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Ed. note: Adrian Dayton is a lawyer and writer who advises law firms about business development through social media.. He will be writing a series of guest posts for Above the Law about social media.

Bureaucracy destroys initiative. There is little that bureaucrats hate more than innovation, especially innovation that produces better results than the old routines. Improvements always make those at the top of the heap look inept. Who enjoys appearing inept?

– Frank Herbert, Dune

“Don’t turn the TV off!”

My Dad insisted he was recording the football game.

“Well, can I at least change the channel?”

“No.”

What my father didn’t understand is that the VCR could record his game, even if the TV was displaying a different show. For those who don’t remember the old invention called the VCR, it could record one show while you watched another on the TV. It could even record the show while the TV was not on. That completely blew my father’s mind, so just to “be safe” he left the TV on and kept it on the channel he was recording.

Technology and social media can be scary to the ruling class, and we even see that among the legal blogosphere. Take one of my favorite law bloggers, Scott Greenfield….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The All-or-Nothing Social Media Skeptics”

This was bound to happen at some point. There have been countless associates who were promised jobs at law firms. They stopped looking for other jobs in reliance on that job offer. Then during the recession they were deferred, or their offers were rescinded. They are the leading citizens of the Lost Generation.

Do they have any legal claims against their would-be employers?

Almost certainly not, but it looks like somebody is ready to try to find out. The ABA Journal reports:

A would-be associate has sued San Francisco law firm Howard, Rice, Nemerovski, Canady, Falk & Rabkin for deferring and then rescinding her job offer.

A clean test case on the issue of offer rescission? Not quite. As with most things, there’s a racial angle…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Let’s Do This: Deferred (Then Rescinded) Would-Be Associate Sues Firm”

* Mission accomplished? [New York Times]

* The DOJ and Barclays bank can kiss and make up, for $298 million dollars. [BLT: Blog of the Legal Times]

* You know what the Ground Zero mosque debate really needs? The New York Catholic Church. [NBC New York]

* Meanwhile, Obama pledges to support the 9/11 health and compensation bill. [New York Post]

* The first time SEC has ever gone after a state — and it’s New Jersey! [New York Times]

* You might not be able to be a Supreme Court justice if you go to law school in Arizona, but at least you’ll be able to see one. [Tax Prof Blog]

Greetings, loved ones. Hello there, California girls (and boys). We hope that you’re doing well. Gay marriage might be on hold for now, but there are other unions to celebrate on the West Coast.

Like unions between law firms and job-seeking law students. As we’ve discussed in these pages before, on-campus interviewing at law schools seems to be on the upswing.

And it’s not just in New York, where schools like Columbia and NYU report increased interviewing activity. It’s happening in California too, as reported by Sara Randazzo and Kari Hamanaka of the Daily Journal:

Career counselors around the state are reporting that the number of employers signing on to the recruiting process this year is either steady or up slightly. The mood, however, is still tempered by the reality that the recruiting climate is nowhere near the fever pitch preceding the downturn when there were barely enough top law students to go around for associate-hungry firms.

“When I talk to lawyers in the field, it seems things are busier, but given all the excess in the hiring pipelines they are still very conservative,” said Terrence Galligan, assistant dean of career development at UC Berkeley School of Law.

Well, conservative can be good (and not just politically). The conservative hiring of summer associates for 2010, for example, seems to have resulted in very high offer rates.

For 2011, some firms that stayed on the sidelines in 2010 are back in the game….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Fall Recruiting Glitters in the Golden State”

* We know you love rankings. Here are the top 25 national universities and liberal arts colleges, according to the 2011 U.S. News college rankings. [TaxProf Blog]

* CHECK YOU ETHICS? In the seemingly endless Barbie/Bratz litigation, lawyers from Orrick, which now represents Bratz maker MGA, have accused Mattel lawyers from Quinn Emanuel of participating in an elaborate corporate espionage scheme. [WSJ Law Blog]

* Give her a gold-plated gavel: Wisconsin Law professor Victoria Nourse, nominated to the Seventh Circuit, has a net worth of almost $20 million. [The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times]

* Do you hate parking boots? So does this guy — and his taking a stand against them might bring about legal change in the U.K. [AltTransport]

* That one count of conviction against Blagojevich? Give the credit for it to Justice Scalia. [American Spectator]

* Corporette asks her readers: What is your best interview advice? [Corporette]

* Danielle Chiesi, a central figure in the Galleon Group insider trading case, knows how to get what she wants. [Dealbreaker]

DLA Piper recently rejoined the ranks of Biglaw firms paying a $160,000 starting salary. Welcome back to the pack. Unfortunately, some incoming associates hoping to start at DLA will have to wait quite a bit before they are able to cash in on that $160K dream. A tipster reports:

DLA Piper just told their incoming first years (i.e., the people who graduated in May 2010) about their start dates. A few months ago they told everyone that they’d either be starting in January 2011 or January 2012, but didn’t state who would be starting when, how many people they expected to start on either date, or any other specific information.

They made the calls [yesterday] and almost everyone is deferred until January 2012. They said they “expected” to give a stipend of $5k a month for pro bono work but didn’t definitively confirm anything.

