And you thought your job hunt was tough

Given how desperate legal job seekers are getting, one law firm is doing away with interview niceties.

The job market is like a vast desert. Those crawling through it are desperate for a little drink of employment. In order to get a sip from this firm, though, applicants have to go through some serious hoops.

A tipster says:

Ever heard of an open house interview before? For lawyers, at that?

An immigration firm based in Manhattan’s financial district sent out an interview invitation to applicants last weekend. Here’s the intro:

Date: Sat, May 15, 2010 at 2:02 PM
Subject: Open House Interview

Dear Immigration/Criminal Defense/In-House Counsel Attorney Applicant:

We have received your resume and CV and would like to invite you in for an Open House Interview today from 3-6 PM. During the week it is very busy so this is the main reason. The payscale is $25 per hour or $50,000 per annum, depending on experience, with 30 billable hours required per week on your assigned cases. If selected you will be expected to commence employment on Monday at 9 AM. Our law office is located at the address below.

Please note the time sent; the time of the interview; and the fact that the pay is $50K, “depending on experience.” The relative good news is that if they like you on Saturday, you start two days later. Though you may have to be stripped and searched for lice and a criminal record before entering the building Monday morning.

It gets worse…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Terrible Tales From Desperate Job Seekers: Immigration law applicants get the Ellis Island treatment”

Adam Bier, one of the "Qualcomm Six"

In 2008, we made the “Qualcomm Six” our lawyers of the day. The six were outside counsel for the technology company in a patent dispute with Broadcom and got caught up in an electronic discovery scandal – tens of thousands of documents were not turned over in the case. The six attorneys were sanctioned by Magistrate Judge Barbara Major for “intentionally hiding or recklessly ignoring relevant documents, ignoring or rejecting numerous warning signs that Qualcomm’s document search was inadequate, and blindly accepting Qualcomm’s unsupported assurances that its document search was adequate.”

But upon further scrutiny, the sanctions against the five lawyers from Day Casebeer and one from Heller Ehrman were lifted. When attorney-client privilege was waived so that they could speak in their own defense, it became clear that Qualcomm employees had stonewalled the lawyers. From the ABA Journal:

In her ruling lifting sanctions, Major noted an “incredible lack of candor” by Qualcomm employees and said there was no bad faith by the lawyers.

So yay! No sanctions! But what of the over two years that these lawyers have had this hanging over their heads? As I’m sure many of you recall, the beginning of 2008 was when the legal industry began to self-implode. Day Casebeer merged with Howrey. Heller Ehrman really self-imploded.

All the while, these six lawyers have been in sanction limbo. The four partners involved had more to fall back on. Day Casebeer partner James Batchelder jumped on the Howrey bandwagon. Heller Ehrman’s Stanley Young wound up at Covington. Casebeer’s Christian Mammen and Lee Patch went off on their own.

But what if you’re a junior associate caught up in this mess? In early 2008, no less. Adam Bier (NYU Law ’04) had joined Casebeer in 2005 after clerking. He was part of a large team of junior associates staffed on the Qualcomm case. Though he wasn’t involved in the initial discovery, he did help stumble upon the mass o’ undisclosed documents while preparing witnesses for trial, and thus had the distinction of being involved in the sanctions.

If you were job searching in 2008, you know it was tough. Imagine if you had the added disadvantage of a hugely publicized discovery scandal and sanctions on your resumé. We caught up with him yesterday about how he made it through the wilderness, and eventually started his own firm

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “An Interview with One of the Qualcomm Six, Adam Bier
(Or: Horror Story from A Young Associate, Wrongfully Sanctioned and Job Hunting During the Great Recession)