UPDATE (May 30): Law student responds via YouTube, and shows off his very impressive office.
A law student in Massachusetts is looking for a job. He found a listing on Craigslist to work as a paralegal for a bankruptcy attorney. He applied, got an interview, and got an offer (kind of). But then he got into a spat with the attorney via email, preserved for posterity by The Docket.
The law student interviewed on Monday. On Tuesday, the female attorney sent him a rather candid email:
I have to confess, I am on the fence about offering you a position. This is a thought I had…tell me your thoughts.
The thought was that she would have the law student do a few freelance projects for a month, and if those went well, she would offer him a full-time position. He responded:
I can do any type of Motion, and research. I do not think a 30 day trial period is necessary. I would prefer bring me on full time to show you my capabilities.
That’s really not the right time for a grammatical typo, my law school friend.
In response, the lawyer laid out exactly why she had reservations about him, and wished him “best of luck in [his] job search.” That just made him crankier…
For most of our readers, this is just a regular week. The only noteworthy event is Elie’s birthday on Monday on Sunday (Mother’s Day — we hope you’ve done your filial duty and sent a card or mailed her some home-made pancakes.) For our little law student readers, though, this is a week that may make them hate Mom… for encouraging them to seek success through a JD. A premise that now seems flawed and that requires at various points in the year, like now, the taking of exams.
Students have all kinds of methods for preparing for exams. We advise abstaining from the devil’s water in the weeks before tests. Our co-editor Elie tells us he had a more specific routine. Before every finals period, he watched Rocky 1 in full. Then, on every test day, he’d start the morning by rewatching the final fight on his “vcr/dvd.” (Aw. Elie went to law school before the existence of YouTube.) Then, halfway through the exam, he’d blast Cake’s “Going the distance.” Perhaps using his “walkman” or “discman.”
If Elie had had a laptop and access to YouTube, he could have subjected his classmates to this routine, watching the fight with the volume turned up and sharing with others what it is to be beaten but not bowed. According to a source at the University of Oklahoma College of Law, there is a 2L who has mastered the art of psyching himself up as public spectacle.
After reading the article on the douchy Dukies earlier today, I had to write you about an experience I had with a fellow law student. Words won’t do the story justice, but I’ll do my best to paint this masterful portrait of douchiness appropriately.
I am a lawyer, not a lobbyist. Goldman Sachs has hired me as a lawyer — to provide legal advice and to assist in its legal representation — and that is what I am doing.
– Greg Craig, former White House Counsel and now a partner at Skadden, explaining why he is not bound by the president’s ethics policy barring former White House officials from lobbying for two years after leaving office.
When a big group of attorneys leave, it sometimes spooks those left behind. We hear that one partner at Bryan Cave was really spooked.
The attorneys that left had all been on the 22nd floor, the main floor of the Phoenix office on which clients are greeted. Their departure left the floor eerily vacant, so the firm asked some partners and attorneys to move into the empty offices. One of those asked to move was longtime partner Bob Shely. He felt his new office was tainted, though; according to reports circulating widely at the two firms, he said it had an “evil feeling.”
I see defected people?
According to the rumor mill, he wanted the carpets torn out and the office renovated. But a recruiting coordinator at the firm offered a cheaper solution: a do-it-yourself spiritual cleansing kit….
Linda Smith and Chuck Diamond, of O'Melveny & Myers
While it may be tempting to date — and even marry — a law firm colleague, it can create some awkward situations. Like having someone walk into your office when you’re busy billing coital time. Or like going through a horrific break-up while working together on a huge matter.
O’Melveny & Myers LLP partners Linda Smith and Chuck Diamond were in the unusual position of being married while representing Advanced Micro Devices Inc. against Intel Corp. in one of the largest antitrust cases ever.
What’s even more unusual, during much of that four-year legal battle, the co-lead lawyers on the case were going through their own private battle at home: a long and bitter divorce that’s still ongoing.
Journalist Alexa Hyland notes that “some law firms don’t even allow married couples to work at the same firm.” We haven’t heard of this being official policy anywhere — if it is at your firm, let us know — but we do know it’s often the informal policy. As in, “Congrats on your union… soooo which one of you is planning to stick with us?”
It’s not such a bad informal policy. Two lawyers going through a divorce can be War of the Roses-style ugly. But Diamond and Smith managed to stay civil while litigating the billion-dollar tech antitrust suit…
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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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Deal flow has clearly picked recently up for most US associates, counsels and partners in Hong Kong/China and Singapore. We are on the phone with a lot of these folks on a daily basis, many of whom we have known for years. Further, the head of our Asia team, Evan Jowers, and Kinney’s founder and president, Robert Kinney, frequently meet in person with leading US partners in Asia to assess their needs and keep on top of the inside scoop at as many firms as possible. The need for legal recruiting help in Asia from experienced recruiters appears to be live and well. In March, Evan and Robert were in Beijing at such meetings, in April, Evan was in Hong Kong, and for half of June Evan will be in Shanghai and Hong Kong. Thus its pretty easy for us to tell when there has been an across-the-market pick up in capital markets and corporate work.
On an average day in Asia when Evan and Robert visit firms, they typically have 5 to 9 meetings a day, mostly with US partners in the market. The reason they have these meetings is not simply because Kinney makes a lot of US attorney placements in Asia and that a particular firm may have openings; instead these are just visits with friends. After years of working together as business partners, the folks at Kinney are actually these peoples’ friends. The firms Kinney work closely with in Asia (which is just about every law firm – call us if you want to know the one firm in the world we will never place anyone with again, ever, and why) look forward to the visits, or at least act like they do. After seven years in the market, many of the client partners are former associate candidates. Also, these US partners see Kinney as a very good source of market information as well, because they know how deep their contacts are in the market and how frequently they are speaking to counterparts at peer firms.
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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