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stack of bills cash money.jpgWe must run, although we shall return later today. Please post breaking bonus news in the comments.
We define “breaking news” broadly. Another firm matching the market may not be thrilling, but we keep track of these things anyway.
Before we go, we can report that Schulte Roth & Zabel matched the market bonuses. Schulte matched the market (for 2000 hours), but with additional $10,000 bonuses at 2300 and 2500 hours.
Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of bonuses (scroll down)

library sex sex in the stacks bookshelves sex.jpgWe reiterate our earlier inquiry: What is UP with law school libraries?
First smells. Then strangers.
Now, sex. This email, from Student Bar Association president Kenley Maddux, just went around at Washington University Law School in St. Louis. Alterations are in the original, except as indicated by “Ed. note.”

From: Kenley Maddux
Sent: Tue 12/12/2006 1:45 PM
To: Announcements
Subject: sex acts

Fellow Students, I received this message as a forward from Dean Bolin, and was asked to pass along the following. This is not a joke.

Excerpts of message from Don Strom, WULAW Police Chief:
Subject: High Priority — Campus Police Alert

Today we were alerted by an Aramark supervisor that some of their employees have noted sex acts occurring at Olin Library and AB Hall. [Ed. note: AB Hall is Anheuser-Busch Hall, the law school building.]

The students usually do not have the common sense or the decency to stop when they are confronted, and seem to expect the Aramark employees to leave and come back later to do their work….

[ARAMARK employees have been instructed to report these incidents to the police in the future, and the campus police will be adding new overnight patrols through the law school. While there is no indication that the past sex acts were other than consensual, the Police will take that possibility seriously and thoroughly investigate every report. -- Don Strom]

My advice is, do not have sex at school. My understanding is that, in addition to whatever criminal sanctions are imposed, this will go into your law school record, and that it will be reported to the character and fitness panel of every state or territory that you apply to practice law in. This reporting is not a matter of discretion, and is not contingent on proof of a criminal act. Bar authorities may delay your admission, require remedial activities, or exclude you from the practice of law. Necessity is not a defense (even if your power is out at home). [Ed. note: Emphases added. But we don't get the part about the power outage.]

You have been warned. — Kenley

Maddux’s position may be unreasonable. “Sex in the stacks” is a time-honored tradition, at both undergraduate and graduate institutions.
But if you’re going to do it, be smart. Follow these useful pointers. And be safe!
Have Sex in the Stacks: Put Your Widener in My Pusey [Harvard Crimson]
Earlier: More on the Attorney General in the Emory Law Library
What Is Up With Law School Libraries These Days?
Breaking: Mystery Smell Hits NYU Law Library!!!

musical chairs 2 Above the Law legal blog above the law legal tabloid above the law legal gossip site.GIFThe latest collection of moves within the profession:
From government to private sector:
* George Bundy Smith, former judge on the New York Court of Appeals — the state’s highest court (duh) — to Chadbourne & Parke, as a litigation partner.
Lateral moves:
* “A little ditty, about Jack and Diane”: M&A lawyer Jack Bodner, bankruptcy lawyer Dianne Coffino, and bankruptcy lawyer Ben Hoch, to Covington & Burling (NY), from Dewey Ballantine. We hear that this trio is “extraordinarily nice.”
Dewey Ballantine is in the process of merging with Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe — a combination that has been delayed (and might possibly fall apart).
Covington will soon unveil plans for new office space in the fancy, Renzo Piano-designed New York Times building. It may be the coolest move since the Skaddenites got to shack up with the Conde Nasties (but there are probably fewer hotties among the ink-stained wretches of the Times than the staffers of Vogue).
* Duane Morris launches its Baltimore office by snagging three partners and an of counsel from DLA Piper: Jay Gordon Cohen, Keli Isaacson, George Nemphos, and Wilbert Sirota (of counsel).
On the Comeback Trail?
* You can’t keep a good woman down: Star Jones, the prosecutor turned television personality, is doing a radio show (after getting booted from “The View”). Good luck, Star!
Star Jones: a star reborn? [Miami Herald]
At Last, Star Jones Reynolds’ Dramatic Comeback! [Gawker]
NY Lawyers Switching Firms [NYLawyer.com]
Firm Opens Baltimore Office With Raid [NYLawyer.com]
Three More Walk Away From Dewey [WSJ Law Blog]

michael lee mike lee christopher paolella chris paolella matthew schwartz matt schwartz gordon todd.JPGsamuel alito jr samuel a alito jr justice alito.jpgSorry it has taken us so long. As promised months ago, we now begin our series profiling current Supreme Court clerks (aka the “October Term 2006″ or “OT 2006″ law clerks).
We’ll be going chambers by chambers, starting with the most junior justice. Here are the four law clerks to Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr.:

