You can access the various charts via this portal page. Aric Press and Greg Mulligan summarize the results:
It could have been worse. That’s the best that can be said for the performance last year of The Am Law 100, the top-grossing law firms in the nation. Three of the four key categories we’ve measured for 25 years — gross revenue, head count, and revenue per lawyer — fell, while profits per equity partner (PPP) barely increased by 0.3 percent, or $3,463, to $1.26 million.
So PPP was basically stable in 2009 — not a bad result given the continuing economic weakness last year. Perhaps law firm partners are better business managers than they get credit for?
In November, Gregory Craig announced that he was leaving the White House for private practice. President Obama’s personal lawyer, Bob Bauer, was named as the new White House counsel.
In his resignation letter, Craig said that he would return to private practice “as of January 3, 2010.” At the time, we speculated that he might return to Williams & Connolly, the firm that had employed him since law school graduation. But today, W&C made it known to its associates that Craig would not be returning as a partner there.
Instead, he’ll be going to Skadden Arps. From an email sent out by Williams & Connolly senior partner Brendan Sullivan:
Greg Craig will not return to W&C as a litigator. Instead he has been invited to join Skadden to head a group which will focus on advising clients in need of public policy analysis.
Full email after the jump. Update: Also after the jump, WSJ Law Blog sheds light on why Craig chose Skadden.
At the end of a wild week that included Blue Monday, terrible (or terrific) Tuesday, and corporate-overlord Thursday (sponsored by Justice Anthony Kennedy), we bring you an unusually strong January edition of LEWW.
It features six lawyers in a wide range of practices: public sector, teaching, Biglaw, nonprofit — even personal injury (or “accident law,” as they apparently call it these days). Here are the lucky finalists:
The rumors circulated back in August, but now it looks like it’s finally happening. From Marc Ambinder, shortly before 11 on Thursday night:
Sources in government say that White House Counsel Gregory Craig has decided to resign, and that the president’s personal lawyer, Robert Bauer, will take his place. A formal announcement is slated next week, though word might drop tomorrow.
Looks like that announcement is getting sped up. More after the jump. UPDATE: Greg Craig’s resignation letter, also after the jump.
The litigators at Williams & Connolly are known for being a hard-charging bunch. So it’s probably not a wise idea to dare them to make your day — because they probably will.
From the BLT:
It’s not uncommon these days to see law firms suing former clients over unpaid legal bills (see, for instance, McDermott Will & Emery’s recent $606,000 case). Still, this latest bit of legal fee litigation seems remarkable: Williams & Connolly is taking a former client to court over $2 million after the company practically invited the firm to sue.
According to the complaint, Williams & Connolly and its ex-client, IDT, worked out a payment plan for $3 million in legal fees. IDT made the first $1 million payment, but then stopped paying on the debt.
So what happened next?
In this economy, if a newly-minted attorney can find a job, especially one paying over $100,000, she should be grateful. Based on our many conversations with law students and young lawyers, we think that most of them understand these new economic realities.
But not all of them. At least one Above the Law reader is still living in the heady days of “NY to 190.” Here’s what she wrote to us:
Can we put some pressure on firms that pay $160K to match at least those few firms that pay more than $160K (doesn’t a DC firm pay $180K and no, or little, bonuses?). It’s getting close to internal bonus discussion time, and any firm paying first years less than a $20K bonus will be paying less than those few firms, right?
Do we reward those firms paying a base of more than $160K with some positive press? If we do, does that put pressure on every other “peer firm” to remain a peer firm?
Honey, what recession-free universe are you living in? A sense of entitlement is so 2006.
A reality check, after the jump.
Even though we are moving out of the Vault top ten, we are still firmly in the land of law firms that everybody recognizes.
To refresh your memory, here is the next batch of firms on the Vault list:
11. Williams & Connolly 12. Debevoise & Plimpton 13. Paul Weiss 14. Gibson Dunn 15. Sidley Austin
Williams & Connolly was crowned the safest firm by Above the Law readers in March. And so far, the firm has worn its crown with grace and style. No layoffs to report at this small dynamo. It’s something to consider during this recruiting season.
