You can still call yourself prestigious if you work at the firms that make up today’s fall recruiting open thread. But once you are outside of the Vault top 20, people start talking about “firm culture” at least as much as they talk about prestige.
Here’s the next batch:
The slide continues for Shearman & Sterling. The firm was ranked #19 last year, and is down two spots this year. Is there any specific reason for the fall?
After the jump, let’s look at the firms rising up through the rankings.
* All you need to know about Joe Gregory’s claim against Lehman. [Dealbreaker]
* The danger of killing the billable hour. [Legally Drawn]
* Now is the time where T-14 students learn how the other half lives. [Big Debt, Small Law]
* When recruiters aren’t busy laughing at you, here’s what they want to hear. [Young Lawyers Blog]
* Twitter = publishing opportunity. [Marketing Strategy & The Law]
* “To be Irish is to know that, in the end, the world will break your heart.” [What About Clients?]
* Does Vogue have an equivalent for Paul Begala? [Fashionista]
* Lat was on with Brian Cuban yesterday, ranting about Sotomayor, firms and scandals. He dislikes the camera angle, but it’s still better than what Jacob is exposed to. [Cuban Revolution]
* Don’t forget to tell us how your hours are looking in our poll.
During on-campus interviewing this year, the power is clearly with the recruiters. There are going to be a lot more law students looking for summer internships than employers looking for fresh talent.
We all know this. But do recruiters have to be so damn happy about it? Here’s one report from a 2L at University of Texas School of Law, in Austin:
I am walking up the stairs to get to my OCI appointment. I overhear some interviewers from various firms talking to each other as I hold the door for them and their heavy bags of firm-branded crap.
One lady says to another, “Did you get a lot more applicants from UT this year?” Lady 2 says, “No, it was the usual number for us.” Lady 1 replies, “I had 200 applicants from UT alone for the 15 total spots we will fill this year.” Lady 2 says, “I think it’s gonna be a great year for employers!” They all laugh.
Yes, it’s the sweet sweet tears of law students that make employers strong and profitable. What could be funnier than that?
After the jump, our tipster has some advice for OCI season.
Offer season (a.k.a. no offer season) is here in full force. The latest news comes from Baker Botts, and it appears that you didn’t have to be involved in a Texas scandal to get no-offered by the firm.
Multiple tipsters independently report that the offer rate at Baker Botts was between 50 to 55 percent firm-wide. The no offerees we spoke to felt the firm should have brought fewer people on for the summer if it was going to throw so many people back into the pool of 3L recruiting:
No offered. Man that sucked. Should have summered at a firm that wasn’t going to waste my time. At least I’m not alone.
But summers that received an offer understandably had a more positive take on the experience:
I got an offer, but I know a lot of people who didn’t. I suppose that is unfair, but I feel like we all knew that it was going to be a competitive summer and not everybody was going to make it.
Make it? Ask the class of 2009 whether getting an offer at the end of the summer bears any relation to actually having a full-time job upon graduation.
While Baker Botts made offers to about half of its summer class overall, the Baker Botts summers in the firm’s New York office were not nearly as lucky. Details after the jump.
The billable hour may be under attack, but for now, it still rules the lives of most lawyers slaving away in Biglaw offices around the country.
An ATL reader recently wrote to us and asked if we would do a survey of the health of associate hours this year. With the work slowdown, we imagine hours for 2009 are on track to be a bit lower than last year.
Most people have had their mid-year reviews. How are your hours looking? Is 1600 the new black? Are you trailing the pack?
Take our survey and obsessively compare your hours discuss after the jump.
A month and a half ago, Morgan Lewis announced that it was canceling its 2010 summer program and moving away from lockstep compensation. At the time, some people criticized me for looking at a move away from lockstep compensation as tantamount to a salary cut.
A firm could move away from lockstep to give its associates a larger share of the profits they generate. Is that what Morgan Lewis is thinking? Morgan Lewis is in the process of holding a series of meetings with associates in various offices. The goal is to let the associates know what the firm is planning to do with salaries starting January 1, 2010.
According to a firm spokesperson, these meetings are preliminary in nature:
As our Chair announced earlier this year, we have decided to move away from lockstep to a performance-based evaluation and compensation model. We are still in the process of developing the new model and are meeting with associates around the firm to solicit their input. We have not yet determined or announced any specific terms of the model, so any reports regarding compensation cuts at this point are pure speculation and false rumor.
Associates who have been in these meetings have a different take on what’s going on.
Now that the New York Times has covered it, it’s official: the recession has hit the legal profession.
Here’s more evidence. Yesterday afternoon, while walking along 53rd Street in Manhattan (between Broadway and Eighth), we came across The Man in a Van. Aaron Heideman, aka The Man in a Van, is traveling around the country, collecting stories of how people have been affected by the recession. Contributors write down their narratives on a giant poster (which, when unfurled, spans 50 yards). Selected stories are written on the van itself.
