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stack of bills cash money.jpgStill no news. The message boards are quiet (aside from complaints about the “trolls,” and admonitions not to “feed” them).
At this point in time, we’re guessing that no major bonus news will break this week. But we’re happy to be proven wrong. As soon as you hear something, please email us.
Last night, a fake Willkie Farr bonus memo was making the rounds (just like the fake Milbank Tweed bonus memo). We posted the memo quickly, in the interest of timeliness, but papered it up and down with disclaimers: unconfirmed, not verified, do not rely, etc. An hour or two later, after conferring with our Willkie sources, we came back and declared it to be fake.
Some folks were annoyed that we posted the fake memo to begin with. So we’d like to explain how we operate around here, by quoting from two reader comments. Comment 1:

ATL posts them immediately because these things are time-sensitive. No one should rely on this info before it gets confirmed, but the easiest way to confirm it is to get it out to a wide audience quickly and let it be debunked. I for one don’t care whether it’s initially accurate or not, I just appreciate the effort to shed light on one of the many mysterious aspects of big firm life — compensation.

And comment 2:

The blogosphere way of doing things is to publish stuff ASAP, then to correct or modify as the story develops. The mainstream media way of doing things is to hold a story – sometimes for a long time – until it’s all confirmed. It is not surprising that ATL takes the blogosphere approach.

Also, when ATL originally posted the memo, there were boldface, all-caps disclaimers all over the post. You’d have to be a moron to rely upon anything posted with all those caveats.

So this is how we’re going to operate around here. We’ll put up purported “bonus memos” ASAP, but with disclaimers, while we work on confirming and fact-checking them. But please don’t treat such memos as authentic until we append a confirmation (or remove the disclaimers).
Striking a balance between speed and accuracy is a constant struggle, in both the blogosphere and the mainstream media. This is our explanation of how we strike the balance; we hope you find it helpful. Thanks for reading.
Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of bonuses (scroll down)

Antonin Scalia Stephen Breyer Above the Law SCOTUS Supreme Court Justices.JPG

Question: Now that the Supreme Court is hearing hardly any cases these days, how are the justices spending all their free time?
Answer: On constitutional law road shows, in which they debate the proper way to go about interpreting that foundational document. What fun!
On Tuesday, Justice Antonin Scalia and Justice Stephen G. Breyer held forth on the subject before a packed ballroom at the Capital Hilton. The event was co-sponsored by the American Constitution Society and the Federalist Society. It ran for about an hour and a half; Jan Crawford Greenburg, of ABC News, served as moderator.
Our prior coverage of the event appears here and here (photos). Our third installment appears after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Nino-Breyer Smackdown (Part 3)”

If you woke up this morning with this thought burning a hole in your head, guess what?
Today’s your lucky day.
Tax Prof Colon [TaxProf Blog]
P.S. Congratulations to Professor Caron on his clean bill of colonic health.

Noah Feldman Noah R Feldman Jeannie Suk Jeannie C Suk Above the Law.JPGProfessor Noah Feldman — the brilliant, gorgeous, legal academic superstar / public intellectual — is abandoning NYU Law School (its student body hotness notwithstanding). He’s heading up to Harvard Law School, where his similarly beautiful and brainy wife, Jeannie Suk, is already on the faculty.
(Most readers of ATL are probably familiar with this celebrity couple. But if you’re not — if you don’t know about their Rhodes and Marshall Scholarships, their D.C. Circuit and Supreme Court clerkships, their multiple published books, and their storybook-perfect life — we refer you to The Latest Triumphs of the Elect: It’s Good to Be Noah and Jeannie!)
From what we’ve heard, Noah Feldman’s move was a long time in coming. HLS apparently made an offer to him quite some time ago. The rumor that he might be decamping for Cambridge was circulating in legal academia for a while.
Noah Feldman Professor Noah Feldman Above the law.jpgAlthough the move makes sense, Professor Feldman had good reason to think carefully before leaving Gotham. NYU tried very, very hard to keep him. And here are three considerations that probably crossed his mind:
First, he has strong ties to the NYU law school community. It has been his academic home for the past few years, which have been very good to him, and he is worshiped around campus by students (who surround him like groupies to a rock star).
Second, being based in New York, the media capital of the country, was great for his career as a public intellectual. It facilitated his frequent contributions to the New York Times (both the magazine and the op-ed page), his regular appearances on major talk shows, and his efforts on the book publishing front (three books and counting).
Third, and perhaps most importantly, he and Jeannie have a FABULOUS apartment in the heart of Greenwich Village. And as every New Yorker knows, a good piece of real estate is very hard to find.
At the end of the day, though, Harvard Law School is still Harvard Law School. And when your wife is already on the faculty up there, it’s kinda hard to say no when HLS’s hot dean comes calling.
Congratulations, Professor Feldman, on your new post and the big move!
Noah Feldman to join Harvard Law faculty [Harvard Law School]
The Latest Triumphs of the Elect: It’s Good to Be Noah and Jeannie! [UTR]
Most Beautiful Brainiac: Noah Feldman [New York magazine]
Noah Feldman bio [New York University Law School]
Jeannie Suk bio [Harvard Law School]

