This may be disappointing, but it honestly shouldn’t be shocking. Davis Polk may be a market leader when it comes to beautiful offices or beautiful associates, but historically it has been cheap hasn’t led the way on associate compensation.
Despite the lack of surprise, early reactions to the DPW bonus news seem… unfavorable. It’s not normal to see a Davis Polk lawyer use his or her temper, but some associates are clearly upset.
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).
What does it mean to be “newly admitted?” To us, it means endless possibilities!
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We currently have a number of active openings for associate roles at US and UK firms in HK / China, Singapore and two new in-house openings. As always, please feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com in order to get details of current openings in Asia, as well as to discuss the Asia markets in general and what we expect for openings later this year. Our Evan Jowers and Robert Kinney will be in Beijing the week of March 25 and Evan Jowers will be in Hong Kong the week of April 1, if you would like to meet them in person.
The US associate openings we have in law firms are in the usual areas of M&A, cap markets, FCPA / white collar litigation, finance, and project finance. The most urgent of our top tier (top 15 US or magic circle) law firm openings in Asia (among many other firm openings that we have in Asia) are as follows:
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In a land that is right here and in a time that is right now, a technology has arisen so powerful that it can replace basic human document review. Is it time to bow down before our new robot overlords?
First, here’s a little story about me: my life in the legal world began as a paralegal. My first case was a GIANT patent infringement case that was already six years old and had involved as many as five companies, multiple US courts, the ITC and an international standards committee. I knew nothing about any of this.
On my first day, my supervisor (a paralegal with at least eight other cases driving her crazy) sat me down in front of a Concordance database with a 100,000+ patents and patent file histories. “Code these,” she said. I learned that “coding”, for the purposes of this exercise, meant manually typing the inventor’s name, the title of the patent, the assignee, the file date, and other objective data for each document. I worked on that project – and only that project – for at least the first six months of my job. After a week or so, time began to blur.
What I know, in retrospect and with absolutely certainty, is that as time began to blur, so did my judgment. So did my attention to detail. If you could tell me that I did not make at least one mistake a day – one inconsistent spelling, one reversed day and month, one incorrectly spaced title – I frankly would need to see your evidence. I would not believe it. The human mind is trainable but it is not a machine.
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