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This is a little bit surprising. Not that Linklaters matched spring bonuses. We’re getting to the point that pretty much every firm that wants to be taken seriously is going to have to match spring bonuses.

No, the weird thing is that Linklaters matched the lower level of spring bonuses set by Sullivan & Cromwell, not the more generous spring bonuses adopted by Cravath (and the many firms that have rushed to join them).

Does that strike anybody else as strange? Why get into the spring bonus game at all if you can’t afford the extra thousands of dollars it takes to make a market level payment?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Associate Bonus Watch: Linklaters Links Spring Bonuses to the S&C Scale, Not Cravath’s”

From “concept searching” to “cloud computing,” every year there are new buzz words and catch phrases that enter into the lexicon of legal technology. Of course, when you are dealing with technology of any sort, you should expect to update jargon regularly (such as from 3G to 4G to 5G, whatever that means).

2011 is shaping up to be no different. This year’s “it” phrase is already emerging in the industry. It evolved from the buzz words of yesteryear, and if this new phraseology is worth its salt, these new advances could drastically change how law is practiced for years to come.

So what is legal technology’s newest terminology?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Next Big ‘Buzz Words’ in Legal Technology”

Ed. note: Have a question for next week? Send it in to

Dear ATL,

One of the things I don’t like about your blog is that you never have anything for Biglaw Bros who are just looking to use their jobs and money to score chicks. It’s fine to talk about women’s issues, debt issues, layoff issues and all that stuff. But aside from casual references to “models and bottles” you don’t seem interested in actually helping dudes who want to find pretty, young, not-too-intelligent slam pieces “on the reg.”

– What About Us?

Marin, the usual author of this column, is on vacation this week — which is probably why I get to address this question that was hurled at me while I was trying to watch the AFC Championship game. I’ll do my best Marin impersonation (if you promise not to tell her), and see if we can’t get the “bros” in our audience pointed in the right direction…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Pls Hndle Thx: BroTips”

I wouldn’t have felt good about [Gerald Ung] going to jail for 40 years for a bad decision made in 70 seconds. If he went to jail, it doesn’t take back the year of recovery and rehabilitation my brother has had to endure. There’s no malice towards the shooter here. And I wish his supporters would feel the same towards my brother. These are two guys who didn’t know each other who were thrown into an irreversible situation that ended horribly….

The truest thing I know is that a handgun should not have been on an intoxicated individual at 2 a.m. This is bigger than this specific situation. This is a societal issue that unfortunately has and will continue to kill and maim countless individuals because no one is willing to to say, “Enough is enough.”

— the sister of Eddie DiDonato, on her blog (gavel bang: commenter).

We’ve been trying to figure out how many top New York firms will adopt spring bonuses. It doesn’t appear that Schulte Roth & Zabel will be one of them.

Multiple tipsters report Schulte Roth conducted staff layoffs earlier this week.

But maybe we shouldn’t jump to the conclusion that this means Schulte will not be paying spring bonuses. Is it possible that this move will free up money for a spring payout?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Staff Layoff Watch: Schulte Roth Has A Different Kind of Spring Surprise”

Canadian police might not know the difference between law students, Kim Cattrall, and victims of sexual assault.


You know, I kind of get what this police officer was trying to say. When speaking in front of a group of law students at Osgoode Hall Law School, a Toronto cop told women they could avoid sexual harassment and assault by not dressing like sluts.

As a black person, I’ve heard similar things. If you don’t want to get racially profiled, “don’t dress like a gangbanger” and all that. And that kind of advice is true to some extent. It’s not “fair,” but you have to be aware of how you present yourself.

The thing is, what kind of idiot white male cop thinks that female law students don’t already know this? I think women at a law school in Canada know damn well that they can’t walk around campus dressed only in a bra and hot pants. They should be able to walk around in whatever the hell they like without being sexually assaulted, but they know how the world works.

When did dress sense become a safety tip?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Police Tell Female Law Students ‘Don’t Dress Like a Slut’ To Avoid Sexual Assault”

* “As virtually any clown can attest, no one owns the idea of making a balloon dog.” Jeff Koons was on the wrong side of this awesome legal beatdown. [Freakonomics / New York Times]

* In honor of his memory, a new federal courthouse in Arizona will be named after Judge John M. Roll. [CNN]

* Sorry for the diabeetus. AstraZeneca apologized to its schizophrenic pill-poppers to the tune of $150M. At least that’s what the voice in their heads said. [Bloomberg]

* Didn’t this taco belle know that the value of her beauty queen contract would be diminished by the inflation of her ass? [San Antonio Express-News]

* Witch Law: brought to you by Malawi, the same place where it’s illegal to fart. The Harry Potter franchise must not be doing so well over there. [New York Times]

* In a $150M legal battle between a jailhouse lawyer and a Hofstra Law grad, who will win? Whose “degree” is more TTT? [New York Law Journal]

