Today’s Washington Post has a great article, by Ian Shapira, about the adventures of summer associates here in the nation’s capital. This is our favorite part (emphasis added):
[B]udding lawyers say they spend much of their office time looking for better deals. They peruse such Web sites as Above the Law, a must-read legal blog written by David Lat, a former federal prosecutor in Newark and former co-editor of the Wonkette politics and media blog.
One of Above the Law’s scoops this month was headlined “WilmerHale Summers: Where’s Our Raise?” The blog published an e-mail from an anonymous summer associate in the Boston office who complained that the summers weren’t getting the customary pro-rated weekly equivalent of first-year associates. Instead of about $3,100 a week ($160,000 a year), the tipster wrote, they were getting only $2,800 (about $145,000 a year).
More discussion of this delightful piece, after the jump.
In another [Michael] Vick-related matter, the quarterback’s camp has begun interviewing candidates to beef up his legal defense team in the event he goes to trial [on federal charges of conspiracy related to an alleged dogfighting venture].
Vick’s longtime personal attorney, Lawrence Woodward, is expected to remain part of the defense team, but advisors have urged that the Falcons star consider adding counsel with experience in the federal courts.
The Vick camp has solicited recommendations and is believed to have interviewed at least one prominent defender from the prestigious Washington, D.C., firm of Wilmer Hale.
WilmerHale for Vick? Wow, doesn’t seem like a dog-fighting defense shop. They do white collar defense, but that’s a different ball game. From their website: “We have defended clients against allegations of insider trading; securities, healthcare, accounting and government contracts fraud; criminal antitrust violations; money laundering; and alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and other statutes.”
Are WilmerHale summer associates missing out on the salary bump? Wilmer recently raised first-year salaries to $160,000, and you’d think the firm’s summers would be earning that salary as well. But maybe not. Here’s a disgruntled e-mail from a current WilmerHale summer:
I hope that this is tip-worthy – because it certainly is a topic of hot discussion amongst the Boston summers I know, and I’m curious what is going on at other firms… So here goes:
So I am a summer associate at WilmerHale in Boston. And as abovethelaw knows, after the big, drawn out jumping-of-Boston-firms to match Ropes at 160,000, Wilmer finally caved and went up as well. Now, for whatever reason, the general consensus among the summers is that we’ve been led to believe that the salary hike for associates applies to the weekly rate that summers are paid as well (meaning we should be getting 3100 per week). Wilmer said that the salary raise was effective June 1st.
Lo, however, the WilmerHale Boston summers have received 2 paychecks since then, and both have continued paying the 2800 a week.
More analysis from our WilmerHale contact, after the jump.
We reiterate last year’s request for funny or interesting stories about summer associates. We’ll use them for our new feature, Summer Associate of the Day. Like ATL’s Lawyer of the Day and Judge of the Day columns — which may be somewhat misnamed, since they don’t appear daily, but whatever — we’re most interested in people making damn fools of themselves.
For today’s Summer Associate of the Day, though, we’re going for “notable” rather than “embarrassing.” From a source:
Judging from your recent post on Shane Chase, it appears you may have a soft spot for interesting or controversial summer hires.
How’s this? The New York office of WilmerHale has hired Elizabeth Wurtzel as a summer associate. You may remember her as the controversial author of Prozac Nation and Bitch, as well as a former music critic/wild card for The New Yorker and New York Magazine. She’s also a looker — see here. She’s at Yale, almost 40 now, and still looks as good.
Who knows, maybe she’ll use Wilmer for fodder for another article/book!
We’ve confirmed with sources here in DC that WilmerHale has raised associate base salaries in its Washington office. Associates were notified individually earlier this afternoon. Accordingly, there was no memo. (But if we’re wrong about that, or if a memo later materializes, please send it along.)
Because associates received individual notification, we don’t have salary numbers for all classes. But the sources we’ve spoken with have provided us with figures for their class years that are consistent with the $160K scale. So it’s safe to assume that WilmerHale in Washington is now on par with the two D.C. firms that previously raised: Akin Gump and Hogan & Hartson.
WilmerHale’s move leaves Arnold & Porter and Covington & Burling as the most prominent members of the DC List of Shame. Feel free to add others in the comments.
