Our big brother brings to our attention an interesting article, from New York magazine, about urban professionals and burnout. And no article on the subject would be complete without a discussion of Biglaw attorneys:
An epidemic of malaise among bankers and lawyers is far more likely to inspire jokes—Wouldn’t it be nicer if it were terminal?—than concern and rafts of psychological studies. (And the few studies out there are funny, if inadvertently. In a special “burnout” issue of the Journal of Clinical Psychology six years ago, the essay on lawyers was most notable for the “Select References and Recommended Reading” that followed—four of eight were about masochism.)
Not surprising in the least — although where are the sadism articles?
[C]onsider lawyers for a moment: According to the New York Bar Association, turnover rates among mid-level associates in this city’s law firms is 36 percent. The whole system is predicated on burnout. Why even bother treating associates well?
Sad but true. We’re reminded of one of our all-time favorite reader comments, in a thread discussing whether Paul Weiss is a gay-friendly firm. Here’s the comment:
Paul Weiss isn’t a magnet for gays, but it is a great place to get f*cked in the ass no matter what your sexual orientation is.
Remember Scott Blauvelt, the former Ohio prosecutor who was charged with public indecency, for allegedly walking around his office in the nude? Time for an update:
Charges of public indecency were dropped [last week] against an ex-city prosecutor because of a paperwork problem. But officials said they would re-file the case against Scott Blauvelt, who has been accused of walking through public buildings after hours in the nude.
“A technicality is causing us to re-file the paperwork,” Butler County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Anthony Dwyer said Tuesday.
What was this “technicality”?
Blauvelt had pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to two counts of public indecency in Municipal Court, where he worked from March 2005 until he was fired last month. A judge dismissed the charges Tuesday after authorities acknowledged they were filed under an outdated section of law.
See? When your legal research instructor read you the riot act about Shepardizing and Keyciting, it was for your own good.
Blauvelt’s lawyer challenged the charges on several grounds, including those offered by Professor Orin Kerr:
Gmoser argued the charges against Blauvelt never should have been filed, because his alleged nude strolls were unlikely to be seen by anyone in a public office building that is nearly deserted at night.
While Blauvelt’s unclothed ambulation may have been ill-advised, was it really illegal? We once heard a story about a female partner walking into the ladies’ room late on a Saturday night, where she found an associate and his girlfriend getting it on. Clearly they were guilty of poor judgment (and taste). But were they guilty of “public indecency,” considering that they were doing it in the relatively private place of the ladies’ room, late on a Saturday night?
(Actually, considering that the story supposedly took place at a big law firm in New York, one might reasonably expect people to be around on a Saturday night. But government offices in Ohio? Let’s get real.) Charges Dropped Against Lawyer [Cincinnati Enquirer]
We’ve fallen a bit behind in telling you who is going where, and why. So here’s a short recap of notable recent moves within the legal profession: From Law to Finance:
* It’s rare for partners to leave Wachtell Lipton, but it does happen. Earlier this month, former WLRK corporate partner Mitchell Presser left the firm, to join Fox Paine. Presser, renowned at Wachtell for his impeccable taste in sushi, focuses on deal structuring and new investment opportunities at Fox Paine. New Partners:
* Simpson Thacher & Bartlett: Eight new partners in New York. Corporate: Barrie Covit, John Ericson, Ellen Reilly Patterson, Kathryn King Sudol. Executive compensation and employee benefits: Gregory Grogan. Real estate: Sasan Mehrar. Litigation: Michael Garvey and George Wang (whom we know, and who are both very fine lawyers — congrats, guys).
* Willkie Farr & Gallagher: Eleven new partners in New York. Corporate and financial services: Leah Campbell, Mark Cognetti, Morgan Elwyn, Rita Molesworth (luv the name), Adam Turteltaub. Litigation: Mary Eaton, Scott Rose, and former AUSA Michael Schachter. Tax: Christopher Peters. Business reorganization and restructuring: Rachel Strickland.
You may recall Michael Schachter as the superstar federal prosecutor in the Southern District of New York, who helped send Martha Stewart to prison (where she learned to make delicious dishes using vending machine fare and the inmates’ communal microwave).
* Weil Gotshal & Manges: Twenty new partners around the country. That’s too many for us to reprint here, so check out the list in the press release.
A majority of these twenty partners are women, and two are “flex-time partners.” Details here. Out the Door:
* Myron Olesnyckyj, former general counsel of Monster Worldwide Inc. (which owns Monster.com). Stock options backdating. Yawn.
