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:
Professor Joel P. Trachtman has developed a unique, practical guide to help lawyers analyze, argue, and write effectively.
The Tools of Argument: How the Best Lawyers Think, Argue, and Win is a highly readable 200-page book, available for about $10 in paperback or e-book. Chapters focus on foundational principles in legal argument: procedure, interpretation of contracts and statutes, use of evidence, and more. The material covered is taught only implicitly in law school. Yet, when up-and-coming attorneys master these straightforward tools, they will think and argue like the best lawyers.
For most attorneys, time spent managing the books is a necessary evil at best. Yet it is undeniably a crucial aspect of running a successful practice. With that in mind, we invite you to view or download a free webinar by Above the Law and our friends at Clio to learn how to better manage your finances.
Take this opportunity to learn what it takes to streamline your accounting and get the most out of your time. The webinar agenda:
● The basics of accounting for lawyers.
● How legal accounting differs from regular accounting.
● Report and reconciliation issues surrounding trust accounts.
● How to pick and integrate the best accounting tools for your practice.
● Steps to prepare your tax return for your firm’s income.
Do not miss this crucial chance to optimize your accounting practices. Save time and get back to billing!
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.
Please note that Evan Jowers and Robert Kinney are still in Hong Kong and will stay FOR THE REMAINDER OF THIS WEEK. We still have a handful of available slots for meetings with our Asia Chronicles fans. If we have not been in touch lately, reach out and let us know when we could meet! There is no need for an agenda at all. Most of our in-person meetings on these trips are with folks who understand that improving a legal practice through lateral hiring is an information-driven process that takes time to handle correctly.
Regarding trends in lateral US associate hiring in Hong Kong, we of course keep much of what we know off of this blog. Based on placement revenue, though, Kinney is having one of our most successful years ever in Asia. We are helping a number of our law firm clients with M&A, fund formation, cap markets, project finance, FCPA and disputes openings. These are very specific needs in many cases, so a conversation with us before jumping in may be helpful. As always, we like to be sure to get the maximum number of interviews per submission, using a well-informed, highly targeted, and selective approach, taking into account short, medium and long-term career aims.
Making a well informed decision during a job search is easier said than done – the information we provide comes from 10 years of being the market leader in US attorney placements at the top tier firms in Asia. There is no substitute for having known a hiring partner since he/she was an associate or for having helped a partner grow his or her practice from zip to zooming, and this is happily where we stand today – with years of background information on just about every relevant person in all the markets we serve, and most especially in Hong Kong/China/Greater Asia. So get in touch and get a download from us this week if we can fit it in, or soon in any case!