Columns and Blogs

The Power Look: Tank Tops, Tattoos and Flip-Flops

By Vivia Chen, The Careerist |

Just how far can you push a summertime dress code before you jeopardize your professional credibility?

SNL's Weekend Update

Are Trump's Endorsements Helping Morgan Lewis?

By Vivia Chen, The Careerist |

Time for another roundup of news and gossip. And yes, they all center around our president (so let me apologize in advance).

Caren Ulrich Stacy, left, and Lisa Kirby, right, of Diversity Lab.

Four Unexpected Career Hacks From Big Law's Top Performers

By Caren Ulrich Stacy and Lisa Kirby |

A Diversity Lab study of more than 400 successful lawyers found that they had some surprising traits in common.

Napping Pods: One Firm's Solution for Tired Lawyers

By Leigh Jones |

White & Case has installed two "energy pods" at its office in Washington, D.C.

To All the Single Ladies

By Vivia Chen, The Careerist |

Women, even ones in the most selective professional programs, prioritize marriage over career, and will downplay their ambitions to achieve that goal.

Allen & Overy Drops Performance Reviews, and Everyone Cheers (Especially Women)

By Vivia Chen, The Careerist |

Anyone who says that performance reviews are useful is full of it.

San Francisco fitness trainer Jonathan Jordan

When Firm Life Makes Them Flabby, Lawyers Call This Trainer

By Leigh Jones |

Personal trainer Jonathan Jordan's clients include attorneys from Big Law offices, who come to him with loose glutes, collapsed cores and hunched shoulders from sitting for long periods.

Four Top Litigators Compete for Bragging Rights and a $40,000 Prize: Who Gave the Best Closing Argument?

By Jenna Greene |

Talk about a jury of your peers. Four of the top litigators in the country went toe-to-toe Friday at the annual meeting of the litigation section of the American Bar Association in San Francisco, competing before hundreds of attendees to see who gave the best closing argument. Each lawyer ponied up $10,000 to compete.

We’re Ladies, We Lunch and We Like It

By Vivia Chen |

At the Central Park Women's Committee hat luncheon last week, the women at my table (lawyers and business executives) want you to know that they deserve respect.

Salman Bhojani, left, and Nick Nelson, right, of Bhojani and Nelson in Texas.

Big Law Defectors Make Bet on Muslim Clients

By John Council |

Salam Bhojani and Nick Nelson see opportunity in building bridges with Muslim and South Asian business owners.

Say Cheese! Big-Law Partner's Instagram Feed Captures Life in the Tasty Lane

By Leigh Jones |

Robert Darwell's TheDailyServer is a tribute to waiters, waitresses and bartenders, and all multitaskers whom the Sheppard Mullin partner admires.

Bad News: Rainmakers Aren't Lounging in Their PJs

By Vivia Chen, The Careerist |

The idea that lawyers can make buckets of money from their cozy apartment, beach house or suburban manse is a fantasy.

Close up modern business women Imagine pose with space pink background, Asian people young beautiful businesswoman smile and wear shirt black suit, space pink background for texture, business concept

Do Women Really Choose the Pink Ghetto?

By Vivia Chen, The Careerist |

Are women opting for those lower-paying practices or is there an invisible hand that steers them there?

Bill O'Reilly.

Would Big Law Boot Bill O'Reilly?

By Vivia Chen |

Just like the Fox News Network LLC, some law firms would be equally reluctant to get rid of a top rainmaker who behaved badly.

Women and Rejection

By Vivia Chen, The Careerist |

Does the dearth of women at the top stem from fear of rejection? Not exactly. After a botched interview or a unflattering review, they're less likely to try again.

Small But Scrappy, Independent Law Firms Make Their Stand

By Chris Johnson |

Facing intense competition from global firms, independent firms have to be smart and disciplined.

The United Airlines Fiasco Should Lead to Better Pay for Jurors

By Roy Strom |

Being bumped from an airplane is a raw deal. Sitting on a jury is way worse. What could be done to change that? Fair pay.

Brian Winterfeldt, left, and Daniel Winterfeldt, right.

Gay Twins Strive for Equality in Big Law

By Leigh Jones |

One is a partner at Mayer Brown; another is a partner at Reed Smith. Both are adamant about helping LGBT lawyers thrive in the profession.

Should Firms 'Out' Lawyers on the Work/Life Balance Track?

By Vivia Chen, The Careerist |

Littler Mendelson lists its "flextime" attorneys right on its website.

