UC-Berkeley once again topped Michigan in the (leaked so still unofficial) U.S. News law school rankings. Boalt Hall also dominated the Wolverines this month when it comes to secret society activity.
Whereas, members of Michigan’s “Barrister’s Society” threw their dirty laundry o’er the rooftops, resulting in campus-wide derision, recent activities by Berkeley’s “Gun Club” have left their fellow students appropriately mystified and intrigued.
A Boaltie tells us:
Last week, flyers featuring John Yoo’s face, with the phrase “I’m sorry, for everything” were posted around Boalt Hall.
Everyone assumed it was just the usual torture-memo protesters who flock to Berkeley, in the hope that it’s still the Bezerkeley of the 1960s, only to find a bunch of JD and MBA students hurrying by, scowling at their unshowered ways.
On Tuesday morning, the flyer reappeared in the student center, attached to the King of Beers….
April 1 is a dangerous date. It’s a day when punking people becomes the national sport. It’s not just traditional pranksters like College Humor marking the holiday. Law firms and law schools have been getting in on the fun today as well.
Shortly after your ATL editors got back from lunch, we got an alarmed email from a Columbia Law student, upset about Columbia’s plan to block some popular websites starting Monday:
When the Dean’s Advisory Committee addressed the Senate last month, it conveyed the faculty’s concern regarding student inattention and declining participation in class. The consensus among professors is that in-class Internet use is the primary cause.
Yesterday, we were informed that IT will begin blocking access to certain Internet sites inside the Law School’s three main buildings, while classes are meeting. Selective site blocking is scheduled to begin Monday morning. Among the 2-3 dozen sites affected are Facebook, Gmail and Above the Law. Others may be added later.
We’re honored to be part of that Holy Trifecta of websites, though Elie was initially quite upset at Columbia — until he visited the linked website and “got Rick-rolled for the first time in years.” Judging from the flood of emails we’ve gotten, he’s far from the only one.
Weil Gotshal and Yale Law School also performed some prestigious pranks. You’d think legal types’ natural cynicism would help protect them today. But you’d be wrong…
Have you had the privilege of voluntarily leaving your Biglaw job? I have, and let me tell you, the last day is a special kind of awesome. You kind of walk around, taking a survey of things you no longer have to deal with. Many of your friends and colleagues look at you with envy in their eyes. Friends of mine outside of the law have told me that leaving a job is bittersweet; but most associates who have left Biglaw on their own terms describe the sensation as “delicious.”
Now, when I left, I said all the right things, said goodbye to all the appropriate people, and wrote a standard, passionless departure memo. No gloating from me, I just wanted to get out of there as quickly as I could. But looking back on it, I wish I had done something notable. Nothing outrageous: boiling the managing partner’s pet rabbit sounds appropriate but is ultimately unsatisfying. I just wish I had taken advantage of my last day in some mildly humorous way.
An associate who left Akin Gump last week will have no such longstanding regrets. Here’s the “seeking contacts” email that was sent to the entire firm once the associate had both feet out of the door:
Sent: Friday, February 26, 2010 11:59 AM
To: FW ALL
Subject: Seeking contacts
Pardon the interruption. Please respond to sender only if you can recommend a reasonably priced plaintiffs’ attorney in Costa Rica. A friend of the firm has a handful of potential plaintiffs who believe there is a connection between their testicle cancer and a chemical used to make tea bags. They are looking for an attorney in Costa Rica to advise and represent them in this matter.
You know, the lives of Biglaw attorneys are such that on first blush one might think that this message was intended seriously.
But we spoke with the associate who sent out the message. Thankfully, the message was a product of a last day dare.
A few readers have sent along the link to this Craigslist ad for an “ASSociate Attorney” based in midtown Manhattan:
Small, congenial law firm needs top notch associate attorney to join our exceptional team. Please do not apply if you do not meet the following requirmenets: [sic]
1. Top half of the class at Harvard, Yale, UPenn, U Michigan, or Georgetown; top 10% at U Chicago, Boalt or UCLA. Top 1% everywhere else.
2. Law review and/or moot court experience a MUST.
3. Federal Clerkship REQUIRED.
4. Must be willing to accept $28,000 per year. $10,000 bonus for billing over 2500 hours a year. The bonus is pro-rata more, so it is worth the extra billing.
5. Must be willing to make coffee every hour, on the hour. The position is open becuase [sic] our last associate sustained severe burns from the hot plate in which the coffee post rests. We had to discharge him as he required too much “leave” time.
6. Insurance after two years, with employee contribution at 50%.
7. Must be willing to share a desk with a paralegal. She said you can have the top drawer.
8. Must be in the office by 8am, and remain until 10pm. On Fridays, you can leave by 9:30pm.
9. Must be a team player.
Please send resume to the link above. Good luck- hope to see you soon!
We ASSume this is a joke. It’s not the first time an attorney frustrated by the job search has used Craigslist humor to vent.
We’re curious, though, about the law school biases. You only have to be top half at U Penn to meet their requirements, but you have to be top 1% at NYU or Columbia. What’s up with that? UPDATE (12:16 p.m.): The man behind the ad steps forward. It’s not his first appearance on these pages. And he gives us hope that the job market may just be improving, after the jump.
