People, here at LEWW we hate reality TV. Really, really, really hate it. It makes us feel bored, uncomfortable, and grossed-out by humanity, all at the same time. We can watch sports, which we suppose is “reality” in some sense, but other non-scripted programming sends us lunging for the remote. Dancing with the Stars? Gagging at the concept. Jersey Shore? Never seen it; sounds appalling. Even the Food Network is too real for us.
And of course, just thinking about those reality wedding shows makes us break out in hives. That said, we are going to be all over the upcoming royal wedding. Step back, Chelsea, this one is going to be the real deal, and LEWW is already counting the days until April 29. Now, to find a legal angle . . . .
On to this week’s couples. We have four finalists for this special Thanksgiving edition of LEWW:
You can’t get two clicks into the legal blogosphere today without seeing a repackaged press release from Sidley Austin. Here’s one of the headlines we received today, which blares louder than a New York City fire engine stuck in mid-tier midtown traffic:
Sidley Austin LLP has received 20 first-tier national rankings in the inaugural U.S.News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” survey, the most of any U.S. law firm.
Okay Sidley, we hear you; congratulations. Maybe you and Lady Gaga should confer and figure out how to get U.S. News to rank music video award shows.
Meanwhile, if you’ve spent any time clicking around the U.S. News law firm rankings since they went live last night (no, I haven’t really slept), you’ll notice that Sidley doesn’t seem to show up in the bottom right corner of the page under the heading “Featured Firm.” Instead of Sidley (or any of the other firms that garnered many first-tier practice area mentions), if you keep clicking refresh — I’ve done that about 100 times in the last hour, via multiple Firefox tabs — you see a bunch of firms that are outside the Am Law 100. And Squire Sanders.
Why aren’t the most well-respected firms the “featured” ones? The answer is obvious: the featured firms bought ads with U.S. News. Which begs the question: just how is U.S. News making money off of this exhaustive gambit into the law firm rankings market?
Yes, we’ve been gone. Where we’ve been — poetry workshop, rehab, hiking the Appalachian Trail? — doesn’t matter. What matters is that we’re back, and our team of interns has diligently kept track of the nuptial triumphs and travesties that have occurred in our absence. We’ve identified the very best of the best couples from this spring, and hereby present the top five pairings for your edification and enrichment:
Hundreds have gathered here in Chicago for the 10th annual Inside Counsel SuperConference. Though it’s perfectly pleasant weather outside, the Fairmont Hotel meeting rooms are upholding the Windy City’s reputation for frigid temperatures.
Many of the sessions offer advice on how in-house counsel can improve their offerings to their companies and get the most from their outside counsel. One law firm that has set up shop in the vendors’ alley has an advertisement that reads, “The Billable Hour is dead… and we killed it” — a pure pander-play to cost-conscious in-house counsel.
But the conference is not dedicated solely to budget busting, belt-tightening moves. Last night was a celebration of female GCs and law firm partners, with a series of awards for successful women lawyers and the companies and firms that support them.
Winners offered advice on empowering women in the work place. I wish I’d kept count of the number of times I heard the word “mentor.” I also heard a new term: “the old girls’ network.”
* The Chicago Tribune takes a close look at the Tribune Company’s bankruptcy bills, and doesn’t like that Sidley Austin has charged $110,000 for photocopies. [Chicago Tribune via Romenesko]
* The lawyer behind the legal discovery that has brought sex abuse in the Catholic Church — and Pope Benedict XVI’s knowledge of it — to light: Jeff Anderson, whose own daughter was molested by a priest turned therapist when she was eight. [Associated Press]
* Florida attorney Gary Dorst had a blast this weekend. Well, almost. [WESH via ABA Journal]
On Halloween, a Sidley Austin-bound Harvard Law School grad celebrated by setting fire to a chapel holding remains from 9/11. His St. Patrick’s Day was less festive.
Yesterday, Brian Schroeder, who is no longer Sidley Austin-bound, appeared in criminal court and pleaded not guilty to arson and burglary.
