Well, the bonus scale has been set. Cravath led — by copying their bonus payments from last year — and now everybody is following. I’m on record saying that these bonuses are underwhelming and disappointing.
Gone are the days where the first-year bonus represented a significant chunk of your law school debt. Sure, you can pay down some interest with your bonuses, or you can prudently save it, or maybe even invest it. But you can also blow it. I mean, it’s a “bonus,” right? In this depressed market, your bonuses look less like deferred compensation and more like “found money.” Instead of making a fiscally sound decision, using your bonuses for profligate, discretionary spending might make you feel better. (Disclosure: Elie Mystal is not a registered financial adviser and is too… stupid to follow a budget.)
Bonuses range from $10,000 for first-year associates to $60,000 for senior people. Professor Paul Caron of Tax Prof Blog tells me that associates can expect to take home about 60% percent of that, depending on where they live and how many dependents they have.
What can a young lawyer buy with that? In addition to what’s in the ATL holiday gift guide, here are 10 things…
Did you catch 60 Minutes last night? Did you at least catch the 60 Minutes promos during various awesome football games this weekend?
On last night’s program, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos declared that Amazon intends to send drones to your house to deliver packages. I’m pretty sure this is the only strategy that would be ultimately effective in Afghanistan. Instead of using drones to bomb people, if we were sending HD televisions, water, and vacuum cleaners, you’d see that region become much more amenable to America. At the very least, sending people things from the ATL holiday gift guide (sponsored) is better than sending them warheads.
But the thought of Amazon drones dropping consumerism on us from the sky should be pretty terrifying to Americans. How would that even work? I live in an apartment building… the humans often don’t know where to leave my packages. Watching Bezos, all I could think of was angry robots shooting copies of the Washington Post at me through my window while I read news on the internet.
Luckily, the Amazon plan is currently illegal. And it’s likely to stay completely unworkable…
‘Who needs a bonus? We have these nifty red hats!’
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….
* Amanda Bynes is deemed mentally competent to stand trial. I’d seek a second opinion. [TMZ]
* Male bosses are more popular than female bosses according to Gallup. This probably reveals persistent chauvinism in the workplace, but given Gallup’s track record the last couple of elections, female bosses may well be beloved. [The Careerist]
* Competing construction experts tussle over the proper way to build a parking garage. The correct answer is: in a way that doesn’t fall down. [The Expert Institute]
* Jay Edelson and Chandler Givens offer their second installment addressing how to fix the legal profession. This time the target is the law school model. Join the revolution! [Legal Solutions Blog / Thomson Reuters]
* Here’s Corporette’s Suit of the Week! [Corporette]
* If you’re representing a defense contractor, it’s a lot easier to export their wares these days. But the system isn’t fully reformed yet. [Breaking Defense]
* For those who missed (or only followed along on Twitter) the Fed Soc debate between Professor Randy Barnett and Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson on whether judges are too deferential to legislatures, the full video is available after the jump. [Volokh Conspiracy]
“My company has been retained by Dewey & LeBoeuf to sell their domain name (dl.com). I thought Above the Law might be interested in the opportunity since (1) dl.com is a pretty great domain name for a blog and (2) Above the Law might find the prospect of purchasing Dewey & Leboeuf’s domain name amusing. You can find out more about the auction at HilcoDomains.com. The Bid Deadline is October 31st. If you would like to learn more about the auction let me know.”
This definitely piqued my interest, since (1) my initials are “DL,” and (2) domain names can be quite revealing. Back in 2007, the purchase of the DeweyLeBoeuf.com domain name by Michael Groll, at the time a partner at LeBoeuf Lamb, helped us uncover the news of the (ultimately ill-fated) merger of Dewey Ballantine and LeBoeuf Lamb. In the end, presumably because few people can spell “LeBoeuf” correctly, the post-merger firm used the DL.com domain name for its website.
So how much would it cost you to buy a piece of Biglaw history? Or, for people like me with the initials “DL,” a potentially useful domain name for a personal website?
If the “provider” is no longer able to provide the unlimited credit card spending at Prada, Chanel, Gucci and Hermès, the deal has changed. A new deal must be negotiated.
– Laura Wasser, a divorce attorney to the stars whose clients have included Kim Kardashian, Maria Shriver, and Britney Spears, discussing just one of the ways that marriage is a contract. Her new book, It Doesn’t Have to Be That Way (affiliate link), is meant to serve as a guide for getting divorced in a civilized manner.