Firms Announce Flextime Policies. How Exciting.

By Vivia Chen, The Careerist |

Based on what I've seen, many if not most lawyers (except for the junior ones) work wherever they want.

Vice President Mike Pence

Mike Pence Is a Prude, and So Are Big-Law Partners

By Vivia Chen, The Careerist |

Who knew the vice president was such a lustful rascal?

The Peculiar Alchemy of 2017's Two Big Mergers

By Hugh A. Simons |

The merger of Arnold & Porter and Kaye Scholer and the pending deal between Norton Rose Fulbright and Chadbourne & Parke present some unique challenges, contributor Hugh A. Simons writes.

Betsy DeVos, U.S. secretary of education, speaks to employees on her first day at the Department of Education in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017.

Law School Student Debt the Betsy DeVos Way

By Steven J. Harper |

Don’t rely on the Trump administration to help solve the growing student debt crisis, says columnist Steven J. Harper.

Keystone Approval: Bittersweet for Sidley Team?

By Jenna Greene |

All but lost in the hubbub over the failure of health care reform last Friday was news that the federal government formally greenlighted the Keystone XL Pipeline, issuing a long-sought permit that will allow the project to move forward. Great news for TransCanada Corp., but perhaps bittersweet for its lawyers at Sidley Austin.

Global Law Firms and Vereins: The End of the Affair?

By Chris Johnson |

In the inexorable march toward greater global consolidation, will law firms steer clear of the verein structure?

Joshua Holt, at Goodwin Procter.

It's a Bird! It's a Plane! It's 'Biglaw Investor' to Associates' Rescue

By Leigh Jones |

This Big Law associate is a mysterious blogger on a mission to prevent young lawyers from falling prey to their own lousy money management.

Left to right: Woody Allen, Eleanor Alter and Mia Farrow.

So You Want to Be a Hot-Shot Divorce Lawyer

By Vivia Chen, The Careerist |

If anyone knows what it takes to be a successful divorce lawyer it's Eleanor Alter.

Business woman with bullhorn

Where Are the Asian-American Partners?

By Vivia Chen |

Though they've been swelling the junior ranks of the profession for the last 20 years or so, Asian Americans are still rarities at the top, particularly in Big Law.

Isaac Lidsky, corporate speaker, author, entrepreneur and the only blind person to serve as a law clerk for the U.S. Supreme Court

With ‘Eyes Wide Open,’ Blind Lawyer Recounts SCOTUS Clerkship, Unhappy Law Firm Life

By Tony Mauro |

Isaac Lidsky, who in 2008 became the first blind U.S. Supreme Court law clerk, writes in a new memoir that working for a Big Law firm after his clerkship felt like trading in a “legal joyride” for a job as a corporate chauffeur.

Hurry! Send Your Resume to the White House!

By Vivia Chen, The Careerist |

I am truly sorry that so much of the news and gossip, even in our little world of law, is about Donald Trump.

Kate McKinnon as Kellyanne Conway on

Kellyanne: Victim of Sexism?

By Vivia Chen, The Careerist |

The counselor to the president isn't getting a fair shake.

Jerry Falwell Jr. at Liberty University's convocation in Lynchburg, Va., on Monday, Sept. 14, 2015.

Marginal Law Schools—But Not Students—Could See Savior in Falwell

By Steven J. Harper |

Any progress that the Obama administration made to increase accountability in higher education seems destined for Trump’s dustbin.

Stephen Miller,.

Praising Stephen Miller? Seriously?

By Steven J. Harper |

Dangerous rhetoric and a president who praises it. Where are Trump’s lawyers?

Phil Ivey.

US Poker Star Takes $10M Cheating Lawsuit to UK Supreme Court

By Chris Johnson |

Phil Ivey has been granted permission by the U.K. Supreme Court to challenge a decision by the Court of Appeal.

Karen Dunn and Hillary Clinton

Loss, Hope and What She Wore

By Vivia Chen, The Careerist |

If the election had turned out differently, Karen Dunn wouldn't be sitting at her desk at Boies Schiller Flexner in Washington. She'd be somewhere in the West Wing, at the red-hot center of the presidency.

The Samuel Beckett of Cravath

By Vivia Chen, The Careerist |

Remember Alan Hruska, the former Cravath, Swaine & Moore partner turned playwright, novelist and filmmaker? Recently, the 83-year-old former litigator opened his play "Ring Twice for Miranda" at City Center in New York, a highly prestigious off-Broadway venue.