* And a bunch of execs at ACS and Quest Software, also because of backdating. Some lawyers, some not. Double yawn. NY Biglaw Associates Making Partner [NYLawyer.com] Another GC Axed Over Stock-Options [NYLawyer.com] Backdating: More Resignations, More Legal Business [WSJ Law Blog] Weil Gotshal Elects Twenty to Partnership and Appoints Five as Counsel [Weil Gotshal & Manges] Weil’s Partnership Class Has More Women Than Men: News? [WSJ Law Blog]
As regular ATL readers already know, the results of the July 2006 New York bar exam are now available. They’re public and online; you can access them here (scroll down, to the boxes organized by the applicant’s last name).
The July 2006 test takers were, on the whole, pretty smart cookies. Pass rates rose in all major categories. Courtesy of the New York State Board of Bar Examiners, some interesting statistics:
On a more random note, one of you was kind enough to review the list of passing candidates and pick out some of the more interesting or colorful names. We’ve collected them after the jump.
Most judges exhibit an excess of caution in their out-of-court comments. While understandable, given judicial ethics and decorum, it’s disappointing (at least to those of us who write about the judiciary). When judges do speak out, the results can be both informative and entertaining.
Consider the literary exploits of Judge John H. Wilson, a criminal court judge in Brooklyn, New York. From the New York Daily News:
Criminal Court Judge John Wilson’s “Hot House Flowers” warns of “effects of unregulated immigration” in a plot line about beautiful flowers that wither when dandelions sneak into their greenhouse.
“It’s intended to describe defense of home and defense of country, and the reasons for that defense,” said Wilson, who self-published the book, listed on Amazon.com at $15.99.
The story tells of jealous weeds that hog all the water and soil in the greenhouse. The other flowers suffer, but don’t do anything until it’s almost too late – because they don’t want to appear intolerant.
While Judge Wilson’s creativity is commendable, we quibble with the greenhouse metaphor. Without illegal immigrants, all flowers, bushes, and lawns in America would die within a week.
We zipped over to the book’s listing at Amazon.com, where we enjoyed this comment, by one Jonathan Cohen:
The best story of the dangers of out-of-town dandelions coming in and destroying the greenhouse with their Camaros, mosques, and ethnic cooking flavors.
You’ll be flipping the pages until the climactic finale where the hot house flowers, who love the dandelions despite the different colors of their petals, burn a vitamin spike on the dandelions’ front lawn. Highly recommended.
A tipster sent us this Craigslist posting, with a query: “I wonder if this gets expensed to clients?”
National law firm with large Los Angeles offices seeks a Barista!!!
Huge law firm with an in-house coffee bar. The hours are Monday-Thursday from 8:30-5:30. You will receive full benefits, parking, etc. Time and a half if overtime is needed.
The firm is looking for someone bright and quick! If you have experience at a coffee shop or other food services company that is a plus. A college student or recent college graduate who is looking for a job 4 days a week would be perfect!
Ivy league caliber firm with top benefits, super casual dress and fun environment.
Please email a formal resume in WORD format. All inquiries 100% confidential.
It’s a brilliant idea on the part of the firm. Keep your associates as heavily caffeinated as possible — and allow them to get their fix without even leaving the building.
Anyone know what firm is in the market for a barista? Update: Based on the comments thus far, Quinn Emanuel is the leading suspect. If this is correct, what happened to their last barista? (Did he or she get promoted to associate, after claiming to have passed the bar?) BARISTA – at Large Law firm [craigslist]
[Ed. note: This post is on the vulgar side. It's a bit like Borat: funny to some, distasteful to others. If you're a person of delicate sensibilities, please exercise discretion in deciding whether to read further. Thank you.]
Last week we reported some top law firms involved in billion-dollar deals:
Biglaw shops are involved in all of these transactions. The lucky law firms: Sidley Austin, Simpson Thacher, Cleary Gottlieb, Howard Rice, Wachtell Lipton, Davis Polk, Debevoise & Plimpton, Covington & Burling, and Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt.
One of these things is not like the others. Yes, you guessed it: Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt.
The obvious response: Schwabe, a regional law firm based in the Pacific Northwest, is the least “Biglaw”-ish of these shops.
The less obvious response: Schwabe provides services the other firms do not. Check out the retention letter below, which has been making the law firm email rounds.
(Normally we’d challenge you to find the typo in the second paragraph, but today we’ve made it easy for you. After all, it’s the Monday after a holiday weekend.)
