Noon-Thirty News 06/28/10

Posted in Uncategorized on June 28th, 2010 by bl1y

Grab Yer Guns!
[WSJ Law Blog]

In the McDonald v. Chicago case, the Court has extended the Second Amendment to the States.

What more is there to say?  Grab your gun, and bring in the cat.

Law Firms Wage War on Hospitality

Back in the good ol’ days, the summers of ’06 and ’07, the hospitality industry could look forward to a boost every summer as law firms spent gobs of money on lavish cruises, dinners, and other outings, sometimes spending tens of thousands of dollars on a single event.

Now, most firms are spending anywhere between half and a third of their previous budgets.  The real fallout is that with less money being poured into expensive outings, there’s less chance for socially awkward summer associates to wine and dine girls out of their league on the firm’s dime. (Admit it, you know you’ve been at an event after party, bought shots for a girl you just met, and put it on the firm’s tab.)

This is Why You Work Weekends
[The American Lawyer via]

It’s not because there’s so much work to do, it’s because your boss has had no training in managing personnel, case loads, or client expectations.  Your boss is your boss because they either have seniority, or made it rain, not because of any sort of managerial talent.  And now, one professor is speaking out about it:

The most crucial challenges for our society and our profession involve issues of leadership; the need for leaders with vision, integrity and wisdom has never been greater. Yet our system of legal education does little to produce them.

But, it’s not just any professor blaming law schools for failing to produce graduates with leadership potential.  It’s Deborah Rhode, Director of the Stanford Center on the Legal Profession.  She joins a growing list of law professors speaking out about the poor quality of education at law schools.  Unfortunately, there’s not yet a list of professors who have taken active steps towards improving their school.  A little less conversation, a little more action, please.

Once You Go Black, They Drop the Charges?
[Washington Times]

Remember these assholes?

Seems like standing outside of a voting place, wearing a combat boots and the insignia of a militant organization while wielding some sort of night stick or billy club is a pretty open and shut case of voter intimidation.  J. Christian Adams, a former Justice Department attorney who worked on the case is now openly discussing the corruption that went into the dismissal of the charges:

Some of my co-workers argued that the law should not be used against black wrongdoers because of the long history of slavery and segregation. Less charitable individuals called it “payback time.” Incredibly, after the case was dismissed, instructions were given that no more cases against racial minorities like the Black Panther case would be brought by the Voting Section.

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Nine Ways to Not Screw Up Your Summer

Posted in Uncategorized on May 28th, 2010 by bl1y

Jog over to Bitter Lawyer this morning and check out their 9 Summer Associate Don’ts.  They may seem like no-brainers, but sometimes this stuff just really needs to be said.

I’ve broken 1-5 and 7.  How about you?

Which of these summer associate rules have you broken?

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Reading the Offer Rates

Posted in Uncategorized on April 2nd, 2010 by bl1y

As reported on this morning, the new NALP data has been released, so you can see the offer rates to the summer associates of your most (and least) favorite law firm.  I decided to check in with my old boss for an update.

My old firm gave offers to 9 of its 15 associates.  Ouch.  40% no-offer rate is pretty damn harsh, especially for a firm that averages close to 100%.  But, there’s more to the story than just the firm giving fewer offers because of a down economy.

My firm generally takes 10 summer associates, and gives offers to all of them, so giving 9 offers is actually pretty much in line with their normal hiring practices.  This makes sense if you consider that by the time these people start work the economy will be in a very different state.  More than a year will have passed since the end of their summer program.  Curbing the offers could easily result in under-hiring.  So, why the low offer rate?

My firm was pretty late to the game in conducting layoffs.  Our big cut came 8 months after the famous Lathaming.  And while firms that made cuts early on also scaled back their summer program, mine did not.  They likely gave out the same number of offers to rising 2Ls, but since other firms were giving fewer offers, my old firm’s offers got accepted at a much higher rate.  And, since NALP rules prohibit firms from creating “exploding offers” (where if you’re not in the first X number to accept, you lose your spot), they had to take everyone who accepted, giving them a bigger class than normal.  The bigger summer associate class of course meant that hiring the same number of people required no-offering quite a few.

It’s hard to tell just what information can be gleaned from data like the NALP reports, but here’s my suggestion to everyone with the good fortune of having more than one firm to choose from: offer rates are still king.  Sure, a down economy means a lot of firms are giving out fewer offers, but don’t use that as an excuse.  Firms knew the economy was hurting when they gave offers during OCI.  A high no-offer rate means the firm was uanble to accurately judge the economic climate and failed to adjust its strategy accordingly.  In other worse, even in a bad economy, a low offer rate means bad management.

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