Everyone’s A Winner

You know associates are pissed when they end their emails to Above the Law with lines like this one, from a message we received last night:

NO ONE SHOULD COME HERE. EVERYONE HERE SHOULD LEAVE.

Jacob Riis photographs associates at one Biglaw firm

That’s what happens when you tell your associates that they’re going to get paid significantly below market and like it.

Several firms have not yet announced spring bonuses, and associates at these firms are annoyed. But there are only a handful of Biglaw firms that cut associate salaries back during the recession and have not yet brought their people back to market-level base compensation.

One of the firms that is lagging behind the rest of the market had an “all associates” conference call yesterday, during which management tried to explain why associates were being underpaid and undervalued by the firm.

Let’s just say that not everyone felt like a winner

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Nixon Peabody LLP horrible theme song Above the Law blog.jpgWe’ve been in touch with representatives of the Nixon Peabody law firm about the musical composition that we posted (mp3) and wrote about this morning. First they sent us a statement by email:

“This song was put together in celebration of Nixon Peabody’s Fortune 100 ‘Best Places to Work’ recognition. Nixon Peabody aims to be the best law firm to work with and the best law firm to work for. Fun is not prohibited here.”

Fair enough. But then we spoke with two firm spokespersons by telephone. They called us.

It wasn’t a very “[f]un” conversation. They weren’t happy campers. Even if they may be winners, since “everyone’s a winner at Nixon Peabody.”

this is not a pipe this is not a theme song Nixon Peabody NP Above the Law blog.jpgThey emphasized that the song was internal to the firm and is protected by copyright. They also insisted that it is NOT a “theme song” — in any way, shape or form.

They demanded to know who sent the song to us. We informed them that we don’t reveal our sources, unless served with a subpoena (and maybe not even then — a Judy Miller-style jail stint might be good publicity for ATL).

They asserted copyright over the song and asked us to take it down, from our site and from YouTube. We stated our view that posting and commenting on the song constitutes fair use. It also falls within our newsgathering mission as a media organization.

We explained that our site is all about law firms and the legal profession. They said: “We know what you’re about.”

They claimed the person who leaked this song is “in a fight” with Nixon Peabody, and menacingly stated that they (meaning NP) “don’t intend to let this thing lie.” We informed them that we have no desire to get involved in the firm’s purported dispute with this unnamed individual. And that’s where we left things.

More thoughts after the jump.

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