On Sex and the City, Samantha was never seen scrolling through comments on news blogs to make sure her clients’ reputations weren’t being maligned. Instead, she attended fancy New York parties and talked up her roster of good-looking clients.
But SATC is dated. The work of public relations professionals has been made harder (and less glamorous) by the explosion of online news sources. We know that law firm PR folks spend a healthy amount of time monitoring the legal blogosphere to do damage control for their firms. Another place they need to watch is Wikipedia.
The crowd-source encyclopedia has become the go-to reference site for most Internetters. Society’s sages often warn people not to take everything they find in Wikipedia at face value — since the information does not necessarily come from experts and is not systematically vetted — but that advice often goes unheeded.
Because Wikipedia is such an important source of information, and so easily edited, some try to manipulate entries to give them a positive or negative spin. Lawyers at certain firms have been found guilty of this before (e.g., Wachtell). Sometimes dueling manipulation of an entry reaches the level of what Wikipedia calls an edit war — when two or more editors are continually overriding one another’s changes.
The Wikipedia gods ordered an end to the war on the page of Latham & Watkins. BLY1 noticed that the page was put on lockdown. A note from the Wikipedia war god says:
NOTE: IF YOU HAVE COME HERE TO EDIT ABOUT LAYOFFS, THINK TWICE. EDITS MUST BE FACTUALLY VERIFIABLE, AND NEUTRAL. IF YOU ARE CONNECTED TO THIS COMPANY IN ANY WAY WE ADVISE YOU *NOT* TO TOUCH IT.
Someone kept inserting references to Latham’s layoffs and how hard hit first-year associates were. That info has now been scrubbed from the page.
We decided to take a stroll though the revision history of other law firm pages to see who needs to do clean up, and who has done clean up. Cravath, for example, had a very interesting description for a short time…
We’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.”
Lucky little 3Ls with offers, are you dreaming of the Biglaw days that await you? If your firm didn’t tell you last summer that you would be deferred, you should be hearing about your start date soon… right?
Some people have started hearing news. Those heading to White & Case have not gotten start dates but they have heard about their deferral stipend. From a firm e-mail:
We are pleased to confirm that we will be paying a stipend of US$65,000 to students whose start dates have been deferred to Fall 2011. Almost all of you have accepted your offers, and we look forward to having you back at the Firm.
Some especially lucky little 3Ls actually know when they get to start…
Earlier this month, we wrote about the departure of over a dozen partners from White & Case to Latham & Watkins (which is once again in expansion mode). These defections took place mainly in London and the Middle East, outside our usual geographic focus; but they were sizable and dramatic, and therefore worth covering.
Am Law Daily described Latham’s poaching of White & Case lawyers as “among the more spectacular lateral raids of recent years.” As reporter Richard Lloyd breathlessly wrote, the moves “raise serious questions about White & Case’s London finance practice, its position in the Middle East market, and its relationships with such important clients as Deutsche Bank and Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabia’s national oil company.” In other words: the ship be sinking?
Well, not so fast. White & Case is rearranging the deck chairs taking decisive steps to beef up the offices that lost all that talent.
Our coverage of the London legal market tends to be episodic. We tried offering more regular coverage for a while, with our Letter from London column, but we put the feature on hold to focus on domestic developments. (We might revive the London column if we can find a sponsor for it.)
We will, however, cover major news out of London — such as last week’s massive defections from White & Case to Latham & Watkins.
Let’s finish off the prestigious Vault 20. Here we have some firms on the rise, and some firms that are … not.
Here is the next batch of firms:
16. WilmerHale 17. Latham & Watkins 18. Arnold & Porter 19. Jones Day 20. White & Case
Okay, before we discuss Latham and White & Case, let’s give a good cheer for WilmerHale (up one spot from last year), Arnold & Porter (up two spots from last year), and Jones Day (up four spots from last year).
The Jones Day surge is particularly impressive. You’ll remember that the firm slammed its competitors earlier this month. But it seems like the firm is walking the walk as well as talking the talk.
After the jump, you know what happens next.
Which New York law firm, having already completed two rounds of layoffs, has hired the Five O’Clock Club to help it carry out additional layoffs (in August, October, and November)?
After we ran the item, several firms came forward to declare they’re not the firm in question. And now they’re joined by one more: Morgan, Lewis & Bockius.
A spokesperson for Morgan Lewis contacted ATL to say that it isn’t the firm with layoffs in the works. In fact, Morgan Lewis claims that it shouldn’t even be on the shortlist of contenders.
Read why — and check out the list of the Five O’Clock Club’s clients, including some very prestigious law firms that haven’t publicly admitted to layoffs — after the jump.
On Monday, we tossed out a blind item about future layoffs at a Manhattan law firm, mentioned in the Washington Post as a client of the Five O’Clock Club, an outplacement firm. On Tuesday, with the help of Law Shucks, we narrowed down the list of suspects.
We’re happy to report that we can advance the ball on this. Three firms should be cleared of suspicion:
1. Dewey & LeBoeuf: A spokesperson from D&L stated that it is not the firm in question and has no layoff plans.
2. Schulte Roth & Zabel: A spokesperson from SRZ stated that it is not the firm in question and has not hired a layoff consultant or outplacement consultant.
3. White & Case: A reader pointed out to us that White & Case is listed as a Five O’Clock Club client (PDF). [Update: Looks like the client list has been removed, but we downloaded it; check it out here.]
This caused us to wonder if White & Case might be the firm at issue. But White & Case denies it.
There are times when Biglaw seems to speak with one voice. One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
This week appears to be one of those times.
Current summer associates all across the land are learning that any cherished hope of starting work in 2010 was a fool’s hope. Coming into this week Skadden, Cravath, Orrick and Ropes & Gray had deferred current summer associates (lucky enough to receive offers) to 2011 or beyond. But this week we’ve seen Hogan & Hartson, Morgan Lewis, and Weil Gotshal defer some of their current summer classes as well. White & Case is the latest firm to join the list.
Read the full memo after the jump.
If your firm is in ‘go’ mode when it comes to recruiting lateral partners with loyal clients, then take this quiz to see how well you measure up. Keep track of your ‘yes’ and ‘no’ responses.
1. Does your firm have a clearly defined strategy of practice groups that are priorities of growth for your office? Nothing gets done by random chance, but with a clear vision for the future. Identify the top practice areas for which you wish to add lateral partners. Seek input from practice group leaders and get specifics on needs, outcomes, and ideal target profiles.
2. In addition to clarifying your firm’s growth strategy, are you still open to the hire of a partner outside of your plan? I’ve made several placements that fit this category. The partner’s practice was not within the strategic growth plan of my client, but once the two parties started talking with each other, we all saw how it could indeed be a seamless fit. Be open to “Opportunistic Hires.” You never know where your next producing partner might come from, so you have to be open to it. I will be the first to admit that there is a quirky element of randomness in recruiting.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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