Conferences / Symposia
- Conferences / Symposia, Federal Judges, Gay, Judicial Nominations, Lesbians, Politics, Senate Judiciary Committee, State Judges
We’re here at the National LGBT Bar Association’s Annual Lavender Law Career Fair and Conference, attending a great panel about relationship recognition (aka marriage equality aka same-sex marriage).
You can access the liveblog after the jump.
If the professional world were a zoo, Biglaw attorneys and in-house counsel would be kept in separate cages. They live in distinct environments and, according to a group of general counsel at the InsideCounsel SuperConference, have very different characteristics.
GCs from Kaplan Higher Education, Navistar, and Johnson Controls got together for a panel about building great in-house teams. It started with some general advice: Ask for writing samples from applicants, don’t hire applicants who use “I” during their interviews, and help to develop your workforce.
“Attorneys don’t tend to be precise and concise when they talk,” said Janice Block of Kaplan Higher Education. She has training sessions to help new hires improve their communication skills, so they can explain what they do for the company if they get stuck in the elevator with the CEO, for example.
Not surprisingly, companies are getting tons of applications for in-house positions these days. “In a market like now, we have lots and lots of people interested in joining the company,” said Jerry Okarma of Johnson Controls, a technology company based in Wisconsin. Attention, diverse candidates: “We have a hard time finding African–Americans in Milwaukee,” said Okarma.
People at the conference told me they’re seeing some amazing résumés cross their desks. People with 20 years of experience are applying for the lowest-level in-house jobs, said one in-houser.
But note well, law firm types: your experience might be a strike against you. The GCs in this session said they look at candidates with in-house experience first, and then to those with law-firm experience. One GC referred to law firms as the “outhouse.” The session included a fair amount of harping about how the animals are trained in the Biglaw outhouse…
- Conferences / Symposia, Election Law, Floyd Abrams, Free Speech, Law Professors, Politics, SCOTUS, Supreme Court, Yale Law School
This morning I attended a very interesting panel discussion sponsored by the Yale Law School Center for the Study of Corporate Law, Citizens United: Mountain or Mole Hill? Because the talk was sponsored by my rather left-leaning alma mater, I expected the answer to the question presented to be “Mountain” — and not just any mountain, but Mount Doom.
I was pleasantly surprised. The deeply thoughtful discussion pointed more in the direction of “Mole Hill.” This was especially surprising given the liberal bona fides of the three star panelists:
- Floyd Abrams, the longtime Cahill Gordon partner and celebrated First Amendment lawyer, who argued in the case for Senator Mitch McConnell (as amicus curiae, in support of Citizens United);
- Heather Gerken, the J. Skelly Wright Professor of Law at Yale Law School, and a leading scholar of election law and voting rights; and
- Samuel Issacharoff, the Reiss Professor of Constitutional Law at NYU School of Law, and an expert in voting rights and civil procedure.
Both Professors Gerken and Issacharoff worked on the Obama campaign. And we all know what President Obama thinks of Citizens United.
But what did this eminent trio of panelists have to say about the case?
We’re on to day 3 of the NALP conference. With all the racial tensions going on back home, day 3 has been a pleasant reminder that once properly tanned, everybody basically looks the same. Of course, there is a downside: I can no longer figure out which panelists may be genetically predisposed to say something intelligent.
Absent these helpful signals, I could only guess at which Friday morning panel to go to. I decided to hit Navigating Online Rumor Mills and Maintaining a Positive Image for Law Firms/Schools. Being a walking rumor mill myself, I figured it was worthwhile to learn how I should be handled.
For our partner readers, the panel produced some good advice. For our commenters, all I can say is that firms and law schools fear you guys. It’s not us, it’s you…
Last week, at the PLI Law Firm Leadership and Management Institute, three prominent law firm leaders opined on this question: “Why must law firms be strategic?” Each leader described his own firm’s approach to issues of strategy.
The panel, moderated by Mark Shapiro of Blaqwell, Inc., featured an all-star cast:
- Evan Chesler, presiding partner, Cravath, Swaine & Moore;
- William Perlstein, co-managing partner, WilmerHale; and
- Peter John Sacripanti, co-chair, McDermott Will & Emery.
What these gents had to say, after the jump.
- Biglaw, Conferences / Symposia, Education / Schools, Law School Deans, Law Schools, Northwestern University School of Law
Earlier this week, at the PLI Law Firm Leadership and Management Institute — which was excellent, by the way (and not just because we presented there) — Dean David Van Zandt, of Northwestern University School of Law, offered some reflections on the future of legal education. (We used one of his comments as a recent quote of the day.)
Dean Van Zandt’s presentation was thoughtful and thought-provoking. He analyzed a number of recent reforms made by leading law schools. He also explained the changes that Northwestern Law School has made to its academic program.
One of his most interesting tidbits was the starting salary that would constitute a “break-even point” for going to law school. In other words, what salary would you have to earn upon graduation in order to make going to law school an economically rational decision?
For those of you in the New York area, here’s an event next month you might be interested in:
Sunday – Tuesday, October 22-24, 2006
Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law
Three-day conference: “Jews and the Legal Profession”, at 55 Fifth Avenue at 12th Street.
Participants include Alan Dershowitz, Stuart Eizenstat, and many others. For more information and registration, please e-mail email@example.com or call 212-xxx-xxxx.