Latham & Watkins

On Tuesday night, we gently tweaked a number of leading law firms, including Latham & Watkins, about their conspicuous silence on spring bonuses. This morning, in a post about Latham’s new Boston office, we reiterated the spring bonus tweaking.

Well, it seems that Latham got the message. The firm just announced spring bonuses, on the top-of-the-line Cravath scale.

What else do we know about the Latham spring bonuses? And which dominoes might fall next after Latham?

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It’s about time. We’ve been writing about the new Boston office of Latham & Watkins for weeks now (here and here), revealing a number of their top lateral hires.

On Wednesday, Latham made its official announcement — and confirmed the accuracy of our prior reporting. All of the partners we previously named as Latham-bound, taken from such top firms as WilmerHale, Proskauer Rose, and Bingham McCutchen, are mentioned.

Let’s take a closer look at the L&W crew, and also learn about additional attorneys who are joining up (including associates)….

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Spring bonus stragglers: tick-tock, yo.

I’ve been trying to be nice. I’ve been trying to be positive. I’ve been trying to adopt a new, sunny, smoke-free attitude that assumes certain top firms will do the right thing by their associates and announce spring bonuses along the lines of Cravath, Sullivan & Cromwell, and a bunch of other top-tier firms.

Just last week, we reminded firms that it’s not too late to announce “spring” bonuses. Dewey & LeBoeuf announced spring bonuses that it will pay in the summer. And that’s okay, nobody is really complaining, associates just want their money. If top firms are paying out spring bonuses, associates who have been told they are working at a top firm want to see their cut.

But there are a number of firms that haven’t gotten the message. Did they think their own people wouldn’t notice that they are getting shortchanged compared to the market? Is this a way for those firms to force some attrition? Surprisingly, some of the firms that are being cheap with spring bonuses were lauded for being generous around Christmastime.

Those firms know how the internet works, don’t they? Information can be updated around these parts….

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On Tuesday we told you that McGuireWoods, Dewey & LeBoeuf, and Weil Gosthal were all contributing to the relief efforts under way in Japan. The response has been pretty great.

While some people seem to think Japan’s status as a rich nation means it doesn’t need any international aid, I don’t see how the country’s long-term ability to recover has anything to do with the immediate humanitarian crisis. Japan will undoubtedly be able to rebuild in the future, but its citizens need food and water today.

We’ve now received word that even more Biglaw firms are pitching in to do what they can. If you know of additional firms supporting relief efforts that we have not mentioned, please tell us in the comments to this post….

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Last week we reported on global megafirm Latham & Watkins heading into the Boston legal market. The firm will officially announce the opening of its Beantown outpost later this month.

We mentioned that Latham snagged Alex Temel, a prominent partner from Proskauer, to help start up LW’s Boston office. Now we’re hearing additional reports about attorneys who will be joining Latham in Boston, as well as the location of the office….

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No, wrong Boston Market.

The global megafirm of Latham & Watkins is in full expansion mode. The firm recently picked up a trio of real estate partners from Kirkland & Ellis in Chicago, for example.

And even though it’s not yet listed on the firm website, we understand that LW has quietly opened a Boston office. The official announcement will be made later this month, according to the Boston Business Journal.

This news shouldn’t come as a huge surprise. Latham loves geographic reach, and it has been mulling over a Beantown presence since late 2007, as noted by Am Law Daily.

Tipsters tell us that Latham has already been scooping up talent from different firms around town. We have at least one name that we don’t believe has been publicly announced yet….

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* Marc Randazza wants to feed the members of the Westboro Baptist Church into a wood chipper, but he respects their First Amendment rights; accordingly, “the Westboro Baptist Church is the first entity to receive both the First Amendment Bad Ass award and the Asshat award in a single blog post.” [The Legal Satyricon]

* Everyone’s talking about the Westboro Baptist Church case, but don’t overlook Chief Justice Roberts’s hilarious opinion in FCC v. AT&T, rejecting a corporation’s claim of privacy rights under FOIA (contrary to the alarmist predictions of certain overwrought, Citizens United-obsessed liberals). [Slate]

* Speaking of noteworthy cases, check out the latest precedent of Zoopreme Court: Justice Under Paws. [Zoopreme Court]

* New New Hampshire motto: Leave my junk free or die. [Huffington Post]

* Musical chairs: three real-estate partners leave Kirkland & Ellis in Chicago for Latham & Watkins. Speaking of these firms, will either pay spring bonuses? [Chicago Tribune]

* Meanwhile, on the South Side, UofC Law is encouraging young black high schoolers to go to law school. If B (# of black students) < P (Posner) + L (Liberals), then you've got to do some outreach. [University of Chicago Law School]

* If you enjoyed our recent post about Chief Judge Kozinski’s taste in movies, you can check out all of his mini-reviews over here. [IMDb]

* Some reflections by Jane Genova on politics, law firms, and the power game. [Law and More]

Last month, when the world was bemoaning the Biglaw associate bonus market after Sullivan & Cromwell’s bonuses more or less fell in line with Cravath’s bonuses, I wrote as follows: “I’m keeping my eye out for Latham. It fits with their model. In bad times, suffering to all. In good times, models and bottles…. Latham survivors might get 2010 bonuses that trounce the former market leaders like Sullivan & Cromwell.”

Well, Latham & Watkins just announced its associate bonuses. Latham is a firm that gives out individualized bonuses, but the median payments by class year seem to be higher than the bonuses given out by Cravath, Sullivan & Cromwell, and the firms that followed them.

UPDATE: The preceding sentence was written before S&C’s springtime bonuses were announced.

So what is the Latham lucre looking like?

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Our law firm holiday card contest is still underway, but we’re in the home stretch. Voting closes tomorrow, January 9, at 11:59 p.m. (Eastern time). If you haven’t done so already, review the finalists and vote over here.

In the our earlier post, we promised a post in which we’d (1) give shout-outs to some holiday cards that were strong but narrowly missed our cut and (2) poke fun at some of the Christmas cards we found especially disappointing. Here is the promised post.

Let’s look at some of these honorable and dishonorable mentions. Perhaps your law firm’s card is among them?

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* Musical chairs: Donald M. Remy leaves Latham to become the new general counsel for the NCAA. No offense, but I hope he’s terrible at his job. The NCAA needs to be sued by all comers until they stop profiteering off the sweat of poor young athletes so that old, rich university presidents can make even more money. [The Chronicle of Higher Education]

* Anything you Google can and will be used against you. [Forbes]

* Did sanitation workers really make the blizzard worse by protesting proposed wage cuts through a “slowdown”? Somewhere there’s a union official freezing his ass off and smiling. [NY1]

* Some people say law school is a waste of time, some people say getting a Ph.D is a waste of time — is anyone starting to feel like “education” is a waste of time? Snooki is rich, famous, and has a book coming out; Sarah Palin might become president. Maybe stupid and uninformed is a perfectly acceptable way to go through life? [Economist]

* Here’s something interesting. Harvard Law School is doing some research on legal mentoring (or lack thereof). They need people (including non-HLS people, of course) to take their survey. [Harvard Law School]

* I wish Princeton had a law school. I bet it would be loads of fun to cover, since their college alums are already so good at getting embroiled in sex-contest scandals. [Jezebel]

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