We don’t have confirmation for raises at WilmerHale in Boston yet. But rumor has it that (1) WilmerHale has raised in Boston too, and (2) the pay raise is effective June 1.
Please send us any additional details by email. Thanks.
As part of our commitment to providing attorney compensation that is at or near the top of the markets in which we practice, the firm has increased its judicial clerkship bonus from $20,000 to $35,000. This increase reflects the value the firm places on hiring former judicial clerks, as well as our intention to continue to attract the best and the brightest legal talent. We are committed to making the firm as attractive as possible for former clerks, and we recognize that the amount of the clerkship bonus can be important.
We continue to hope that you will accept our offer to join us. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.
There was also a rumor that Skadden had raised its clerkship bonus to $60,000. As far as we know — we’re happy to be proven wrong — that comment was a joke (or wishful thinking).
If you hear of anyone else raising — either to $35,000 or, better yet, $50,000 (the new S&C and Simpson standard) — please email us. We will probably do an update on this in another week or two, depending upon the level of activity on this front. Thanks.
We’ve confirmed the fact that Wilmer Hale has raised associate base salaries, in Washington and New York. We don’t have a memo, though, because associates received personal latters.
More about what we’ve learned, plus an open thread for your comments, after the jump.
It has been a while since our last round-up of notable moves within the legal profession. So there’s a lot to report today: Law Firm to… Prison?
* Former Milberg Weiss name partner Steven Schulman resigned from the firm to pursue “new ventures.” The most important of these “ventures” will surely be fighting federal charges of making illegal payments to plaintiffs in past cases. Law Firms to In-House:
* Securities lawyer Stephen Cutler is leaving his partnership at WilmerHale to become general counsel of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., the banking giant. From a tipster who works in securities law: “This is a big deal.”
Colleagues of Cutler described the JP Morgan gig to the WSJ Law Blog as a “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity. Translation: Who wouldn’t want to make mid- instead of low-seven-figures?
* Another WilmerHale departure: J. Kevin McCarthy is taking over as top lawyer of the Cowen Group, an investment bank. Government to Private Sector:
* Former New Jersey Chief Justice Deborah Poritz joins the Princeton office of Drinker Biddle & Reath, as of counsel. She stepped down from the New Jersey Supreme Court in October, after reaching the mandatory retirement age. Government Promotion:
* David Nocenti, current counsel to New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, will become counsel to the governor effective January 1. Academia-Biglaw Alliance:
* Harvard Law School Professor Laurence Tribe, the renowned constitutional scholar and SCOTUS litigator, is entering into a consulting arrangement with Akin Gump.
Akin Gump is developing a Supreme Court practice. Earlier this year, they added young SCOTUS superstar Tom Goldstein to their line-up. Lateral Moves:
* Securities-enforcement lawyer Chuck Davidow, to Paul Weiss (DC), from WilmerHale.
Another loss for WilmerHale — on top of the previously reported departure of Paul Eckert for the White House Counsel’s Office.
Why are so many partners leaving WilmerHale? A Hillary Clinton administration is still two years away.
* IP lawyer Joseph Gioconda, to DLA Piper (New York), from Kirkland & Ellis.
* Corporate lawyer Eric Lerner, to Kramer Levin, from Katten Muchin Rosenman.
* Tax lawyer Thomas Giegerich, to McDermott Will & Emery (NY), from Dewey Ballantine (about to merge with Orrick to form Dewy Orifice). New Partners:
* Bryan Cave: Eleven new partners. Names here.
Due to the sheer number of links today, we’ve placed them after the jump.
When they take over Congress next year, expect the Democrats to launch investigations up the wazoo — of big business, the Bush Administration, the Iraq War, and other things they don’t particularly like.
These investigations will be a pain in the hindquarters for Republicans. But they’ll be a boon for Biglaw. From TPMmuckracker.com:
In a recent memo to its clients, the white-shoe law firm of Covington and Burling warned of the increased investigative activity soon to come from the Dem-controlled Hill — and touted its credentials for representing corporations and individuals who may find themselves under scrutiny….
