Although our colleague Elie Mystal is on vacation this week, he took some time today to sit down with Fox Business News, where he discussed how some large law firms enjoyed record profits in 2009 — thanks, in part, to record layoffs.
An added bonus: he offered weight loss advice! No donuts involved.
Are you one of the 21 percent of law school students who, due to the changing legal job market, regret going to law school? If going to law school was a stupid decision decision for you, then congratulations — Vinny Guadagnino, the “self-confessed mama’s boy” of Jersey Shore fame, is smarter than you are.
We mentioned his recent interview with Us Magazine before, but in case you missed it — and, judging from all the emails we’ve been getting about it, it seems many of you did — let’s go over the highlights.
Like his undergraduate GPA — which is probably higher than yours….
As a denizen of New York City, I find that I have to deal with people who could be cast members on The Jersey Shore all the time. They clog up my 4 train when the Yankees are playing. They bounce at bars and clubs. Here in the city, you can even see them in their natural habitat, Gold’s Gym.
That’s why I was surprised when students at NYU Law School offered $2,000 in an unsuccessful attempt to get Snooki to come out and party with them. Why buy the landfill when you can get trash for free?
But in the hearty Midwest, it’s a little easier to understand why the cast from Jersey Shore can be so compelling. I mean, from the perspective of a Midwesterner, the cast of Jersey Shore must look like an alien species. I bet a Midwesterner would look at J-WOWW with the same level of fascination I’d regard Michele Bachmann. “What does it eat?” “Can I pet it?” “If I use a sentence comprised entirely of polysyllabic words, will its head explode?”
So, I have a modicum of understanding for the underground movement happening at the University of Wisconsin Law School. Here’s part of a letter that Above the Law received yesterday:
I am a third-year law student at the University of Wisconsin Law School. My graduation is fast approaching and so far we (my classmates and I) have not heard who is going to be our guest speaker. However, the last thing I want to hear during my graduation is how great we are for becoming young lawyers, and that we have such a promising future ahead, especially considering our employment options currently. Instead a couple of classmates and I have come up with this great idea. If our futures are going to dissolve following graduation, we want to go down “guns blazing.” We want to raise money in order to bring the cast of Jersey Shore to come as our guest speakers.
Wasn’t this the setup for The Simple Life?
Are the Wisconsin students serious? More details after the jump.
Last night, Marin liveblogged ABC’s new legal series, The Deep End. Over 2,000 ATL readers joined her for the series premiere. From the sound of it, doing doc review would have been a more enjoyable way to spend a Thursday evening. Marin declared:
this is why I only watch reality tv…. too painful to see how our nation’s brightest script writers can’t approximate real dialogue and human experience
The show was created by Biglaw refugee David Hemingson, a ’90 Columbia law grad who summered at Milbank and worked for a few years at Loeb & Loeb in LA before turning to script-writing. Hemingson told the WSJ Law Blog:
How’d you go about making it real? Did you visit law firms?
I’d really stayed on the periphery of the legal world, and checked in with a lot of former colleagues and friends who are partners now. In addition I got in touch with a lot of people in their 20s and 30s. Everyone seemed to say the same thing about life as a young associate: you’re overworked and underfed in terms of guidance. You’re constantly overmatched and outgunned. You love the life and career, but constantly feel a bit in over your head.
Apparently, he stayed very far on the periphery. Says Marin:
Folks, I don’t even know what to say. This show is worse that I thought. It’s too ridiculous for words.
But lots of words have been written about it. Reviews from around the Web suggest that this group of fake lawyers can expect layoffs in the near future.
On Tuesday, we tuned in to the late night show debacle unfolding at NBC. On his show that night, Conan O’Brien shared insights about the lawyerly wranglings. From US Magazine:
“Hi, I’m Conan O’Brien, and I’m just three days away from the biggest drinking binge in history,” he said during Tuesday’s monologue. “I spent the afternoon at Universal Studios’ amusement park, enjoying their brand-new ride, the ‘Tunnel of Litigation.’”
Noting reports that he is legally prohibited from bad-mouthing the network behind the mess (Jay Leno is taking over O’Brien’s time slot after his prime time show was axed), O’Brien joked in his monologue Tuesday “Nobody said anything about speaking in Spanish.”
He then rails off an insult in Spanish which translates to: “NBC is run by brainless sons of goats who eat money and crap trouble.”
The final deal includes a payout of approximately $32.5 million for Mr. O’Brien and roughly $12 million for his staff, according a person familiar with the matter. The agreement will allow Mr. O’Brien to appear on another network beginning Sept. 1, the person said….
NBC, which is controlled by General Electric Co., will retain the rights to at least some of the comedic material from the show, according to people familiar with the matter. The deal also includes a non-disparagement clause, both for the 46-year-old comedian and NBC, and a provision that was said to bar or limit Mr. O’Brien from appearing on others’ shows for a period of time, according to people familiar with the negotiations.
Jay Leno gets to reclaim his 11:35 p.m. show starting March 1. Meanwhile, David Letterman is probably just happy that Leno and Conan are monopolizing the late night news cycle instead of his own legal troubles.
What impact will this $45-million ruffling of the Peacock Network’s feathers have on entertainment law practices?
Two experts opine on what this means for the entertainment law industry, and the major takeaway lesson for talent lawyers, after the jump.