This typographical error gives unfortunate new meaning to the SW&W “diversity logo,” featured prominently on the firm’s website:
To those of you who have just returned from the Thanksgiving holiday, hoping that a venti coffee with an extra shot of espresso will bring you out of your food coma: Welcome Back. We hope you had a delightful holiday.
The sight (or mere thought) of turkey probably makes you nauseous at this point. But if that’s not the case, here is a picture of the Thanksgiving turkey that our mother prepared this year:
Maybe you weren’t at your computer on Black Friday, choosing instead to fuel the economy with your consumption. But we were, diligently churning out posts for a non-existent audience. If a blog post is published and nobody is around to read it, does it make a sound? (Scroll down the page to see what you missed.)
Like you, right now we’re engaged in some post-holiday catch-up (with news, email, etc.). If you have any funny, law-related Thanksgiving stories — yeah, we know, a tall order — please share them with us. Hey, What Are You Doing Here? [ATL] Thanksgiving turkey, white background [stock.xchng]
Probably not, ’cause that’s Westlaw. H. Donald Wilson, who passed away earlier this month, was the founder of Lexis-Nexis. Fittingly enough for a man responsible for placing thousands of lawyers in front of their computer screens, for thousands of hours a year, Wilson died in front of his computer.
An interesting tidbit from the New York Times obituary:
A turning point for the acceptance of Lexis came in the early 1970s, when Mr. Wilson arranged for a skeptical audience at the Supreme Court to use the new system. The Lexis system found more cases than the court clerks found by using manual research methods.
* Several federal law all-stars have filed amicus briefs in the 4th Circuit — which means a lucky clerk now has Janet Reno’s autograph! [SCOTUSBlog]
* Gun makers challenge a finding that lawsuits are legal. [Indy Star via How Appealing]
* “A lineup of legal heavyweights unusual even by Supreme Court standards is doing battle in a case pitting Wachovia Corp. against Michigan banking regulators.” [Bloomberg via How Appealing]
* Appellate law 101: Careful what you say at oral argument, they’re kind of picky about accuracy. [CNN]
* “Marijuana-for-homework mom gets 3 months.” [MSNBC]
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 six years. You can reach them by email: email@example.com.
We currently have a very exciting and rare type of in-house opening in China at one of the world’s leading internet and social media companies. Our client is looking for an IP Transactional / TMT / Licensing attorney with 2 to 6 years experience. The new hire will be based in Shenzhen or Shanghai. Mandarin is not required (deal documentation will be in English) but is preferred. A solid reason to be in China and a commitment to that market is required of course. This new hire will likely be US qualified (but could also be qualified in UK or other jurisdictions) and with experience and training at a top law firm’s IP transactional / TMT practice and could be currently at a law firm or in-house. Qualified candidates currently Asia based, Europe based or US based will be considered. The new hire’s supervisors in this technology transactions in-house team are very well regarded US trained IP transactional lawyers, with substantial experience at Silicon Valley firms. The culture and atmosphere in this in-house group and the company in general is entrepreneurial, team oriented, and the work is cutting edge, even for a cutting edge industry. The upside of being in an important strategic in-house position in this fast growing and world leading internet company is of the “sky is the limit” variety. Its a very exciting place to be in China for a rising IP transactional lawyer in our opinion, for many reasons beyond the basic info we can share here in this ad / post. This is a special A+ opportunity.
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When Chintan Panchal decided to leave a global BigLaw partnership to start his own firm, he could only hope that he would face the high-quality problem of firm building that many had cautioned him about. Focused on the uncertainty surrounding of a new firm launch, he decided to tackle staffing needs, IT challenges, and financial planning requirements after he had built up his legal practice.
Panchal Associates LLP–a corporate/finance and outside general counsel boutique–was quickly off to a great start. Clients and matters were flying in the door, and Chintan soon had a team of lawyers and staff with a variety of operational needs. To continue building an excellent team and provide them with a competitive benefits package, to expand his physical presence to include a European practice and additional partners, and to scale his operations and IT capabilities to support this growing enterprise brought with it demands of time, money, and expertise. Chintan knew he needed help.
“With the assistance of NexFirm, we have upgraded the capabilities of our firm to meet, and in some cases exceed, the standards we were used to at our former BigLaw firms. Operationally, we can now attract and service clients we didn’t have the bandwidth to support in the past, and continue to build our team with the best and brightest legal talent in the industry,” said Chintan Panchal, adding “It has worked out quite well in our case; NexFirm is an essential partner for us.”
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