party parties party planning Above the Law blog.jpgPaging laid-off (or about-to-be-laid-off) associates: Looking for a new career? If you’re culturally literate, possessed of good taste, and great at slaving away for law-firm partners — which, given your job experience, you probably are — think about becoming a “personal manager.”
From the New York Times:

Looking for someone to curate your life? Need a personal concierge whose expertise is not picking up dry-cleaning but helping chose your wardrobe, your tastes, your friends?

[Allison] Storr calls herself a personal manager, but her duties go far beyond that. Her clients, all of them men, pay monthly fees of $4,000 to $10,000 to have her be their personal decider in nearly all things lifestyle-related.

And there’s a fun Biglaw blind item in the article:

A partner in a New York law firm, who agreed to be interviewed if he was not named to protect his privacy, said he has employed Ms. Storr for two and a half years. Last summer, Ms. Storr organized an ’80s theme party at the lawyer’s house in the Hamptons for about 200 of his friends, with a $5,000 budget. “It was honestly one of the most fun parties out there,” the lawyer said. “By now all my friends know that Allison works for me.”

He calls her an outsourced wife. “The nice thing is that when I ask her to do something, she gets it done and there’s no negative feelings.”

Putting together a summer party for 200, on a budget of just $5,000, is an impressive feat. Shouldn’t a Biglaw partner cough up at least five figures for a fabulous fete?
Need a Life? She’ll Arrange One [New York Times]

jack o lantern pumpkin halloween.jpgSometimes the partners don’t like it if you gorge yourself on “their” candy. But yesterday was different. We hope you had a Happy Halloween!!! (And that you’re not too hungover from last night’s partying.)
How did your firm celebrate this spooky occasion? Seyfarth Shaw went all out:

Halloween treats were served in a mock coffin. The menu included blood-red cupcakes decorated with bleeding fangs and bats to be washed down with Jones soda in limited edition ghoulish flavors (Lemon Drop Dead, Strawberry Slime, and Gruesome Grape).

And you thought paying $145K was scary enough!
Please share amusing Halloween anecdotes — partners in crazy costumes, conference rooms converted into haunted houses, etc. — in the comments. Thanks.
P.S. For your reading pleasure, here’s a Halloween-themed link, from yesterday’s WSJ Law Blog: The Legal Implications of Throwing Eggs. Executive summary: think twice before TP’ing that partner’s mailbox.
Update: The Department of Justice got into the Halloween spirit:

Despite the travails of the Department, our emergency response and preparedness staff are on the job. No, I’m not referring to providing assistance to wildfire-torn California. I’m talking about dressing your children in flame-retardant Halloween costumes and ensuring your home is well lit to ” to prevent injuries to little ghosts and goblins.” Our tax dollars at work! (See email sent out to DOJ employees below.)

The email appears after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “So How Was Your Halloween?”

Clarence Thomas book My Grandfather's Son Above the Law blog.jpgWelcome. If you’re at home, tune in to C-SPAN, which is rebroadcasting the recent book party for Justice Clarence Thomas. Justice Thomas’s eagerly anticipated memoir, My Grandfather’s Son, is now in bookstores — and topping the bestseller charts (to the relief of his publisher, HarperCollins, which reportedly paid him a $1.5 million advance).
7:05: The party is being held at the elegant, red-brick Capitol Hill home of radio host and syndicated columnist Armstrong Williams. Expected to attend: 250 guests, including six Supreme Court justices, Vice President Dick Cheney, and several U.S. senators.
Armstrong Williams is interviewed. He explains that the party has been in the works since June. An overwhelming turnout is expected; more people were turned away than allowed to attend.
7:08: Justice Thomas climbs the stairs. When he enters the kitchen — which is right at the top of the stairs, and thus (oddly) where everyone enters and exits — he’s greeted by hearty applause.
Various guests hug him. One guest gushes over his 60 Minutes appearance. CT explains that CBS News made no promises about the nature of its coverage. Interesting. Considering how flattering that segment was, and how uncritical Steve Kroft was in his questioning of Justice Thomas, one might have suspected that Brangelina-type stipulations were in place.
More after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Liveblogging the Clarence Thomas Book Party”

Charlie Savage Book Party 1A.JPG
“Dear Jim: Thanks for the great job you do pushing the mail cart around the office. You truly are a special person!”
[Charlie Savage signs a copy of his book for Aaron Zitner, politics editor for the Los Angeles Times.]
Earlier this week, we attended a delightful book party for Takeover: The Return of the Imperial Presidency and the Subversion of American Democracy, by Charlie Savage of the Boston Globe. Savage won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting, based on his work on presidential signing statements.
Photos and discussion of the star-studded event — after you win a Pulitzer, everyone is your friend! — after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “‘Takeover’ by Charlie Savage: A Fabulous Book Party”

happy hour law firm happy hour Above the Law blog.jpgMany of the hours that Biglaw attorneys are familiar with are of the billable (and unhappy) variety. But some firms try to make up for the misery by plying their employees with alcohol. Welcome to the latest perk to be discussed in these pages: happy hours. [FN1]
A few questions, from an associate-to-be:

This fall I’ll be starting at a firm that advertises the fact that it has regular happy hours. Do these things actually occur? Does anyone go to them? Will I look like a boring schmo if I don’t attend?

