* “I think we have to be concerned that almost all of us are from two law schools.” Justice Clarence Thomas thinks that the Supreme Court bench ought to be more diverse. [New York Times]
* The DoJ expanded its recognition of gay marriage by adding six states to its roster of those newly entitled to federal benefits — now more than half the country. Yay! [Bloomberg]
* Former White House Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler has withdrawn from consideration as a nominee for Eric Holder’s job as AG. She and her shoe collection will remain at Latham. [WSJ Law Blog]
* [I]t’s profound that we have not made much progress on that front in the legal profession.” There’s still an income gap between men and women in the law, and it gets worse over time. [National Law Journal]
* Come sail away, come sail away, come parasail away with me. This former Biglaw associate found that life slaving away at a law firm wasn’t her paradise, so she decided to move to the beach. [Am Law Daily]
* A tumblr of offensive stuff overheard at Yale Law. If these are true, then that place sounds horrible. [The YLS Offensive]
* Exactly where is the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge? It turns out the government doesn’t really even know. They’re looking to shift the border and possibly allow more oil drilling. [Breaking Energy]
* How to get your Biglaw career right from the beginning. [Medium]
Biglaw is getting less big when it comes to office space. As we recently mentioned, law firms are spending less on their real estate. They’re renting smaller spaces, often outside the central downtown areas they’ve traditionally favored. As the American Lawyer put it, “[a]s a result of tightening market conditions, some firms are gravitating to ‘unorthodox’ locations in areas right outside the central districts they usually prefer.”
Consider the move that Skadden Arps just announced for its Manhattan headquarters. It’s going to an area that is certainly “unorthodox,” perhaps downright icky….
Over the past few months, we’ve offered extensive coverage of Bingham McCutchen, the once high-flying law firm that’s now struggling to survive. Bingham has remained mainly mum during these trying times.
This week, however, managing partner Steven Browne — who took over earlier this year from Bingham’s longtime leader, Jay Zimmerman — has been on a charm offensive. He gave interviews to the Boston Globe and the Wall Street Journal, which along with the American Lawyer ran long pieces on the state of affairs at the firm. We’ll share with you the new and most notable material from all three stories.
Before we get to the substantive stuff, though, let’s check out the Wall Street Journal’s interesting choice of a photo for its Bingham piece….
* Everyone knows Bingham McCutchen is considering a merger with Morgan Lewis, but not many know bankruptcy may be an option. It’s a remote option, but still an option. [Boston Globe]
* When Kaye Scholer moved offices, it left behind most of its library. “It tells you everything you need to know about law firm libraries”: they’re no longer as necessary as before. [New York Times]
* Everyone loves the Sixth Amendment: Thanks to money from Koch Industries, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers will offer better indigent defense training. [WSJ Law Blog]
* The judge in Adrian Peterson’s case won’t be replaced, despite the fact that he called the lawyers involved in the case “media whores.” Meh, Peterson’s attorney says he’s been called worse. [Bloomberg]
* Gilberto Valle, better known as the “Cannibal Cop,” really wants to go to law school. He’s apparently scored quite well on LSAT practice tests. Do law school ladies look delicious or what? [New York Post]
Did you hear that sound? Listen carefully. What is that row? It’s the sound of alternative legal providers’ footfalls, gaining on you.
According to Legal Business magazine (a UK-based trade publication), one of the top ten “overall advisors” in the UK market is Axiom. Huh? Let me repeat that. In a survey of major corporate clients in the UK, one of the top ten “advisors” is NOT a law firm, but an alternative legal services corporation.
Step quickly, chaps! We’ve got a spanner in the works, and pretty soon we’ll be ten a penny! (look it up)
Legal Business noted, that this breach of the coveted top ten, was “significant” and “demonstrate[ed] how non-law firm providers are winning over some bluechip clients.” I take something different from these results: Big Law take note, alt.legal firms are not just “winning over some bluechip clients,” we are gaining the respect and trust of their corporate counsel clients. To be recognized as commercially viable is one thing, but this recognition awards that ephemeral prize of every attorney’s desire: prestige. For those of you who believed that change is coming, keep reading. For those that don’t… well, the link probably won’t work on your Blackberry anyway.