Here is one person’s story, from a former law clerk — someone who would usually have no trouble landing a job:
Two additional pictures — a larger shot of the banner, plus one of the van — after the jump.
My wife and I live four blocks away from my mother. I have a little bit of experience balancing one’s mother and one’s wife and not getting crushed by a domestic pincer attack of disastrous consequences.
As any good husband-son will tell you, the best policy is to stay far, far away from any skirmishes between your wife and your mother. Never underestimate the power of “selective deafness.” My wife and my mother can be having a conversation right in front of me, and if I hear something that could lead to conflict, I can “un-hear” statements before they make it to my hippocampus. All I hear is “First-and-ten on the Dallas 40. Manning drops back … incomplete.”
Later I can agree with my wife’s interpretation and my mother’s interpretation with perfect honesty. What do I know? I wasn’t even there!
Of course, such familial gymnastics might not be possible if my wife were a public person. For instance, my mother-in-law lives thousands of miles away. I like that. On the public forum of this blog, all you’ll ever hear me say is “my mother-in-law is the bestest most awesomest person ever! It only took her a decade to learn how to pronounce my name!”
New York comedian Sunda Croonquist apparently doesn’t have my skill for tact. Her act, which has been featured on Comedy Central, apparently contains a number of jokes made at her mother-in-law’s expense.
Is she hoping to get a sitcom? Probably. But instead she’s earned a defamation lawsuit — filed by her mother-in-law.
But we are equal opportunity oglers here at Above the Law. We’re more than happy to write about naked male hotties (or clothed male hotties, at Davis Polk).
Meet “Jacob” (surely not his real name). He’s a male law student who has turned to performing in gay pornography to pay his tuition. NOTE: We’ve included a screencap. It is safe for work, but it does include shots of a shirtless man, which some may find risqué. Accordingly, we’ve posted the image AFTER THE JUMP.
Do NOT click on the “Continue reading” link below unless you are prepared to see some skin. Thanks.
The ABA Journal is kicking off a series on legal rebels. It’s not an oxymoronic phrase; there are innovators and mavericks all throughout our risk averse profession. Here’s what the publication is looking for:
Over the next three months, the Journal will profile 50 of the profession’s leading innovators on www.LegalRebels.com, with at least three profiles added every week. Each profile will include multimedia features like video interviews, audio podcasts, photo slideshows and live chats.
[T]he recession is totally changing the practice of law, and the Legal Rebels project is documenting the individual lawyers who are leading the changes.
But you don’t have to be featured by the ABA Journal to be a legal rebel. Check out the rebel manifesto, after the jump.
Ed. note: We’ve already discussed the passing of Senator Ted Kennedy and the New York Times article about the state of the legal job market.
* Diversity among federal judges: low, but increasing. [Washington Post]
* Speaking of federal judges, the super-stylish Judge Preska just ordered the Federal Reserve to reveal emergency bank loan records. [Bloomberg]
* Chris Brown sentenced to five years probation and 180 days of community labor for assaulting Rihanna; evidence of prior domestic violence incidents emerges. [Los Angeles Times]
* If you show up to a Michigan trial court in a burqa, you may now be forced to remove it. [CNN]
* Some news from Pakistan: lawyers gone wild? [Am Law Daily]
If you think most legal technology misses the mark, LexisNexis Firm Manager® wants to change your mind. Read more about it here.
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When Chintan Panchal decided to leave a global BigLaw partnership to start his own firm, he could only hope that he would face the high-quality problem of firm building that many had cautioned him about. Focused on the uncertainty surrounding of a new firm launch, he decided to tackle staffing needs, IT challenges, and financial planning requirements after he had built up his legal practice.
Panchal Associates LLP–a corporate/finance and outside general counsel boutique–was quickly off to a great start. Clients and matters were flying in the door, and Chintan soon had a team of lawyers and staff with a variety of operational needs. To continue building an excellent team and provide them with a competitive benefits package, to expand his physical presence to include a European practice and additional partners, and to scale his operations and IT capabilities to support this growing enterprise brought with it demands of time, money, and expertise. Chintan knew he needed help.
“With the assistance of NexFirm, we have upgraded the capabilities of our firm to meet, and in some cases exceed, the standards we were used to at our former BigLaw firms. Operationally, we can now attract and service clients we didn’t have the bandwidth to support in the past, and continue to build our team with the best and brightest legal talent in the industry,” said Chintan Panchal, adding “It has worked out quite well in our case; NexFirm is an essential partner for us.”
The holiday season is upon us, and yet again, you have no idea what to get for the fickle lawyer in your life. We’re here to help. Even if your bonus check hasn’t arrived yet, any one of the gifts we’ve highlighted here could be a worthy substitute until your employer decides to make it rain.
We’ve got an eclectic selection for you to choose from, so settle in by that stack of documents yet to be reviewed and dig in…
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