An ethics scandal is one thing. A sex scandal is another. The combination is amazing. That’s what happened when a lawyer was accused of billing a client $900 for a number of sexual encounters after starting up an affair with her. A guy’s gotta get paid.
This was the story of Thomas Lowe, a Minnesota attorney who got his Arnie Becker on by hooking up with a woman he was representing in a divorce and billing her, resulting in his indefinite suspension.
All this went down last year, but now — out of nowhere — we have a response from Thomas Lowe….
It has been a while since I took the S.A.T, but here goes. Nancy Grace: Casey Anthony Verdict; Valerie Katz: ________.
A. Ramona Singer Pinot Grigio;
B. Biglaw Spring Bonuses;
C. Closed Compensation Model in Small Firms;
D. All of the above;
E. None of the above.
Correct Answer: C. I, like Ms. Grace about the Tot-Mom verdict, am full of rage about closed compensation models in small firms.
A “closed compensation” model is defined as one “where partners in a firm do not know how much the others earn. While partners generally have a sense of how compensation is determined, they will not be party to the outcome by which individual compensation is arrived at.” An “open compensation” model, by contrast, is “one where individual partner compensation is known by all partners of the firm.”
A recent study by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research found that almost half of all workers in the U.S. “are either contractually forbidden or strongly discouraged from discussing their pay with their colleagues.” And, 66.7% of the respondents to my salary survey reported that they did not know the compensation that other associates earn.
Why does this make me think “the devil is dancing?” Find out after the jump….
On Sunday night, I was sitting on my couch eating Chicken McNuggets®, when Lat Skyped™ me. The following is a faithful transcript of our conversation.
Lat: Hey Juggs, I’ve got an assignment for you. Wait, why aren’t you wearing a shirt? Me: Why are you wearing a top hat? L: Touché. Listen, I have an idea for a pretty delicious story. Did you read that article in the Times about Headline News’s coverage of the Casey Anthony trial? M: I only read Mad Magazine. L: Okay, well, listen. Is there any way you can put on a shirt? M: *mumbles angrily and stomps off camera to find a respectable shirt* L: Okay, cool. Listen, that post you did about Jose Baez got some deliciously high page views. This trial is apparently through-the-roof popular and I think I know what you can do to cover it. M: Go on. L: I want you to… wait for it… spend a day watching Headline News. You watch the coverage, scribble down some thoughts and… presto! We’ve got ourselves a delicious post. M: Do I have to wear a shirt? L: Jesus, what the f**k is it with you and shirts? No. God, I don’t care. Wear whatever you want. Just watch TV and write down your thoughts. You think you can do that? M: Sure. I’ll be like Marlow, exploring the Heart of Darkness. L: That’s another thing. Your random literary references. They barely make sense and I’m pretty sure you haven’t read any books. M: Your top hat’s stupid. L: Okay, just do this. Ciao. M: Seacrest out.
The legal industry is being disrupted at every level by technological advances. While legal tech entrepreneurs and innovators are racing to create a more efficient and productive future, there is widespread indifference on the part of attorneys toward these emerging technologies.
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 seven years. You can reach them by email: email@example.com.
We at Kinney Asia have made a number of FCPA / White Collar US associate placements in Hong Kong / China thus far in 2014. Most of such placements have been commercial litigation associates from major US markets, fluent in Mandarin, switching to FCPA / White Collar litigation. Some have already had FCPA experience, but those are difficult candidates for firms to find (this will change in coming years as US firms are now promoting FCPA / White Collar to their 2L summers who are fluent in Mandarin and have an interest in transferring to China at some point).
Legal Week quoted Kinney’s Head of Asia, Evan Jowers, extensively in the following relevant article here.
There is a new trend in the market, though, where mid-level transactional US associates, fluent in spoken Mandarin and written Chinese, are interviewing for and in some cases landing junior FCPA / White Collar spots in Hong Kong / China at very top tier US firms.
When the LexisNexis Cloud Technology Survey results were reported earlier this year, it showed that attorneys were starting to peer less skeptically into the future, and slowly but surely leaning more toward all the benefits the law cloud has to offer.
Because let’s face it, plenty of attorneys are perhaps a bit too comfortable with their “system” of practice management, which may or may not include neon highlighters, sticky notes, dog-eared file folders, and a word processing program that was last updated when the term “raise the roof” was still de rigueur.