K&L Gates

Summer offer rates are back and better than ever.

Last week, summer associate programs began to draw to a close. After a summer of fun extravagance work, summer associates are eager to find out if they’ll be getting offers of full-time employment.

We expect the answer to be yes at most places. Sure, during the height of the recession, no offer rates spiked. But Biglaw firms seem to have corrected that problem. As almost any jobless 3L can tell you, firms simply started hiring fewer people to be summer associates in the first place.

What’s bad news for many 3Ls is good news for those who were lucky enough to snag summer associate positions. You know what they say: getting in is the hardest part. Right?

Above the Law has received various reports from summer associates at Biglaw firms, crowing about 100 percent offer rates….

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Dana Delany

* Do you need to teach your wife a lesson? Allegedly, there’s an app for that. [Fox News]

* K&L Gates provides a soft landing place for David DeNinno, the former Reed Smith partner who was called out in JoEllen Lyons Dillon’s sex discrimination lawsuit. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

* Delaware Chancellor William Chandler has decided to cash his chips in with Wilson Sonsini. [WSJ Law Blog]

* Can’t a girl date a drug dealer and prosecute the men accused of trying to kill him without everybody getting all worked up about it? [Philadelphia Inquiry]

David DeNinno

* Can the Canadian government tax poker winnings? Then why can’t Canadian poker players write off poker losses as tax deductions? [Canadian Lawyer Mag]

* Sounds like the D.C. Medical Examiner’s Office needs Bones, or Dana Delany or something. [Underdog]

* Hey, Republicans, can you actually come up with a presidential candidate who was actually against Obamacare before a Democrat got it passed? It’ll make your protestations against the law seem less intellectually dishonest. [Huffington Post]

We’ve previously discussed the trend of partners leaving Biglaw to launch their own firms. We’ve seen a lot of this action in New York and D.C., home to such well-regarded boutiques as MoloLamken, started by former Shearman & Sterling and Baker Botts partners, and BuckleySandler, started by former Skadden partners.

It’s happening out on the West Coast, too. In the fair city of Seattle — one of my favorite places in the entire United States, especially when it’s not raining — about half a dozen partners are leaving K&L Gates to start their own shop. One Queen Emerald City tipster described this news as “the most exciting thing that has happened here since Kurt Cobain died.”

UPDATE (4/5/11): The official press release about the new firm, Pacifica Law Group, appears after the jump.

Who are the lawyers that are leaving, and why? Let’s find out….

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From “concept searching” to “cloud computing,” every year there are new buzz words and catch phrases that enter into the lexicon of legal technology. Of course, when you are dealing with technology of any sort, you should expect to update jargon regularly (such as from 3G to 4G to 5G, whatever that means).

2011 is shaping up to be no different. This year’s “it” phrase is already emerging in the industry. It evolved from the buzz words of yesteryear, and if this new phraseology is worth its salt, these new advances could drastically change how law is practiced for years to come.

So what is legal technology’s newest terminology?

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Whether or not you think that the LSAT should be important, we all know that it is important. Scoring well on the LSAT is absolutely crucial to getting into a good law school.

But usually the power of the LSAT fades after you matriculate to a law school. Usually people who are concerned about your LSAT score are the people who consider their own LSAT score their greatest achievement in life. Pathetic, I know, but I’ve met these people in real life. They really think that scoring well on a standardized test means something more than being able to score well on a standardized test.

We accept that law schools need to be focused on the LSAT — they need some way to compare people from different schools and programs. But should employers still care about your LSAT score? Should legal employers really be concerned about a test that you took years ago, before you had any legal training?

At K&L Gates, the answer appears to be yes…

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The end of the year was a pretty interesting time for partners at K&L Gates. Our sources report that right before the close of the year, the partners received a blistering message from Peter Kalis, the managing partner of the firm. Just 24 hours later, K&L Gates partners received an email from Kalis that was full of appreciation for the firm’s great 2010.

The two emails aren’t exactly contradictory in substance. But when it comes to tone, let’s just remember that partners have bosses too…

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Some votes are more equal than others.

There’s an excellent story written by Amanda Becker in the Washington Post today which looks at the law firms who were serious about making campaign contributions this electoral season. Regardless of whether the Republicans take control of the House or the Democrats hang onto the Senate, a few law firms will be well protected either way.

The Post reports that the PACS linked to the ten most generous law firms contributed $5.5 million in political donations during this election cycle. That’s small potatoes compared to the $29 million generated by professional organizations, but it’ll buy a foot in the door.

Apparently, the money was split pretty evenly between Democratic and Republican candidates. So there’s no need for us to snipe at each other along partisan lines. The story is all about the money, and the law firms willing to pay to have their “voices” heard tomorrow…

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Outsourcing; you might have heard of it. It’s the trend whereby law firms send high man hours/low brain effort work overseas to workers who can complete the tasks at a fraction of the cost. Clients love it, consultants are pushing it, and law firms are struggling to add this new efficiency opportunity into their overall business model.

Well, not all law firms. Peter Kalis, managing partner of K&L Gates, gave a quote to the Legal Intelligencer where he called outsourcing “a gnat in an elephant’s ear.” Evidently, K&L Gates is the elephant, LPO’s are the gnats, and I’m not sure who the clients are supposed to be. Perhaps Peter “Aesop” Kalis can let us know in a future fable.

It’s not that Kalis has his head in the sand when it comes to cost savings that can be generated by moving work out of places like New York and Washington. It’s just that in his world he doesn’t view Mumbai as all that different from Pittsburgh.

Maybe he’s right about that?

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Now this is a list that matters. Corporate Counsel (an American Lawyer publication) has complied its annual list of the firms that Fortune 100 companies use as outside counsel. This is a list of which firms are getting work from clients with deep pockets. If you care at all about the business end of the law, then you care about this list.

And while the firms that are tapped for this kind of work won’t surprise anybody, it’s always good to take a look at who clients want to be with.

For general corporate law, these are the firms that were mentioned most by clients reporting to the magazine:

Cleary: 12 mentions
Davis Polk: 11 mentions
Cravath: 10 mentions
Simpson Thacher: 10 mentions

Yep, no real surprises there.

But what about some other practice areas? Well, the names start to change…

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Well, I don’t mean you should go make fun of the managing partner’s hair line. But you should ask searching questions.

Peter Kalis, global managing partner of K&L Gates, explaining his comment that he’s looking to hire “sassy” and “edgy” lawyers.

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