Damn, check out the girls from corporate. Schwing!
It’s almost the middle of summer, and it’s hot as hell outside. Partners are starting to relax a little bit, and collars are getting unbuttoned. You think you might have seen someone sporting a pair of flip-flops at the office, but that one was probably a mirage. All of this can mean only one thing: the moment that you’ve been dreading has finally arrived. The invitation to the firm summer party is coming for you — and it might involve a pool or beach.
But do you really want to wear a bathing suit in front of these people? Maybe while you were busy shredding documents this spring, you got distracted and ditched your ab-shredding routine. Maybe while you were trimming the fat from your briefs, you neglected your cottage cheese thighs. And maybe, just maybe, you were lucky enough to graduate from “law school hot” to “law firm hot,” and you’re worried about your colleagues ogling your grand tetons.
Is there such a thing as bathing suit etiquette for a Biglaw summer bash? Apparently there is, so prepare to be de-sexified (as if you’re not undersexed enough as it is)….
Earlier this week, a tipster wrote to us: “The University of Chicago Law School is suffering from a problem not too different from the one that Antoine Dodson and his neighbors suffered not too long ago.”
Chicago is a long way from Huntsville, Alabama, and the University of Chicago Law School is a long way from the housing projects of Lincoln Park (no, not that Lincoln Park). But the tipster is right: both places have been the site of rape allegations.
Summer associates are inundated by invitations to lunches, dinners, in-firm programs, and social activities outside the firm. Particularly in a summer when the economic outlook is still a bit uncertain, summer associates must act with care and discretion at firm-sponsored social events.
Almost invariably misconduct involves excessive late-night drinking. Someone once said “nothing good happens after midnight.” They were right. The following tips, brought to you by Frank Kimball of Lateral Link, will help you navigate the social scene this summer.…
Toronto partner David Cowling, exonerated booty dancer
Back in January 2009, a moot court after-party hosted by Mathews, Dinsdale & Clarke got wild enough to spark allegations of sexual harassment. Canadians do know how to party, eh? The “night of debauchery” has haunted David Cowling ever since; he was one of the partners accused of getting overly friendly with female associates and law students, while gettin’ jiggy.
He says that an internal law firm investigation cleared him of charges of inappropriate dance floor behavior, but that the firm refused to make that public, leading to rumors continuing to swirl in his work and social communities in Toronto. Oh, and have we mentioned that David Cowling specializes in labor and employment law? “If I were a personal injury lawyer, sexual harassment rumors would not be such a bad mark on my professional reputation,” says Cowling.
So he filed a libel suit against Adrian Jakibchuk and Sarah Diebel, the two associates who accused him of doing the really funky chicken on the dance floor. Apparently, they don’t study the Barbara Streisand effect in Canadian law schools. That got the allegations splashed across Canadian newspapers and here at ATL.
But now he’s got his name cleared, with a public statement from his prior firm, along with a seven-figurish settlement. He started a new firm and dropped his lawsuit against his accusers, and has a few things to say about his side of the story.
So say you’re the law student who supposedly got felt up by a partner on the dance floor, and his lawyer calls you up in the middle of exam week to talk about it. Yeah, that’s awkward. And Cowling sent along the transcript…
It’s a familiar refrain around these parts: it’s tough to find legal employment, unless you got into one of the top law schools. The prevailing wisdom is that students at the “best” (i.e., highest-ranked) law schools have been protected from the recession-dampened job market facing recent graduates of most American law schools. “HYS” (Harvard, Yale, Stanford), “CCN” (Columbia, Chicago, NYU) — these law schools are thought to be safe bets for people who would like to be employed upon graduation.
But are they?
We know that things aren’t as bad for students at top schools as they are for people attending schools that are not ranked as highly by U.S. News. But that doesn’t mean a degree from a “T6″ school parts the jobless sea and leads graduates to the promised land of gainful employment.
In fact, at this late date in the law school calendar, we know that there are 3Ls at great schools staring into the abyss of post-graduate unemployment. The proof comes from the charity that employed students are trying to extend to their unemployed brethren…
[Partner David] Cowling and the very intoxicated summer student began to dance in a sexually explicit manner. The student’s arms were around Cowling’s neck and his hands were on her waist and buttocks. While dancing, Cowling placed his hand on the student’s breast. Shortly thereafter, the summer student fell to the floor. She was assisted to her feet by Cowling and others. The summer student then went to the washroom where she vomited over her hair, body and clothes
(Cowling sued Diebel and another former associate, Adrian Jakibchuk, for defamation, alleging that their statements about a wild party in January 2009 defamed him. We covered Cowling’s defamation lawsuit here. Earlier this week, Jakibchuk sued Mathews Dinsdale for wrongful termination, bringing the firm’s “night of debauchery” back into the news.)
Many Davis commenters chimed in to say that the party really wasn’t all that crazy. That’s not surprising. If you go to a party that’s off the hook, only you didn’t witness or experience anything particularly memorable, it’s natural to downplay events. Better to accuse some people of “exaggerating” than to acknowledge the fact that you just missed out.
Luckily, a few additional King Hall students emailed us, stood up to our cross-examination, and shared some additional fun details about the dance.