Well, DLA Piper has now provided information about the situation to Above the Law. All of these kids — who summered with DLA Piper in 2009 — knew there was a possibility of getting deferred until 2012. But only half of them actually will. The rest will start relatively on-time…

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[S]ome of the conclusions of which our leading economic experts have been confident have turned out to be incorrect. For example, Alan Greenspan, appointed and then reappointed Chairman of the Federal Reserve for five terms by four different Presidents, recently admitted to a significant flaw in the ideology that caused him to support and implement policies of financial deregulation…

And Judge Richard Posner, a highly respected jurist and a leading economics expert, has recently expressed his admiration for Keynesian economics, reversing a lifetime of reliance on the Chicago School’s approach.

Judge Stephen Reinhardt, writing for the Ninth Circuit in State of California v. Safeway, Inc.

Here at Above the Law, your editors always avoid the black cars / livery cabs that populate the city. Instead, we trust yellow medallion cabs. This preference dates all the way back to our days in Biglaw. Lat would often take yellow cabs, even if he was entitled to a Fone-A-Car thanks to pulling ridiculous hours at Wachtell. I took livery cabs all the time coming home after-hours from Debevoise, until one night, coming back from Brooklyn — on non-firm related business, unfortunately — I was robbed by a driver.

These cars just aren’t to be trusted. Take the case of one NYU law student from back in 2000. Returning home after a night out in lower Manhattan, she claims she was raped by a friend of the black-car driver taking her home.

Thankfully, yesterday the alleged assailant was arrested. DNA evidence he turned over after more recent criminal activity matched up with the rape kit the NYU Law victim filed a decade ago….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Another Reason to Distrust Black Cars: You Might Get Raped”

The world of legal recruiting is a bit like Glengarry Glen Ross. Like the real estate agents of Glengarry, legal recruiters work mainly on commission, and they get paid when they close deals. Instead of getting paid for selling parcels of land, though, headhunters get paid when they find lawyers — people like you — new employment (most often at law firms, although sometimes in-house as well).

Like Glengarry, the world of legal recruiting features outsized personalities, profanity-spouting hustlers, and smooth-talking salespeople (the folks who cold call you and try to lure you away from Big Firm A to Big Firm B). Given the sheer number of recruiters working today, the fierce competition for deals, and the fees at stake — moving a group of powerful partners from one firm to another can result in a six- or even seven-figure payday — it’s not surprising that the business has a seamy side.

In a lawsuit filed earlier this year, which has come to light thanks to some recent, non-sealed court filings, one of the biggest attorney search firms out there — Major, Lindsey & Africa — has made RICO claims against an ex-employee.

Wait a sec. RICO — as in the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act? Some say legal recruiting can be a dirty business, but it’s not that dirty, is it?

(And are law firm associates going to start getting voice mails from Teamsters? “Hey there, uh, David, my name is Sal….”)

Let’s explore the allegations of MLA’s lawsuit against one its former recruiters, Sharon Mahn….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Lawsuit of the Day: Major Lindsey Files RICO Action Against Former Employee”

With the summer coming to an end, we are almost done updating the summer associate profiles for all the firms listed in the Career Center. Along with Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman and WilmerHale, Morrison & Foerster was another one of the firms that encouraged their 2010 summer associates to share their experience with us.

Summer associates at MoFo definitely noticed the amount of transparency at the firm and appreciated how the firm “openly communicate[s] with summers regarding expectations.” If you end up summering at MoFo, don’t be surprised if you get to discuss regulatory matters with clients or draft portions of a brief about to be submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court. While every assignment may not involve earth-shattering issues, summer associates are given the opportunity to participate on various pro bono matters throughout the summer.

When MoFo summer associates aren’t busy selecting assignments in different practice areas or attending training sessions, they get to experience “just the right amount of social events to provide a contrast to the work.” In 2010, summer associates would end the workday sailing the Chesapeake Bay, mediating with a Zen Monk, or touring the Museum of Modern Art. In addition to real work experience and quality social events, MoFo had a not-too-shabby offer rate of almost 100% for the 2009 summer class.

Get more details about the summer associate experience at MoFo and other firms by going to the Career Center. Keep an eye out for future posts as we will be publishing the rest of the summer associate survey results in the next week or so.

If you’re going to generate million-dollar fees, you’re going to need million-dollar clients. And in New York, the self-proclaimed center of the universe, America’s millionaires come to live and mingle. So says the Metro Wealth Index, which has completed its annual report on high-net worth individuals:

New York City continued to top the Index and had more [high-net worth individuals] than the next top three [metropolitan statistical areas] – Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington, D.C. – combined.

The power might have shifted to Washington, the glitz might be in L.A., and the coronary disorders might be in Chicago — but New York still has the money. Lots of it.

And with money comes jobs and clients. Right?

What other cities around the country are faring well in terms of the millionaire count?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Opulence: New York City Has It.
(And what about other cities?)

In a time of rising tuition prices and declining job prospects, looking at the value proposition of going to law school is more important than ever. For the second year in a row, the National Jurist has named the 60 best value law schools in its preLaw magazine. From these 60 schools, it has further honored the top 20 value schools (unranked for now, but to be ranked, one through twenty, in October).

For the second year in a row, the methodology used to formulate these rankings needs to be much better if anybody is going to pay attention. The National Jurist recognized law schools as “best value” schools if they met four criteria:

1) their bar pass rate is higher than the state average;

2) their average indebtedness is below $100,000;

3) their employment rate nine months after graduation is 85 percent or higher; and

4) tuition is less than $35,000 a year for in-state residents.

We’ll get to naming the top 20 in a minute. First, we need to break down these inputs — inputs that could have been so much better and more relevant…

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