September 30, 2008
Attorney Jobs, Legal Careers, Legal Employment, Legal Jobs
While a number of Philadelphia firms have sent attorneys and support staff packing in response to an economic downturn, Pittsburgh seems to have weathered the storm thus far with a minimum number of casualties. The Legal Intelligencer spoke to Pittsburgh-based firm leaders and legal experts who unanimously confirmed that Pittsburgh has not seen as many layoffs as Philadelphia has this year, and the explanations offered were simple: Pittsburgh has a more stable economy, and employment costs are lower.
Read More Here…
September 30, 2008
West LegalEdcenter and West Legalworks are providing some free resources for anyone involved in the mortgage and asset-related securities market to learn more about the bailout proposal.
First, a free white paper titled “The Impact of Securitization on the Legislative Proposal for Treasury Authority to Purchase Mortgage-Related Assets” was just written by Talcott J. Franklin.
He is the co-author of the Mortgage and Asset Backed Securities Litigation Handbook from West, and is a partner and head of litigation in the Dallas office of Patton Boggs LLP.
September 24, 2008
File this one under “No surprise”
Entry-level attorneys in the public sector can expect to make less than half as much as their counterparts at private law firms, according to a new report. The median entry-level salary for public defenders nationwide is about $47,000, and $75,000 for public defenders with 11 to 15 years of experience. Compensation is similar for prosecuting attorneys. And entry-level attorneys at public interest organizations that focus on specific issues can expect starting salaries of $41,000.
Read more here
September 22, 2008
CPA Ronald Seigneur provides some basic insights on the factors that need to be evaluated when reasonable compensation is at issue in a law firm setting. This focus relates to ownership decisions regarding the overall allocation and character of enterprise profits. He outlines tips that can be helpful in the design and implementation of compensation systems and in helping the individuals who are impacted by these systems to better understand the rationale for how enterprise level profits are to be shared.
Read about it here
September 22, 2008
Legal Careers, Legal Employment, Legal Jobs, Legal Practice
In the continuing saga of Heller Ehrman…
From Cal Law:
“In a partner conference call on Thursday, firm management said they expected to hear whether former merger candidates Winston & Strawn, Baker & McKenzie and Mayer Brown would be interested in picking up large chunks of Heller’s offices, practice groups or both. Management told the partners that they expected to hear back from the firms over “the next few days.””
Read more here
September 18, 2008
Attorney Jobs, Legal Careers, Legal Employment, Legal Practice, Legal Recruiter
Heller Ehrman may soon be no more.
The latest round of merger talks with Mayer Brown ended Monday. A Mayer Brown statement cited client and practice conflicts which could not be resolved.
Partners were told Wednesday that dissolution was one of the options for the firm and management understood that partners would begin talking to other firms. Not surprisingly, several individuals and groups have already begun talks, sources said.
Whether options other than dissolution remain on the table is not clear. The consensus among industry watchers is that there are really no other viable alternatives. A firm spokesman said, “We continue to consider our strategic options.”
According to one source, Baker & McKenzie, with whom merger talks fell apart in August, is trying to gobble up large pieces of Heller Ehrman.
If dissolution is in the future for Heller Ehrman, it’s uncertain how soon a decision might be made.
September 16, 2008
Attorney Jobs, Legal Careers, Legal Jobs, Legal Practice
Most corporate law firms rely on financial institutions as the bedrock clients on which they are built. Lehman Brothers’ bankruptcy and the acquisition of Merrill Lynch by Bank of America have sent a wave of anxiety through New York’s top law firms. This news, along with the earlier demise of Bear Stearns and probable imminent collapse of insurance giant American International Group, does not bode well for law firms who rely heavily on financial clients.
Unlike corporate clients, financial clients have usually been willing to pay full rate or premium fees to the firms they employ. This is why New York law firms are so profitable. Firms from other cities and even outside the U.S. have sunk a lot of money into New York offices in an effort to get a piece of the Wall Street pie.
Corporate firms fear forced consolidation and new government regulation will lead to a cost-cutting mentality on Wall Street.
The acquisition of Merrill Lynch by Bank of America spells trouble for firms like Shearman & Sterling and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom who have relied heavily on Merrill Lynch. What their roles, if any, will be after the takeover is unknown.
Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft, which has already laid off 100 lawyers this year, did big business representing Lehman in its offerings of mortgage-backed securities, which proved to be the bank’s Achilles heel. Lehman’s demise may be the nail in the coffin of Cadwalader’s core securitization practice.
September 16, 2008
It’s clear that the only winners in the Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.’s bankruptcy will be lawyers. The bankruptcy will probably occupy over 100 lawyers working for Lehman and claims by the creditors will provide work for thousands of bankruptcy attorneys.
Lehman’s Chapter 11 filing, the biggest one in history, names Harvey R. Miller and Shai Waisman of New York’s Weil, Gotshal & Manges as Lehman’s lawyers. Only eight other lawyers are named so far in the filing for creditors and other parties, but bankruptcy lawyers are already fielding hundreds of calls from potential claimants.
The bankruptcy only involves Lehman’s holding company because businesses governed by securities regulators aren’t eligible for Chapter 11.
Lehman is looking to sell it’s broker-dealer operations and it’s investment management division, but it is unknown whether Lehman will try for a fast sale of it’s holding company or seek restructuring.
UPDATE: Barclays and Lehman Brothers have apparently just reached a deal to purchase Lehman’s broker-dealer operations. Read about it here.
More on Lehman Brothers:
A Fight for a Piece of What’s Left
Lehman Bankruptcy Sees New Judge Face Veteran Lawyers
Lehman taps bankruptcy-expert Harvey Miller
Lehman Creditors, Shareholders May Lose Billions
September 15, 2008
Legal Careers, Legal Employment, Legal Jobs, Legal Practice, Legal Recruiter
Yale Law Women has taken its latest look at law firms’ policies. Releasing its third annual survey on family-friendly firms, the student group cites the 10 best at helping lawyers strike a work-life balance. Some results were heartening. The group found, for example, that the firms are giving men an average of eight weeks of paternity leave. Other figures were more daunting, such as the finding that, even in the most family-friendly firms, women make up only 19 percent of partners.
Read the Article Here
September 11, 2008
Job Searches, Legal Employment, Legal Job Search, Legal Jobs
While firms in many other cities are laying off lawyers, large law firms in Chicago are facing a talent shortage.
From The National Law Journal:
“National law firms have rushed into Chicago during the past decade, especially in the past three years, but many are finding now that their collective arrival is fueling intense competition to fill those offices with lawyers.”
Since the 1980s about 75 national firms have opened offices in Chicago, all looking for lawyers with $1 million plus in portable business. Thirty to fifty lawyers are considered necessary to justify the cost of the office and most firms aim for offices of at least 100 lawyers.
Firms that have been in Chicago for years are still eager to grab up experienced lawyers and new firms with their own hiring needs keep moving in.
“Leaders at many of the firms that have been in the city for years say they are still eager to snap up experienced lawyers or groups of attorneys to build the Chicago offices to their optimal size. Meanwhile, more firms keep flowing in, including the arrival earlier this year of Boston’s Ropes & Gray, New York’s Proskauer Rose and Indianapolis’ Baker & Daniels.”
Dewey & LeBoeuf opened its Chicago office in 2005 with five attorneys and is now at about 25. Paul Hastings’ Chicago office, opened in November 2006 with two partners, is at about 38 lawyers now. Steptoe opened its Chicago office in January 2007 with nine lawyers and now has 13. Nixon Peabody, which entered the Chicago market in March 2007, now has 19 lawyers.