Curtis Mallet

Drake and Jay-Z look up to him. Music videos that reference him still get shown on MTV. Television talk-show hosts discuss his plans when he’s not a guest. Warren Buffett takes money from him, and Justin Bieber doesn’t act like an entitled spaz around him.

And he uses only $2 bills.

While your first guess is that we’re talking about the Dos Equis guy, we’re actually talking about a Biglaw partner in New York who adopted a unique calling card and translated it into becoming an under-the-radar celebrity among celebrities. He may not be the Most Interesting Man In the World, but he’s at least the Most Interesting Restructuring Attorney In the World…

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We’ve just entered August, so you know what that means: the start of on-campus interviewing season. If you’re a law student researching firms or a lawyer involved in your firm’s recruiting efforts, check out Above the Law’s law firm directory, where law firms get letter grades in different categories. Law firms might look alike on the surface, but there are very real differences between them, as our grading system reflects.

For example, law firms diverge when it comes to diversity. While every firm gives lip service to diversity, some firms have the goods to back up their claims, while others do not.

Let’s check out the latest diversity rankings, from two different news outlets, to see which firms are truly diverse….

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As we mentioned in Morning Docket, the American Lawyer recently released its Am Law 200 law firm rankings — a list that’s still closely watched, but not quite as prestigious as being a ranked member of the influential Am Law 100. Sorry, but being a part of the “Second Hundred” just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

While the Am Law 100 celebrated a year of “slow growth” in 2012, it looks like the Am Law 200 will be known for its “bets on bulk.” When all of the big boys were busy playing it safe, perhaps out of fear of becoming the next Dewey, firms in the Second Hundred were gobbling up talent like there was no tomorrow.

Of course, as could’ve been expected, this kind of aggressive hiring had some pretty major effects on firms’ financial performance. So how did the Am Law 200 stack up? Let’s find out…

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Do you have an eye for design? Do you know how to make a room really pop? Did you hate it when the people on TLC’s Trading Spaces upholstered the walls with tacky-looking fabric? If you’re still practicing law, then maybe you’re in the wrong field. Perhaps you should consider taking a cue from the subject of our latest foray into career alternatives for attorneys and become an interior designer.

Because helping people make their houses feel like homes is just as heartwarming as it sounds….

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Bonus news is out at Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle. Basically the firm matched the Cravath scale. “Totally expected and acceptable,” said a contented Curtis associate, “since hours aren’t terrible and people (generally) don’t hate their lives.”

It was “basically” a Cravath match, because even Curtis — which only has around 200 lawyers, and which “tends to round out the bottom of the Am Law 200,” in the words of a Curtis source — was slightly more generous than Cravath and all the CSM followers, at least to certain top performers….

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Bad Report Card.jpgLoren Friedman earned Lawyer of the Day honors here back in 2008, when the then-Curtis Mallet associate was busted for doctoring his law school grades from the University of Chicago, by changing Cs into Bs and As.

Almost two years after the ethics complaint against Friedman was filed, the Illinois Review Board has rendered its verdict.

(We’re a little late in bringing you the news; the Legal Profession Blog noted the judgment last week.)

Good news for the unethical. Fudging your grades will get you gigs at Skadden Arps and Sidley Austin, but won’t get you disbarred. At least not in Illinois. Instead, the Board proposed an 18-month suspension, reduced from the three year sentence previously recommended.

UPDATE / CLARIFICATION: As noted by a commenter, Friedman won’t automatically be reinstated after 18 months. Rather, because the suspension is 18 months “and until further order of the court” (UFO), he will have to “satisfy his obligation of establishing his character and fitness before resuming practice.”

No big deal. Friedman has other things to occupy his time these days….

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curtis facebook recruiting.JPGDespite last week’s welcome reprieve from Biglaw layoffs, it looks like some firms didn’t get the memo. Above the Law has learned that Curtis Mallet conducted layoffs early this week. We believe that 10% – 15% of its corporate associates have been let go. Multiple class years were affected, but it appears that first years were spared.

Curtis Mallet would not respond to our multiple requests for comment

Perhaps the firm is embarrassed to be laying off associates on the heels of last year’s strong profit numbers. In February, Am Law Daily reported:

Bucking the trend among New York law firms, Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle reports a 13.5 percent surge in revenue to $125 million. Curtis Mallet has chosen the worst business year in memory to cross the million-dollar profits per equity partner mark, with PPP up 11 percent to $1 million. Revenue per lawyer for the firm’s 225 lawyers, scattered among 14 offices worldwide, nudged up 3.5 percent to $570,000….

Firm chairman George Kahale, who was profiled in The American Lawyer last year, says that Curtis Mallet has the right mix of groups for the current economic climate.

So you see, laid off associates should be proud that they helped the partners make a million dollars before being shown the door.

After the jump, we learn that the work of soon-to-be-former Curtis Mallet associates is not quite done.

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curtis mallet summer wear suggestions.jpgAs the temperature rises, so does the desire to embrace informal summer fashions. Women are breaking out their strapless dresses and short skirts, and men are starting to sport shorts. While casual summer wear is fine on the weekends, don’t yield to the temptation to wear your flip flops to your white shoe firm.

Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle conveyed that message to its New York office with a memo sent out last week. In its e-mail making the case for “business casual,” the firm reminded associates that pecs are not to be admitted into evidence:

By all means resist the urge to acquaint us with your chest hair. If you think it necessary to impress the ladies with your efforts at the gym over the winter, think again – we are not a particularly good demographic for that.

After that, the memo’s author reminds the gents that loose-fitting suits can help hide pounds. We’re not sure what that has to do with business casual exactly, and suspect the firm just wanted to try to give equal attention to men and women so as not to appear to be solely lecturing females guilty of summer-slutty fashion sense. (As the Seventh Circuit did last month.)

After the jump, we bring you the full memo, which advises the ladies to “save it for the clubs or the beach.” According to the tipster who sent this along, the advice “wasn’t well received.”

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