We know of a number of firms that have happy hours (although we’re missing some of the specifics). For example, Cahill Gordon in New York is said to have monthly happy hours. Here in Washington, DC, Kirkland & Ellis has happy hours at Old Ebbitt Grill. At least during the summer, Arnold & Porter has a weekly happy hour each Friday, on the premises — they have an on-site bar set up in one of their conference or reception rooms.
Does your firm sponsor a “happy hour”-type gathering? Will this associate “look like a boring schmo” if he skips out on them? Please opine in the comments.
[FN1] We previously had an open thread about firm retreats and “other company-sponsored social events,” but in the ensuing discussion, only one comment mentioned happy hours.

Ladies Night party girl Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgSo what do lawyers do when they leave the hallowed halls of Cravath, Swaine & Moore?
Some move on to smaller firms. Some, like former corporate partner Robert Kindler, go into investment banking (and make even more money).
But some take more surprising paths. From the current issue of the New Yorker:

A former associate at Cravath, Swain [sic] & Moore, [Roy Den Hollander] had moved to Russia to work as a private investigator. There he met a woman, with whom he returned to New York. They were married in March, 2000, and separated by December. In Den Hollander v. Flash Dancers Topless Club et al., Den Hollander sued his ex-wife and her employer under the auspices of a civil RICO statute. The suit was dismissed.

Did that romantic misadventure leave Hollander with hostility towards women? It might explain his latest legal quest, which is our Lawsuit of the Day:

In June, [Hollander] filed a federal lawsuit alleging that ladies’ nights constitute a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment. Citing invidious discrimination, he named as defendants the night clubs A.E.R., Lotus, Sol, China Club, and the Copacabana—which charged lower admission fees for women at, respectively, their Remix Thursdays, Velvet List Wednesdays, Models and Bottles Fridays, Metropolis Fridays, and College Party Thursdays.

What do other crusaders for gender equality make of the case? Karen DeCrow, vice-president of the Greater Syracuse chapter of the National Organization for Women, agreed with Hollander’s legal theory — even if, she noted, “it probably wouldn’t be very fun to go out to dinner with him.”
On the Docket: Hey, La-a-a-dies! [New Yorker]
N.Y. Lawsuit Calls ‘Ladies’ Night’ Discriminatory [National Law Journal]

* NCIS investigating Marines in alleged killings of unarmed civilians. [CNN]
* Gives a new meaning to “Queen Mum.” [CNN]
* Ohio AG, others looking into credit-rating agency investigations. [Fortune]
* Developments in DC madam case. [WSJ Law Blog; The BLT: Blog of the Legal Times]
* TO sues nightclub for using his name to throw party. [Dallas Morning News]

Are you here in Washington, DC? And are you by any chance free this evening? If so, then please consider attending Banding Together 2007. It’s a battle of ten D.C. law firm bands — good stuff. And even if you have doubts about the music, remember: it’s for a good cause!

Kirkland & Ellis partner Walter Lohmann, chair of the firm’s diversity committee, contacted ATL with this information….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “ATL Public Service Announcement: Banding Together 2007″

Cristal Champagne Louis Roederer Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgWe’ve received a correction of sorts to our earlier item, about a hard-partying summer associate at Skadden in New York. We have no way of verifying whether the original version or the new version of the story is correct, since neither came directly from the summer associate in question. But the latest version does come from a fellow Skadden / New York summer associate, so we’re inclined to credit it.
In some ways it places the SA’s conduct in a better light; in some ways, worse. Here you go:

1. Better: Contrary to the claim of “several bottles of Cristal,” there was only ONE bottle of Cristal, plus “five other bottles — standard bottle service at a club.”

Update: Apparently that “one bottle” was a magnum.

2. Worse: The total tab was not a “multi-hundred dollar bill,” but a grand total of $3,000.

3. Neutral: Two confirmed details from the original account: the story is from this year, not a prior year (sometimes these tales get recycled); and no permanent associates or recruiting personnel were at the event (“an after-after party”).

4. Jaw-dropping: In case you were wondering: YES, the firm paid the cool three-grand bill.

Skadden takes an early lead in the “Best Summer Program” sweepstakes. Party at Four Times Square!!!
(And not just ’cause all those Vogue hotties are in the house…)
Earlier: Summer Associate of the Day: ‘Skadden Cristal Boy’

Cristal Champagne Louis Roederer Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgIf you’re a summer associate at a large law firm, wondering how to conduct yourself over the next few weeks, you can consult various “survival guides” (assuming you need instruction on how to “survive” lunches at four-star restaurants). See, e.g., here and here.

But at the end of the day, being a good summer associate is just about demonstrating good judgment. Or at least not horrendous judgment. Heck, even Aquagirl got an offer.

Of course, showing good judgment may be easier said than done. Via the deliciously dishy Skadden Insider blog:

Last week a certain New York Office summer associate decided it was appropriate to expense his bar tab from a post-welcome party night out with a few fellow soon-to-be-3Ls. We’re sure the boys had a blast, given that the bar bill included several bottles of Cristal. The fearless leader of the group — you know, the one who actually had the balls to submit the multi-hundred dollar bill for reimbursement — got a bit of a lecture about judgment and appropriate expenses.

The biggest mistake the boys made, we hear, is that they failed to bring any lawyers with them. Dumb. Always insulate yourselves with an associate or two (or if the bar bill is $900, 20 lawyers) and never, never, never put your credit card down.

Congratulations to “Skadden Cristal Boy.” You are ATL’s Summer Associate of the Day!!!

Update: This post is subject to some corrections. Please click here.

We expect this is just the first of many SA screw-ups over summer 2007. Pursuant to our previous request, please send us your funny, interesting, or embarrassing summer associate stories, by email. Thanks.

Another bottle of Cristal, please [Skadden Insider]
Summer is here: A survival guide [Skadden Insider]
Summer Camp: Eat, drink and be merry [Daily Business Review]

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