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@example.com.
Our advice to any Mandarin speaking 2L summer associate who is interested in a future transfer or lateral US associate move to Hong Kong / China: It’s not just about corporate and other transactional practices any more. If you are more interested in litigation than transactional, don’t hesitate to choose litigation or a litigation-related practice area. There is a sharply growing need at top US firms in Hong Kong / China for laterals and transfers in US litigation (mostly FCPA / White Collar work), Anti-Trust, and Disputes / Arbitration. This is not just a trend, it’s a permanent change on the landscape. We find it exciting that Mandarin speaking JDs now have more options to choose from in positioning themselves for a future Hong Kong / China move. Feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are a summer associate interested in Asia and have any questions about choosing a practice. It can be one of the biggest decisions you make in your career and yet one usually made without much analysis. Also, feel free to contact us if you are an associate interested in joining an FCPA / White Collar practice or Disputes practice in Asia. We have made numerous such placements in the past few years and a number of our candidates are interviewing for FCPA / White Collar positions at present in Asia.
Please note that Evan Jowers and Robert Kinney will be working out of our Hong Kong offices the week of June 16, if you would like to set up a meeting with them, to discuss your career and the Asia markets. Evan is in Hong Kong monthly and Robert is there very frequently as well. It is not possible to find a recruiter who has placed half as many US associates and counsels in Hong Kong / China as Evan Jowers and you are not going to find recruiters with more experience in US partner movements in Hong Kong / China as Robert Kinney and Evan Jowers, but Robert and Evan have also advised a lot of US attorneys in Asia over the years, including senior partners, who have not had reason to move from their firms. It is ultimately a relationship business more than a placement business, although placements can be a bi-product of a lot of good relationships. Feel free to reach out to Robert and Evan at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a meeting.
During any type of lateral hiring market in Asia, hot or cold, we will have the usual M&A, Cap Markets, FCPA / White Collar and Project Finance openings for Mandarin speaking junior to mid-level US associates in HK / China, as well as Korean fluent corporate openings in Seoul and Japanese fluent corporate openings in Tokyo. We have a bunch of those now, as always, in what is currently average and spotty lateral hiring market conditions (Asia lateral market report coming next week). Here though are two of our more unique openings in Asia:
Korean fluent, Project Finance / Asset Finance, mid-level to senior associate (Hong Kong / Seoul)
-This spot is for a 4th to 8th year US associate and will be initially based at a top US firm’s Hong Kong office. However, the hire will likely need to move to the firm’s Seoul office within a year or so. There is a realistic partnership track for this role, especially because of the new hire’s important role in building the Seoul office. Already based in Asia is preferred, but candidates will also be considered from US and Europe. This position is unique for two reasons: Firstly, it is not common to have project finance or asset finance openings for Korean fluent US associates. We have filed a number of such spots over the years, but its not a common opening. Secondly, this new hire will have the special circumstance of arriving into a position where there already exists a business case for promotion to partnership in the future.
PE Fund Formation, mid-level to senior associate, English only ok (Hong Kong)
-This spot is for a 3rd to 7th year associate at one of the top PE fund formation practices in Hong Kong, at a top US firm. What makes this opening uncommon is that English Only is ok for this spot and the expectation is that the new hire with come from New York, London or another major western market where there are very strong PE fund formation practices. The vast majority of the time we have a PE fund formation opening in HK / China, Mandarin is required or at least preferred. There is a business case for this funds group to add a partner in some years so this is a realistic partner track position if the new hire is on the senior end of the 3rd to 7th year range. The range is big because the hiring partner is more focused on finding the highest quality hire with the best PE fund formation experience, who can lead deals, rather than focusing on an exact class year. Of course, the expectations for the new hire will vary depending on their seniority.
Both of the above spots have very competitive pay packages, including NYC top market base and bonus, and very competitive expat / cola / housing allowances for Hong Kong. The hiring partners for both spots have great reputations in the market, not only for their practice, but also for being great mentors and treating their associates well.
As always, feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com if you are interested in one of these openings, one of our many other US associate openings in Asia, or if you just want to talk about your career plans and how to make yourself more marketable in any of the Asia big law markets.