Robert Duvall playing Tom Hagen in

What? Tom Hagen Is Now at the White House?

By Vivia Chen |

Considering what's going on at the White House, is that what clients look for in their lawyers—someone who can tell them how far they can push the ethics boundaries without breaking the law?

Attorney Donald McGahn leaves the Four Seasons hotel in New York, Thursday, June 9, 2016, after a GOP fundraiser.

Yo, Where's Don McGahn?

By Vivia Chen, The Careerist |

The White House counsel seems missing in action amid the ever-mounting conflicts of interest involving this presidency.

Rudy Giuliani.

Will Rudy Giuliani's Loose Lips Sink the Travel Ban for Good?

By Jenna Greene |

Here are two cardinal sins for an attorney: saying something publicly that hurts your client’s case. And bad lawyering. Rudy Giuliani appears to be guilty of both

Do Firms Care When Women Bolt?

By Vivia Chen, The Careerist |

Forgive me for being a cynic (who me?), but I'm not at all convinced that law firm managers are losing sleep when women lawyers fly the coop.

Behind the $500M Curtain: How Skadden Handed Wilkinson Her First Trial Loss

By Jenna Greene |

After three days of deliberating, the federal jury in Dallas was back, ready to answer a $6 billion question: Did Facebook Inc. steal virtual reality technology for the Oculus Rift from Skadden's client, videogame maker ZeniMax Media Inc.?

Big-Name Lawyers Who Screwed Up, Big Time

By Leigh Jones |

While former Akin Gump lawyer Jeffrey Wertkin awaits his fate after his arrest for trying to sell a sealed whistleblower suit for $300,000, let's take a moment to revisit some prominent attorneys who made a mess of things.

It Turns Out You Can Be Too Rich

By Vivia Chen, The Careerist |

A study finds that female lawyers from a wealthy background have a harder time getting hired at law firms than men from the same economic class.

Donald Trump.

All the President's Conflicts

By Steven J. Harper |

Trump’s assault on the integrity of the presidency already makes Richard Nixon look like an amateur—and a saint.

Barbara Smith

The Yolk Worn by a Big-Law Trump Supporter

By Vivia Chen, The Careerist |

A Bryan Cave associate in St. Louis recently penned an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal.

President Donald J. Trump delivers his presidential inaugural address during the 58th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol Building, Washington, D.C., Jan. 20, 2017.

Trump’s Nonsensical Conflicts Plan

By Steven J. Harper |

The president should hope is that no court every reaches the merits of his lawyers’ defense of emoluments clause violations.

Tom Price, left, and Tiffany Trump, right.

Dentons' Oopsy, Tiffany's Trajectory and Skadden's UNaugural Ball

By Vivia Chen, The Careerist |

Alternative facts. Alternative reality. Whatever. Any way you look at it, it's been surreal for the past two months.

Ampersands Go Missing From Big Law

By Leigh Jones |

Baker & McKenzie lost its ampersand last month, and Boies, Schiller & Flexner, not to be outdone, recently dropped its squiggly symbol and also ditched a comma.

Bracing for the New Sexism

By Vivia Chen, The Careerist |

Donald Trump has tapped into our primal insecurities about our looks, and how our physical flaws can diminish our professional success.

Cecily Strong.

Live from New York, It's Saturday Night!

By Vivia Chen |

A spotlight shines on a Big Law partner in the shadow of President-elect Donald Trump.

President-elect Donald Trump speaks as attorney Sheri Dillon listens during a news conference, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017, in New York. The news conference was his first as President-elect.

Shilling for Trump on Business Conflicts

By Steven J. Harper |

Trump’s first press conference was not a particularly good day for the legal profession.

Trump and Transparency

By Michael D. Goldhaber, The Global Lawyer |

Anti-corruption efforts made strides during the Obama years. Will the momentum cease?

15 Signs That You're Getting Fired

By Vivia Chen, The Careerist |

Law firms take their time in bidding attorneys adieu, so it's wise to stay one step ahead of the game.

Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) appears before the Senate Judiciary Committee in Washington during his confirmation hearing to be the next U.S. Attorney General, on Tuesday, January 10, 2017.

A Test for Jeff Sessions

By Steven J. Harper |

The new attorney general says he’ll be independent; here’s a chance for him to prove it.

