America is a mobile country. You notice that I am not living in West Virginia anymore.
- Biglaw, Billable Hours, Deaths, Labor / Employment, Midsize Firms / Regional Firms, Ohio State - Moritz College of Law, Small Law Firms
We tend to think of the biggest Biglaw firms as “sweatshops,” while we view small firms, midsize or regional firms, or even Am Law 200 firms as “lifestyle” shops. The thought is that the big bad firms that service Wall Street clients will grind you up and spit you out, while somewhat smaller firms will allow you to have a normal life as you pursue your career.
It’s a great story, but it’s not necessarily a true one. Sometimes working at a smaller firm or a regional firm just means the same work with more pressure and less pay. Attorneys at such firms, whether partners or associates, don’t always have the kind of resources that Biglaw attorneys enjoy. There aren’t multiple layers of staffing available to double- or triple-check every document. It’s a lot of stress.
And stress can be just as deleterious to your health when working at a regional firm as it is when you work for a truly huge firm. This week, we’ve been fielding a bunch of reports about an associate who passed away at home after working what some tipsters report as maniac hours at his regional law firm the week before.
It’s a sad story, one that some accuse the law firm of trying to cover up, but it’s another opportunity for us to remind readers to take care of themselves even when work seems overwhelming…
Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and for some people, it represents a time to serenade a sweetheart, pop bottles of champagne, and stare dreamily into the eyes of Mr. or Ms. Right (or Right Now, as the case may be). For others, Valentine’s Day is a time of loneliness and despair — angry, bitter lawyers, we’re looking at you — where only the commiseration of other single friends can lift one’s spirits.
For others still, Valentine’s Day is a time to ponder how their spouse got so fat, and why they decided to marry such an obnoxious, sniveling idiot. For the last category of those who will be
celebrating lamenting Valentine’s Day this year, we’ve got a possible salve for your marital woes.
As we mentioned in Morning Docket, those who hope to dodge Cupid’s arrows this year can enter a contest in the hopes of winning a free divorce. There’s just one catch….
- Antitrust, Arnold & Porter, Biglaw, Breasts, Department of Justice, Gay Marriage, Google / Search Engines, Law Schools, Morning Docket, New Jersey, Privacy, Real Estate, Sex, Technology
* Time for a Biglaw battle: William Baer of Arnold & Porter is the front runner to take over the DOJ’s antitrust division, but could he lose the spot to one of O’Melveny’s finest, Richard Parker? [Blog of Legal Times]
* It’s about time people remembered there’s no such thing as privacy anymore, but in case you forgot, Google is here to remind you. Say hello to the company’s latest plan for internet domination. [Washington Post]
* Indiana Tech is breaking ground on the law school nobody wants, and St. Louis University is moving the law school everyone hopes will attract more NFL cheerleaders. [National Law Journal; St. Louis Business Journal]
* Pamela Anderson has settled a lawsuit over her alleged failure to promote the sale of condominiums. Because people would totally buy a condo after a pair of boobs told them to do it. [Winnipeg Free Press]
* Two men from West Virginia claim that they were sexually assaulted by Andy Dick in a nightclub. The long and short of this lawsuit: Andy Dick has been accused of allegedly acting like Andy Dick. [Toronto Sun]
* Herman Cain says he’s not in the habit of sexually harassing women. That’s too bad, because he’s got a great pick-up line for Election 2012: “I got your 9-9-9 right here. It’s in my pants.” [Reuters]
* Apparently Andrew Shirvell “has a history of trying desperately to smear people.” When so many people think you’re a closet case, that kind of a statement could be taken out of context. [Detroit Free Press]
* In college football news, West Virginia University wants to lose to unranked teams in a relevant conference so badly that the school is suing the Big East in the hopes of getting embarrassed quicker. [Washington Post]
Over the summer, we wondered: what can law firms do to prepare for a possible double-dip recession?
One obvious answer: firms can “right-size” themselves, by making sure that they are as lean and as mean as they can be. And this seems to be what has been happening over the past few months.
We haven’t seen much in terms of lawyer layoffs lately, but staff layoffs are another story. In fact, on the staff side, we seem to be looking at a trend of firms reducing their permanent staff positions in favor of outsourcing.
Since August, we’ve learned of staff layoffs at O’Melveny & Myers (75 positions) and Paul Hastings (45 positions) — both as a result of domestic outsourcing to outside service providers. In addition, Pillsbury Winthrop announced that it might have to cut staffers who aren’t willing to relocate to its new Professional Services Center in Nashville. This prompted us to ask: Is On-Shore Outsourcing the Biglaw Wave of the Future?
The big news this morning is bad news for the staff at O’Melveny & Myers. News started leaking out last night that the firm would be laying off 75 support staff members.
The firm has confirmed the news that was first published in The Recorder.
Approximately half the of the laid-off O’Melveny staffers will be cut outright. The other half will have the opportunity to be relocated to scenic West Virginia….
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- 4th Circuit, Barack Obama, Biglaw, Drinking, Election 2012, Federal Judges, Football, Job Searches, Money, Morning Docket
* Congratulations to Stephanie D. Thacker of West Virginia. She was nominated to fill a seat on the Fourth Circuit. If she doesn’t have a family circle, things will go well in her confirmation hearing. [State Journal]
* Money might not grow on trees, but it certainly grows on financial reform legislation. Thanks to the Dodd-Frank Act, the pockets of Biglawyers will continue to be lined with cash for years to come. [New York Times]
* Skinnygirl is supposed to be “the margarita you can trust,” but now the company is facing two class actions. I’ve never tried it (duh), but it’s never good to put your trust in alcohol. [Thomson Reuters News & Insight]
The record in such cases, although voluminous, often fails to precisely reflect the relationships between the parties and to include the documents (particularly with respect to who owns the loan) that are necessary to evaluate the claims. Such failures are a disservice to both the parties and the court, and, in other circumstances, may undermine a party’s claim or defense. Were I forced to delve fully into the merits of this case, I am not certain that it would be possible to put Humpty Dumpty back together again.