White & Case

An old white male and his younger diverse peeps.

Law firm diversity matters. It matters to corporate clients, many of them public companies that want to demonstrate their commitment to diversity through their selection of vendors and service providers — which is what law firms are, at the end of the day. It matters to the law students and lawyers that firms are trying to recruit — which is the premise behind the data collection conducted by Building A Better Legal Profession.

So there should be keen interest in the latest edition of the American Lawyer’s Diversity Scorecard 2011, which the magazine just released. As Am Law explains, the Scorecard constitutes its annual ranking of large law firms by their percentage of minority attorneys and minority partners.

Let’s take a look at the top firms for diversity. Did your firm make the list?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Which Law Firms Are Most Diverse? Let’s Look at the Rankings”

Let’s all take a deep breath. Associate bonus season, which usually wraps up sometime in January, looks like it’s been extended well into April. This is just more proof that Biglaw firms don’t actually collude. No rational business person would want to be making decisions in April 2011 about how much to pay employees for 2010 performance.

For those trying to keep score, there seem to be the following categories of firms (roughly using a letter-grade system):

A – Firms that are paying Cravath-level spring bonuses in all offices. (Example: Cravath.) [FN1]
B – Firms that are paying Sullivan & Cromwell-level spring bonuses in all offices. (Example: S&C.)
C – Firms that are paying spring bonuses in New York but not elsewhere, like California or D.C.. (Example: Read more below.)
D – Firms that are not paying spring bonuses because their year-end bonuses beat the Cravath year-end bonuses, and they’re hoping their associates can’t add. (Example: CHECK YOU QUINN EMANUEL.)
F – Firms that are not paying spring bonuses and invite disgruntled associates to S some D if they don’t like it. (Example: Jones “We can still hear all the poors who live inside your black box” Day.)

Right now, we want to focus on Group C. Group B gets a pass because they started the spring bonus phenomenon and goddamnit we’re going to respect that. Partners at firms in Groups D & F will have to examine their own motives for why they want their associates to secretly hate them.

But Group C is weird. Why create inter-office jealousy and rage when most top firms are paying spring bonuses in all of their offices? Why look that desperate to save a little bit of money?

And you can’t spell “Weird Cost-Cutting” without White & Case

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Two months ago, when spring bonuses were new and fresh and exciting, we reported on spring bonus deliberations at Cadwalader (which eventually matched the market). At the time, I wrote: “If Cadwalader jumps into the spring bonus pool, we’re going to have to start asking questions about Paul Weiss, Willkie Farr, White & Case (don’t laugh), and other well-known New York City firms.”

Well, I’m not here to say “I told you so.” I’m here to say “I was wrong.” It turns out that you are most certainly allowed to laugh. Because White & Case wants to jump into the spring bonus pool without actually telling people if it is matching the spring bonus market. The White & Case “spring bonus” could be a goddamn unlimited MetroCard for all we know. Do the managers at White & Case think they can appear to be paying market compensation without actually paying market compensation?

That’s funny….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Associate Bonus Watch: White & Case’s Mystery Spring Bonuses”

* Watch out, Ivy League law schools: UC Irvine is coming after your faculty members (starting with the clinical professors). [National Law Journal]

* White & Case hires Charlie Monteith, an expert in the U.K.’s new Bribery Act (discussed in Gabe Acevedo’s last column). [WSJ Law Blog]

* How are employment prospects for Yale Law School graduates these days? [Law and More]

* Musical chairs, D.C. edition: some notable moves and partner promotions inside the Beltway. [Washingtonian]

* Are you a law student in or from New York, with an interest in antitrust? Then check this out. [Truth on the Market]

Craig Primis of Kirkland & Ellis

Earlier this week, we introduced six Washington, D.C. law firm partners chosen by our readers as the best partners to work for.  The next six partners we present to you today come from some of the nation’s finest law firms:  Gibson Dunn, Kirkland & Ellis, Latham & Watkins, Orrick, White & Case, and Willkie Farr.

For more information about these firms generally, visit the Career Center.

Without further ado, let’s find out who these premier partners are . . .

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Career Center Survey Results: Top Partners to Work for – Washington, D.C. (Part 2)”

500 West End Avenue: former home of Tina Fey, until she sold - to a law firm partner.

After suffering through a brutal recession that was fueled, in part, by the collapse of the real estate market, you’d think that nobody would want to read about real estate ever again. But that’s not what’s happening in the blogosphere, where real estate is hotter than ever.

