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associate bonus watch 2007 law firm Above the Law blog.jpgWow. It looks like we haven’t had associate bonus news to report in almost a week. Our last Associate Bonus Watch post was last Tuesday’s WilmerHale announcement. (We don’t count last Wednesday’s bonus post, since it dealt with bonuses for support staff.)
So does this mean it’s all over? Has bonus season, which started early thanks to Cravath, ended early as well? If a firm hasn’t announced by now, are its associates S.O.L.?
(And no, that doesn’t stand for “statute of limitations”; it stands for this.)
If you have unreported associate bonus news to share, you know how to reach us. Thanks.
Earlier: Associate Bonus Watch 2007 archives (scroll down)

Ladies (and gentlemen — manicures have gone manly, dontcha know):
Please see below. A picture is worth a thousand words — and this picture explains, better than any recruiting brochure or Vault write-up, why you want to work at Latham & Watkins.
Latham Watkins in house nail salon small.JPG
P.S. Why wasn’t this quirky perk wasn’t featured in the recent New York Times piece on the blessings of Biglaw?

Here’s the latest Job of the Week, courtesy of ATL’s career partner, Lateral Link. Check out their new, redesigned website by clicking here.
(Since we didn’t post a Job of the Week last week, due to the abbreviated holiday publication schedule, we’ll give you two this week — one today, and one near the end of the week.)
Position: Transactional tax associate at international consulting firm
Location: New York
Description: International management consulting firm seeks associate to join its Transaction Tax Services group.
More details, after the jump.

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* Will SCOTUS shoot down D.C.’s gun ban? [CBS Evening News via How Appealing]
* Willie Nelson takes a moment between tokes to ask Georgians to be nicer to dogs. [CNN]
* Brad Pitt may get sued for screwing over Universal. [One News (New Zealand)]
* Former legal counsel sings on Samsung. [Reuters via Yahoo! Singapore News]
* Former Supreme Court of Canada chief justice dies. [AP via Yahoo!]

It’s the Friday after Thanksgiving. The stock market is now closed — and so are we. We’ll be back with new posts on Monday, barring a surprise weekend announcement of “NY to 190.”
In the meantime, here’s some fodder for possible discussion, for the unfortunate few who are at work today (or were at work yesterday). From a reader:

cranberry cranberries Above the Law blog.jpgI thought it might be interesting to get the best/worst stories from associates that had to work over the Thanksgiving holiday. I fortunately don’t have a terrible story to share that happened to me personally, but I have heard of bad things happening to others. For example, I heard of opposing counsel on the East Coast that scheduled a deposition on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, knowing that the counsel from California will likely have Thanksgiving plans torpedoed.

I also heard of a partner who told an associate that a party was moving for a TRO on the Monday following Thanksgiving. The associate worked on the case on Thanksgiving and the weekend. The associate later found out that the partner learned on Wednesday that the TRO was off-calendar, but the partner neglected to tell the associate — because the partner was preoccupied with getting out of the office for his own Thanksgiving plans.

These aren’t the greatest stories I realize, but I’m sure plenty of readers have some.

Have a tale of your own to tell? Please share it in the comments.
Happy Black Friday! And enjoy the rest of the holiday weekend.

Guess what’s at the top of the New York Times Most Emailed Articles list today? A piece entitled For Lawyers, Perks to Fit a Lifestyle, by Lynnley Browning.
We’re pleasantly surprised that an article about law firm perks, a niche topic that we cover obsessively around here, is so popular with readers of a general-interest publication. Or is it just that lawyers are the only poor saps at work today?
Kelis Milkshake boys to the yard Above the law blog.jpgAmong the more notable perks mentioned in the article:

1. Milkshakes and candied apples — yum! (Perkins Coie) [FN1]
2. Mortgage guarantees for the first $100,000 of associate mortgages (Sullivan & Cromwell)
3. Reimbursements for associates who buy a hybrid car or a certain brand of car (DLA Piper; Fulbright & Jaworski)
4. On-site yoga classes (O’Melveny & Myers)

It’s an interesting article; read the whole thing here. There’s additional commentary on the piece over at the WSJ Law Blog, by Jamie Heller (filling in for Peter Lattman, who is on his honeymoon).
P.S. Looks like an NYT correction may be in order, due to a slip-up concerning the amount of year-end bonuses:

The perks come on top of higher salaries and larger bonuses — this year, the top-offs have been doubled at some practices. At the New York office of Cravath, Swaine & Moore, an old-line firm, associates will receive special payouts of $10,000 to $50,000, in addition to their year-end bonuses up to $35,000.

Our suggested rewording: “At the New York office of Cravath, Swaine & Moore, an old-line firm, some associates will receive special payouts of $10,000 to $50,000, in addition to year-end bonuses up to $60,000.” (The word “some” is needed before the word “associates,” because class of 2007 or “stub year” associates don’t get special bonuses.)
[FN1] The Perkins Coie milkshakes come from Potbelly Sandwich Works. Coincidentally, we enjoyed a PSW milkshake for the first time on Wednesday. It was Oreo, and it was delicious!
Update: One of you sent us this great comment, by email:

I thought the most poignant perk was Fried Frank’s: they offer psychotherapy (through what sounds suspiciously like a bulk discount deal) to help associates deal with stress, anxiety, depression, and divorce. I love it!

