New York City

A 'best place to work': outside, when the weather's nice.

Since 2008, Crain’s has been producing a list of the 50 Best Places to Work in New York City. Each year, a few law firms manage to sneak their way onto the list, much like what we’ve seen thus far with Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list.

This year, seven law firms made Crain’s list, and as we told you back in January, only four made Fortune’s. Three firms are new to Crain’s list, while the other four moved up or down in the rankings. Just two of those firms overlap between Crain’s and Fortune’s lists.

It appears that congratulations and condolences are both in order. So, which law firms are considered the cream of the crop in New York City?

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Last week, we asked you to pick your choice for the worst law school in New York. It turned out to be one of most active polls on the site. So many of you had strong opinions.

Your choice for the worst law school was overwhelming — so strong that one would hope that the administration would notice and do something to improve the school’s reputation in the community.

But the battle for the worst school in the five boroughs was heated. Let’s check out the results….

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It’s an intriguing question. There are 11 ABA-accredited law schools in New York City and Long Island (I’m including Pace, even though the law school is in White Plains). Personally I love them all. Seriously, any one of them can produce a story about great idiocy that I can make fun of on the internet. That’s all I really care about.

But law students in New York argue over the strengths and weaknesses of their law schools all the time. Or at the very least they often mutter about the idiots across town under their breath.

While some students like to argue that they go to the “best” law school in New York, that’s a less interesting question. And there are so many Yale students running around town (New Haven is only 90 minutes away), so saying you go to the best law school in New York feels a little bit like saying you’re the tallest midget.

It’s a bit douchy to argue over who’s best, but it’s pretty fun to argue over which law school is the worst. Nobody thinks that they go to the absolute worst law school in the city. But that means one student body is dead wrong.

Let’s find out who!

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Mayor Bloomberg has reason to smile today.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg can have his way with the Occupy Wall Street protesters. According to the Associated Press, Justice Michael Stallman of New York Supreme Court just shot down the Temporary Restraining Order sought by the protesters against Mayor Bloomberg.

Let’s hope everybody keeps their cool.

The ruling on the TRO appears below…

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November 15th, 2011, there was a riot in the streets, tell me where were you? While you were at home watching your T.V., I was participating in some anarchy.

Well, there wasn’t really a riot in the streets. And I wasn’t really participating in it so much as taking the 5 train to work today. But I did bump into some would-be Occupy Wall Street protesters looking to join the movement after the main group was evicted from Zuccotti Park under the cover of darkness early this morning. The people on the train asked for my legal advice.

I laughed — then told them I could do them one better. Let’s see if we can’t crowdsource a legal recourse for the Occupy protesters now that big bad Bloomberg has put his jackboot on the movement….

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Kim Kardashian

* Deborah Batts, the first openly gay judge to serve on the federal bench, got married this weekend. We hope she doesn’t become the first openly gay federal judge to get divorced. [New York Times]

* Things are getting hairy for Kim Kardashian, and not just because she’s Armenian. A hair removal company is suing her, saying she’s lying about how she gets all of that hair off her body. [Fox News]

* Lori David: she’s every teenage boy’s dream, and every mother’s nightmare. A hot Texas mom has been banned from the internet after sexting naked pictures to her son’s friend. [Daily Mail]

Let’s see what else the ladies are up to this morning….

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Is $160,000 a 'garbage' salary?

There’s an interesting post up on Constitutional Daily by The Philadelphia Lawyer. It’s a repack from a 2007 article arguing that salaries for first-year associates should go up to $190,000 a year.

And he’s right.

I know, I know — most Americans are still feeling the effects of a terrible economy. Occupy Wall Street is about to take pitchforks to those who are well-off in this country. Yada, yada, we’ll get back to the very sad story of America momentarily.

But you know who has done well over the last five years or so? Law firms. Especially Biglaw firms. Especially partners at Biglaw firms. Just look at the Am Law reports on profits per partner and revenue per lawyer. Firms are making money, more than they were in 2007.

Yet the associate salary scale hasn’t seen a raise for almost five years. And bonuses are down compared to 2007. Is it time for firms to start sharing the wealth?

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I’m starting to think that staff attorneys are being discriminated against because they are staff attorneys.

Today Thomson Reuters reports that a racial discrimination lawsuit has been filed against Quinn Emanuel by a former staff attorney. The plaintiff, who is African-American, claims that she was given less desirable work than her white colleagues and that she was forced to work with a person she “feared,” as retaliation for complaining about her treatment at the firm.

I’m not sure if racism really fits into Quinn’s work hard/play hard firm culture. I feel like the only color Quinn cares about is green, as in, “You’ve billed a ton of hours today despite being all kinds of hungover, I think you’re turning green”….

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The National Association for Law Placement (NALP) has produced an extremely useful chart for people trying to figure out where to start their Biglaw careers. They’ve listed the cities that give you the most bang for your buck if you land a high paying Biglaw job.

And boy, are New York City associates going to feel stupid.

The NALP “buying power index” sets New York as the baseline. It takes the median starting salary for the class of 2010 and the NYC cost of living index and sets that figure at 1.00. Cities with a better purchasing power than NYC have a value greater than 1.00.

New York ranks #42.

Most of the high-ranking cities also have the benefit of warmth….

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Biglaw bucks can bring the bling.

Some people just can’t stay out of our pages. Back in 2008, we wrote about Ira J. Schacter, a prominent corporate partner and major rainmaker at Cadwalader. Schacter earned Lawyer of the Day honors after he was accused of beating his wife. (He claimed he acted in self-defense and was ultimately cleared of the charges.)

Well, today Ira Schacter is back in the news. He’s accused of refusing to pay for his teen daughter’s $12,000 hearing aids, while dropping $215,000 on a diamond engagement ring for his Playboy-bunny fiancée. If true, that’s pretty shoddy behavior — the very embodiment of cheapness, from a big-time Biglaw partner who can easily afford twelve grand.

But I know what you’re all wondering right now: “How hot is that Playboy-model fiancée?”

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