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Ed. note: This is the latest installment of Size Matters, one of Above the Law’s new columns for small-firm lawyers.

Last month I received an email from Cameron McCord. McCord is a fifth-year associate at a boutique bankruptcy firm in Atlanta, where she’s been having “a great experience.”

“I am in court all the time and have started handling my own trials,” McCord wrote. “I have worked here since my second summer and am able to have a good work/life balance. I have an 11-month-old and a four-year-old, and my husband is a full-time student. I think it is important for people to realize that you can be successful without working at [Biglaw].”

Upon reading her email, I knew I had to feature her and her firm. I mean, she reads my column! And, I suppose, a firm that affords its attorneys the opportunity to maintain a life outside of work is, well, awesome.

Here is what goes down at Jones & Walden LLP….

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There’s lots of good news these days over at Dechert. For example, as we mentioned last week, the firm is launching a new Los Angeles office, built around a group of lateral partners lured over from Orrick.

This morning brings good news for Dechert associates and counsel as well. The firm just announced Cravath-level spring bonuses, to be paid to qualifying associates. We discuss the qualifications and reprint the full memo below.

Although Dechert is now a major international firm, it’s still associated in many people’s minds with Philadelphia, where it got its start. Does Dechert’s spring bonus announcement place pressure on firms that are headquarted in Philly or have significant presences in the City of Brotherly Love?

By the way, it appears that we never reported on Dechert’s 2010 year-end bonuses, which were announced in early February 2011. We discuss them as well, after the jump.

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A couple of weeks ago, we asked for information about start dates at large law firms. The class of 2011 keeps peppering us with emails about when they can show up for work.

Happily, we’ve been hearing that most Biglaw firms will have their incoming classes start on time, in September or October. Most of the information in the comments to our open thread reflects that news as well. The most prestigious firms seem to be starting on time. Cravath, Sullivan & Cromwell, Davis Polk, Kirkland & Ellis, and firms of that ilk will be welcoming the class of 2011 in the fall of 2011.

But our tipsters do report some notable exceptions….

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Ed. note: This is the latest installment of Inside Straight, Above the Law’s column for in-house counsel, written by Mark Herrmann.

The Harvard Law School career services office recently asked me to record a podcast on the subject of “managing up.” This got me to thinking: What the heck is “managing up”?

Fortunately, the woman from career services explained. She was interested in discussing how, as a junior lawyer, you manage the senior lawyer who’s supervising your work.

That’s not anything I’d thought about before, but (as readers of this column well know) that hasn’t stopped me yet, so I said I’d be happy to help with the podcast. Now I’m thinking about what I might actually say.

I’ve tentatively decided that the key to managing up is exactly the same as the key to managing down. In fact, it’s the key to basically every interpersonal relationship you’ll ever have: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

Think about it: How should you manage down? Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Do not have me, the father of two young kids at the time, fly to Cincinnati for what should be a five-minute meeting set for 11 a.m. on October 31, and then postpone the meeting for an hour, and then postpone it for another couple of hours, and then postpone it again, and then, after everyone else has headed home or to the airport to take their kids trick-or-treating that night, finally tell me at 6:30 that we’ll have to reschedule our meeting. If that ever happened, I might still remember the incident, with lingering resentment, eighteen years later….

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* Remember how in Boumediene we said Guantanamo terror detainees could challenge their confinement? Yeah, about that. [Washington Post]

* “Do you know who I am?” No, sorry, Allen Iverson, but no one really follows Turkish basketball. The Atlanta police called a technical foul on the ex-NBA star for unsportsmanlike conduct. [CNN Justice]

* You can run, you can hide, but you can’t escape his love – especially if it isn’t violent, harassing, or abusive. FYI for all tall, young, hot nymphs: Kenneth Kratz is still the prize. [Appleton Post Crescent]

* Yet another adventure in IP law. Christian Louboutin is seeing red over Yves Saint Laurent’s spring 2011 shoe collection. [ABC News]

* Ladies at Allen & Overy have been asked to lower their hem lines, because let’s face it, not everyone is law firm hot. No one wants to see your thunder thighs. [Daily Mail]

* Prozac is giving this woman anxiety after using her picture for marketing ads without permission. This probably would be funnier if Xanax had yoinked the model’s picture instead. [New York Post]

* The Bratz/Barbie case has been sent to a jury for deliberation. Soon, we will know who owns the rights to America’s skankiest doll line for kids. [Los Angeles Times]

Although this could change, right now it looks like the federal government is about to shut down (for the first time in 15 years). Here’s an open thread for discussion.

Speaking of shutting down, we’re done for the day. To learn about how the courts and the Department of Justice will (or won’t) be affected by the shutdown, check out the excellent links collected below.