Talk to any law student and most will admit that where a law school placed in the rankings was a key reason he or she enrolled in a particular program – maybe even the biggest factor. At Kaplan, we’ve long told pre-law students that while they shouldn’t get hung up on whether a law school is ranked #15 or #21, as this won’t matter five years down the road. On that note…April’s special edition of “The 180 – Live”, Kaplan’s live, online talk show about legal issues, featured ATL’s Elie Mystal, Brian Dalton and myself announcing and discussing Above The Law’s 2014 Rankings of the Top 50 Law Schools.
We all agree the rankings can serve a purpose — they are good aggregate sources of data around job placement stats, academic life and other considerations and can be one of many factors students look at. As you’re considering where to enroll, the more relevant, transparent and helpful information, the better. By focusing on the outcomes law school students (should) care about (like jobs in the legal sector and clerkships) and less on inputs (like LSAT scores and GPA), ATL’s rankings give us a different perspective on how law schools stack up against each other — useful insights as students consider where to spend the next three years of their lives.
In fact, findings from Kaplan Test Prep’s latest survey of pre-law students reinforce the notion that students should place more emphasis on outcomes such as job placement rates and bar passage rates – in keeping with ATL’s rankings methodology. (Remember you can’t do much in law without passing the bar! And if bar passage isn’t required for your desired career path, we’d ask you “why law school” in the first place.) Specific survey highlights include:
84% of pre-law students say that where a law school places in the rankings is important in determining where they will enroll. Understandable. Studies by PayScale.com show that in general the higher a law school ranks, the higher its graduates’ starting salaries are.
Pre-law students surveyed were nearly unanimous in saying a law school’s academic quality (99%), bar exam passage rate (95%), and job placement statistics (94%) should have a lot of weight in determining where a law school places in the rankings.
Previous Kaplan research of graduating law school students found that what they said the biggest factors future law students should focus on were 1) a school’s job placement rate and 2) affordability/tuition. Make sure you can reasonably afford your law school…try to get scholarships. And how do you get’ em? A stellar LSAT score. That’s what we’re here for.
Final piece of advice: Ultimately each law school applicant should enroll in a JD program that is the best overall ‘fit’ for the individual’s professional, financial, and lifestyle goals and needs. This will be one the biggest decisions of your professional lives (no pressure!), so be judicious – it’s a skill you’ll need for the long haul anyway, so start now.
Between 2008 and 2012, the median debt burden for newly minted JDs increased by 54 percent, from $83,000 to $128,000. (That compares with a 22 percent increase in medical student debt.) It is the responsibility of every aspiring law student to understand the implications of taking on such a financial commitment. For law grads who have already accumulated the debt, there may be options for you to better manage repayment. Thanks to our friends at DRB, today’s infographic takes a look at law student debt, including the possible benefits of refinance or consolidation.
Remember Buzz Lightyear’s slogan – To infinity and beyond! Well that goal is now within reach of law firm CMO’s thanks to a new social media marketing tool from Post Beyond. It’s easy to use and gives a law firm’s marketing team centralized control over the content that is published on social media. At the same time it also enables the firm to seamlessly leverage the personal social networks of the firm’s entire professional staff. With this incredibly powerful and affordable solution, Post Beyond will take your firm’s message to LinkedIn, Twitter and beyond, extending it seamlessly across the entire social media landscape.
Post Beyond can be deployed by a department or a practice group or on a firm-wide basis, depending on an organization’s readiness to embrace a social media marketing program. “Many of our corporate customers begin using Post Beyond in a limited way and discover it is also a great tool to promote internal social media awareness,” explains Ivan Tsarynny, co-founder of Post Beyond. “Usage may start in a single department but quickly spreads across the firm. The organization becomes more engaged simply by using the tool; the firm’s social media effort quickly picks up momentum.”
