Ed. note: This post has been updated. Please read below (updates in bold).
Not all Biglaw types are luxuriating in 1600 hours for the year. Some are still working long hours and spending late nights at the office. There can be hazards to late night assignments: canceled dinner plans, sleep deprivation, and running across an armed robbery in the car garage.
Such was the case last night, in a garage shared by many firms, including Paul Hastings. A Los Angeles attorney sent us this e-mail last night at midnight EDT/ 9 p.m. PDT:
This evening, some attys in the office received the following email:
“In case you guys were planning on leaving the office, there’s an armed car jacking going on in j2, its barricaded and cops aren’t letting anyone in. Some sort of stand-off with the cops now.”
Our correspondent has since retired. We have inquiries in to Paul Hastings but have not gotten an official statement yet. Are there any early risers on the West Coast who know more about this? Send us tips at email@example.com. UPDATE: The Los Angeles garage in question is shared by Paul Hastings and other noteworthy Biglaw firms, such as Morgan Lewis, Winston & Strawn, and Jones Day.
The full story from a building manager is that a woman — we don’t know her Biglaw affiliation, if any — was approached by a man in the parking lot who demanded that she surrender her car keys. She did and called the police. That precipitated the closing of the garage. The police investigated the crime scene for a couple of hours, which is why nobody was allowed to leave the building during that time. No “stand-off,” just a crime scene investigation.
The criminal was not apprehended, but police reports indicate that the criminal left behind some physical evidence. As we understand it, the car jacker was not armed.
We’ll keep updating this post as we have more details to report.
Check out the big move by Munger. It’s up 11 spots on this year’s list. And let’s not forget about the firm’s #1 A-List ranking by Am Law earlier this year. Munger’s managed to do all of this without laying off a massive number of associates. Hopefully other Biglaw firms (and current 2Ls) will take note.
We know people have strong opinions about some of the firms on this list. Let’s get into them after the jump.
Yesterday, we reported that Paul Hastings would be allowing its class of 2010 associates to start on time in the fall of 2010. We received this information directly from a Paul Hastings spokesperson.
Sadly for future Paul Hastings associates, the spokesperson was in error. Here’s the new quote:
Paul Hastings will have some of its new associates start in the fall of 2010, but some new associates will start in the January 2011.
In our poll yesterday, 57% of you said you would rather risk summering at a firm with a 75% offer rate for the guarantee of starting on time. Well, I guess that firm is not Paul Hastings. Earlier: Paul Hastings Offer Rates
There has been a lot of chatter about the offer situation at Paul Hastings. Right now, we understand that about 50% of the current summer class has received an offer to return to the firm. The other 50% are in limbo.
Above the Law talked with a spokesperson for Paul Hastings. We have some good news, some bad news, and some great news to report.
First the good news: Paul Hastings intends to make offers to between 70% and 75% of its current summer class, firm wide. That means as many as half of the people who haven’t heard anything about their offers could be receiving an opportunity for full time employment. Yay.
Obviously, the bad news is that there will be quite a few summers that will not be getting an offer from Paul Hastings.
At least the firm is being upfront about the reason to no offer between 25% and 30% of the class. Paul Hastings told us “it’s the economy.” You can’t get any more straightforward than that.
We understand that Paul Hastings will end the suspense for its summers by the end of the program. The summer program wraps up over the next two weeks at the firm.
But for the majority of Paul Hastings summers that will be getting a full-time offer, there is some truly great news for you just after the jump. Update / Correction: Please see after the jump.
Earlier this week, we reported on staff layoffs at Paul Hastings. Since Lehman collapsed, Paul Hastings has been through few rounds of attorney layoffs as well.
But Paul Hastings partners haven’t exactly been sitting back and counting cash. Especially younger partners. Above the Law has been able to confirm that a number of partners have been de-equitized since the beginning of the global financial crisis.
Our sources didn’t have overall numbers. But, one tipster put it like this:
You should cover what is going on at Paul Hastings … don’t forget that things are sh**** for jr. partners too.
But according to Paul Hastings spokespeople, the only thing happening at Paul Hastings is “business as usual.”
More details after the jump.
In this economy, firms are looking for efficiency wherever they can find it. Above the Law has been able to confirm that 25 staffers will be let go at the end of July as Paul Hastings moves its document production services to its Los Angeles office. The goal, as we understand it, is to centralize the firm’s document production services and make them more efficient.
The move will result in 25 terminated positions in New York and other Paul Hastings offices around the the country. But the firm is also creating new positions for staffers in L.A.
The affected personnel have been informed of the cuts. But Paul Hastings’s spokespeople report that those staffers have been encouraged to apply for the new L.A. document work. Successful applicants will have their relocation expenses paid by the firm.
And the weather is nicer in L.A.
Staffers who are unable to secure a position in L.A. — or who simply don’t want to go — will receive a severance package.
As Maria von Trapp might say: Whenever God closes a door, somewhere He opens a window. Of course, Maria von Trapp married a super wealthy guy but still ended up living in Vermont, so maybe she doesn’t have the most applicable advice.
Perhaps Micheal Ray Richardson has some advice that is more relevant to the current situation? Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of staff layoffs
Many law school graduates are preparing for an endless summer. Endless in that they won’t be starting work until well into the winter. At this point, the majority of firms are starting 2009 graduates in January 2010. There are some outliers though — some firms are starting new associates as early as September 2009, and some are offering them start dates as late as January 2011.
Here are a few of the latest additions to the deferred start dates list from the past week:
Foley & Lardner pushed its start date back from September 8, 2009 to February 1, 2010, offering a $10,000 stipend. “The firm did it to protect incoming associates from swine flu,” one of our Foley sources joked.
