Meet Michael Graffagna, who’s one impressive MoFo… partner. The Harvard Law School graduate, admitted to practice in New York, California, and Japan, heads up the project finance practice at Morrison & Foerster.
Graffagna is now resident in the firm’s Tokyo office. So he and his wife, Midori Graffagna, recently sold their Manhattan pied-à-terre. And oh what a pied-à-terre it was — larger than most Manhattanites’ primary residences.
How large are we talking? How much did the Graffagnas get for it? And which celebrity lives upstairs?
Seven years ago this month, M&A lawyer Gregory Ostling was elected to the partnership of Wachtell Lipton, effective January 2007. In our story about the news, we referred to Wachtell as “obscenely profitable and dazzlingly prestigious.”
Because the firm has a single-tier partnership and is fairly lockstep (with just a handful of senior partners off the lockstep), even junior partners at Wachtell do very well for themselves. So maybe it shouldn’t be surprising that a relatively young partner like Greg Ostling just bought not one but two multimillion-dollar apartments at the Beresford — one acquired from a famous athlete, and one from an heiress — which presumably he’s going to combine into a single fabulosity-oozing residence….
101 Central Park West: home to celebrities, a billionaire’s daughter, and an in-house counsel.
Earlier this year, we wrote about a commendable initiative at Pace Law School called New Directions. It’s a program devoted to helping lawyers who have left the profession, many of them stay-at-home mothers, get back into the world of practice.
The New York Times profiled a few of the program’s graduates. One of them, Jeannette Rossoff, graduated from Boston University School of Law, worked at Shearman & Sterling for a few years, then left the workforce for twenty years to raise four children. After her children were grown, she completed the New Directions program, interned for the New York State attorney general’s office, then landed an in-house job with a nonprofit.
It’s nice that Mrs. Rossoff is back to practicing law, but it certainly wasn’t necessary. If you can afford to live in a $12 million apartment with monthly maintenance charges of almost $7,000, “work” is optional….
I’ve been told that, for liability reasons, I’m not actually allowed to “drive” the party bus, but that’s probably for the best as I’ll be showing up after playing about ten hours straight of Grand Theft Auto V.
I posted this on Friday, and then I remembered that law students don’t wake up on Fridays, so I wanted to mention again that the Above the Law Bar Review Crawl (sponsored by Kaplan) now has a sign up sheet, a schedule, and a party bus.
Below you can see our plans, and one person who signs up will be picked at random (on Thursday morning I assume) to join us as we bus around the city. Right now, I’m actually just interested in your music suggestions for the party bus playlist…
This coming Thursday, September 19th, the Above the Law crew will set out to crown the best law school bar in Manhattan. But you knew that already. The first 25 people who show up to hang out with us will have the option of having a free drink sponsored by Kaplan, but you knew that already too.
What you don’t know yet is where we’re going. You don’t know when we’ll be there. And you don’t know how to get on the party bus with us as we travel around to schools, liveblog, and do other party-bus-type things.
Now, after pulling teeth from the people over what bars they drink at, we finally have those details. We’re starting out at 5:30 p.m. around Columbia at The Village Pourhouse.
Check below for the sign-up form to be eligible for some additional ATL swag, Kaplan swag, and a seat on the bus, plus the rest of the schedule….
The ATL/Kaplan Bar Review Crawl is going full steam ahead. The calendar has been cleared, the bus has been rented, the IVs have been commandeered. On Thursday, September 19th, we will be drinking all across New York.
We’ll be starting up by Columbia and slowly making our way downtown on an ATL party bus. We’ll make one bar stop per Manhattan-based law school, and then rate them. The first 25 people at each bar will get a free drink.
The only problem with this awesome plan is that we still don’t have enough bars. Students at NYU Law School have been very forthcoming with bar suggestions… and all signs point to the Wagon. But the rest of you guys aren’t being as helpful.
Columbia, where can we get a drink for happy hour? Fordham, where can we go around Lincoln Center to make fun of opera fans? NYLS… where are you again?
Seriously people… nominate some bars. Stop what you are doing and send an email to [email protected] or post in the comments. I live on the Upper East Side, I have a kid, you do NOT want me picking these bars myself… we’ll end up at a damn Olive Garden.
If you were to ask lawyers to name some lucrative practice areas, immigration law would probably not top many lists. While there are some elite firms that do immigration law for corporations or high-net-worth individuals (and charge a pretty penny for their services), many immigration lawyers are more dedicated to helping their clients over their bank accounts.
But some immigration lawyers with their own firms do very, very well for themselves. Take, for example, the one who just sold his Tribeca apartment for a cool $3.6 million — to a pair of poker champs, so presumably they got a fair deal.
The buyers might have paid a reasonable price, considering the fabulosity of the unit. But the seller still earned a seven-figure profit on the transaction….
[T]he city’s highest officials have turned a blind eye to the evidence that officers are conducting stops in a racially discriminatory manner. In their zeal to defend a policy that they believe to be effective, they have willfully ignored overwhelming proof that the policy of targeting “the right people” is racially discriminatory and therefore violates the United States Constitution.
The evolution of relationships between the genders continues. Currently, in law firms, there is an interesting conundrum; balancing the desire for a gender-blind workplace where “the best lawyer gets the work and advances” and the reality of navigating the complicated maze created by the fact that, in general, men and women do possess differences in their work styles. These variations impact who they work with, how they work, how they build professional connections and how organizations ultimately leverage, reward and recognize the talents of all.
Henry Ford sat on his workbench and sighed. A year earlier, he had personally built 13,000 Model Ts with his own hands. Fashioning lugnuts and tie rods by hand, Ford was loath to ask for help. Sure, there were things about the car that he didn’t quite understand. This explains the lack of reliable navigation systems in the Model T. But Ford persevered because he knew that unless he did everything, he could not reliably call these cars his own.
“Unless my own personal toil is responsible for it, it may as well be called a Hyundai,” Ford remarked at the time.
The preceding may sound unfamiliar because it is categorically untrue. And also monumentally stupid. Henry Ford didn’t build all those cars by hand. He had help and plenty of it. Almost exactly one hundred years ago, Henry Ford opened up the most technologically advanced assembly line the world had ever seen. Built on the premise that work can be chopped up into digestible pieces and completed by many men better than one, the line ushered in an age of unparalleled productivity.
Today, an attorney refers business because he can’t do everything the client asks of him.
There are three reasons why this is way dumber than a made-up Henry Ford story…
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 six years. You can reach them by email: [email protected].
Since late last year, things have been booming in Hong Kong / China in cap markets, especially Hong Kong IPOs. M&A deal flow has recently been getting a bit stronger as well. Although one can’t predict such things with any certainty, all signs are pointing to a banner entire 2014 for the top end US corporate and cap markets practices in Hong Kong / China. This is not really new news, as its been the feeling most in the market have had for a few months now and things continue to look good.
The head of our Asia practice, Evan Jowers, has been in Hong Kong for about 10 days a month (with trips every other month to both Shanghai and Bejing) for the past 7 months, and spending most of his time there meeting with senior US hiring partners at just about all the major US and UK firms there, as well as prospective candidates at all associate levels and partner levels, and when in the US, Evan works Asia hours and is regularly on the phone with such persons, as our the other members of our Asia team. Our Yuliya Vinokurova is in Hong Kong every other month and Robert is there about 5 times a year as well. While we have a solid Asia team of recruiters, Evan Jowers will spend at least some time with all of our candidates for Asia position. We have had long standing relationships, and good friendships in some cases, with hiring partners and other senior US partners in Asia for 8 years now.