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: asia@kinneyrecruiting.com.

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.

Email asia@kinneyrecruiting.com to set up a meeting with us!

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 2014-2015 law school year is now in full swing. 1Ls are grappling with the strange new world of the Socratic Method and briefing cases. 2Ls are hoping to score some sort of job out of the fall interviewing season. And 3Ls are wondering just what the heck they’re even doing on campus. If, in fact, they are even on campus at all. ATL’s law school experts have designed this challenge to help determine how much you know about the realities of the 3L experience.

Take the 3LOL ‘Challenge’ and find out what you know

(This challenge is brought to you in partnership with our friends at CredSpark.)

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: asia@kinneyrecruiting.com.

Things have changed recently in Korea – a few of our US and UK client firms are looking, very selectively, for a lateral US associate hire. Until just recently, there was not much hiring like this going on in Korea, since US and UK firms started opening offices there. We have already placed two US associates in Korea in the past month at top firms. Most of the hiring partners we work with in Korea do not actively work with other recruiters.

If you are a Korean fluent US associate in London, New York or another major US market, 2nd to 6th year, at a top 20 firm, with cap markets or M&A focus (or mix), or project finance background, and you are interested in lateraling to Korea to a top US or UK firm, please feel free to reach out to us at asia@kinneyrecuiting.com or evan@kinneyrecruiting.com. Our head of Asia, Evan Jowers, was just in Korea recently, and Evan and Robert Kinney will be in Korea in a few weeks.  We are in the process of helping several firms open new offices in Korea (a number of which are interviewing our partner level candidates)  and also helping existing offices there fill openings.

Even if you have no interest in moving to Korea any time soon, but just want to discuss the market in general and what we are predicting there for the next few years, feel free to reach out to us.  Those are interesting conversations we always enjoy.

As most of our readers are probably already well aware, just about every major US firm in Hong Kong / China is interviewing and hiring US associates for at least one opening, in M&A or cap markets or a mix.  Many firms have multiple such openings. There are also openings in FCPA / White Collar, project finance, and other areas.

The above is only newsworthy in that it is, as we predicted at Kinney earlier this year, a mini-boom hiring market in HK / China for US associates that started late August and will last at least two months.

It is during such a hiring boom that its going to be very helpful for you to speak with us and evaluate the best possible landing spots to consider in Hong Kong / China, according to your background, career and life goals, rather than simply finding a landing spot.  The relationships that Evan Jowers and Robert Kinney have with just about any US hiring partner (including some who we have placed) of significance in Hong Kong / China, along with the many current and former US associates there (including many we have placed), give us the ability to help you make the most informed decision at various steps in the process.  These steps include, but are not limited to –  whether to simply transfer within your firm to or within Asia; how and when to request such a transfer; if targeting other firms, when and which to target; which hiring partners may have the better practice fit or be better mentors; and how and whether to negotiate on offers and counter offers.

We recommend you don’t consider a move or transfer to Asia or within Asia unless you know you can be fully informed going in to such a process.

Feel free to contact us at asia@kinneyrecruiting.com and we would be happy to discuss your Asia prospects with you, regardless of whether you want to start a job search any time soon. If you do speak with us and decide to start a job search,  we won’t try to convince you to use our services and representation. That’s entirely up to you to ask for our help and representation.

For most attorneys, time spent managing the books is a necessary evil at best. Yet it is undeniably a crucial aspect of running a successful practice. With that in mind, we invite you to join Above the Law and our friends at Clio to learn how to better manage your finances in a free webinar.

On September 10 at 3 p.m. EST, take the opportunity to learn what it takes to streamline your accounting and get the most out of your time. The webinar agenda:

● The basics of accounting for lawyers.

● How legal accounting differs from regular accounting.

● Report and reconciliation issues surrounding trust accounts.

● How to pick and integrate the best accounting tools for your practice.

● Steps to prepare your tax return for your firm’s income.

Do not miss this crucial chance to optimize your accounting practices. Save time and get back to billing! We hope to see you on 9/10 at 3 p.m. EST. Click here to register.

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Practical Law provides legal know-how that gives lawyers a better starting point. Our team of attorney editors creates and maintains thousands of up-to-date, practical resources that go beyond primary law and traditional legal research to give lawyers the resources needed to practice more efficiently, improve client service, and add more value.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “About Practical Law”

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.

How tech savvy are you? Take this Challenge and find out!

(This challenge is brought to you in partnership with our friends at CredSpark.)

Take the Legal Technology Basics challenge here.

In an increasingly competitive global economy, companies continue invest heavily in data analytics as a tool to win business. Whether the interest is to learn more about customers, or how to improve operational performance, data lines the the heart of solving the problem. While other corporate departments dominate the use of data analytical resources, in-house legal departments often go left behind.

At the core of many discovery requests are: (1) email, in a structured data environment; and (2) electronic documents, typically in an unstructured environment. Simply put, structured data requires know-how on how the software manages the data within it, and unstructured data is comprised of loose documents stored nearly anywhere that data can be saved.

Unfortunately, legal departments are often considered to be a cost center within a business and are left battling for budget. Some businesses have had the opportunity to acquire electronically stored information (ESI) tools to use in their discovery of mailboxes, documents and to help preserve data. Using review tools like these in order to maintain market position have added analytic engines (predictive coding) to their platform software while others may even offer to process data for free within the software. To date, however, no tools are readily available on the market solve the root complexity of data discovery, which is information governance with an emphasis on ESI discovery. Despite corporations’ continued efforts to converge upon the outside counsel base, pricing models for ESI services encourage misaligned interests.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Data Congruency: The Quick Fix for Rectifying the Industry’s Continued Disregard for Science”


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.

In short, the myriad advantages of managing matters, calendars, clients, documents and more anytime, anywhere are becoming harder to discount, even for those who’d rather ignore the cloud in hopes that it’ll simply go away.