For example, consider Lockhart Steele’s Curbed, an excellent network of sites focused on real estate and interior design. Curbed is thriving, and it recently launched a national edition.

Above the Law readers are similarly obsessed with real estate. Is it because everyone had to take Property as 1Ls? For whatever reason, Lawyerly Lairs is one of our most popular and well-trafficked features. The last installment, a visit to the $4.7 million Chicago townhouse of outgoing Northwestern Law dean David Van Zandt, continues to be a top post (even though it dates back to before Thanksgiving).

So let’s give you more of the real estate porn you want and deserve. In today’s Lawyerly Lairs, focused on ATL’s home city of New York, we look at the recently acquired, envy-inducing residences of partners at three leading law firms: White & Case, Sullivan & Cromwell, and Linklaters.

The first featured residence even has a celebrity connection: the seller was Tina Fey, fabulous television and movie star (and Sarah Palin impersonator)….

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As we’ve covered in these pages, a fair amount of talent has departed from White & Case in the past few months. The latest to leave: Kathleen Pakenham, a leading litigatrix in tax, who has moved over to Cooley as a partner.

Is this part of a larger trend? And will it continue?

“In under a year, White & Case has lost nearly 40 partners, most of whom have the largest books of business in the firm,” according to one source. “Many of the partner departures have been widely covered by the media — e.g., the 13 departures to Latham in London — but many more have been under the radar screen.”

We’ve received divergent opinions, however, on the extent and significance of the partner losses. Some say that many of the partners who left are not major names and have limited books of business, and that 40 is far too high for the number of departures in the past year. According to the Lawshucks Lateral Tracker, at least 28 attorneys have left W&C since October 2009, but we don’t know the number for the trailing 12 months.

Who are some of the other White & Case lawyers that have left for other firms? What are the broader implications of these departures? And what does the firm have to say about all of this?

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White and Case logo.JPGWe’ve written before about partner departures from White & Case. Earlier this month, we discussed the firm’s Palo Alto office, which has recently lost some talent.

The latest partner to leave: patent litigator Jennifer L. Yokoyama, who has accepted an in-house position at Nike. Her departure from W&C is effective April 2.

“We are sorry to lose such a talented young partner in Jennifer,” said Bijal Vakil, executive partner of White & Case’s Palo Alto office. “Nike has a good eye for talent. We wish her and Nike well and look forward to remaining in contact.”

“It is a difficult decision for me to leave White & Case,” said Yokoyama. “It is a great Firm, and the Palo Alto office has an abundance of excellent attorneys and is a wonderful place to work. I could not, however, pass up the opportunity with Nike. It is a dream job for me and one that I could not turn down. I wish my friends and colleagues at White & Case continued success and will miss them dearly.”

How will Yokoyama’s leaving affect White & Case?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Musical Chairs: Another White & Case Partner Departure
Jennifer Yokoyama Goes In-House to Nike.

Spring! Cherry blossoms, opening day, and pedigreed lawyers uniting in marriage. We’re pleased to be back with another installment of Legal Eagle Wedding Watch, featuring these three impressive couples:

1.) Susannah Foster and Kenyon Weaver
2.) Kathleen DeLaney and Courtney Thomas
3.) Heath Kern and Joseph Gibson

More on our finalists, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Legal Eagle Wedding Watch 2.24 and 3.2: Cancún Honeymoon”

* A clever parody of the Clemens hearing. [PrawfsBlawg]

* They have a talent for bench-slappery down in Texas. [Sophistic Miltonian Serbonian Blog; Supreme Court of Texas Blog]

* T-T-T-Trouble for TTT schools? [ABA Journal]

* Lawyer of the Day: White & Case associate Tabber Benedict, fixed up by the matchmaking cabbie. [ABC News]

* One more free legal research site (to add to the ones mentioned yesterday). [AltLaw]

UPDATE: We don’t like having to explain ourselves like this; it’s rather inelegant. But after reading some of the comments, we thought a brief clarification might be in order.

This commenter is right — our use of the term “TTT” is tongue-in-cheek. We intend no disrespect to any particular law schools (or their students or faculty members). Thanks.

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