1. Michael S. Lee (BYU ’97/Benson (D. Utah)/Alito)

2. Christopher J. Paolella (Harvard ’99/Alito)

3. Matthew A. Schwartz (Columbia ’03/Alito)

4. Gordon D. Todd (UVA ’00/Beam)

As a member of the Alito extended family explained to us, here’s the key to understanding the Alito chambers: 3:1. This golden ratio perfectly captures the demographics of the OT 2006 Alito clerks. Consider:

1. Familial status: three are married with children, one is not (Chris Paolella — married, but no kids yet).

2. Undergraduate institution: three are Princetonians, one is not (Michael Lee — BYU).

3. Prior Alito clerkship: three previously clerked for then-Judge Alito on the Third Circuit, one did not (Gordon Todd).

4. Religious affiliation: three are Christian,* one is not (Matthew Schwartz — he’s Jewish).

5. College debate: three were gods of the parliamentary debate circuit, and former presidents of the American Parliamentary Debate Assocation (APDA); one was not (Michael Lee).

But we wouldn’t want such commonalities to overshadow the individuality of these gents. Check out our profiles of Messrs. Lee, Paolella, Schwartz, and Todd — after the jump.
* Mitt Romney footnote: Michael Lee is Mormon, which we consider to be Christian. Presidential candidate Romney hopes that evangelical Christians voting in the Republican primaries will agree with us.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Justice Alito’s OT 2006 Law Clerks”

Andrew Cuomo Andy Cuomo Attorney General New York.JPGWe hear that Andrew Cuomo, New York’s incoming Attorney General, will be announcing some of his top appointments very soon — perhaps as early as this afternoon.
Since Eliot Spitzer reinvigorated the New York AG’s office, then used it as a vehicle to the Governor’s Mansion, the office’s profile and prestige have increased. Positions within it have become much more desirable.
It will be interesting to see Cuomo’s picks. We’ll keep you posted.
(Cuomo, of course, comes from a prominent family of lawyers. His father, former New York Governor Mario Cuomo, is now at Willkie Farr & Gallagher. His brother, Fordham Law grad Chris Cuomo, just joined ABC’s Good Morning America, after serving as a legal correspondent for the network.)
Andrew Cuomo Transition 2006 [official website]
The Cuomo Family [New York Observer via WSJ Law Blog]

stack of bills cash money.jpgThis doesn’t really matter much (except, of course, to the people receiving the dough). But for those of you keeping score at home, Dewey Ballantine has just announced bonuses. Surprise surprise, they’re matching market.
Well, almost matching market. The stub bonus for Class of 2006 folks was a flat $5,000.
Other notable items from the memo: (1) a requirement of 1900 hours to receive the bonus, and (2) a vague statement concerning Dewey’s possible, but now delayed, merger with Orrick:

[M}any of you have questions regarding the 2007 bonus structure and how it will be impacted should we complete a merger with Orrick, Herrington, & Sutcliffe LLP. We have not yet reached a final determination regarding the 2007 structure, but please be assured that our objective will always be to remain competitive in the legal market place and reward our attorneys for their hard work and contributions.

Assuming that a merger with the Orrick firm does occur, we will communicate the combined firm’s associate compensation structure as soon as possible. If the merger does not occur, attorneys will be notified of the Dewey Ballantine FY 2007 hours threshold promptly.

The full Dewey Ballantine memo, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Associate Bonus Watch: Dewey Ballantine Announces”

Meryl Streep Devil Wears Prada Miranda Priestley Miranda Priestly Meryl Streep Above the Law.JPGThis post has nothing to do with the morbidly obese (which we recently learned is a medical term, not a colorful insult). In fact, they should probably hang a sign out reading, “Fat people need not apply.”
“They” refers to Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton, which is launching an exciting new practice group: the Fashion and Apparel Team (“FAT”). And if it’s anything like the fashion industry itself, a BMI over 20 will kill your chances of working there.
An advertisement the firm ran during New York Fashion Week encouraged people to “Get the skinny on FAT law.” Here’s what FAT law entails:

From negotiating contracts for TV reality show “Project Runway” to fending off UGG boot knock-offs, the new group is marketing itself as the go-to firm for Los Angeles and New York’s booming fashion industries….

So far, the group’s clients include Abercrombie & Fitch Stores; Victoria’s Secret Stores; Louis Vuitton U.S.; and Gap Inc.

It also is hoping to court celebrity clients who use their famous name to launch their own perfume or clothing line — such as when pop singer and fashion icon Gwen Stefani launched a clothing line in 2003.

