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“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.

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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….

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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]

prom high school senior prom Above the Law blog.jpg* It’s prom season, when schools discriminate against singles (and misguided girls hope that a “prom baby” will save them from the trials and tribulations of college). []
* Decent folks (and despite all my hating, that’s most of us) have a visceral reaction to hate crimes — but out on the horizon also loom 1984 and Minority Report. [Agoraphilia]
* To my knowledge, Mr. Chow has never been a Biglaw partner. [Yahoo! News]
* That is 750 years of bitch servitude. []
* At least the plaintiff spared the Mets from an additional lawsuit by cushioning the fall of the 300 lb. man and has not defected to the Yankees, although the latter probably turns on the outcome of the lawsuit. [Sports Illustrated]

martini glass Above the Law blog.jpgIf so, then a reporter with a national newspaper would like to speak with you. Here’s the message:

I want to write about the social pressures on summer associates. Specifically, I understand that at a time when firms are competing harder than ever for the best candidates, it’s ratcheted up an already intense party circuit for summer associates.

I’ve heard incoming first-year associates often get nervous about whether they’ll be able to keep up and, more importantly, not get too drunk and blow it. I wanted to get your thoughts on the topic and find out if there were any examples of students doing anything interesting to prepare themselves (e.g., build up their tolerance) for the summer. I’m equally interested in whether there are groups of sober students for whom this is a particularly stressful time.

I can be reached by email at legal DOT story AT gmail DOT com. Thanks.

We think this will be an interesting story. There are tons of tales out there about summer associates who get wasted and do stupid things. E.g., Aquagirl. It would be refreshing to hear about prudent students on the other side of the fence, who consciously try to avoid getting trashed and making fools of themselves.
If you have some insights to share on this subject, please do contact our reporter friend, by email. Much thanks!

Week Opinion Awards 1.JPG
Sir Harold Evans reaches out to choke Claire Shipman, while Jim Lehrer giggles girlishly. Tucker Carlson and Tom Friedman are bored off their gourds.
Sometimes it feels like all we do is attend parties — it’s that time of year here in DC. On Tuesday night, we schlepped up to Georgetown for the annual Opinion Awards, sponsored by The Week magazine.
In case you’re not familiar with it, The Week describes itself — accurately, in our view — as “a spirited newsweekly that distills the best of news, opinion, and ideas from the U.S. and international media. It’s smart, incisive, wry.” It reminds us a lot of The Economist, in that after you finish reading it, you feel caught up with what’s going on in the world. But unlike The Economist, you can actually read it in one sitting.
(Okay, that’s it for the plug. But we felt that we owed them a plug, since dinner was delicious).
We saw our former co-blogger, Alex Pareene of Wonkette, at the dinner. His entertaining write-up of the evening appears here. A gallery of professional photographs, by the talented Liz Gorman, are available here.
And some decidedly non-professional photographs by us, after the jump.

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