If you’re like most Biglaw attorneys, your days as a first-year associate were some of the best days of your life. The rush of arguing in court with no supervision. The tawdry office romances with beautiful, lonely seventh-years. The 6 p.m. happy hours where you and five of your hard-bodied colleagues sat around O’Neil’s sipping brewskis and bitching about how the firm was taking over your lives. Good times, man. Good friggin’ times.
Luckily, ABC is giving us another chance to relive these glory days with the premiere of The Deep End, a dramedy about a bunch of first-years at an L.A. firm called “Sterling.” The previews show two female associates changing shirts in the middle of the office, a dude waking up after sex, and people throwing paper at each other. That the show promises a laser-accurate, real-life portrayal is beyond question.
I hope you’ll join me as I liveblog the show tonight, starting at 8 p.m. ET, 7 p.m. CT. We’ll put up a post here at around 7:30 that will contain a dialog box. To access the liveblog, click the box. You can comment on the side of the box in real time and if I publish your comment, it will appear in the feed. So join me tonight, won’t you, as we crack open an ice cold beverage and tear this show a new one. Earlier: New ABC Show About Biglaw
As some of you know, I like television shows about lawyers. Granted, I liked them a lot better before I knew they were full of crap, but I still like them.
But not like this. This, my friends, is going to suck.
Duke University 2L Andrew Blumberg is a “Simpsons Superfan,” a designation that got him an appearance on the “Food Network Challenge” this past weekend. The challenge was to create a cake inspired by the Simpsons episode, “Last Tap Dance in Springfield”. Four “superfans” were paired with professional cake designers to ensure character fidelity in the final creations.
Blumberg was paired with a professional cake designer to craft a Bart Simpson cake. Almost anyone between the ages of 20 and 55 would likely claim the mantle of Simpson fan. How do you qualify as a “superfan”? From Duke Law News:
Qualifying as one of the show’s four “superfans” took more than just logging hours in front of the television, though. “One of the things I said that I think resonated with them was that I incorporate the Simpsons into the rest of my life,” Blumberg says.
Take, for example, the project he has been working on with Duke Law Professor Barak Richman to create a DVD that explains contracts using clips from Simpsons episodes. “That was one of the things that made me stand out from the crowd,” he says.
Mad points for any ATL reader who remembers the name of the stripper character that appeared in just one Simpsons episode (no Googling).
So how did Blumberg do on the show?
One of our favorite legal affairs journalists is switching networks. As first reported by Mediabistro, the fabulous (and fabulously talented) Jan Crawford Greenburg is leaving ABC News for CBS News. Greenburg, author of the excellent and bestselling Supreme Conflict (2007), will become Chief Legal Correspondent at CBS, as of January 4, 2010. Meanwhile, back at ABC, her Supreme Court beat will be picked up by Terry Moran.
Greenburg’s move to CBS is something of a homecoming, since she worked at the Tiffany Network prior to her three-year stint at ABC. At CBS she’ll work once again with Bob Schieffer, described by Fishbowl DC as her longtime friend and mentor.
Congratulations and good luck at your new (old) home, Jan!
JCG’s farewell email to her colleagues at ABC, plus the press release announcing her hire at CBS, after the jump.
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: [email protected].
Since late last year, things have been booming in Hong Kong / China in cap markets, especially Hong Kong IPOs. M&A deal flow has recently been getting a bit stronger as well. Although one can’t predict such things with any certainty, all signs are pointing to a banner entire 2014 for the top end US corporate and cap markets practices in Hong Kong / China. This is not really new news, as its been the feeling most in the market have had for a few months now and things continue to look good.
The head of our Asia practice, Evan Jowers, has been in Hong Kong for about 10 days a month (with trips every other month to both Shanghai and Bejing) for the past 7 months (Robert Kinney and Evan Jowers will be in Hong Kong again March 15 to 23), and spending most of his time there meeting with senior US hiring partners at just about all the major US and UK firms there, as well as prospective candidates at all associate levels and partner levels, and when in the US, Evan works Asia hours and is regularly on the phone with such persons, as our the other members of our Asia team. Our Yuliya Vinokurova is in Hong Kong every other month and Robert is there about 5 times a year as well. While we have a solid Asia team of recruiters, Evan Jowers will spend at least some time with all of our candidates for Asia position. We have had long standing relationships, and good friendships in some cases, with hiring partners and other senior US partners in Asia for 8 years now.
Are you challenged by the costs and logistics of maintaining your office, distracting you from the practice of law?
Many small firms are successfully moving part—or even all—of their practice to a virtual setting. This even includes multi-jurisdictional practice spanning several states and practice areas, although solo and small partnerships are still the largest adopters of virtual law.
Can you do the same? The new article Mobile in Practice, Virtual by Design from author Jared Correia, Esq., explores how mobile technology bring real-life benefits to a small law firm. Read this new article—the next in Thomson Reuters’ Independent Thinking series for small firms—to explore how a mobile practice:
Everyone is talking about the importance of Social Media in Corporate America. But it is relatively safe to say that most law firms and lawyers are slightly behind the social curve. Most lawyers, at minimum, use LinkedIn, for networking. Some even use Twitter for pushing out short, pithy content, while many have Blogs, where they write their little hearts out. The adage “it is better to give than to receive” is not always true though in the world of Social. In the Social World – it is best to listen, give back and engage.
Social Media is a communications tool that can deeply educate you about the needs and wants of your clients and prospects when used in conjunction social media monitoring and sharing tools.
Take this quick quiz and see if you know how to use Social to help you engage more with your clients or to better service the ones you have.