We had a tough time picking our finalist couples this week, and LEWW will be the first to admit that we’re not totally certain we chose the right three. (We’re sure our commenters and e-mailers will let us know if we’ve dropped the ball.) Specifically, in addition to our three finalists, we considered thesethreecouples, and if you work at Shearman, Simpson Thacher, Wachtell, Willkie, or Ropes & Gray, you might want to click on those links to read about your colleagues or their spawn.
But onward to this week’s finalists! Here they are:
As we have previously bitterly lamentedobserved, sometimes it seems like all the blessings of life are reserved for Supreme Court clerks. And they include not just $250,000 signing bonuses and top-shelf legal jobs, but luxury real estate, too.
This latest Lawyerly Lairs post looks at the expanding digs of Joel I. Klein (Powell) and his wife, Nicole K. Seligman (OT 1984/Marshall). From the New York Observer:
New York is a city of poshly-housed public servants.
The mayor owns two mansions in the East 70’s; the governor goes rent-free in a terraced Fifth Avenue apartment (it’s owned by his dad); development chief Robert Lieber has a new $7.25 million condo at Trump International; and even Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum is in the Beresford.
Now Schools Chancellor Joel Klein has bonus space on Park Avenue. He and his wife Nicole Seligman, a Sony executive vice president (and an ex-lawyer for both Oliver North and Bill Clinton) have paid $1.7 million for their second apartment at 95-year-old 565 Park Avenue.
Yes, that’s right — their second apartment in this venerable building. The couple already own the unit directly above their new acquisition. Hello, duplex!
(C’mon, get real: Did you really expect Klein and Seligman to slum it in a sub-$2 million apartment? As people have observed countless times in these pages, $2 million doesn’t buy you much in NYC.)
More details after the jump.
Although the pace seems to be slowing, our open threads on Vault 100 firms continue to generate a decent quantity (and quality) of comments. So we’ll press on, for the benefit of those of you who are now in the throes of the law firm application process.
Please pose questions about and share insights into these five law firms (in Vault 100 order, with prestige scores in parentheses):
16. Williams & Connolly LLP (7.234) 17. Sidley Austin LLP (7.232) 18. Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP (7.158) 19. O’Melveny & Myers LLP (7.105) 20. White & Case LLP (7.092)
Over in the D.C. office of Baker & McKenzie, the natives are getting restless. They’ve prepared this cute little bar graph (thumbnail image; click to enlarge):
The graphic above also reflects that Williams & Connolly now pays starting salaries of $165,000. We hadn’t heard (or written) about that news, but it’s official.
Does anyone have a memo and/or more information about what Williams & Connolly pays beyond the first year? If so, please email us. Thanks. Update / Correction: Whoops, we forgot that W&C raised salaries back in March. What we were thinking, and meant to write, is that Williams & Connolly hasn’t raised associate salaries in response to the latest round of nationwide pay hikes (as kicked off by Orrick).
Remember that W&C traditionally doesn’t pay year-end bonuses, but pays an above-market base to make up for it. Their current scale — 165, 180, 195, etc. — is still above-market, but not by as much as usual. Further Update / Correction: Apparently Greenberg Traurig is still at $145K in Washington. We’ve revised the graph accordingly. Earlier: Nationwide Pay Raise Watch: What’s Up With Williams & Connolly?
We recently asked for information about compensation developments at Williams & Connolly. We haven’t heard anything about base salary increases; but we do have information about two other topics.
First, we’ve confirmed that the firm’s clerkship bonus currently stands at $25,000. If you do a district and circuit clerkship, you get $50,000.
Second, on Tuesday of this week, summer associate pay at W&C was raised to $3100 a week, retroactive to whenever the summers started. The information was conveyed orally (so no memo). From a summer: “While most of us were not overly concerned about the previous differential, the raise is definitely a nice and welcome gesture.” Earlier: Nationwide Pay Raise Watch: What’s Up With Williams & Connolly?
By email and in comments, readers have expressed significant curiosity about associate compensation at Williams & Connolly, the elite, Washington-based litigation boutique. We’d like to help; but we don’t have anything to report at the current time.
Here are some questions that we’d like your thoughts on:
1. Base Salaries. Historically the firm has paid above-market base salaries, but no bonuses. Back in March, Williams & Connolly raised to $165K. At that time, when homegrown D.C. firms were paying 145/155/170, a starting salary of $165,000 was well above the market.
But now that Washington-based firms have raised to 160/170/185, will Williams & Connolly raise again to stay ahead of the competition? Or might they stay at $165,000, but start paying bonuses?
2. Clerkship Bonuses: Speaking of bonuses…. The last we heard, Williams & Connolly paid a clerkship bonus of $25,000. Is that still correct? Do they differentiate between district and circuit court clerkships? What about people with two years of clerkship experience? Inquiring minds want to know.
Update: A current offeree confirms that the W&C clerkship bonus is still at $25K.