Post Beyond is composed of two distinct modules – the management module is used to select and curate the content that the firm wants to promote across social media channels. In most cases, the marketing department or the communications group will be set up as system manager in order to maintain consistency and quality control over the firm’s branding and messaging as communicated through the approved items. At the same time, anyone in the firm can easily suggest content to the manager for inclusion as an item to be promoted. Once items have been selected, Post Beyond’s distribution module enables the manager to distribute approved posts to the rest of the firm, either by email or on an intranet page, providing each end-user with an easy one-click ability to promote these items to across their personal networks.
“Law firms have been looking for a way to harness the marketing opportunity presented by social media but at the same time they are afraid of losing control over branding and messaging and compliance,” explains Guy Alvarez, the CEO of Good2BSocial, and Post Beyond’s marketing partner in the legal market. “That’s why we see Post Beyond as a best-in-class tool for law firms. There is simply nothing else like it on the market today if you are looking to jump start your firm’s social media marketing efforts.”
Earlier this year, Georgetown University Law Center and Peer Monitor announced their “2014 Report on the State of the Legal Market,” which conveyed the situation of many law firms in simple economic terms: supply outweighs demand. Just as with widgets and the price of eggs, high supply and low demand means that the cost of legal services—what your clients are willing to pay—is driven down.
How can a small law firm stay profitable as the cost of doing business rises, but the price that you can charge goes down?
Karl Florida, leader of the small law firm business at Thomson Reuters, explains how technology can significantly help in his recent article, How Technology Drives Profitability for Small Law Firms. As he walks through three specific choices that he recommends, it’s easy to see how the shrinking time to serve more clients, the pressure to grow profits, and the troubles around billing all can be alleviated.
The video and article underscore an important trend in legal technology: reaching far beyond legal research and into the everyday management of a matter, both cloud-hosted and locally installed software provide opportunities to streamline legal tasks. And most importantly, legal technologies incorporate the language, norms and even some specific regulations peculiar to legal practice.
We’ve said it in the past, but we’ll say it again because it still rings true. Men and women working in the law are very, very busy. Billable hours come first, and everything else comes much further down in the constantly growing list that we call life. A window with a view of the outside world is a luxury, because stepping foot outside the office to do your errands is but a dream. It’s sad, but these folks can’t even find the time to go shopping anymore.
Just imagine what you would be able to accomplish if you were able to get a personal shopper to carry out life’s little pleasures for you. Thanks to the wonders of the internet, you can. Enter Shop It to Me, a free fashion website with a mission to be the best online personal shopping assistant in the world. You know what you love, and Shop It to Me finds it for you in your size — on sale.
What could be better? A $250 shopping spree sounds fun. Keep reading to find out how you can win one…
Whether you’re fresh off the bar exam or hitting your stride after hanging a shingle a few years ago, one thing’s for certain: independent attorneys who start a solo or small-law practice live with a certain amount of stress.
Non-attorneys would think the stress comes from preparing for a big trial, deposing a hostile witness, or crafting the perfect contract for a picky client.
But that’s nothing compared to the constant, nagging, real-life kind, the kind you get from the day-to-day grind of being a law-abiding attorney.
Specifically, stress from:
Not answering client calls because you don’t have time right now to research their case and give them updates.
Failing to back up your hard drive that has everything (literally everything) on it, just after you see the “blue screen of death.”
Uncertainty over whether or not your new client is really, for sure, unconnected to any of your other clients.
The potential that your court date was moved and you forgot to record it.
Lagging on invoicing clients because you’re not 100% sure you’ve logged their billables properly.
Finally: An Easy Way to Take Charge of Your Law Practice
Web-based, secure, and rebuilt from the ground up especially for—and with input from—independent attorneys, it sweats the small stuff so you don’t have to, with time- and sanity-saving features that give you:
Your law practice, online
Better calendar control
Enhanced time & expense capture
Secure document sharing
Free setup and 24/7 support
Try it Free for 30 Days and Get a Free “Survival Guide”
Above the Law readers can sign up for a free 30-day trial and get a free “Survival Guide for the Independent Attorney,” featuring tips and insights from solo and small-firm attorneys who’ve built thriving practices.
