We received this information from a tipster last night, and a firm spokesperson confirmed it for us this morning. Here it is:
Patton Boggs just raised starting salaries to 160,000 for first years for 1950 billable hours. This is a 50 hour bump and a $15,000 bump. They also introduced a new 1800 billable track that is full-time, but paid on a lower scale (obviously).
No memo yet. The full scale closely approximates the Hogan & Hartson scale and caps out at $280,000. Still a 100 hour/year pro bono requirement.
So does anyone know what the DC List of Shame now looks like? Feel free to post it in the comments.
Also, are you aware of any recent pay raise news that we haven’t covered in these pages? If so, please email us. Thanks.
Pro bono work is near and dear to your hearts. When we posted an open thread on the subject last month, it generated a slew of comments. Like this one:
I was actually told by the partner I worked for at my firm, in no uncertain words … “If you have time to spend on matters that firm isn’t collecting fees for, then you have time that I can be giving you more work that you should be collecting fees for.” And that was my official talk on our “pro bono policy.”
Well, who says that fee-earning work and pro bono work are mutually exclusive? From the Seattle Times:
Lawyers at Davis Wright Tremaine didn’t charge a parent group for seven years of work on a U.S. Supreme Court case against Seattle Public Schools: They took the case pro bono.
But now that the firm is trying to collect $1.8 million in legal fees from the school district, several national legal experts say the term — technically, “pro bono publico,” meaning “for the public good” — may no longer apply.
The firm’s effort has put a local lens on a national debate: If attorneys get paid for pro bono work, is it still pro bono?
The full article, which lays out both sides of the argument, is quite interesting. You can check it out here.
Some argue that financially strapped school districts shouldn’t have to shell out millions of dollars to line the pockets of law firms. But others argue that making them pay fees will discourage them from violating rights in the future (and that the law firms can donate the fees to charity). Thoughts? Billing in “pro bono” cases is fodder for ethics debate [Seattle Times] Earlier: Biglaw Perk Watch: Pro Bono Work
Since the tireless Howard Bashman is in transit, we’ll temporarily assume his role as super-timely provider of appellate litigation news.
This just in: A divided Seventh Circuit panel has affirmed the criminal convictions of former Illinois Governor George H. Ryan and his associate, Lawrence Warner. The majority opinion is by Judge Diane Wood (who is a judicial hottie); the dissent is by Judge Michael Kanne (who is reportedly not fat).
This is especially bad news for Winston & Strawn. As some of you may recall, the firm reportedly blew $20 million on defending Governor Ryan, on a pro bono basis. United States v. Ryan [U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit]
The subject of today’s perk post may not jump to mind as a perk or fringe benefit, but we think it’s important and worthy of inclusion here. From a reader:
Please do a “perks” thread on pro bono work. What kind of opportunities are presented? How are the hours counted (if at all), both de jure and de facto?
Speaking for myself, it’s the main thing that makes White & Case different from other firms. The hours are counted 1:1, without limitation. I am permitted to seek my own pro bono assignments, and function at a very high level on those cases. I have “billed” 200-300 hours to pro bono every year I’ve been here, and received no feedback but encouragement (although my “real” hours have always been in the defensible range without consideration of the pro bono).
That’s impressive. We had a friend at a top 10 firm who spent hundreds of hours on pro bono work (which got the firm some nice publicity in the New York Times). But at a certain point, she got called in for a talk about how she was spending too high a percentage of her time on pro bono.
More discussion after the jump.
Right now a heated debate is raging in last night’s open comment thread. The subject: public interest law, and the people who practice it. The debate is aptly summarized by this comment:
This comment thread is a microcosm of the unhappy lawyers out there. The big firm lawyers comfort themselves by telling themselves that public interest lawyers are incompetent, self-righteous, don’t make enough money, and sit around smoking pot and complaining about how little respect they get.
The public interest lawyers comfort themselves by telling themselves that big firm lawyers are egotistical, immoral, don’t do real work, and have sacrificed “real life” for money on the assumption that either they can just purchase love, friends and happiness, or that cocaine is an acceptable substitute.
For those of you who do follow public interest, here’s some important news: announcement of the 2007 Skadden Fellows!!!
These extremely prestigious fellowships, funded by Skadden Arps, are awarded to 25 outstanding individuals each year (selected from hundreds of applicants). The fellows spend one year — or two, if renewed — working on a project of their own design, at public interest organizations around the country. For more details, plus the history of the program, see here.
Skadden fellows don’t make a ton; the class of 2006 fellows earned a salary of $46,000. As one ATL correspondent bitterly notes, “They will make almost as much per year as those stupid third-year associates will get as a ‘bonus.’” But then again, from the perspective of the lucky organizations who get the help of fully-funded fellows, it’s found money.
The list of 2007 fellows is available here. One of the new fellows is Georgetown Law 3L Miriam Lederer (pictured at right), whom we had the pleasure of meeting at the recent Breyer-Fried event. A tipster described Miriam as a “raven-haired beauty,” and we concur in that assessment.
The lawyers who get accused of professional misconduct are often solo practitioners, or partners in tiny firms you’ve never heard of. So it’s refreshing when a Biglaw partner gets nailed on ethical charges. And it’s especially refreshing when the lawyer involved was once named by the National Law Journal as one of the country’s top litigators under 40.
His name? William P. DiSalvatore. His firm? Prestigious powerhouse WilmerHale (New York office). His inappropriate conduct? Uh, how much time do you have?
A former rising star in the intellectual property practice of WilmerHale has resigned from the bar after admitting to a litany of misconduct, including falsifying expense reports, forging client signatures and assigning associates to perform “pro bono” work for friends and family….
In his affidavit, Mr. DiSalvatore admitted to misconduct of unusual breadth. He said he had falsified credit card receipts to claim reimbursement from his firm for $109,000 in personal expenses. He also said he forged client signatures on a consent to joint representation and on a conflict waiver. He also admitted misleading a client into believing an appellate brief was still at the draft stage when it had already been filed.
Wow, that’s quite impressive. And there’s more. Check it out after the jump.
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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 email@example.com 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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