It seems that a few of you are reading today — but not many. No surprise there; it’s a holiday. Happy Labor Day!
Here’s a bit about the holiday, from the Department of Labor:
Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.
And that includes Biglaw associates, a sizable chunk of the Above the Law readership. Granted, they’re not a unionized bunch. But with the help of ATL, as well as many other blogs and message boards, associates now have ways of organizing to improve their compensation and working conditions (and to protect themselves against adverse actions, like layoffs).
Speaking of Above the Law, Saturday the 30th was the second anniversary of ATL’s public launch. Happy Birthday to us!
We extend our deepest gratitude to you, our loyal readers, for the site’s continued success (in terms of traffic, revenue, media mentions, and other metrics). We’re grateful to you for your frequent visits to ATL, including all the comments and browser refreshing; your spreading the word about the site, by mentioning ATL to your friends, colleagues, or classmates; and your sharing information and tips with us, by email and in comments.
So once again, Happy Labor Day! If you’re away from your computer, we hope you’re enjoying the holiday. If you’re stuck in the office, you have our sympathies — and we hope you get out of there soon. The History of Labor Day [U.S. Department of Labor] Labor Day [Wikipedia] Earlier: Happy Birthday to ATL — and Happy Labor Day to All! Letter from the Editor: Welcome to Above the Law
With the Democratic and Republican nominating conventions not far off, people’s minds are returning to politics. A few New York lawyers we’ve talked to are thinking about moving down to Washington, to serve in the next presidential administration.
They might like our latest piece for the New York Observer: a pseudo-sociological comparison of New York and D.C. lawyers. What makes them tick? How do they like to dress? Where do they go out to eat? What do they do in their spare time?
Check out the interactive feature, which captures the table of comparisons in the print version’s centerfold Observatory section. You can use the arrows to navigate through the different categories, and mouse over them (“mouse over” — is that a verb?) to see how the different cities stack up.
What did we get right, and what did we get wrong? Feel free to let us know, in the comments.
(Click on the image below to be taken to the article, then scroll down to the interactive feature. Enjoy.) Lat’s Field Guide to N.Y. vs. D.C. Lawyers [New York Observer]
Greetings from the great — but frigid — city of Chicago. We’re hanging out with friends and doing some sightseeing, but the main reason for our visit is this event, taking place on Thursday (and open to the public):
While in Chi-town, we will also be meeting readers at an ATL “Happy Hour,” similar to the event we held in Miami last year. It will take place on Wednesday, February 20, sometime after work (time and place to be determined). Update: The Chicago “Happy Hour” will take place on Wednesday, February 20, from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., at Miller’s Pub (134 S. Wabash). Hope to see you there! Schedule of Events [University of Chicago Law School Federalist Society]
Associate layoffs have been the big news in 2008 thus far. Appropriately enough, they’re the subject of our latest column for the New York Observer. Here’s an excerpt:
“It’s tough. People are scared,” [one] jettisoned Cadwalader associate said. “It’s so rare that this happens. The first-years are freaked out. People are wondering: Is this continuing on a rolling basis, or did they take one big hit? People worry about [the impact on] recruiting efforts, both on a lateral basis and for incoming law students.”
The associate, like the others laid off that day, was given barely more than a week’s notice: His last day of work would be the following Friday, Jan. 18.
He’s getting three months of severance, paid out every two weeks, just as when he was employed. But he’s no longer able to tell prospective employers he’s still at the firm, which he predicts will make his job search harder.
“It’s like dating,” he said. “When you’re with someone, everyone wants you; when you’re on your own, it’s that much harder.”
We don’t normally do this (and probably won’t make this a regular feature). But since we have a few on hand right now, we’d like to pass along the following public service announcements:
* Attention Washingtonians. There’s an interesting paneldiscussion taking place here in D.C. next week: “Practicing Law in the E-Court of Public Opinion: How the Internet Can Make or Break a Lawyer’s or Law Firm’s Reputation and What You Can Do About It.”
We are on the panel, along with Mark Britton of Avvo, Andrew Mirsky of Mirsky Legal, and fellow bloggers Carolyn Elefant, of My Shingle, and Jonathan Frieden, of E-Commerce Law. [Avvo Blog; MyShingle.com]
* Attention Asian American lawyers and law students (but all are welcome; this isn’t the K&E GLBT party). There’s an interesting conference taking place next month in Philadelphia, PA: “Emerging Asia: Shedding New Light on the Legal Landscape.” We’re delivering the keynote address at dinner. [APALSA]
* Attention South Asian lawyers and law students (but again, all are welcome). There’s an interesting conference taking place next month in Los Angeles, CA: “Reflecting Back, Reaching Forward: Building on a Decade of Progress.” [NASALSA]
* Attention essayists. Check out this essay contest: “How Do We Close the Gap Between Baby Boomers and Millennials on Work/Life Balance?” It’s sponsored by Ms. JD and The Project for Attorney Retention. Prize of $1,000; entry deadline of February 29. [Ms. JD]
* Attention prospective bone marrow donors. A tipster writes:
A former Simpson Thacher associate needs a bone marrow transplant, most likely to come from someone Jewish, and we’re trying to notify as many people as possible to get on the donor list.