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.

Why the First Step is Always the Hardest

Despite the compelling benefits of on-the-go lawyering, especially for independent attorneys, there’s one obstacle that prevents many attorneys from even considering it: getting started.

Understandably, many attorneys have little patience to deal with sign-up hassles, especially if it means taking time they don’t have to enter their firm’s data into a product they may or may not eventually use.

It’s been a real Catch-22, even for those who really want to take advantage of helpful legal tech, but keep putting it further down on their to do list because of perceived commitment issues.

How to See the Law Cloud in Action, Hassle Free

The folks at LexisNexis Firm Manager® seem to have solved the problem.

They have a brand-spanking-new self-guided tour that lets anyone with a few spare minutes see exactly how Firm Manager helps independent attorneys like you master the business and law side of running your own practice.

This free, self-guided Firm Manager tour walks you through its features, but also lets you check out how the product works at your own pace, so you can go off on your own and explore different sections at any time.

Bottom line: You get a real-life experience of what it’s like to actually use the product, without having to sign up for a trial or spend time going through tutorials just to see how it works.

In a few clicks, you’ll see firsthand how Firm Manager can help you:

  • Run your practice from anywhere
  • Make more money with less work
  • Enjoy unlimited online storage
  • Share even your most sensitive documents
  • Get control of your calendar
  • Stay on top of tasks once and for all
  • And more

While it’s not a 100% version of the actual product, it’s robust enough to give a snapshot of how it operates, with seamless, working examples of clients, tasks, matter management, calendaring, and more.

And the tour itself is fast enough that you can even do it in between phone calls.

See How Easy Online Practice Management Can Be

Above the Law readers: learn just how simple, fast and effective running your independent law practice from the cloud can really be.

Try the new LexisNexis Firm Manager® self-guided tour now!

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: asia@kinneyrecruiting.com.

We at Kinney Asia have made a number of FCPA / White Collar US associate placements in Hong Kong / China thus far in 2014. Most of such placements have been commercial litigation associates from major US markets, fluent in Mandarin, switching to FCPA / White Collar litigation. Some have already had FCPA experience, but those are difficult candidates for firms to find (this will change in coming years as US firms are now promoting FCPA / White Collar to their 2L summers who are fluent in Mandarin and have an interest in transferring to China at some point).

Legal Week quoted Kinney’s Head of Asia, Evan Jowers, extensively in the following relevant article here.

There is a new trend in the market, though, where mid-level transactional US associates, fluent in spoken Mandarin and written Chinese, are interviewing for and in some cases landing junior FCPA / White Collar spots in Hong Kong / China at very top tier US firms.

However, most such folks who apply for these positions are not getting interviews, much less offers, even when coming from peer firms. if you are interested in making this switch, and willing to take a year or two (or more) haircut, it will be important to be able to demonstrate an interest in litigation going back years (it’s understandable, for obvious reasons, that one with an eye on returning to HK / China and a preference for litigation over corporate would have in law school chosen corporate up until only a few years ago). It can be difficult to demonstrate such interest, but even the smallest hints, such as moot court competition or applying to a clerkship (but not following through) can help. Some PRC nationals may have had actual litigation experience as PRC attorneys before entering their JD program and that is obviously a big help. Other “switch” candidates have expressed to our Kinney team a desire to make such a switch for a year or more and that can be powerful evidence as well because we certainly will let hiring partners know.

If you want to maximize your chances to get FCPA / White Collar interviews, as a transactional switch candidate, or if you just want to learn more about potentially making such a switch, then we highly recommend that you reach out to our Evan Jowers at evan@kinneyrecruiting.com. Evan has been helping US transactional associates make this switch to FCPA / White Collar in HK / China for some time now. It’s not an easy switch to make, from the standpoint of getting interviews and offers, but it can be done. Evan has been working with a number of FCPA / White Collar hiring partners in Asia for years who count on our Kinney Asia team to staff their teams. He has also become quite familiar with this practice area, due to his interest in attending various FCPA seminars in both Asia and the US and his own white collar practice background during his in-house days.

Top tier firms with FCPA / White Collar junior associate openings in HK / China over the past few years have struggled to find native Chinese litigation junior associate candidates who meet their firms’ high standards of JD academics and firm pedigree. This is why a few of these hiring partners in HK / China are turning to outstanding transactional mid-levels who can demonstrate a long-time interest in litigation and a current interest in specifically FCPA / White Collar. These hiring partners are asking Kinney’s Asia team for such candidates and are counting on us at Kinney to screen a large number of transactional to litigation switch candidates and present a few who are most suited for the group, office and opening. We have been very successful in doing so, as all of our handful of transactional to FCPA switch candidates, those who we have actually submitted to top firms after screening them for our client firms, are getting interviews and we believe most or all will have offers this year.

If you would like more information on this or any other topic re the Asia markets, as always feel free to reach out to us asia@kinneyrecruiting.com, evan@kinneyrecruiting.com or robert@kinneyrecruiting.com.

Ms. JD is hosting their 2nd annual cocktail benefit to raise money for the Global Education Fund. The event will be held on August 21, 2014 at 111 Minna in San Francisco. Our goal is to raise $20,000 to fund the legal educations of four dedicated law students in Uganda who count on our support to continue their studies at Makerere University during the 2014-15 academic year.

The Global Education Fund enable womens in developing countries to pursue legal educations who otherwise would not have access to further education. According to the World Bank, investment in education for girls has one of the highest rates of return to promote development. In Uganda, more than 45% of women over the age of 25 have no schooling at all, and men are more than twice as likely as women to have access to higher education. Together, we can work to end educational inequality. For more information about the program, please visit http://ms-jd.org/programs/global-education-fund/

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