That’s right, your next conversation with a “Westlaw rep”—now a Thomson Reuters consultant—might not even discuss Westlaw. In today’s market, legal research is important but perhaps not top of mind. So, why is a conversation necessary at all?
Because technologies serve a higher purpose: to increase law firm profitability. To turn “Pain to Gain“ as it is said in a must-read article. And companies that were once focused on legal research information—West Publishing, for example—have morphed into companies that focus on practice technology built for the legal industry, and incorporating legal expertise into the very functions of each software product. Like Thomson Reuters, the company that now offers a full portfolio of legal-specific technologies.
The most successful small firms now bring more or better-quality business in the doors, and serve those clients faster. The result is more cash flow for the firm. Other contributing factors?
Tighter time tracking & billing
Less time dedicated to non-billable work
Access to “know-how” materials that let firms keep more work in-house when the matter or practice area is slightly outside of the norm
And of course, if clients are served in less time, they are more likely to be satisfied and able to pay.
Back to the impact on your own tech talk. In her free article From Pain to Gain, Linda Kaufman of Thomson Reuters examines what a conversation with a Thomson Reuters consultant should be like today: how interactions have changed and why. And most importantly, she examines how you can turn a simple conversation into profitable strategic time.
Linda Kaufman is a vice president at Thomson Reuters, leading the sales teams that serve small law firms and law libraries. Thomson Reuters’ small law firm business offers such legal solutions as the Firm Central cloud-based practice management platform, WestlawNext small law firm research plans, and FindLaw’s lawyer marketing solutions.
From Pain to Gain is the latest in the Independent Thinking series, offering practice management and business development insights for small law firms.
Signing bonuses for 1-4 year transactional associates are back in in a big way in Texas. Our friends at Kinney Recruiting are exclusively representing two firms in Houston offering signing bonuses, and they go up to $100K for a JD/MBA fourth year with real quality M&A experience, top 20 law school credentials, good references, etc. If you have been curious about getting into the energy industry, there has never been a better time. As noted, M&A is the focus but junior candidates in other practice areas might be a fit. Folks with an accounting/business undergraduate degree or MBA have a leg up. Contact the Kinney folks at firstname.lastname@example.org or 713-658-1888 (x701) to find out more. Kinney expects that other firms (at least those who can) will eventually follow suit on the signing bonuses and an overall salary hike may not be far behind.
While Kinney Recruiting is our Asia sponsor and is known by ATL readers to be extremely active there, their home base is in Texas. They have placed many of the very partners who are looking to hire new associates, have scores of relationships with top partners in the Lone Star State, and would be your best bet for a possible move there.
OmniVere’s delivery of end-to-end technology & data consulting to position the company as a true differentiator in the global legal technology and compliance space.
CHICAGO, IL, September 29, 2014 – OmniVere today announced the creation of the company’s technology & data consulting arm and the addition of several industry-renown experts, including the former co-chairs of Berkeley Research Group’s (BRG’s) Technology Services practice, Liam Ferguson, Rich Finkelman and Courtney Fletcher.
This new consulting practice will provide and expand existing OmniVere eDiscovery consulting services to corporations, law firms and government agencies with a special focus on compliance, information governance and eDiscovery. This addition of this top talent now positions OmniVere as a true industry leader in the technology and data consulting space offering best-in-class end-to-end services.
Ferguson, Finkelman & Fletcher are nationally recognized experts and seasoned veterans in the areas of overall technology, electronic discovery, and structured data. At OmniVere, the team will be focused on all global consulting activities with respect to legal compliance, complex data analytics, business intelligence design and analysis, and electronic discovery service offerings.
The Trust Women conference is an influential gathering that brings together global corporations, lawyers and pioneers in the field of women’s rights. Unlike many other events, Trust Women delegates take action and forge tangible commitments to empower women to know and defend their rights.
This year, the Trust Women conference will take place 18-19 November in London. From women’s economic empowerment to slavery in the supply chain and child labour, this year’s agenda is strong and powerful. Speakers include Professor Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Laureate and founder of the Grameen Bank; Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women; Mary Ellen Iskenderian, President and CEO of Women’s World Banking and many other influential leaders. Find out more about Trust Women here.