Here they are: the then male winners of the recent contest to find NYU Law School’s hottest third-year law students. (For the women, click here.)
NYU law hotties male men Above the Law.GIF

Top row, left to right: Marcos Arellano, Adan Canizales, Steven Cephas, Seth Endo, Ahmed Ghappour.
Bottom row: Matthew Jackson, Michael Okoye, Arinze Onugha, Bryan Swiss, Manoj Viswanathan.
You’ve seen the goods on offer. Now, please cast your vote:

Make Free Online Polls

We incorporate by reference the explanatory comments from the women’s contest. Good luck to all!
Earlier: Above the Law Hotties: NYU Law School Third-Years (Female)
Your NYU Law School Hotties
NYU Law Students: Dorkily Desirable?

* They may or may not be activist, but they sure aren’t very active. [New York Times via How Appealing]
* These people are going to hell… and maybe jail. [CNN]
* Does a U.S. court have jurisdiction to stay the execution of Saddam Hussein? [Jurist]
* Tie one on…online. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Legal challenges likely to sweeping illegal immigrant county ordinances in Cherokee County, Georgia. [Atlanta Journal-Constitution (free reg. req'd)]

stack of bills cash money.jpgThe fake bonus announcement memos really aren’t that funny, people. Everybody gets all worked up for an hour or two, and then the ruse is exposed.
The purported Willkie Farr bonus memo, which surfaced earlier tonight, is not authentic. From one of our sources at Willkie:

This is clearly a fake. FYI, Willkie never sends out bonus memos this early in December, and in any event, it wouldn’t come from Matt Feldman, who is a bankruptcy partner. It would come from someone like Jack Nusbaum (chairman) or Thomas Cerabino (a high-ranking partner on the Executive Committee).

This was confirmed by a second Willkie source, who reported receiving no such memo.
We have sources at pretty much all the top firms. It doesn’t take us very long to contact them for confirmation (or denial). We also have no qualms about contacting the supposed senders of these memos, whether they’re HR people or Biglaw partners, for verification and comment.
So please stop wasting your time — and ours. Thank you.
Earlier: Associate Bonus Watch: Willkie’s Bonus Memo???
Prior ATL coverage of bonuses (scroll down)

stack of bills cash money.jpgUpdate: As explained here, the supposed Willkie Farr “bonus memo” reprinted below is a fake.
From: “Matthew A. Feldman”
Sent: Wednesday, December 06, 2006 6:29 PM
To: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Subject: Associate Bonuses
We are pleased to announce that the firm will once again award year-end bonuses for associates.
Class of 2006 – $40,000
Class of 2005 – $45,000
Class of 2004 – $55,000
Class of 2003 – $60,000
Class of 2002 – $70,000
Class of 2001 – $80,000
Class of 2000 – $95,000
Class of 1999 – $110,000
Class of 1998 – $120,000
The Compensation Committee thanks everyone for their hard work in making 2006 a successful year.
Matthew A. Feldman
[email protected]
787 Seventh Avenue
New York, N.Y. 10019-6099
T: 212-xxx-xxxx
F: 212-xxx-xxxx
Willkie bonuses announced [Infirmation/Greedy NY Board]

stack of bills cash money.jpgWe haven’t heard anything yet on law firm associate bonuses. The message boards are pretty quiet, intramural insults aside.
There is a rumor going around of “$50K for 1st years” as the likely rate, but it’s just a rumor. No announcement memos yet.
What’s not in doubt is that Biglaw lawyers WILL be getting a bonus — which is something to be grateful for. Outside of the top law firms, the “bonus guessing game” isn’t much of a pastime.
To put things in perspective, here’s an email we received from a lawyer in the midwest, who works in-house for an engineering and construction company:

Well, *I* just got a zip-line lanyard for my ID badge. Suck on that you NY Biglaw Associates. Throw in the facts that they (1) just added a *second* microwave to our break room and (2) gave me a new hard hat, and it’s an early flippin’ Christmas! Yeah, that’s right, living the dream, baby! Living the dream!