UPDATE: A compromise deal has been reached, averting a shutdown. Yay!

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Here ended the lesson.

* Kash “monitors” herself. She identifies privacy concerns, but resistance is futile. [Forbes]

* The MTA has a point here, and they are free to litigate that point if they don’t mind every person in New York City kind of hating them. [Village Voice]

* If the character and fitness committee had checked David J. Stern’s soccer coach credentials, he might have never been admitted to the bar. [New Times]

* Bob Morse and I agree that adding “diversity” to the U.S. News rankings is more complicated than it might appear. [U.S. News via ABA Journal]

* I’ve been so focused on these Tea Party people trying to shut down the government that I’d forgotten the Birthers existed. [WSJ Law Blog]

* I wonder if the guy who lied about having a BU Tax LL.M thought it would play out like Sean Connery believing Kevin Costner in The Untouchables: “Who would claim to be that who was not? Hmm?” [Tax Prof Blog]

* Via Eugene Volokh, here’s word of an interesting new project called the Journal of Law (announced by Ross Davies, of Green Bag fame). [Volokh Conspiracy]

Remember Lawrence Connell, the professor at Widener Law School who got in trouble for coming up with teaching hypotheticals in which he killed Dean Linda Ammons? Well, perhaps Professor Connell wishes the dean’s death was more than hypothetical.

Apparently Professor Connell wants to slay Dean Ammons — in a court of law. He has sued the dean for defamation.

Suing your current boss or employer — as opposed to suing after you’re gone, a la Matthew Kluger v. Fried Frank — can be awkward. Just ask JoEllen Lyons Dillon of Reed Smith or Raymond Carey of Foley & Lardner, two partners who have sued the law firms where they still work.

But they don’t have tenure, unlike Larry Connell. Let’s see what the good professor is suing over….

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Over the past few weeks, as springtime bonus news trickled in, we heard from a few associates at Bingham McCutchen. The exact wording varied, but their messages all sounded the same theme: Shouldn’t one of the best places to work offer one of the best pay packages? Or at least a pay package consistent with Biglaw market rates?

One reader had this suggestion: “Can you guys keep a running list of firms that paid spring bonuses and firms that haven’t? Preferably alphabetical, so Bingham is near the top of the no-pay list.”

Well, happily, no such shame sanctions will be necessary. Bingham has jumped into the spring bonus pool. Let’s see what they’re offering….

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Incoming summer associates, would you donate one day of your summer salary to help other students at your school who did not get summer jobs? Would you donate that money for a pro bono or public interest cause? Would you donate that money so your law school could fund the pro bono interests of other students?

Or am I giving you a false choice? Is it offensive to suggest that your law school needs one cent of your hard-won salary to fund public interest programs that should be covered by your tuition?

These are the questions facing students at one law school, thanks to an interesting donation request from the school’s administration. This isn’t a public interest auction like you’ll see at many law schools, where students with extra cash can bid on items, and auction proceeds are used to fund public interest fellowships. Rather, this is a direct request for a redistribution of income.

And I’m not sure if this is laudable or monstrous…

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Raise your hand if you are a JPMorgan Chase customer. Now raise your hand if you’ve shopped at Best Buy. How about Citibank, Target or Walgreens?

Has everybody in the world raised their hands yet? Congratulations — your email address may have been stolen.

There was a data breach at Epsilon, a Texas-based marketing firm, last weekend, exposing the names and email addresses of potentially millions of their clients’ customers. I first found out about it when Chase emailed me. You might have gotten a similar alert from one of the affected companies.

Read part of the bank’s announcement and more about the breach, after the jump.

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I’ve only been on one blind date in my life. Arranged by a journo friend, it was actually more like a sneak-peek date, since the suitor and I Facebook-friended and g-chatted prior to getting drinks for the first time.

My Courtship Connection participants are not so lucky. Their dates are completely blind — they don’t even know one another’s names prior to meeting. All they know is that they’re going to be meeting up with a lawyer or law student. I’m still in mild disbelief that risk-averse legal types are willing to participate, but I suppose the risk of being partner-less in perpetuity is greater than that of a single, potentially-horrific date.

So, how do you best set the tone for such a night? I always ask participants to wear or bring something distinctive so they can find one another. I recently paired a do-gooder attorney with a legal academic; the two seemed like hipster types to me, but I was hesitant about sending them all the way to H St. NE, so instead I chose The Passenger for their rendezvous. Our self-described “cheery, active, irreverent” lady lawyer said she’d be “wearing high heels and carrying a cantaloupe.”

So guess what our “hippie economist” brought? Hint: it’s phallic….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Courtship Connection: If Your Date’s Bringing a Cantaloupe…”

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