According to court documents reviewed by DNA Info, Schroeder says he partied “through the night” on Ludlow Street in the Lower East Side, then walked two miles to set fire to the chapel on East 30th Street between 5 and 7 a.m.
Schroeder, 27, who graduated from Harvard Law School in 2009 and had reportedly taken Sidley’s pro bono deferral package, turned himself in to police the day of the fire. He may have set fire to the chapel, but not to his legal career. Though Sidley immediately rescinded his offer, he’s since found a job.
So what is his defense strategy — and his new employment?
Loren Friedman earned Lawyer of the Day honors here back in 2008, when the then-Curtis Mallet associate was busted for doctoring his law school grades from the University of Chicago, by changing Cs into Bs and As.
Almost two years after the ethics complaint against Friedman was filed, the Illinois Review Board has rendered its verdict.
(We’re a little late in bringing you the news; the Legal Profession Blog noted the judgment last week.)
UPDATE / CLARIFICATION: As noted by a commenter, Friedman won’t automatically be reinstated after 18 months. Rather, because the suspension is 18 months “and until further order of the court” (UFO), he will have to “satisfy his obligation of establishing his character and fitness before resuming practice.”
No big deal. Friedman has other things to occupy his time these days….
But there are other developments at Sidley too. Regarding start dates for class of 2010 graduates, a source reports:
Sidley Austin sent out letters regarding their deferral program. The details are a January 2012 start date, not optional. Health insurance coverage starting June 1, 2010 (thank goodness), and a stipend of $5000 / month starting January 2011. As usual, no stipend if we work for another law firm, and they reserve the right to call us back early if hell freezes over work picks up.
Sidley declined to comment on its deferral program.
On the subject of being summoned to work before 2011, we’d tell the tipster: hey, it might happen. As you may recall, some Sidley D.C. incoming associates were contacted over the summer and asked to start early.
A year and a half is a long time to be deferred. Hopefully members of the class of 2010 won’t get into as much trouble as Brian Schroeder during their time off.
CORRECTION: As noted in the comments, and confirmed by emails sent to us directly, Sidley is splitting up the class of 2010. Some are starting in January 2012 and some in January 2011 (which is apparently the earliest start date).
Speaking of Brian Schroeder, we wanted to draw your attention to one reader comment that struck us as funny, as well as yet yet another testimonial about him (to add to the prior ones).
We wrote earlier today about Brian Schroeder’s Halloween misadventures. On the morning of October 31, the Harvard Law ’09 grad set fire to a chapel housing the remains of unidentified 9/11 victims. He turned himself in that evening.
Sidley Austin has responded to our inquiry regarding Schroeder, who had summered with the firm in 2008. The firm says it officially rescinded Schroeder’s job offer today.
Many have written to us about Schroeder, expressing surprise that he would do something like this. A collection of comments, after the jump.
Jiminy jillickers! ATL editors are going all over the place over the next month or so. Or at least all over the Eastern Seaboard. If we aren’t heading to your neck of the woods on these trips, never fear, we may hit you up on the next time around. We’ve already hit up Houston, Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles in the past year.
Kinney Recruiting’sEvan Jowers is currently in Hong Kong for client meetings and still has a few slots available through October 22. Evan will also be in Hong Kong November 14 to December 15. Further, Robert Kinney has been in Frankfurt and Munich this week and is available for meetings with our Germany based readers.
One of our key law firm clients has referred us to one of their important clients in the US, Europe and China – a leading global technology supplier for the auto industry – in order to handle their search for a new Asia General Counsel and Asia Chief Compliance Officer.
Kinney is exclusively handling this in-house search.
This position will have a lot of responsibility and include supervision of eight attorneys underneath them in the Asia in-house team. The new hire will report directly to the global general counsel and global chief compliance officer, who is based in the US. The new hire’s ability to make judgement calls is going to be as important as their technical skill set background.
The position is based in Shanghai and will deal with the company’s operations all over Asia and also in India, including frequent acquisitions in the region.
It is expected that the new hire will come from a top US firm’s Shanghai, Beijing or Hong Kong offices, currently in a top flight corporate practice at the senior associate, counsel or partner level. Of course, the candidate can be currently in a relevant in-house role.
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