PETERMAN: Kramer, my friend, that is one ripping good yarn… KRAMER: You know, if you like that one, I got more… what are you looking for? Romance? Comedy? Adventure?… Erotica?
I would like to hear your stories. Not long ago, Joe reminded those of you who currently attend law school that you are invaluable to this site’s ability to report all of the important goings-on at our nation’s elite bastions of legal learning. Without you, we would never get to regurgitate the overwrought exclamations law school dorks spew on their school listservs. Tipsters, like torts, strive to make us whole.
But what if I told you that I don’t care about your newsworthy tips? What if I told you that I want nothing more than to bathe in your tedious day-to-day life, your minor humiliations and your microscopic triumphs? I want to hear the stories you will tell each other this weekend over beers at your favorite dive bar. The stories you have problems getting out because you laugh so hard at times that the whole table shakes and your eyes water. You probably think this stuff is too dumb and petty to entertain. But you’d be wrong. I love people’s stories like Lat loves peep toes. And I want you to send me those tales.
To grease the skids for this venture, I thought I’d share with you the story that highlighted a recent weekend repast. It’s a tale of Biglaw, sex toys, and online surveillance. I call this story “Elite Law Firm Dildo Cookies”…
One could argue that justices of the United States Supreme Court are underpaid. After all, their former law clerks get wooed with $300,000 signing bonuses upon leaving One First Street, which is more than what the justices earn in a year (as just noted by The Economist).
Even though she’s supposedly “retired,” the super-energetic Justice O’Connor remains exceedingly busy, occupied by iCivics work, sitting by designation in circuit courts, and promoting her new book (affiliate link). But she still has some free time — including time to go to the grocery.
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 six years. You can reach them by email: [email protected].
Since late last year, things have been booming in Hong Kong / China in cap markets, especially Hong Kong IPOs. M&A deal flow has recently been getting a bit stronger as well. Although one can’t predict such things with any certainty, all signs are pointing to a banner entire 2014 for the top end US corporate and cap markets practices in Hong Kong / China. This is not really new news, as its been the feeling most in the market have had for a few months now and things continue to look good.
The head of our Asia practice, Evan Jowers, has been in Hong Kong for about 10 days a month (with trips every other month to both Shanghai and Bejing) for the past 7 months, and spending most of his time there meeting with senior US hiring partners at just about all the major US and UK firms there, as well as prospective candidates at all associate levels and partner levels, and when in the US, Evan works Asia hours and is regularly on the phone with such persons, as our the other members of our Asia team. Our Yuliya Vinokurova is in Hong Kong every other month and Robert is there about 5 times a year as well. While we have a solid Asia team of recruiters, Evan Jowers will spend at least some time with all of our candidates for Asia position. We have had long standing relationships, and good friendships in some cases, with hiring partners and other senior US partners in Asia for 8 years now.
The evolution of relationships between the genders continues. Currently, in law firms, there is an interesting conundrum; balancing the desire for a gender-blind workplace where “the best lawyer gets the work and advances” and the reality of navigating the complicated maze created by the fact that, in general, men and women do possess differences in their work styles. These variations impact who they work with, how they work, how they build professional connections and how organizations ultimately leverage, reward and recognize the talents of all.
Henry Ford sat on his workbench and sighed. A year earlier, he had personally built 13,000 Model Ts with his own hands. Fashioning lugnuts and tie rods by hand, Ford was loath to ask for help. Sure, there were things about the car that he didn’t quite understand. This explains the lack of reliable navigation systems in the Model T. But Ford persevered because he knew that unless he did everything, he could not reliably call these cars his own.
“Unless my own personal toil is responsible for it, it may as well be called a Hyundai,” Ford remarked at the time.
The preceding may sound unfamiliar because it is categorically untrue. And also monumentally stupid. Henry Ford didn’t build all those cars by hand. He had help and plenty of it. Almost exactly one hundred years ago, Henry Ford opened up the most technologically advanced assembly line the world had ever seen. Built on the premise that work can be chopped up into digestible pieces and completed by many men better than one, the line ushered in an age of unparalleled productivity.
Today, an attorney refers business because he can’t do everything the client asks of him.
There are three reasons why this is way dumber than a made-up Henry Ford story…