Paul Hastings has deferred all incoming first-year associates from October 2009 start date to January 19, 2010. They’re providing a $10k stipend, optional health insurance coverage starting in October and an optional $5k salary advance to cover required loan payments in the interim.
A tipster tells us: “Faegre & Benson (Minneapolis) just called their incoming associates to let them know that some get to start at the beginning of October and some don’t get to start until January. The unlucky ones who are deferred until January are mostly Real Estate and Corporate types. $7500 stipends. Earlier they said ‘at least October, 2009.’”
Andrews Kurth has pushed back starting dates to January 2010. Per a firm statement, “The firm will pay each of the new associates in the class a deferral stipend of $10,000; the stipend is not a salary advance or a loan and is not expected to be repaid after starting employment. The firm will also honor its commitment to pay the bar and moving expenses for this class. ”
After the jump, we’ve got a new round-up of start dates at firms nationwide, sorted two ways: alphabetically by firm name and chronologically by start date (per popular demand).
We reported yesterday that Paul Hastings laid off a bunch of associates. In that report, we mentioned that a firm wide meeting was scheduled for 11:00 a.m. today. We’re getting the first reports from that meeting, and not surprisingly, associates received more information about the layoffs.
A tipster reports that Paul Hastings management emphasized that yesterday’s layoffs were the first round of “economic” layoffs. Apparently, all of the other PH layoffs that we’ve reported were performance based:
Previous terminations were performance based. But for world-wide economic downturn, the associates let go at this time would still be with the firm. Firm looked at past three months of performance and projected hours for 2009 and adjusted headcount to meet those expected hours. The decision was made on a department and office basis. It was not a flat 5% reduction. Some groups had no attorney or staff reductions and some offices had only very small reductions.
But there is also some good news for the remaining Paul Hastings employees.
At the beginning of February, we reported that Paul Hastings laid off a number of associates in its Atlanta office. At the end of February, the firm laid off some people in Los Angeles (and Shanghai). But it looks like today, Paul Hastings is laying off a much larger group of people. Here is the official statement from the firm:
In light of the deteriorating global financial market, we have announced today a regretted but necessary step of reducing our workforce by 44 associates and 87 staff. We are appreciative of our colleagues’ contributions to the Firm during their tenure. Affected employees have been offered severance benefits to ease their transition.
The news is pouring in from all of the firm’s offices, but the deepest cuts seem to be in Atlanta.
We understand that the firm is firing first years today as well.
On Monday, our sources started alerting us to a firm wide meeting that is scheduled for 11:00 am Wednesday. We understood that meeting to be the standard yearly meeting where associates received their bonuses. But now, there should be a lot more to talk about. A (laid off) tipster reports:
If PH screws me out of my bonus, I’m going to [vague threat] that f****** [specific threat]. Also [general anger].
Earlier this month, we reported that Paul Hastings laid off a number of attorneys in its Atlanta office. Last week, we learned that the firm Paul Hastings took a slight dip in profits per partner in 2008.
You know what is coming next. A tipster reports:
I just wanted to let you know that stealth layoffs are ongoing at Paul Hastings. Rumor has it that the grim reaper is making rounds to many offices [in California].
Other tipsters report that the current round of layoffs at Paul Hastings has a truly international feel:
I heard that PH laid off 50% of its associates in the Shanghai office as compared to the same time last year.
We’re still waiting for a firm response after the jump.
Watch to find out what some of our subscribers received in their May box!
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We currently have a number of active openings for associate roles at US and UK firms in HK / China, Singapore and two new in-house openings. As always, please feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org in order to get details of current openings in Asia, as well as to discuss the Asia markets in general and what we expect for openings later this year. Our Evan Jowers and Robert Kinney will be in Beijing the week of March 25 and Evan Jowers will be in Hong Kong the week of April 1, if you would like to meet them in person.
The US associate openings we have in law firms are in the usual areas of M&A, cap markets, FCPA / white collar litigation, finance, and project finance. The most urgent of our top tier (top 15 US or magic circle) law firm openings in Asia (among many other firm openings that we have in Asia) are as follows:
• 2nd to 5th year mandarin fluent M&A associates needed in Beijing and Hong Kong at several firms;
• Korean fluent 2nd to 4th year cap markets associate needed in Hong Kong;
• 2nd to 5th year Japanese fluent M&A associates needed in Tokyo;
• 4th to 6th year mandarin fluent cap markets associate needed in Hong Kong;
• 2nd to 4th year M&A / cap markets mix associate needed in Singapore.
The last time I flapped my wings your way, I tried to make at least enough noise about your mobile phone to make you more than a little bit uncomfortable. I hope I did. If enough of us become anxious enough about the known and unknown unknowns and knowns in our mobile phones, then we can start making wise decisions about how to manage that information and its resultant investigations.
Today, I’d like to put a finer point on the last installment’s topic by asking a question that seemed to catch most attendees off-guard at a conference panel that I moderated last week: is there discoverable personal information in a mobile app? Our panelists’ answer was a uniform “yes” with one stating that, if he had to choose only one type of data that he could discover from a mobile phone, he’d choose app data. Why? Because there’s simply so much of it and because almost all of it is objective – not just user-created like an email – but machine-tracked like GPS, usage duration, log in and log out times, browsed web addresses, browsed actual addresses. Also, most of us seem to have the idea that data doesn’t actually “stick” to our mobile devices the way it “sticks” to our hard drives. Maybe there’s a disconnect based on the fact that our phones are mobile so we assume the data is mobile to?
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