If you’re not already a member of Lateral Link, you can sign up through their website. Membership, which is free and confidential, allows you to learn about new legal opportunities as they become available. Successfully placed candidates will receive a $10,000 placement bonus. Position Type / Location: Law Firm – Tax Associate (Washington, DC) Position Description: The Washington D.C. office is seeking a mid-level tax associate to work on project finance transactions. This magic circle law firm makes The American Lawyer’s AmLaw 100 rankings. The firm’s practice areas include corporate, bankruptcy and restructuring, intellectual property, litigation, project finance, reinsurance and insurance, and tax. The successful candidate must have at least 3-6 years experience in partnerships, foreign tax planning, leveraged leasing, subchapter C and tax-exempt financing.
For more information, see job #7697 on Lateral Link. Earlier: Prior Job of the Week listings (scroll down)
If you’re not already a member of Lateral Link, you can sign up through their website. Membership, which is free and confidential, allows you to learn about new legal opportunities as they become available. Successfully placed candidates receive a $10,000 placement bonus. Positions: In-House Counsel – Real Estate, In-House Counsel – Corporate Location: Newton, Massachusetts Position Descriptions: Corporate: Seeking a transactional attorney with four or more years of large law firm experience. Corporate, securities, finance/project finance or energy experience is a plus but not a requirement. Public company experience and SarbOx also a plus but not a requirement. The candidate must be comfortable working in a relatively unstructured environment and will be expected to handle day-to-day tasks while reporting to GC on larger issues. This person will work primarily with the GC and the finance team. The candidate must be able to work in a fast-paced environment and be able to handle multiple demands and transactions. The Company is growing quickly and it is a very dynamic workplace; the ideal candidate must be able to accommodate change relatively quickly. Real Estate: Seeking candidate with four or more years of transactional real estate experience. The ideal candidate has experience with lenders and equity investors, can identify and resolve title issues, and can review real estate documents (including project leases, easements, crossing agreements, commercial leases). This candidate would be responsible for working with developers on land acquisitions for Company projects and would work with the GC, Assistant GC and the finance team on resolving issues and getting projects financed. The candidate must be able to work in a fast-paced environment and be able to handle multiple demands and transactions. The Company is growing quickly and it is a very dynamic workplace; therefore the ideal candidate must be able to accommodate change relatively quickly. The candidate needs to have good communication and interpersonal skills, as they will be dealing with rural landowners and employees inside the company. Company Description: This privately held company is a leader in wind power production, with more than 40 wind farms in development across the country. Based in Newton, Massachusetts, the company is focused on wind farm development, ownership and operation. The company builds primarily in the Northeast, West and Hawaii, and is already producing nearly 100 MW of energy through three operational wind farms. The company is currently developing more than 3,500 MW of wind power projects in several markets through various subsidiary companies. The company is managed and supported by a team of more than 100 talented and dedicated individuals committed to the company’s environment.
For more information, see job # 7661 and job # 7662 on Lateral Link. Earlier: Prior Job of the Week listings (scroll down)
In our column for this week’s New York Observer, we help you plan an imaginary dinner party. A dinner party, of course, is only as good as the guest list. So we review which colorful characters of the legal world, who made headlines in 2007, should be invited to your festivities.
Think of it as a “year in review” piece, aimed primarily at people who don’t read ATL (since most of the names mentioned in the article will be familiar to regular visitors to this site). The potential guests under consideration: Charlene Morisseau, the sassy ex-associate who sued DLA Piper; Aaron Charney, who made S&C “bend over”; and internet celebrity Loyola 2L.
ATL bonus content: Due to space considerations, our write-up of Elana Glatt (née Elana Elbogen) wound up on the cutting room floor. But if you’d like to read it, we’ve reprinted it after the jump. Culture of Complaint Spreads Through Law Firms [New York Observer]
Belated congratulations to the winners of the inaugural Blawg 100 readers’ choice contest, sponsored by the ABA Journal, which were announced late last week. More than 25,000 votes were cast in 12 categories.
