Yesterday the news broke that Steven Molo, of Shearman & Sterling, and Jeffrey Lamken, of Baker Botts, were leaving their respective firms to start a new litigation boutique. It will be called MoloLamken and start out with offices in New York and D.C. Am Law Daily reports that the firm represents the new recession model for business generation:
If there is a firm model built for the dawning post-recession era, it’s probably a litigation boutique with low overhead and a flexible billing structure….
The firm will start with four partners and two associates, and will work on both plaintiffs and defense cases. Within five years, Molo says he hopes to have around 50 lawyers. “Over time, clients have become far more sophisticated in hiring firms,” he said. “They understand how a firm like this can be small but every bit as efficient or even more so than a larger firm.”
We suppose it’s fitting that on Yom Kippur, when our Jewish friends are fasting at home, today’s Legal Eagle Wedding Watch is a total WASP-fest. (Last weekend was Rosh Hashanah, which explains the unusual dearth of Jewish nuptials in the NYT announcements.) We look forward to receiving plenty of tasteful feedback about how there are “too many gentiles” this week.
Here are your six finalists — all Biglaw associates, as it happens:
Supreme Court clerks continue to flood the NYT wedding pages this month, creating grim LEWW odds for mere-mortal Cornell grads and Skadden associates. Like Troy playing Florida or North Texas playing Alabama, these folks are welcome to suit up, but the only question is how bad their whuppin’ is going to hurt.
Here are your three finalist couples for the week:
You can still call yourself prestigious if you work at the firms that make up today’s fall recruiting open thread. But once you are outside of the Vault top 20, people start talking about “firm culture” at least as much as they talk about prestige.
Here’s the next batch:
The slide continues for Shearman & Sterling. The firm was ranked #19 last year, and is down two spots this year. Is there any specific reason for the fall?
After the jump, let’s look at the firms rising up through the rankings.
Gentleman, how emasculated would you feel if your future father-in-law shuttled your bride down the aisle, and then, instead of pecking her on the cheek and handing her over, actually turned around and performed the wedding ceremony? Talk about control issues. That’s exactly what this groom endured last Sunday, as he was married by his father-in-law, United States Federal District Judge Jed S. Rakoff.
The Rakoff wedding didn’t make our final three. Neither did a couple of lesbianunions, a WGWAG, and several other worthy contenders. Here are the three who made the finals:
We’ll bottom-line this week’s contest, folks: The SCOTUS clerk wins. Yep, after a long absence, LEWW’s favorite credential makes a welcome appearance in the NYT weddings section, and we’ve got the details for you.
But first, congratulations to Sabrina Charles and Jamie Dycus, who readers overwhelmingly voted Legal Eagle Couple of the Month for May, demonstrating that — in the words of one commenter (and apparently, in the minds of ATL readers) — “Wachtell > Sotomayor > Olympic medal.”
Here are our finalists:
Incoming first years at Shearman & Sterling have been trying to figure out when they can start at the firm. A couple of months ago, the firm said that December 2009 would be the earliest start date. But Shearman also encouraged its incoming first years to defer until September 2010, while promising those deferrals that the incoming class of 2010 would not be starting on time.
Was the firm’s ambiguity about its regular start date a subtle attempt to get more people to take the year long deferral?
We don’t know how many incoming first years took the year long deferral option. But today, we have news that Shearman has confirmed its regular start date(s). But you’d better hurry to secure your space now.
More details after the jump.
Six impressive lawyers headline our survey of this week’s NYT wedding pages. Even more impressive is that four of them are still clinging to Biglaw jobs — assuming, of course, that bad news does not await any of our returning honeymooners.
Here are the finalists:
Shearman & Sterling has decided to mimic the Skadden Sidebar program and offer all of its associates the option to defer for a year. The program is essentially the same set of options that Shearman offered its incoming first year associates a month and a half ago.
The money from Shearman’s “External Development Program” is not as good as what Skadden offered:
Participants in the External Development Program will receive a stipend of $65,000. Associates participating in the program will not be employees of the firm during the program year, but the firm will pay for medical benefits during the program year.
That works for junior associates. But Skadden offered all associates one third of their salary, making the option more viable for mid-level and senior associates.
Shearman’s health care benefits are a nice touch (Skadden made COBRA contributions). But one of the nice perks from Skadden’s program was overlooked in the mainstream media gushing over “$80,000 to do nothing!” Skadden also offered $1,000 a month for student loan repayment. Shearman does not.
Some additional details and the full memo, after the jump.
Stealth layoff rumors have been swirling around Shearman & Sterling for months. We’ve reported on the quiet cuts before. But today, it looks like the firm cut a little too deep to keep it under the radar.
Shearman & Sterling has not responded to our multiple requests for comment, but several sources independently confirm that Shearman is laying off roughly 5% of its litigation associates and some associates in other practice groups.
According to our sources, all of the cuts are coming in the guise of an April performance review:
Shearman & Sterling has started another round of “reviews.” These reviews are resulting in so-called merit-based probations and firings and do not seem to discriminate by class year.
Generally, litigators have been more safe than their corporate brethren. After the jump, we try to explain why Shearman is disproportionately firing litigators now.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
In a land that is right here and in a time that is right now, a technology has arisen so powerful that it can replace basic human document review. Is it time to bow down before our new robot overlords?
First, here’s a little story about me: my life in the legal world began as a paralegal. My first case was a GIANT patent infringement case that was already six years old and had involved as many as five companies, multiple US courts, the ITC and an international standards committee. I knew nothing about any of this.
On my first day, my supervisor (a paralegal with at least eight other cases driving her crazy) sat me down in front of a Concordance database with a 100,000+ patents and patent file histories. “Code these,” she said. I learned that “coding”, for the purposes of this exercise, meant manually typing the inventor’s name, the title of the patent, the assignee, the file date, and other objective data for each document. I worked on that project – and only that project – for at least the first six months of my job. After a week or so, time began to blur.
What I know, in retrospect and with absolutely certainty, is that as time began to blur, so did my judgment. So did my attention to detail. If you could tell me that I did not make at least one mistake a day – one inconsistent spelling, one reversed day and month, one incorrectly spaced title – I frankly would need to see your evidence. I would not believe it. The human mind is trainable but it is not a machine.
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