Brexit shattered glass

Crowdfunded Irish Legal Action To Determine Whether Brexit Can Be Reversed

By Chris Johnson |

A crowdfunded legal action to determine whether Brexit can be reversed will begin in Ireland later this month. The suit seeks a referral to the European Court of Justice to rule on whether the U.K. can unilaterally revoke Article 50, which starts a two-year deadline for an EU member to complete its withdrawal from the political bloc.

Ron Liebman, author of

Big Law Partner's Writing Career Born in Nora Ephron's Kitchen

By Leigh Jones |

More than a few Big Law partners dream of leaving their practices behind and becoming successful novelists. Ron Liebman made it a reality.

UK Government Expects to Lose Brexit Legal Challenge

By Chris Johnson |

London expects to lose its legal battle over whether it can start the Brexit process without wider parliamentary approval. The British government appealed a High Court ruling that parliament must be allowed to vote on triggering Article 50, which starts a two-year deadline for an EU member to withdraw from the political bloc.

UK Campaign Group Crowdfunds Legal Challenge To Controversial 'State Spying' Law

By Chris Johnson |

Human rights campaign group Liberty has launched a crowdfunded legal challenge to new legislation that it claims grants the British government “indiscriminate state spying powers.”

Big-Name Lawyers Divulge New Year's Resolutions

By Leigh Jones |

It's time to make those New Year's resolutions, when waistbands are tight, wallets are empty and even a dry martini has lost its appeal.

Private Equity-Backed UK Firm Spent Million Dollars on Failed Acquisition

By Chris Johnson |

A U.K. law firm with private equity backing spent almost a million pounds attempting to buy a rival insurance practice in 2015, accounts have revealed.

Trump and Divestiture: The Lawyers Weigh In

By Steven J. Harper |

As Donald Trump shatters norms underpinning American democracy, how should the legal profession respond? Not with excuses for him, that’s for sure.

UK Firms Brace for Insolvency Boom as Data Puts Thousands of Companies at Risk

By Chris Johnson |

Law firms in the U.K. could soon face a glut of insolvency and restructuring work, with data suggesting that thousands of companies in the travel sector are at risk of going bust.

Philip Sechler of Robbins Russell.

Want to be a Full-Time Law Prof? Here's One Big Law Litigator's Experience

By Jenna Greene |

You're swamped with deadlines, you're constantly traveling, you're dealing with obnoxious opposing counsel or a cranky judge or difficult colleagues. Wouldn't it be great to be a law professor? Pondering the majesty of the law, enlightening eager students? Here's the story of one big-time litigator who made the move—and came back.

UK Law Society Chief Resigns Over Lack of Reform Progress

By Chris Johnson |

The chief executive of the Law Society, the professional body for solicitors in England and Wales, has resigned over a lack of progress in attempts to reform its governance.

Gaze Into My Crystal Ball

By Vivia Chen |

Ten predictions for 2017.

Funniest, Saddest, Most Bizarre Careerist Posts for 2016

By Vivia Chen, The Careerist |

What a year. We started thinking that we would make history with the first female president—and we ended it with one that makes the Mad Men era look progressive.

Sam72/Shutterstock

UK Firms Put Outside Money to Work

By Chris Johnson |

For some British firms that have converted to alternative business structures, external investment is fueling growth. But Big Law is unconvinced.

Women Now Dominate Law School Classes. So What?

By Vivia Chen, The Careerist |

Female lawyers are still dramatically underrepresented in the equity partner ranks.

Climate Change in a Time of Denial

By Michael D. Goldhaber |

With the Clean Power Plan likely to be scrapped, Democrats may see the downside of executive action.

King & Wood Mallesons.

Another Big Law Firm Stumbles

By Steven J. Harper |

The central problem afflicting most troubled law firms remains the same.

Donald Trump

Trump and the Day of the Generals

By Steven J. Harper |

Combine fake news with loss of civilian control over the military and the result is a really great movie.]

It's True: Republican Partners Give Female Associates Smaller Bonuses

By Vivia Chen, The Careerist |

If you're worried about gender equality in Big Law, perhaps you should discreetly inquire about your boss's political sympathies.

Mining in Congo.

Will Corporate Responsibility Continue Under Trump?

By Michael D. Goldhaber, The Global Lawyer |

Tucked into the Dodd-Frank Act was a transparency revolution. What will Trump's rollback mean for American policy on "conflict minerals" and "Publish What You Pay"? This is the first in a series of three Global Lawyer columns on anticorruption under Trump.

