* A few weeks back, we mentioned some legal lessons gleaned from Jay-Z’s 99 Problems. Turns out, you might not need law school to become a lawyer. Maybe all you need is a Spotify subscription and a good set of headphones. [FindLaw]
* Government security guard finds suspicious bag and stashes it under his desk, where it chills out for a couple of weeks. Oh yeah, I should probably mention — there was A BOMB in the bag. Nice work, Sherlock. [CNN]
* If you rat someone out, you might avoid prson. But in Illinois, if you end up in prison, don’t be surprised if you end up with a real rat as a cellmate. Maybe a roach too, if you get particularly unlucky. [WBEZ]
Now that Citigroup decided that the recession was over, hopefully this layoff news will start to dissipate. But we wanted to catch up on some layoff news that happened yesterday that we weren’t able to get to. Pircher Nichols & Meeks had its second round of layoffs, and the numbers were surprisingly similar to the first round of cuts.
Leo Pircher explained the news to Above the Law:
The Firm laid off eight attorneys, five in Los Angeles and three in Chicago. Two of the attorneys were first years.
In early December, Pircher Nichols also laid off attorneys, eight attorneys to be exact. Those cuts included one first year.
First years aren’t safe at large law firms, and they’ll find no quarter at mid-sized law firms either.
On Friday we reported that Epstein Becker & Green might have set the bonus market for regional firms to zero. While associates at firms outside the AmLaw 100 have every reason to worry about receiving any bonus at all, it’s worth remembering that the terrible economic conditions are still causing layoffs.
We received word that 8 associates were let go from Pircher, Nichols & Meeks. The firm confirmed the move today:
The Firm laid off a total of 8 of its 75 attorneys, seven in Los Angeles and one in Chicago. One of those laid off was a first year. Four staff members were also laid off. The Firm’s practice is concentrated in commercial real estate. Work in this area has declined in the last 6 months and our clients have told us that it is not likely to pick up substantially in 2009. We therefore reluctantly decided that we must reduce the number of our people to match the amount of business we see going forward. We do not anticipate further layoffs. The persons laid off are all fine and competent people and we intend to help them find new positions.
Letting go of 8 people in a firm of 75 is a deep cut. But there certainly isn’t enough commercial real estate work to go around.
It was nice for Mr. Pircher to say that his former employees were fine people, and I’m sure that those former associates will appreciate any help the firm can offer.
The options for lawyers at mid-sized firms keep getting worse. Behind Door #1: $0 Bonus. Behind Door #2: Layoffs. Behind Door #3: Falling on your knees and praying that you didn’t inadvertently choose Door #1 or Door #2.
The evolution of relationships between the genders continues. Currently, in law firms, there is an interesting conundrum; balancing the desire for a gender-blind workplace where “the best lawyer gets the work and advances” and the reality of navigating the complicated maze created by the fact that, in general, men and women do possess differences in their work styles. These variations impact who they work with, how they work, how they build professional connections and how organizations ultimately leverage, reward and recognize the talents of all.
Henry Ford sat on his workbench and sighed. A year earlier, he had personally built 13,000 Model Ts with his own hands. Fashioning lugnuts and tie rods by hand, Ford was loath to ask for help. Sure, there were things about the car that he didn’t quite understand. This explains the lack of reliable navigation systems in the Model T. But Ford persevered because he knew that unless he did everything, he could not reliably call these cars his own.
“Unless my own personal toil is responsible for it, it may as well be called a Hyundai,” Ford remarked at the time.
The preceding may sound unfamiliar because it is categorically untrue. And also monumentally stupid. Henry Ford didn’t build all those cars by hand. He had help and plenty of it. Almost exactly one hundred years ago, Henry Ford opened up the most technologically advanced assembly line the world had ever seen. Built on the premise that work can be chopped up into digestible pieces and completed by many men better than one, the line ushered in an age of unparalleled productivity.
Today, an attorney refers business because he can’t do everything the client asks of him.
There are three reasons why this is way dumber than a made-up Henry Ford story…
Ed. note: The Asia Chronicles column is authored by Kinney Recruiting. Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates, counsels and partners in Asia than any other recruiting firm in each of the past six years. You can reach them by email: [email protected].
Since late last year, things have been booming in Hong Kong / China in cap markets, especially Hong Kong IPOs. M&A deal flow has recently been getting a bit stronger as well. Although one can’t predict such things with any certainty, all signs are pointing to a banner entire 2014 for the top end US corporate and cap markets practices in Hong Kong / China. This is not really new news, as its been the feeling most in the market have had for a few months now and things continue to look good.
The head of our Asia practice, Evan Jowers, has been in Hong Kong for about 10 days a month (with trips every other month to both Shanghai and Bejing) for the past 7 months, and spending most of his time there meeting with senior US hiring partners at just about all the major US and UK firms there, as well as prospective candidates at all associate levels and partner levels, and when in the US, Evan works Asia hours and is regularly on the phone with such persons, as our the other members of our Asia team. Our Yuliya Vinokurova is in Hong Kong every other month and Robert is there about 5 times a year as well. While we have a solid Asia team of recruiters, Evan Jowers will spend at least some time with all of our candidates for Asia position. We have had long standing relationships, and good friendships in some cases, with hiring partners and other senior US partners in Asia for 8 years now.