* Squire Patton Boggs may be lobbying for Ebola drugs, but Reed Smith has launched a Global Ebola Task Force. Don’t worry, folks, the firm doesn’t want to “sensationalize” the outbreak. [Washingtonian]
* Hong Kong is great for lawyers interested in corporate misconduct. “I’ve barely had a weekend off for the last eight months,” says this partner who’s really excited about a not having a life. [Bloomberg]
* As we noted, New York is considering adopting the Uniform Bar Exam. Touro Law’s dean thinks the format change could be “jolting” for students, but the head of the NY BOLE doesn’t agree. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Wayne State Law is freezing tuition and giving a scholarship to incoming students that’s equal to a 14 percent tuition cut. That’s one way to combat a 13 percent drop in enrollment. [Detroit Free Press]
* Whittier Law is one of the “most challenged” when it comes to its graduates’ ability to obtain legal employment. Just one in four students gets to be a lawyer after graduation. [Orange County Register]
* When asked what his favorite SCOTUS decision was during his POTUS tenure, Obama said it was the high court’s cert denials on the gay marriage cases. Well played, sir. [Wall Street Journal]
* “Leverage has started to shift away from law firms.” Despite the fact that their headcounts are rising, Biglaw firms are downsizing office space as rents keep climbing higher. [Am Law Daily]
* Schools are trying to slap lipstick on the pig that legal education has become amid an “anemic job market.” We bet your law school has some shiny new innovations too. [News Observer]
* Citing the fact that “the courts do not exist to win popularity contests,” a judge sentenced Oscar Pistorius to five years in prison. Serious question: Will he be allowed to bring his prosthetic legs? [New York Times]
* Nancy Grace and her friends have pitchforks at the ready because Jodi Arias’s penalty phase retrial begins today, and another jury will decide if she deserves to die for murdering her boyfriend. [Reuters]
Biglaw firms love having Facebook as a client. The firms and lawyers that represent Facebook often brag about it on their websites and in conversation. The former scrappy startup is now an S&P 500 component with a market capitalization of $200 billion. It’s great to have Facebook as a client.
It’s less great to have Facebook as your courtroom adversary. But that’s exactly the position that DLA Piper finds itself in. Earlier today, the social-media giant filed a lawsuit against the Biglaw behemoth, as well as several other lawyers and law firms.
As part of a nationwide tour, Above the Law is coming to the great city of Chicago.
Join preeminent law firm management consultant Bruce MacEwen, Katten Muchin Chicago managing partner Gil Sofer, and JPMorgan Chase & Co. assistant general counsel Jason Shaffer for a panel discussion (sponsored by Pangea3) on the evolutionary and market forces bearing down on the law firm business model. Come on by Thursday, November 20, at 6 p.m., for thought-provoking discussion, food, drink, and networking.
Space is limited and there will be no on-site registration, so please RSVP
Average law school debt for graduates of private universities hovered around $122,000 last year. With only 57% of new attorneys actually obtaining real lawyer jobs, recent graduates have a lot to consider when it comes to managing their student loan payments. Thanks to our friends at SoFi, today’s infographic takes a look at student loan debt, including the possible benefits of refinancing for JDs…
Kinney Recruiting’sEvan Jowers is currently in Hong Kong for client meetings and still has a few slots available through October 22. Evan will also be in Hong Kong November 14 to December 15. Further, Robert Kinney has been in Frankfurt and Munich this week and is available for meetings with our Germany based readers.
One of our key law firm clients has referred us to one of their important clients in the US, Europe and China – a leading global technology supplier for the auto industry – in order to handle their search for a new Asia General Counsel and Asia Chief Compliance Officer.
Kinney is exclusively handling this in-house search.
This position will have a lot of responsibility and include supervision of eight attorneys underneath them in the Asia in-house team. The new hire will report directly to the global general counsel and global chief compliance officer, who is based in the US. The new hire’s ability to make judgement calls is going to be as important as their technical skill set background.
The position is based in Shanghai and will deal with the company’s operations all over Asia and also in India, including frequent acquisitions in the region.
It is expected that the new hire will come from a top US firm’s Shanghai, Beijing or Hong Kong offices, currently in a top flight corporate practice at the senior associate, counsel or partner level. Of course, the candidate can be currently in a relevant in-house role.