So when you start fretting about the size of your bonus, remind yourself: at least you know you’ll be getting one. Not every lawyer in America can count on tens of thousands of dollars just showing up this month.
(But yeah, we know: Not every lawyer in America bills over 2500 hours a year.)
Once again, please contact us ASAP, as soon as you hear anything official. You can reach us by email (tips AT abovethelaw DOT com). Anonymity of all tipsters is guaranteed, unless you request otherwise. Thanks.
Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of bonuses (scroll down)

* Pity the petty, Tommy Bahama-wearing victims of the defectively long and narrow armrests of Metro-North commuter trains. [New York Times]
* Dr. Daniel goes to prison after lubing up the Beverly Hills ladies… in a bad way. [Los Angeles Times]
* Small firms are great and all, but can they afford the luxury of a Holiday Extravaganza in the cafeteria? [Build a Solo Practice, LLC]
* A crime against the Christmas spirit? No, just a mom charging her kid with petty larceny. [The Smoking Gun via CrimLaw]
* Remember that ninth-grade health ed presentation on the dangers of smoking, with the gross photos of cancerous lungs? That is when the statute of limitations should start running. (The SOL in trans-fat cases, because it’s only a matter of days now, should run the day you realize you can’t see your penis anymore.) [Point of Law]

This morning we announced the winners of the recent contest to find NYU Law School’s hottest third-year law students. And now we’ve obtained pictures of all ten female hotties. Exciting!
These future babes of the bar should not be kept imprisoned within the ivory tower. For your viewing pleasure, here they are:
NYU law hotties.GIF

Top row, left to right: Xinying Chi, Noa Clark, Kate Fischer, Shaneeda Jaffer, Gina Magel.
Bottom row: Ani Mason, Rachael McCracken, Tara Mikkilineni, Zoe Salzman, Rashanda Sibley.
In the initial contest, the ten winners were unranked. But in the hyper-competitive legal profession, that’s unacceptable. We will now fix that. Cast your vote below, in Above the Law’s latest hotties contest:

Make Free Online Polls

Three quick comments:
1. Why no men?
Nobody sent us the photos of the ten winning males. But if someone does, we’ll hold a contest for them too.
Update: We’ve received pictures of the guys. Review and vote on them here.
2. Can’t you please remove [me/my friend/my daughter] from the contest?
Sorry, no can do. Over the years, we have conducted numerous beauty contests: for federal judges, White House staffers, Capitol Hill interns, ERISA lawyers, and law school deans. We’ve received numerous requests for one competitor or another to be removed from the running. But we have NEVER tampered with the integrity of the electoral process to comply with such requests — no matter how impassioned, and no matter how important the individual.
That’s not about to change with this poll. So please don’t waste your time and energy trying to persuade us to remove someone (e.g., yourself) from the contest. The ten contestants are all staying in. And that’s final.
(If you obtain an injunction from a court with proper jurisdiction, we will obviously comply with that court order. But anything short of that will not suffice.)
3. When will the voting end?
Uncertain; let’s see what kind of response the contest generates. But we will, out of fairness to the contenders, provide at least 24 hours notice before closing the polls.
To the NYU Law School hotties: GOOD LUCK!!!
Earlier: Your NYU Law School Hotties
NYU Law Students: Dorkily Desirable?

Scalia Breyer 1.JPG
The Scalia-Breyer debate was co-sponsored by the Federalist Society and the American Consitution Society, aka “The Lion and the Lamb.” But which is which?
As promised, we bring you some pictures from last night’s debate between Justice Antonin Scalia and Justice Stephen G. Breyer, on the subject of constitutional interpretation.
Our really awful photography photo essay, plus links to MSM coverage of the event, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Nino-Breyer Smackdown (Part 2): A Photo Essay”

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