Congratulations to Mr. Chuck and his co-conspirators. It appears that their efforts to exert grassroots pressure on Mayer Brown, with the goal of getting the firm to inform them of the terms of their offers, have borne fruit.
As first mentioned in the comments on our post from yesterday regarding Winston & Strawn, incoming associates at Mayer were recently informed of their offer terms. Their time in limbo is now over.
When we reported on the silence of Mayer Brown regarding start dates for incoming associates, I specifically mentioned that Mayer Brown’s greatest gadfly — Mr. Chuck — had nothing to do with the story. Alas, that did not stop other people from assuming that Mr. Chuck was continuing his crusade to force Mayer Brown to say something about start dates.
Never one to shy away from the limelight, Mr. Chuck decided that the fact that he wasn’t a part of the story shouldn’t preclude him from making himself part of the story. Here’s the subject line of the email he sent to all Mayer Brown incoming associates last night:
Pls, This Was Not Initiated By Me (Today’s Mayer Brown Above-The-Law Fiasco))
No, Mr. Chuck didn’t start it, but damnit he’s going to end it make sure it continues…
Mayer Brown associates got a disturbing email this morning:
After careful consideration, the firm has decided to implement a job reduction in our US offices that will affect 28 associates and counsel and 47 staff members.
This can’t be good news for the firm’s incoming mutineers who are still waiting to hear back about their start dates. Though the memo, available in full after the jump, suggests that despite laying off these 75 people, things look bright there:
Despite this necessary action, we see encouraging signs for 2010. Thus far, the year is off to a positive start. Taking this step will enable us to maintain our financial strength and continue investing in our practices, our global platform and the professional development of our people – and thereby enhance our ability to provide clients with the high standard of legal work and service that defines Mayer Brown.
We hope the 75 people losing their jobs today were left off the distribution list, because that smarts…
Last week, we brought you the story of a former Mayer Brown associate who is suing the firm. We have some more back story on the plaintiff, Venus Yvette Springs, and she certainly sounds like a colorful person.
Before joining Mayer Brown, Springs worked at Cadwalader. According to our tipsters, she left CWT in an interesting fashion:
In her departure email from Cadwalader, she quoted all sorts of religious passages and talked about how she wanted to devote her life to pro bono.
Shortly thereafter, she wound up at Mayer Brown — one of the largest and most profitable law firms on the planet.
In her complaint against Mayer Brown, Springs alleged that the firm did not count her pro bono hours as it had promised. Of course, working in the real estate department at a major firm hardly sounds like a life “devoted to pro bono.” She wants to work with clients who can’t pay, but wants to make sure she gets a plump pay check anyway.
But maybe she needed to support her family. Unconfirmed reports say that her husband is Jules Springs. Jules Springs recently pleaded guilty to mortgage fraud. No word on whether or not Mr. Springs was an equal opportunity defrauder.
After the jump, Venus Springs compares her plight at Mayer Brown to the Holocaust. I wish I were making that up.
A former Mayer Brown associate, Venus Yvette Springs, has filed a complaint against the firm. She alleges Mayer Brown discriminated against her and eventually fired her in 2008.
Springs was an associate in the real estate group of Mayer Brown, Charlotte. In her complaint, she claims that the head of the group, Frank Arado, said that he would make her a partner with the firm as recently as March 2008. But in May 2008, she was informed that she would be fired. She was officially terminated in September of 2008. The heart of her discrimination claim seems to be this paragraph:
In a statement obtained by Above the Law, Mayer Brown strenuously denied the claims:
Mayer Brown has not yet been served with the complaint filed by former employee Yvette Springs. However, based on our current review, we believe her claims have no merit. We will defend ourselves vigorously in this matter. Consistent with our policy of not commenting on personnel matters or pending litigation, we have nothing further to say.
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.