I can imagine the therapist’s notes: “Patient distressed re: possibility of negative performance review. Says he has not seen wife or child since, “let’s see … when was that holiday with the fireworks?” Is in constant pain from chronic papercuts and verbal caning associated with ongoing case. Patient noted gratefully that firm is paying for therapy. Possible diagnoses: Stockholm syndrome?”

For Lawyers, Perks to Fit a Lifestyle [New York Times]
Law Job Perks v. Law Job Woes [WSJ Law Blog]

* Feds use real-time tracking data from cellphones to locate criminal suspects. It’s like Dodgeball for the bad guys. [Washington Post]
* Barry Bonds to bulk up… his legal team. [New York Times]
* Spotlight on Justice Stevens — and the SCOTUS post-JPS. [Los Angeles Times via How Appealing]
* Interview with neo-Nazi triggers German lawsuit against Vanity Fair. [Jerusalem Post via Drudge Report]
* And you thought you ate too much yesterday. Try running for President! [New York Times]

Thanksgiving turkey Above the Law blog.jpgGreetings, ATL readers. Please accept our wishes for a very Happy Thanksgiving!
We hope that you aren’t spending much time in front of the computer today. But if you are — for some depressing reason, like work — feel free to bemoan your fate in the comments.
Or, on a more cheery note, list what you’re thankful for. This year, we are thankful for ATL’s large and devoted readership. We are also thankful for our Best Law Blog award, which we won thanks to reader support. Thanks, everyone!
P.S. Apologies to ATL’s sizable readership in Canada; we’re taking off today. Why not just move your Thanksgiving so that it coincides with ours?
[Photo credit: yours truly.]

south carolina map bar exam controversy.jpgFor those of you who followed the South Carolina bar exam controversy, previously discussed here and here, we bring you an update.
The South Carolina Supreme Court recently issued a supplemental statement on the matter. According to the Court, the elimination of the Trusts and Estates section from the scoring process had nothing to do with complaints from the kids of prominent public figures.
An excerpt from the court’s statement, after the jump.

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In the Senate chamber yesterday, crickets were chirping. From the New York Times:

Jim Webb Senator James Webb Above the Law blog.jpgWho says the Senate cannot act quickly? It conducted a full day’s business in less than 30 seconds on Tuesday.

Of course, there was no real business to conduct. But fearing that President Bush would again use a Congressional recess to install disputed executive branch appointees without Senate confirmation, Democrats convened the Senate for the first of four microsessions to be held during the holiday break, precisely to thwart such an end run….

No legislation can pass at pro forma sessions, but they allow the Senate to fulfill its constitutional requirement that, when not in recess, it meet on the day following three consecutive days off. Tuesday’s session was such a rush job that the traditional opening prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance were dispensed with. [Virginia Senator Jim Webb] was the only senator in the chamber, and even the otherwise ever-present teenage pages were absent, having been sent home for Thanksgiving.

Jim Webb has flashbacks to his 11th birthday party, when he sat all alone at the skating rink because none of the guests showed up.
Also, note the omission of the prayer and the Pledge. Godless Democrats!
Democrats Move to Block Bush Appointments [New York Times]

Hillary Clinton Rocks My World Above the Law blog.jpgIf a blog post is published on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, does anyone read it?
* Apparently the movie “Redacted” has nothing to do with document production. [Likelihood of Success]
* And you thought $1,000 an hour was expensive. Try hiring John Ashcroft’s consulting firm. [Newark Star-Ledger]
* We believe that Hillary’s experience as First Lady, during which she traveled the world and met with numerous world leaders, would help her conduct foreign policy as president. But Glenn Reynolds’s quip did make us chuckle. [Instapundit]
* Interesting professorial perspectives on the D.C. gun control case and its implications for the 2008 elections. [Balkinization; Althouse]
P.S. We are delighted to have one of our quotes featured in the banner at the top of Althouse. Thanks, Professor Althouse!

Merry Christmas Grinch Above the Law blog.jpgThe woes of structured finance lawyers in the wake of the credit crunch have been extensively chronicled in these pages. Now they’ve migrated over to the MSM. One of our favorite young reporters, Lindsay Fortado of Bloomberg News, has this detailed report:

New York law firms are cutting associates for the first time since 2001 as the collapse of the subprime mortgage and credit markets causes private equity deal volume and structured finance work to slow.

Clifford Chance, the world’s highest-grossing law firm, dismissed six senior associates who worked on mortgage-backed securities in its structured finance practice on Nov. 5. At least two other firms asked associates, or salaried lawyers, to take sabbaticals or switch departments, a move that often precedes job cuts. Partners, about one-fourth of the attorneys at the biggest firms, may also face some belt tightening.

The subprime collapse and its effect on the credit market and the volume of deals have brought a slowdown in work, probably leading to job cuts. While structured finance practices have been hit the hardest, mergers and acquisitions and private equity practices also face a slowdown, legal consultants said.

Troubling. If the problem remains confined to structured finance, that’s one thing; but if it spreads to M&A, that’s another thing entirely. Since M&A work is such a big driver of firm profitability, troubles in the merger market could scuttle any chance of “NY to 190″ in the foreseeable future.
More excerpts from Fortado’s extremely interesting (and long) article, plus additional discussion, after the jump.

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