One person even shared a picture, and I have to say there is definitely some “talent” at UC Davis…
When you think about it, naming the band "Massa-Bossmans" would have been more ambiguous.
On Friday we wrote about the settlement agreed to by Cure Lounge, a club in Boston that was accused of discriminating against African-American patrons. In the comments, it seemed like some of our Southern readers where all too happy to point out that this example of racist behavior took place in the North.
Lord knows I’ve never said that racism is an exclusively Southern phenomenon. But I’ve met enough Southerners to know that they sometimes feel unfairly maligned just because of their Confederate past. Sure, I could argue that only Southerners would come up with the name like “Lady Antebellum” for a band — and only Southerners would defend that name as “merely” referring to a time before the Civil War, as if I’m supposed to be the idiot who forgets what was happening in the South before the Civil War. But whatever, the point is taken, modern racism exists North and South, East and West, probably in relatively equal “amounts,” if such a thing could be quantified.
But still, you have to give the South credit. When they go for it, they always seems to have more flair. They have a — what’s the word? — one might say “cavalier” way, at least at UVA Law, of going about racial intolerance.
It would be charming, if it wasn’t so damn disgusting…
The volume of applications to law schools nationwide is down by about 13 percent for the fall 2011 class, as noted recently by the Daily Journal (subscription). This is positive news. Maybe it means that people who are thinking prudently about their futures are finally getting the message that law school is no longer a golden ticket (assuming it ever was).
Of course, if all the wise people start avoiding law school, we’ll be left with the Idiocracy paradigm: only the slow and reckless will submit themselves to three years of legal education.
That might be bad for the legal profession, but it will certainly give us more to write about here at Above the Law. It’s been far too long since we’ve had a bunch of law students doing dumb, drunken things at a law school event. (Tulane, I don’t even know who you guys are anymore. The bad economy must be killing your mojo.)
With Tulane sidelined by a case of “let’s try to be respectable,” I’m happy to report that another law school seems ready to step up and fill the embarrassingly drunken void….
Ed. note: This is the first installment of Size Matters, one of Above the Law’s new columns for small-firm lawyers.
Who am I? I graduated from a top law school in Chicago. (Okay, there’s only two.) From there, I went to work for Biglaw for several years. Or, maybe it was only a year and a half. I am pretty sure that time passes more slowly in Biglaw than in the rest of the world.
Then, I took the path well traveled and went to a small law firm to “get hands on experience,” “more client contact,” and “mentoring.” After almost three years — in real time — at my small firm, I have come to appreciate the unique aspects of practicing law at a small firm and these insights I hope to share with you.
While I do not want to give away the milk for free, I will give you a snapshot of what is to come. Small law firms have actual holiday parties. The holiday parties at my Biglaw firm took place in the lobby which was shared with other tenants when the other employees in the 40+ floor office building were attempting to exit. They served cheap wine and had a cheese tray and hired a high school band called “The Cats” to jam out for the partygoers.
At my current firm, where all employees could fit comfortably in a single floor of the 15-floor office of my former firm, they really throw a party….
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We currently have a very exciting and rare type of in-house opening in China at one of the world’s leading internet and social media companies. Our client is looking for an IP Transactional / TMT / Licensing attorney with 2 to 6 years experience. The new hire will be based in Shenzhen or Shanghai. Mandarin is not required (deal documentation will be in English) but is preferred. A solid reason to be in China and a commitment to that market is required of course. This new hire will likely be US qualified (but could also be qualified in UK or other jurisdictions) and with experience and training at a top law firm’s IP transactional / TMT practice and could be currently at a law firm or in-house. Qualified candidates currently Asia based, Europe based or US based will be considered. The new hire’s supervisors in this technology transactions in-house team are very well regarded US trained IP transactional lawyers, with substantial experience at Silicon Valley firms. The culture and atmosphere in this in-house group and the company in general is entrepreneurial, team oriented, and the work is cutting edge, even for a cutting edge industry. The upside of being in an important strategic in-house position in this fast growing and world leading internet company is of the “sky is the limit” variety. Its a very exciting place to be in China for a rising IP transactional lawyer in our opinion, for many reasons beyond the basic info we can share here in this ad / post. This is a special A+ opportunity.
If your firm is in ‘go’ mode when it comes to recruiting lateral partners with loyal clients, then take this quiz to see how well you measure up. Keep track of your ‘yes’ and ‘no’ responses.
1. Does your firm have a clearly defined strategy of practice groups that are priorities of growth for your office? Nothing gets done by random chance, but with a clear vision for the future. Identify the top practice areas for which you wish to add lateral partners. Seek input from practice group leaders and get specifics on needs, outcomes, and ideal target profiles.
2. In addition to clarifying your firm’s growth strategy, are you still open to the hire of a partner outside of your plan? I’ve made several placements that fit this category. The partner’s practice was not within the strategic growth plan of my client, but once the two parties started talking with each other, we all saw how it could indeed be a seamless fit. Be open to “Opportunistic Hires.” You never know where your next producing partner might come from, so you have to be open to it. I will be the first to admit that there is a quirky element of randomness in recruiting.
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