This may strike some of you as yet another dubious new practice group. Is there really that much synergy to be gained through aggregation of fashion-related matters?
But hey, it sure sounds fun. It beats the pants off Global Warming for “coolest newfangled practice niche.” And when that associate who really wanted to be in Government Contracts gets stuck in Fashion and Apparel, the partner can superciliously tell her:

“Oh, don’t be silly — EVERYONE wants this. Everyone wants to be US.”

Sheppard Mullin Launches Fashion and Apparel Practice Group [The Recorder via Law.com]

Ann Althouse Professor Ann Althouse diva Above the Law.JPGWe love contests, and we love divas. So of course we couldn’t resist this poll.
An interesting line-up of nominees. We’re surprised that Michelle Malkin and Kathryn Lopez/K-Lo, both of whom have cult followings, aren’t doing better.
We endorse Professor Althouse — and not just because she’s the most law-oriented blogger in the mix. Why should you vote for her? She makes her case here. Money quote:

I’m not the most conservative. But I am a diva, and I am a blogress, and I can be your blogress diva, you conservative, you.

If you doubt the good professor’s diva credentials, refresh your memory by looking back on her recent “Christianist” catfight with Andrew Sullivan. Or our all-time favorite Althouse-cation, a battle with liberal feminist bloggers that was triggered by this innocent little post.
DIVA-LICIOUS!
Voting Begins for Grande Conservative Blogress Diva [Gay Patriot]
Grande Conservative Blogress Diva — 2007 Nominees [Gay Patriot]
Rein in your enthusiasm no longer [Althouse]
Grande Conservative Blogress Diva 2007 [Althouse]

stack of bills cash money.jpgThe latest bonus news comes from Kirkland & Ellis. Like Wachtell, K&E is sui generis. Kirkland associate bonuses are individualized, rather than lockstep by class, so they’re harder to get a handle on.
As alluded to by this comment, there’s a Magic Table — closely guarded, not even seen by the firm’s (non-share) partners — setting forth the various bonus ranges. The range that you fall into depends upon your seniority, your hours billed, and your rating — below class, with class, above class, etc.
For more details, check out this comprehensive explanation (courtesy of generic fungible item).
Some ballpark figures have been appearing on the message boards. And the numbers, if true, look good for K&E associates. A general observation from the detailed summary:

It seems this year that an average-billing junior associate [at Kirkland & Ellis] gets about $10-15K over market (the firm’s billable-hours average is about 2050). An average-billing midlevel-to-senior associate gets at least $20K-$30K over market. [T]he precise accuracy of numbers is hard to verify as it is based on a collection of data points and not the full grid.

The Kirkland system raises this question: Unless you’re a slacker, is an individualized system better than a lockstep one? Consider this pithy comment: “Kill lockstep. Firms use it to play off of our fears of getting screwed royally, and instead screw us regularly.”
If you can enlighten us further on K&E bonuses — or if you have a bootleg copy of the Magic Table — please email us, or append a comment.
Kirkland Bonus System Explained [Infirmation / Greedy NY]
Kirkland rocks [Infirmation / Greedy Chicago]

Jesus freak Above the Law.jpgWe have a weakness for the ridiculous and bizarre. So we’re finding ourselves quite taken with all these tales of law school library strangeness.
Here’s an update on yesterday’s item about the “attorney general of the United States,” at the Emory Law School library:

The “attorney general” was a homeless guy that wandered around the whole law school. I was studying in the main common area when he asked me if there were any professors who would be interested in the “largest federal lawsuit ever filed.” He also asked me to vouch for him if security came looking for him.

Apparently he had already done his shtick in the library and was chased out by the librarians. The library was locked, and students needed to swipe their ID card to get in, so a fellow student must have let him in.

I dispatched him to the floor that contained the faculty offices (and was nicely contained). Security was informed. He was discovered changing his clothes, then was escorted off the premises. Nice guy, just a little… err, very creepy.

We’re glad Emory security can tell the difference between homeless people and law professors. Given the similarities — disheveled, smelly, given to wearing ratty sports coats, talking to themselves — it’s only a matter of time before a mistake gets made.
(Oh, and speaking of homeless people…)
Earlier: What Is Up With Law School Libraries These Days?
Breaking: Mystery Smell Hits NYU Law Library!!!

* Affirmative action not gone quite yet for Michigan schools. [AP via How Appealing]
* Convicted debutante killers not so happy at sentencing. [CNN]
* Nebraska corporate farming ban violates dormant commerce clause; Nebraska will appeal to the Supreme Court. [Jurist]
* Dracula Jr.’s a lawyer. [WSJ Law Blog]
* 13 States and DC sue EPA to get them to, you know, protect the environment. [MSNBC]

We’re logging off for a while. In the event that some firm makes a big, market-topping bonus announcement while we’re gone, please let us know in the comments.

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