October 5, 2013 |
It appears that the death of "Big Law," so widely predicted a few years ago, has been greatly exaggerated. After a breathtaking pullback following the recession of 2008 and 2009, hiring at large law firms in Philadelphia and around the nation has revived. Large classes of first-year lawyers are arriving this week and next at many local firms, and while the numbers are not as high as they were before the financial crisis, some law-firm leaders have begun to talk of staff shortages and juggling legal personnel to meet surging client demand.
April 25, 2010 |
It is 8 a.m., and lawyer Cecilia Isaacs-Blundin, crisply attired in a pin-striped suit and trailing a large roll-around briefcase, strides into her office, which on this day happens to be a jail in the fortresslike 25th District police headquarters in North Philadelphia. Her clients are not the big commercial companies she typically represents as a lawyer in Ballard Spahr L.L.P.'s white-collar defense practice. Rather, they are standard-issue criminal defendants, accused of a smorgasbord of street offenses including drug possession, dealing, and assault.
April 12, 2009 |
David Koller is a bright, hyperkinetic 31-year-old lawyer who has spent the last seven years working his way up, moving from one firm to another in search of more challenging work and higher salaries to pay down his huge law school loans. His progress on that path came to an abrupt halt March 2. That is when the vicious downsizing rolling through the legal industry caught up with him. Just three months after receiving a glowing performance review, he was called into the office of the managing partner of Riper Riley Hollin & Colagreco, a politically prominent Chester County firm where he had worked since September 2007, and fired.
January 6, 2008 |
Law school is intense. Students cram their heads with torts, contracts, and criminal and civil procedure. They face grueling exams - the most daunting after graduation. But then, presumably, newly minted lawyers are ready for whatever comes next: a judicial clerkship, a job at a firm, service as prosecutors or public defenders. Except the switch from law student to lawyer isn't always easy. So the Burlington County Bar Association's Young Lawyer Committee has launched a symposium, "Bridging the Gap: Making the Transition From Law Student to Lawyer," to offer tips and hints from the pros.
June 1, 2009 |
John F. Smith III is a senior litigator at Reed Smith L.L.P., of Philadelphia, who served for 11 years on the firm's executive committee and now, in addition to representing clients, is deeply involved in programs aimed at sharpening the business-development skills of young lawyers. Law firms for years had given such training short shrift, relying on a relative handful of relationship partners to generate work. Younger associates typically had little idea where the work came from, or what firms had to do to get it. Smith, who serves on the boards of a number of locally prominent institutions, says he is trying to change that by showing younger lawyers more of the business side of the law firm.
August 2, 2016 |
Salaries for first-year lawyers at big firms in Philadelphia are topping out at $180,000 a year to keep pace with New York competitors. The venerable Wall Street firm of Cravath, Swaine & Moore got the ball rolling in June with the announcement that it would be raising first-year associate salaries by $20,000, to $180,000, and that associates with up to eight years at the firm would also get increases. In Philadelphia, Dechert L.L.P. matched Cravath's salary increase for first-years and also boosted pay for associates with more experience.
December 31, 2015 |
Big law firms in Philadelphia are boosting compensation for lawyers below the partner level in a sign that the competition for talent is heating up. The most dramatic example is at the University City-based firm of Dechert L.L.P., a global firm that touts its deal-making prowess in the United States and abroad. The firm paid first-year associates a $15,000 bonus this year, on top of annual salaries of $160,000. For associates with more experience, the bonuses were much higher, as much as $100,000 for lawyers who joined the firm in 2008.
April 2, 2016 |
Peter Mills Mattoon, 84, of Lafayette Hill, a longtime leader of the Philadelphia law firm Ballard Spahr, died Tuesday, March 29, at Jefferson University Hospital of injuries sustained in a fall. Mr. Mattoon started in Ballard Spahr's relatively staid estates practice, but it wasn't long before he began to work in the more glamorous precincts of major-league sports, where he represented the 76ers and their owner at the time, philanthropist Eugene Dixon Jr. His lawyering was so skillful that his colleagues at Ballard eventually elevated him to the role of firm chairman and he stayed in that leadership position for more than 16 years, until he stepped down in 1997.
January 16, 2015 |
JON A. BAUGHMAN was an outstanding Philadelphia lawyer - but that's not all he was. "He was a man of total integrity, who loved life, loved his family and loved his job," said his lawyer son, Michael E. Baughman. His father was a man who delighted in feeding the homeless on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway with his church, playing tennis and nurturing seeds in his garden in Fort Washington to produce corn, tomatoes and peppers and flowering fruit trees. But most of all, Jon Baughman, longtime partner at Pepper Hamilton LLP, was a family man. "I keep hearing what a great lawyer he was," said his son. "But he was an even greater father.
August 1, 2015 |
After a lengthy drought, real estate lawyers are a hot commodity again. The biggest firms in Philadelphia and other cities with booming real estate markets say finding lawyers skilled in handling the zoning, tax, and transactional pieces of complex projects has become a near impossibility. There simply aren't enough lawyers to go around, and that has stretched existing practice groups and forced firms to move lawyers internally from other specialties. " Voracious is the word that I would use to describe what is going on," said Bart Mellits, chair of Ballard Spahr's real estate department, which has more than 100 lawyers.