In London, the houses of Parliament on the river Thames

18,000 Legal, Accounting Jobs At Risk As EU Targets Key London Finance Business

By Chris Johnson |

The European Union is to make a renewed attempt to wrench euro-denominated clearing business from London to the eurozone in a move that could cost tens of thousands of jobs in the U.K. capital.

US Firms Dominate 2016 Global Capital Markets Rankings

By Chris Johnson |

U.S. law firms have dominated global capital markets work in 2016, according to Bloomberg’s preliminary legal adviser report.

Susman's Santa: Bonuses Up to $140K and Designer Canapés!

By Vivia Chen, The Careerist |

Houston-based Susman Godfrey doesn't do things in understated ways—not in the way it throws a party or the way it pays its associates.

Home Secretary Theresa May at the Ukraine Forum on Asset Recovery in London, 29 April 2014. Photo: Foreign and Commonwealth Office via Wikipedia.

U.K. Chancellor, Lawmakers: Brexit Might Not Be Completed By Deadline

By Chris Johnson |

The U.K. chancellor and British lawmakers have joined calls for the government to seek a transitional deal to smooth the country's withdrawal from the European Union.

Sept. 11, 2001, the twin towers of the World Trade Center burn behind the Empire State Building in New York.

Big Law Lobbying Efforts Fail to Kill 9/11 Litigation Against Saudi Arabia

By Michael D. Goldhaber, The Global Lawyer |

Efforts to pare back the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act have fallen short despite a gusher of cash from Saudi Arabian coffers to lobbyists from DLA Piper and Hogan Lovells.

U.K.'s Largest Companies Expect Market To Deteriorate In 2017

By Chris Johnson |

A major report on boardroom confidence has revealed that the U.K.'s largest public companies are overwhelmingly downbeat on the country's economic outlook for 2017.

American Bar Association offices in Washington, D.C.

The ABA Raises the Wrong Bar

By Steven J. Harper |

Once again, the ABA has demonstrated its inability to deal with the biggest problem confronting legal education.

Brexit Vote Lawyer “Confident” Of Supreme Court Victory

By Chris Johnson |

One of the lead lawyers in the historic legal challenge over whether the U.K. prime minister has the power to start Brexit has told The American Lawyer that he is “confident” an earlier ruling demanding the process be subject to a parliamentary vote will be upheld.

Big Law's Naughty Dad? Tiffany at Harvard Law? This Is Not Fake News

By Vivia Chen, The Careerist |

Folks, I can't make this stuff up.

Kasowitz Wins One for Marine Who Tried to Save His Comrades in Afghanistan

By Jenna Greene |

Jason Brezler tried to do the right thing. The U.S. Marine Corps major warned his comrades in Afghanistan of a possible attack, but in his haste to do so, he sent a classified document from his personal email account. That got Brezler booted from the Marines.

10 Most Underrated Law Schools in America

By Vivia Chen |

News flash: A number of not-so-highly ranked schools managed to get a high percentage (70 percent or more) of their graduates into full-time jobs that require JDs or are JD-advantaged.

IPO Funds Continue to Fuel Massive Growth at Publicly Listed UK Firm

By Chris Johnson |

The U.K.'s first publicly listed law firm continues to power ahead, with Gateley announcing that its revenue increased 19 percent and its pre-tax profit soared 44 percent in the first half of the current fiscal year.

Graduate Sues Oxford University For Preventing Him From Becoming A Lawyer

By Chris Johnson |

An Oxford graduate is suing the prestigious university for 1 million pounds ($1.27 million), claiming that its “appallingly bad” teaching prevented him from having a successful career as a lawyer.

DLA, Reed Smith Among Top 20 Firms Rated By Clients For Service

By Chris Johnson |

Allen & Overy, DLA Piper, Norton Rose Fulbright and Reed Smith are among a group of 20 law firms rated by clients as providing the best level of overall service.

Alan M. Dershowitz.

The Careerist: About Dershowitz, About Begley, About Anti-Semitism

By Vivia Chen |

Alan Dershowitz takes issue with former Debevoise & Plimpton partner Louis Begley's points about discrimination against Jews—or lack thereof.

Louis Begley, retired Debevoise partner and author

The Careerist: Louis Begley on Law, Anti-Semitism and Sex

By Vivia Chen |

A retired partner at Debevoise & Plimpton, Begley writes about New York's moneyed class with stinging subtlety. Here are excerpts from our meeting and a subsequent phone conversation.

How to Hold Judges Accountable

By Jenna Greene |

A viral petition isn't the answer.