Thanks to our readers, we won the ABA Journal’s Blawg 100 News & Politics catagory, but things aren’t looking so hot for ATL right now in the Best Law Blog contest of the Weblog Awards. Our friends at the Volokh Conspiracy, a most excellent legal blog, are killing us (and everyone else).
Alas, we didn’t focus on the contest until it was well underway. Because you can vote multiple times — once every 24 hours, until the contest ends on Tuesday, January 13, at 5 p.m. (EST) — we probably should have launched a “get out the vote” effort earlier.
Based on the voting so far, it looks like many of you haven’t noticed the contest yet. But there are still a few days left before the voting closes. If you’re the kind of person who likes to vote on things over the internet, please send the Weblog Awards crew our kind regards. Happy Friday!
Sometimes readers complain that Above the Law focuses too much on the East Coast. Since our headquarters is here in New York, and since we lived in Washington from 2006 to 2008, we may have an East Coast bias.
But we do try to run a national legal news site. Even if we’re physically located in New York, wherever two or more lawyers are gathered in our name, there we are.
In recent months, we’ve been making a conscious effort to do more for the West Coast. For example, we’ve started posting — later in the day, to account for the time difference — material aimed at a West Coast / California audience.
And next week we’ll be in L.A., to participate in three events (all kindly sponsored by the Federalist Society). One is with a leading light of the federal judiciary, and another is with a top law professor/blogger. Here are the details:
1. A Judge in Full: Personality and Jurisprudence
When: Tuesday, January 13, 12 p.m. – 1 p.m.
Speakers: The Honorable Alex Kozinski, Chief Judge, Ninth Circuit; David Lat, Founder, Above the Law
Where: Omni Hotel, 251 South Olive Street, Los Angeles
MCLE Credit: One Hour
Cost: $38 if paid in advance; $40 if paid at the door. Public employees, students and law clerks may pay the discounted rate of $15.
The U.S. economy may be going down, down, down — but traffic on ATL is up, up, up. When it comes to your new editor, Elie Mystal, it seems that you like him, you really like him (which is not surprising, since you picked him, through the ATL Idol contest).
In September, Elie’s first full month on the job, the site received a record number of unique visitors (over 325,000) and pageviews (almost 4 million). Congratulations to Elie and the rest of the ATL team — associate editor Kashmir Hill, survey czar Justin Bernold, wedding watcher Laurie Lin, advice columnist Marin, and last but not least, crowd favorite Hope Winters.
More importantly, we extend our deepest thanks to you, our readers. This site would be nothing without you — and your many visits (keep refreshing those browsers), comments (even the nasty ones — a pageview is a pageview), and tips (please keep ‘em coming, by email).
Let’s keep on having fun — or as much fun as can be had during these tough times. NY to 190!
(Or, more realistically, NY to the Milbank promise. But that may be wishful thinking. Word on the street is that half a dozen major New York law firms plan lawyer layoffs in the first quarter of 2009. Stay tuned to ATL; we’ll bring you all the latest developments, as they happen.)
P.S. September 2008 was also a record month for ATL’s sister sites, Dealbreaker and Fashionista. Congrats to them as well!
P.P.S. Dealbreaker is actively seeking additional full-time writers. To apply or learn more, see here. Thanks.
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)
Jiminy jillickers! ATL editors are going all over the place over the next month or so. Or at least all over the Eastern Seaboard. If we aren’t heading to your neck of the woods on these trips, never fear, we may hit you up on the next time around. We’ve already hit up Houston, Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles in the past year.
Kinney Recruiting’sEvan Jowers is currently in Hong Kong for client meetings and still has a few slots available through October 22. Evan will also be in Hong Kong November 14 to December 15. Further, Robert Kinney has been in Frankfurt and Munich this week and is available for meetings with our Germany based readers.
One of our key law firm clients has referred us to one of their important clients in the US, Europe and China – a leading global technology supplier for the auto industry – in order to handle their search for a new Asia General Counsel and Asia Chief Compliance Officer.
Kinney is exclusively handling this in-house search.
This position will have a lot of responsibility and include supervision of eight attorneys underneath them in the Asia in-house team. The new hire will report directly to the global general counsel and global chief compliance officer, who is based in the US. The new hire’s ability to make judgement calls is going to be as important as their technical skill set background.
The position is based in Shanghai and will deal with the company’s operations all over Asia and also in India, including frequent acquisitions in the region.
It is expected that the new hire will come from a top US firm’s Shanghai, Beijing or Hong Kong offices, currently in a top flight corporate practice at the senior associate, counsel or partner level. Of course, the candidate can be currently in a relevant in-house role.
The JOBS Act created new tools for companies to publicly advertise securities deals online. As a result, thousands of new deals have hit the market and hundreds of millions in capital has been raised, spurring a wealth of new business development opportunities for attorneys.
Fund deals, startup capital raises, PIPE deals and loan syndicates are just a handful of the transactions benefiting from the JOBS Act. InvestorID FirmTM is a platform designed to help attorneys equip their clients with the workflow, marketing and compliance tools to publicly solicit a securities offering online. By providing clients with the tools to painlessly navigate the regulatory landscape of general solicitation, InvestorID FirmTM helps attorneys add value above just legal services.
The Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS Act) went into effect in 2013 and permits Regulation D offerings of securities to be advertised publicly. This means that funds and companies can now use social media, emails and web sites to market transactions to new “accredited” investors.
However, with these new powers come new pain points. InvestorID FirmTM provides a secure, fully hosted, cloud-based platform with a breadth of tools for your clients, including: