It is very flatering to have a partner invite you to join him or her after she has decided to move to another firm. But it is important to do your own due dilligence about the firm and carefully consider the impact on your own career. In many cases, it will probably make sense to make the change. But sometimes your interests are not perfectly alligned with the partner. Career Journal talks about this issue in a general way (i.e. without referencing law firms per se.) But the advice is perfectly applicable.
Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Nicholson Graham has announced a new “balanced hours” program to promote the use of alternative work arrangements at the firm. It’s obviously too early to tell how it will work. But the firm has actually appointed someone to help lawyers come up with proprosals for reduced hours. Sounds promising.
The WSJ reported today (sub. req.) that California continues to have one of the lowest bar passage rates in the country. In 2004, only 44% of the test takers passed. The passage rate is even lower for those licensed in other states who take do not take the multistate. (Reportedly 28%.) The article focused on the fact that the former Dean of Stanford Law School, a constitutional scholar, just failed. Moral of the story is that you better plan on studying hard if you plan to relocate to California and take the bar exam there. Sounds like she didn’t!
I disagree with a number of the assertions in this article; but the basic premise is sound. December is a good time to keep your search moving forward because fewer candidates are actively looking. Also, you will have more momentum going into the new year.
Leaders of the top 200 firms are very optimistic about 2006. According to the Amercian Lawyer 89% feel this way. Litigation is expected to remain the number one practice area. Other interesting statistics are cited as well.
Like other members of the bar, I enjoy reading the results of these surveys. But query how useful are they? If you are having a bad year, does it help to know that other firms are feeling optimistic? If you are having a good year, maybe you feel more comfortable with lateral hiring knowing that other firms are experiencing the same optimism. Anyway, it makes for good cocktail chat.
Instant messaging is a very convenient way to quickly exchange information in real time without having to dial a telephone. But like e-mail, employees use this medium at their own risk. And employers who don’t pay attention to IM usage or set up clear policies about usage may find themselves in the same hot water that e-mail has brought.
By some estimates, 8 million adults have Attention Deficit Disorder. These individuals tend to be very good at creative tasks and tend to have difficulty staying focused on more mundane tasks (think document review!) But there are many strategies that can help you cope with ADD and a lot of information now available on the subject. I would imagine that ADD could be a particularly difficult affliction in the practice of law where attention to detail can be critical.
Joann Lublin of the WSJ talks about some of the warning signs of a bad boss. (In today’s WSJ–subscription required–but will be in CareerJournal.Com shortly.)
If you are an associate looking to make a lateral move to another law firm, you really owe it to yourself to speak with some of the associates at the firm before accepting an offer. Also, trust your gut. If partners are rude to you and acting stressed out during an interview, imagine what they might be like once your start working there.
More than 10 years ago, I organized a seminar for MCLE on alternatives to hourly billing. The panelists pognositcated that value billing would slowly begin to replace hourly billing. But as In-House Counsel notes, the shift has been glacial and hourly billing still rules.
Click here for a quick history of hourly billing and some predictions about the future.