We previously wrote about the extremely close race between Overlawyered and Quizlaw, duking it out in the Generally Speaking category. Congrats to Quizlaw, which prevailed by 19 votes.
Also, thanks to everyone who voted for ATL for Best Gossip Blog category, which we won handily. We’re tremendously grateful for your support.
And not just in these blog contests, but on a more general level — through your readership, your comments (even the attacks on us — they’re all pageviews), and your tips and info. The legal blogosophere may be plateauing or reaching a saturation point, as suggested by Orin Kerr and Daniel Solove, among others. But ATL has been growing pretty consistently since its launch, with November 2007 as this site’s biggest month ever in terms of traffic. We thank Cravath for the early Christmas gift of a big traffic boost, in the form of its October bonus announcement, which triggered a bonus season that lasted for two months (and is still going on, to a certain extent).
So once again, congratulations to our fellow winners, and thanks to you, our readers, for your support. We’re looking forward to another great year in 2008. Readers’ Choice Winners Named in ABA Journal Blawg 100 [ABA Journal] One More Time with Feeling [QuizLaw] Has the Legal Blogosphere Stabilized? [Concurring Opinions] The Blawgosphere in 2007 [Volokh Conspiracy] Earlier: ‘Tis the Season… for Blog Contests
In a matter of hours, voting will end in the ABA Journal’s Blawg 100 contest. ATL is competing in the Gossip category. If you’d like to vote for us, or one of the other fine gossip blogs in the category, just click here.
We have a decent-sized lead, so we’re not going for the hard sell. In contrast, over in the Generally Speaking category, a fierce battle is raging between Overlawyered and Quizlaw — separated by about 30 votes, out of over 3,000 cast. Check out their respective plugs here and here, replete with “last-second dirty tricks.” Because no legal blog contest is complete without eleventh-hour chicanery — the stakes are too darn high.
As one blog contest draws to a close, another gets underway. Nominations are now being accepted for the Eighth Annual Weblog Awards (aka the 2008 Bloggies). There’s no “law” category (and, as of this year, no “Best African or Middle Eastern Weblog” or “Best Craft Weblog” category — may they rest in peace). But if you’re feeling nice, feel free to nominate ATL for either “Best Gossip Blog” or “Best Topical Blog.”
And here is yet another blog contest (because you can never have too many blog contests). It takes the form of today’s featured job survey, brought to you by ATL and Lateral Link: Update: This survey is now closed. Click here for the results. The ABA Journal Blawg 100 [ABA Journal] The ABA Journal Blawg 100: Gossip [ABA Journal] Eighth Annual Weblog Awards: 2008 Bloggies [official website]
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 seven years. You can reach them by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that Evan Jowers and Robert Kinney are still in Hong Kong and will stay FOR THE REMAINDER OF THIS WEEK. We still have a handful of available slots for meetings with our Asia Chronicles fans. If we have not been in touch lately, reach out and let us know when we could meet! There is no need for an agenda at all. Most of our in-person meetings on these trips are with folks who understand that improving a legal practice through lateral hiring is an information-driven process that takes time to handle correctly.
Regarding trends in lateral US associate hiring in Hong Kong, we of course keep much of what we know off of this blog. Based on placement revenue, though, Kinney is having one of our most successful years ever in Asia. We are helping a number of our law firm clients with M&A, fund formation, cap markets, project finance, FCPA and disputes openings. These are very specific needs in many cases, so a conversation with us before jumping in may be helpful. As always, we like to be sure to get the maximum number of interviews per submission, using a well-informed, highly targeted, and selective approach, taking into account short, medium and long-term career aims.
Making a well informed decision during a job search is easier said than done – the information we provide comes from 10 years of being the market leader in US attorney placements at the top tier firms in Asia. There is no substitute for having known a hiring partner since he/she was an associate or for having helped a partner grow his or her practice from zip to zooming, and this is happily where we stand today – with years of background information on just about every relevant person in all the markets we serve, and most especially in Hong Kong/China/Greater Asia. So get in touch and get a download from us this week if we can fit it in, or soon in any case!
The legal industry is being disrupted at every level by technological advances. While legal tech entrepreneurs and innovators are racing to create a more efficient and productive future, there is widespread indifference on the part of attorneys toward these emerging technologies.
When the LexisNexis Cloud Technology Survey results were reported earlier this year, it showed that attorneys were starting to peer less skeptically into the future, and slowly but surely leaning more toward all the benefits the law cloud has to offer.
Because let’s face it, plenty of attorneys are perhaps a bit too comfortable with their “system” of practice management, which may or may not include neon highlighters, sticky notes, dog-eared file folders, and a word processing program that was last updated when the term “raise the roof” was still de rigueur.