Are you an executive at a telecom involved in the NSA’s wiretapping program? Did your company get a sweet no-bid contract in Iraq? Well, Covington’s soon-to-be booming “congressional investigations practice” boasts such luminaries as Lanny Breuer, who was President Clinton’s Special Counsel during impeachment proceedings, and Robert Kelner, who has represented the RNC in the New Hampshire phone jamming case.
Gentlemen, start your retainers.
Interestingly enough, a number of the top white-collar shops in Washington are left-leaning. In addition to Covington, there’s Williams & Connolly and WilmerHale, both well-stocked with former Clintonistas.
Expect partners at these firms to make generous donations to Democratic candidates in the next few election cycles. They’re getting tired of being the “Administration-in-Exile” — and they have high hopes for 2008.
(On that subject, we’re still interested in getting your views on which leading liberal lawyers would be in the running for top jobs in a Democratic administration. We have our own thoughts on this, but we’d love to hear from you.) Crusading Dems Mean Big Profits for Corporate Defenders [TPMmuckracker.com] Memo from Covington Burling on Congressional Investigations [Talking Points Memo Document Collection]
The lawyers who get accused of professional misconduct are often solo practitioners, or partners in tiny firms you’ve never heard of. So it’s refreshing when a Biglaw partner gets nailed on ethical charges. And it’s especially refreshing when the lawyer involved was once named by the National Law Journal as one of the country’s top litigators under 40.
His name? William P. DiSalvatore. His firm? Prestigious powerhouse WilmerHale (New York office). His inappropriate conduct? Uh, how much time do you have?
A former rising star in the intellectual property practice of WilmerHale has resigned from the bar after admitting to a litany of misconduct, including falsifying expense reports, forging client signatures and assigning associates to perform “pro bono” work for friends and family….
In his affidavit, Mr. DiSalvatore admitted to misconduct of unusual breadth. He said he had falsified credit card receipts to claim reimbursement from his firm for $109,000 in personal expenses. He also said he forged client signatures on a consent to joint representation and on a conflict waiver. He also admitted misleading a client into believing an appellate brief was still at the draft stage when it had already been filed.
Wow, that’s quite impressive. And there’s more. Check it out after the jump.
Watch to find out what some of our subscribers received in their May box!
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We currently have a number of active openings for associate roles at US and UK firms in HK / China, Singapore and two new in-house openings. As always, please feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com in order to get details of current openings in Asia, as well as to discuss the Asia markets in general and what we expect for openings later this year. Our Evan Jowers and Robert Kinney will be in Beijing the week of March 25 and Evan Jowers will be in Hong Kong the week of April 1, if you would like to meet them in person.
The US associate openings we have in law firms are in the usual areas of M&A, cap markets, FCPA / white collar litigation, finance, and project finance. The most urgent of our top tier (top 15 US or magic circle) law firm openings in Asia (among many other firm openings that we have in Asia) are as follows:
• 2nd to 5th year mandarin fluent M&A associates needed in Beijing and Hong Kong at several firms;
• Korean fluent 2nd to 4th year cap markets associate needed in Hong Kong;
• 2nd to 5th year Japanese fluent M&A associates needed in Tokyo;
• 4th to 6th year mandarin fluent cap markets associate needed in Hong Kong;
• 2nd to 4th year M&A / cap markets mix associate needed in Singapore.
The last time I flapped my wings your way, I tried to make at least enough noise about your mobile phone to make you more than a little bit uncomfortable. I hope I did. If enough of us become anxious enough about the known and unknown unknowns and knowns in our mobile phones, then we can start making wise decisions about how to manage that information and its resultant investigations.
Today, I’d like to put a finer point on the last installment’s topic by asking a question that seemed to catch most attendees off-guard at a conference panel that I moderated last week: is there discoverable personal information in a mobile app? Our panelists’ answer was a uniform “yes” with one stating that, if he had to choose only one type of data that he could discover from a mobile phone, he’d choose app data. Why? Because there’s simply so much of it and because almost all of it is objective – not just user-created like an email – but machine-tracked like GPS, usage duration, log in and log out times, browsed web addresses, browsed actual addresses. Also, most of us seem to have the idea that data doesn’t actually “stick” to our mobile devices the way it “sticks” to our hard drives. Maybe there’s a disconnect based on the fact that our phones are mobile so we assume the data is mobile to?
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