After the jump, the Paul Weiss / Gibson Dunn troll fight starts in 3 … 2 … 1 …
Governor Sarah Palin, the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee, announced today that she is resigning as governor of Alaska on July 25.
“We know we can effect positive change outside government at this moment in time on another scale and actually make a difference for our priorities,” said Palin. Check out her full statement here (PDF).
Palin may not be a lawyer, but she’s definitely a client. She owes more than $500,000 to the Alaska law firm of Clapp, Peterson, Van Flein, Tiemessen & Thorsness, which has defended her against various ethics complaints. Paying off her debt shouldn’t be a problem, thanks to the (surely lucrative) book deal negotiated for her by Williams & Connolly super-agent Robert Barnett (who spoke to ATL last September, when his firm hired appellate superstar Kannon Shanmugam).
We wish Governor Palin the best of luck in her future endeavors. Hopefully she will remain on the national stage for years to come. Update: According to the New York Times, legal bills played a significant role in Palin’s decision to step down. Palin to Resign as Alaska Governor on July 25 [Washington Post] Palin to Resign as Governor of Alaska [The Caucus / New York Times]
The members of Dangerous Communication Device (Williams & Connolly), celebrating their victory.
Last night we reported on the Battle of the Law Firm Bands, held last week in Washington, DC. The evening raised over $80,000 for Gifts for the Homeless, a non-profit, all-volunteer organization supported by the city’s legal community to help the homeless.
Eleven bands competed, and one was victorious: Dangerous Communication Device, from Williams & Connolly. They won by raising more money than any other band: over $15,000. (The vote was conducted “Chicago-style,” with each vote requiring a dollar contribution to GFTH.)
Read our interview with the band, after the jump.
It’s time for readers to choose the Legal Eagle Wedding Watch’s Mr. and Mrs. April 2009. Will it be the couple with four Penn degrees, the spunky HLS grads, or the silver-haired former ambassador and his Bushie bride?
Keep in mind that when you vote, you’ll be helping to determine which couple will be eligible to compete in December for the honor of being ATL’s 2009 Couple of the Year — the crème de la crème of legal/marital enviability.
Here are your finalists:
If you are considering a virtual law practice, you know that many of today’s solo firms started that way. But why are established, multi-attorney law firms going virtual?
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:
Reduces malpractice risk
Enables you to gather the best attorneys to fit the firm, regardless of each person’s geographic location
Leverages mobile devices and cloud technology to enable on-the-spot client and prospect communication
Transitioning in-house is something many (if not most) firm lawyers find themselves considering at some point. For many, it’s the first step in their career that isn’t simply a function of picking the best option available based on a ranking system.
Unknown territory feels high-risk, and can have the effect of steering many of us towards the well-greased channels into large, established companies.
For those who may be open to something more entrepreneurial, there is far less information available. No recruiter is calling every week with offers and details.
In sponsorship with Betterment, ATL and David Lat will moderate a panel about life in-house and we’ll hear from GCs at Birchbox, Gawker Media, Squarespace, Bonobos, and Betterment. Drinks, snacks, networking, and a great time guaranteed. Invite your colleagues, but RSVP fast, as space is limited.
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 seven years. You can reach them by email: email@example.com.
It’s that time of year again when JDs are starting to apply for 2L summer jobs and 2L summers are deciding which practice area to focus on.
For those JDs with an interest in potentially lateraling to or transferring to Asia in the future, please feel free to reach out to Kinney for advice on firm choices, interviewing and practice choices, relating to future marketability in Asia, or for a general discussion on your particular Asia markets of interest. This is of course a free of cost service for those who some years in the future may be our future industry contacts or perhaps even clients.
For some years now Kinney’s Asia head, Evan Jowers, has been formally advising Harvard Law students with such questions, as the Asia expert in Harvard Law’s “Ask The Experts Market Program” each summer and fall, with podcasts and scheduled phone calls. This has been an enjoyable and productive experience for all involved.