Apparently, many ATL readers are conducting their job searches via Craigslist, because this posting has appeared in our inbox more frequently than lobster references in the comments.
We’ve already mentioned it in Non-Sequiturs, but we’re returning to it to beg you to stop sending it to us, and to give you the story behind it. For those not in the know, here’s the legal job listing that many a job searcher has stumbled across:
Associate Attorney (Midtown West)
Reply to: firstname.lastname@example.org [?]
Date: 2009-01-13, 5:41PM EST
Fast-paced 20-attorney law firm looking for an eager associate to join our growing practice. We understand that you may be a newly-admitted attorney looking for their first job. We also know that the economy is harsh right now. However, we are willing to give you a chance. Here are the details of this spectacular opportunity:
* Your salary will be $30,000 per year. We understand that this may be on the low end (since you probably are six figures in debt), but we will be able to give you unlimited opportunities for experience and you’ll be making six-figures soon enough. On the other hand, we will bill our clients $300 for every hour of your work; at least you will know your work is valued by us in several ways.
* There is no health insurance, but we have an on-site 2nd year medical student who will abide by the upmost professional standards take care of any illnesses or injuries that occur, both on-site and off-site.
* You will be expected to work 12 hour days, six (6) days of week. You will be afforded 1 week of vacation time, and three (3) sick days. Your vacation time is limited to the months of January and February, as we will need you to be in the office while the partners are taking their time off in the summer. The good news is that you will earn vacation and sick pay as soon as you start. The only holidays that the Firm observes are Christmas and Thanksgiving, but you must work a half-day, as we are a busy and important firm who adheres to our clients’ needs.
* Your bonus, if earned (by billing 2100 hours per year), will consist of a one-year membership to a “food-of-the-mouth” club of your choice. In 2008, every associate took advantage of this valuable program and has benefited greatly for their hard work and dedication.
Please email resume, cover letter, salary history, law school and college transcripts to the address above. We will also need you to take a drug test. All resumes and credentials will be held in strictest confidence
Ridiculous and hilarious, right? Obviously a joke? Well, we talked to the guy behind the ad — a contract attorney who’s looking for a permanent firm job himself — and he says he has received over 100 e-mails, including two from recruiting agencies, in response to his satirical listing.
Find out which recruiting agencies, and the story behind the posting, after the jump.
Earlier in the week, this email went out to all the lawyers in the Restructuring Group at Kirkland & Ellis, from the head of the group:
04/01/2008 10:58 AM To: #FW Restructuring Attorneys Subject: Upcoming Dress Code Program
As part of our KIRT [Kirkland Institute of Restructuring Training] programs, I am pleased to announce a “dress for success” program, which will be held on each Monday for one hour for the next four weeks. I have arranged for outside speakers from a number of prominent men’s and women’s fine clothing stores to lead the programs. In light of the number of button down shirts being worn with suits and the number of associates (mostly, male) wearing boring and mismatched ties and shiny suits, the program is highly needed. Attendance for the program is strongly encouraged.
We’ve seen how bankruptcy lawyers dress. This is a wise idea. Just don’t bring in the Cleary Anti-Afro Lady.
Also — was the reference to the sartorial dubiousness of wearing button-down shirts with suits a shout-out to ATL? See here.
More after the jump.
Sigh. Guess we got a little lax in our factchecking around here (i.e., not doing it at all, since it had been a while since anyone bothered to put together a fake memo).
The purported Much Shelist memo that we posted earlier appears to be a fake. Sorry, Chicago.
If anyone has a real memo to send us, please do so. But the lag time between our receiving memos and posting them will undoubtedly increase going forward, due to pranks like this one. Thanks.
It has been a week since the distressing events involving a Boalt student’s threat —a hoax — against the community at Hastings College of the Law. I am writing to let you know that all our actions following the incident have been taken with the intention of securing the safety and well-being of our community and that at Hastings, while respecting the procedural rights of the student.
On Wednesday, April 25, 2007, the Law School filed a complaint with the U.C. Berkeley Judicial Affairs Office against the law student who claimed responsibility for posting the threat on a website. We, the administrative leadership of Boalt, believe that the student’s action is clearly in violation of a number of regulations detailed in the Student Code of Conduct. The case will be adjudicated by Judicial Affairs according to campus regulations. Those regulations prohibit us from disclosing the name of the student against whom we are proceeding.
Based on the facts as we understand them today, we have recommended expulsion. This is based not only on the intrinsic wrongfulness of the act itself, but also the disruption, turmoil and emotional toll on the Hastings community and, to a more limited extent, the Boalt community as well. I have received ample evidence of this through a great many emails, some of them painful to read.
This incident has once again confirmed for me the strength and qualities of the Boalt community. Even in this challenging circumstance, you have engaged in thoughtful and productive discussions. We should all take some pride in this, imperfect though we are.
Christopher Edley, Jr.
Professor of Law and Dean
Does the punishment fit the crime here? Judging by some of the comments to this thread, some readers think expulsion would be an overreaction. Pre-Virginia Tech, what kind of behavior would get you expelled from law school?
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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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