keeps people in these high-compensation, high-stress jobs? Is it costly court settlements to pay ex-spouses? Mob debts?

I guess it could just be the overwhelming urge to consume luxury goods, but I can’t comprehend someone making their lives hell for 60-80 hours a week just to buy a bag with a fancier pattern on it. Those who leave within three years make sense to me, but what about the tortured, hollow souls who soldier on?

We have a few responses. First, many law school graduates carry significant educational debt loads. By the time these debts are paid off, there are new financial needs: down payments, mortgages, tuition bills for the kids.
Second, some law firm associates — those who “soldier on,” in the words of this tipster — actually enjoy their work. The unhappy associate is a stereotype, and every stereotype has its exceptions. We know a number of Biglaw associates — and partners — who wake up each day excited about going into work.
Third, the lifestyle rewards of working at a big firm should not be reduced to “a bag with a fancier pattern on it.” They also include… nice real estate! Especially for those who snag the brass platinum ring of partnership.
Time for a Lawyerly Lairs post. In Lawyerly Lairs, we take you inside the luxurious abodes of prominent members of the legal profession.
Today we peek inside the multimillion-dollar apartment of Schulte Roth & Zabel partner Richard Presutti (pictured above, with his family). It was featured prominently last month in the New York Times.
Check it out — including floor plans — after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Lawyerly Lairs: It’s Good To Be King A Biglaw Partner”

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