* A woman filed – and then dropped — a lawsuit for $5M over 80 cents. This must be a pitch for a new Bravo series: The Real Cheap Housewives of New Jersey. [New York Post]

* The Feds may have cash for clunkers, but Pennsylvania’s got cash for kids. The food in the jury room must be delicious if they’re taking this long to convict. [Wilkes-Barre Times Leader]

* Copywrong: exploiting copyright law to extort money over a photo of a little girl who died tragically is pretty disgusting. [KGUN9]

Hastings law professor Clark Freshman

* Do not handcuff law professors and search their homes for drugs unless you are absolutely sure you are right. [SF Weekly]

* Facebook adds relationship status options for “civil union” and “domestic partnership.” [Huffington Post]

* Quick, 1Ls: Do I need an easement or a covenant to erect a 24-foot cross that shines into my neighbor’s bedroom? [Pat's Papers]

* Hopefully the Alabama fan who took out his sporting frustrations on oaks in Auburn gets the stiffest possible penalty the locals can devise. [ESPN]

* Do you think we need copyright law to get “the next Shakespeare”? Do you really think that? Seriously guys: better a witty fool than a foolish wit. [Instapundit]

* South Dakota shelves a bill that might have made killing abortion doctors justifiable homicide. That’s good; it was going to cost a lot of money to place blindfolds on Mt. Rushmore so our forefathers couldn’t see our shame. [New York Times]

* Allen Stanford wants the SEC to pay him $7.2 billion for violating his constitutional rights. Who knew Stanford was being held in the same cell as Jonathan Lee Riches? [WSJ Law Blog]

* Hang on, back up a minute. Are we entirely sure we want people with brain injuries driving in the first place? [Law and Biosciences Digest]

* I don’t know what I think about girls entering wrestling tournaments with boys. Hockey is fine, but wrestling? I don’t know if it’s the violence, the intimate positions, or ingrained sexism that makes me uncomfortable. [Des Moines Register]

* If the District of Columbia were demographically similar to Madison, Wisconsin, instead of Atlanta, Georgia, they’d have voting representation in Congress with no problem. [DCist]

In Part 1 of the Career Center survey results on debt, we reported that 85% of the 3,700 survey respondents have outstanding student loan debt, with more than half of them owing $100,000 or more. We also found that 75% of respondents considered their debt at least as much as other factors when deciding on where to work.  Today, we’ll take a look at a further breakdown of these numbers by job sector and amount of debt.

But first, let’s examine the extremes: respondents with the most debt, and respondents with no debt….

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Milbank Tweed? More like Milbank Cashmere. Associates at the firm can treat themselves to some luxury goods this weekend, in anticipation of the cash that’s coming their way in a few weeks.

Earlier today, the firm announced that it will be matching the Cravath spring bonuses. It’s a pleasant surprise to some….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Associate Bonus Watch: Milbank Makes Bank, Matches Cravath Spring Bonuses”

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

I moved from Biglaw to a small firm in 2008. I had heard the term “litigation boutique” used positively. Also, I had heard tales of Biglaw associates going on to small firms and doing great things (although I did not actually know any). But, other than that “information,” I had no idea how to go about researching and choosing a small firm. Other associates who have chosen to go small have told me similar stories. There’s very little information about the various small law firms. Indeed, there is no Vault Guide and, until recently, no big-mouthed small firm associates sharing their tales.

So, what did I do? I got a headhunter and took her sales pitch as truth.

Times are different now. Not only because you have me (i.e., your greatest resource for information on small law firms; except, of course, for Jay), but also because headhunters are not as prevalent as they used to be. This is because, obviously, there are fewer jobs and because a lot of small firms have stopped using headhunters (query whether using headhunters is ever a good idea when going small — discuss).

Why is there so little information out there about small law firms?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Size Matters: How Small Is Too Big? A Vocabulary Lesson”

I should have written about this days ago, but the pain was still too near to me. The humans have lost to the machines. We might as well start digging towards the Earth’s core, where it’s still warm, and start building our own Zion.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know the terrifying story of “Watson.” It’s a computer built by IBM that just kicked Ken Jennings’s ass on Jeopardy. If you are not particularly scientifically inclined, I can see how that might not sound like a big deal. You probably remember Deep Blue beating chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov and think that this kind of thing has been happening for a while.

That’s just what the machines want you to think. Teaching a computer to understand the subtle nuances of trivia — the puns, the innuendos, the ordering of information — is frightening. It’s a lot different than writing an algorithm that allows a machine to work through all possible chess moves and pick the correct one.

It makes you wonder: “What else could a computer be taught to do?” Over at the WSJ Law Blog, Ashby Jones wonders if the answer might be, “Your job”….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “I, For One, DO NOT Welcome Our New Computer Overlords”

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