3. Summer Associates. A rumor, from a tipster:
The word is that summers aren’t being paid the first-year associate rate. They’re getting $2500 a week, while other DC summers are getting $3100.
Last week, we exhorted candidates to step it up for the high wedding season, and this week’s couples really responded. In fact, they brought the fabulosity in such a big way that LEWW has spent some anguished nights picking the three most deserving entries for this column.
Consider this: Our three featured couples are all lawyer-lawyer matings in which the least prestigious JDs are the two from Harvard! In order to narrow our list, we had to eliminate a gorgeous Harvard-Columbia offering with Skadden overtones and a robust NYU-Stanford entry with a wonderful floral bouquet.
LEWW is just sick about passing over all these shiny credentials. Now we know what a dean of admissions at a top-10 law school feels like!
Here are the amazing couples who made the initial cut:
We didn’t receive this information from a verified source at the firm, so please treat it as unconfirmed. We’re going to fact-check this information “blog-style”: we’re going to throw it out there, then wait for somebody to tell us it’s wrong (or to confirm it).
Anyway, here it is, from an email from an anonymous source:
On Tuesday, Williams & Connolly LLP raised its salaries across the board, retroactive to January 1. Starting salary for first-years is now $165,000.
You’ll note that these numbers are higher, at least in the most junior years, than what appears to be the new standard for Washington: 145/155/170/190. They’re also higher, at least in the first three years, than the new NYC scale (which also applies to the D.C. offices of New York firms): 160/170/185.
But this is consistent with the Williams & Connolly pay scale of years past. Their base salaries are somewhat higher than market; but they don’t pay year-end bonuses.
As noted, if you know this information to be incorrect — or if, on the other hand, you can confirm — please email us. Thanks! Update: The information appearing above, concerning Williams & Connolly, has been confirmed.
Legendary litigator Brendan Sullivan, who has been involved in some of the most high-profile cases of the past few decades, ensured his place in Bartlett’s when he quipped at the Iran-Contra hearings: “I’m not a potted plant.”
But despite not being a potted plant, Sullivan was unable to prevail against two of our former colleagues, Michael Martinez and Craig Carpenito, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Jersey. Martinez and Carpenito, a pair of superb young lawyers, were given the daunting task of handling the third trial of former Cendant chairman Walter Forbes. Their triumph over Sullivan and his Williams & Connolly team is chronicled in a fascinating article by Andrew Longstreth in this month’s American Lawyer.
More discussion of the piece, with a few added comments from us, after the jump.
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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.
Deal flow has clearly picked recently up for most US associates, counsels and partners in Hong Kong/China and Singapore. We are on the phone with a lot of these folks on a daily basis, many of whom we have known for years. Further, the head of our Asia team, Evan Jowers, and Kinney’s founder and president, Robert Kinney, frequently meet in person with leading US partners in Asia to assess their needs and keep on top of the inside scoop at as many firms as possible. The need for legal recruiting help in Asia from experienced recruiters appears to be live and well. In March, Evan and Robert were in Beijing at such meetings, in April, Evan was in Hong Kong, and for half of June Evan will be in Shanghai and Hong Kong. Thus its pretty easy for us to tell when there has been an across-the-market pick up in capital markets and corporate work.
On an average day in Asia when Evan and Robert visit firms, they typically have 5 to 9 meetings a day, mostly with US partners in the market. The reason they have these meetings is not simply because Kinney makes a lot of US attorney placements in Asia and that a particular firm may have openings; instead these are just visits with friends. After years of working together as business partners, the folks at Kinney are actually these peoples’ friends. The firms Kinney work closely with in Asia (which is just about every law firm – call us if you want to know the one firm in the world we will never place anyone with again, ever, and why) look forward to the visits, or at least act like they do. After seven years in the market, many of the client partners are former associate candidates. Also, these US partners see Kinney as a very good source of market information as well, because they know how deep their contacts are in the market and how frequently they are speaking to counterparts at peer firms.
In a land that is right here and in a time that is right now, a technology has arisen so powerful that it can replace basic human document review. Is it time to bow down before our new robot overlords?
First, here’s a little story about me: my life in the legal world began as a paralegal. My first case was a GIANT patent infringement case that was already six years old and had involved as many as five companies, multiple US courts, the ITC and an international standards committee. I knew nothing about any of this.
On my first day, my supervisor (a paralegal with at least eight other cases driving her crazy) sat me down in front of a Concordance database with a 100,000+ patents and patent file histories. “Code these,” she said. I learned that “coding”, for the purposes of this exercise, meant manually typing the inventor’s name, the title of the patent, the assignee, the file date, and other objective data for each document. I worked on that project – and only that project – for at least the first six months of my job. After a week or so, time began to blur.
What I know, in retrospect and with absolutely certainty, is that as time began to blur, so did my judgment. So did my attention to detail. If you could tell me that I did not make at least one mistake a day – one inconsistent spelling, one reversed day and month, one incorrectly spaced title – I frankly would need to see your evidence. I would not believe it. The human mind is trainable but it is not a machine.
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