The Careerist

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.

David Boies

David Boies Says He's Not Freaked Out By a Trump Presidency. Really.

By Vivia Chen |

Litigator extraordinaire and onetime "Good Wife" star David Boies knows his share of muckety-mucks, so it shouldn't be surprising that he's crossed paths with Donald Trump. (You'll recall that Boies argued for Al Gore in "Bush v. Gore" before the U.S. Supreme Court.)

Hillary Clinton speaks at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire, on Oct. 24, 2016.

Why Hillary's Loss Feels So Painful to Women Lawyers

By Vivia Chen |

For all those women out there who've played by the rule book, Hillary's loss feels distinctly personal. For women lawyers, particularly, she was one of our own.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton walks off the stage after speaking in New York, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016. Clinton conceded the presidency to Donald Trump in a phone call early Wednesday morning.

The Night the First Woman President Wasn’t

By Vivia Chen |

This is not the story I thought I would be telling.

Best Cities for Partners to (Happily) Make Big Bucks

By Vivia Chen |

The cliché is that money can't buy you love. That might be true, but in the world of Big Law, it can buy you at least a modicum of satisfaction. One reason that Big Law partners seem pretty happy, according to a new survey by Major, Lindsey & Africa on partner compensation, is that 2016 was a jolly good year for making dough.

Law's Culture of Wimpiness

How ironic that lawyers have a reputation as pitbulls who can't resist a tough fight. From my perch—as a former lawyer and current journalist—I'd say the opposite is often true. Although lawyers can be royal pains in advocating for their clients, there's also a side that's oddly passive-aggressive and, sometimes, just cowardly.

Lawyers Orbiting in Trump's Universe

By Vivia Chen |

Can anyone be shocked that Donald Trump's campaign universe is populated by lawyers? Some are his hired guns (and we're not even talking about those he deploys for his business) and many represent his adversaries. And some are unwittingly sucked into his orbit through romantic ties.

Shutterstock/Jon Bilous

The Horror! Young Lawyers Balk at Upper East Side Living

By Vivia Chen |

They're flocking to other Manhattan neighborhoods and, yes, Brooklyn in search of broader culture and diversity.

Theodore J. Boutrous, Jr.

Tweeting Ted Boutrous and Followers Vow to Fend Off Trump for Free

By Vivia Chen |

The Twitter accounts of lawyers are usually lonely, desolate places ignored by many and visited by a nerdy few, but Ted Boutrous just broke away from that pack. On Saturday, Boutrous, the co-head of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher’s global litigation department, lit up Twitter with an offer to represent pro bono anyone sued by Donald Trump.

On Happiness Scale, Partners Rank High (No, Really)

By Vivia Chen |

For those who think Big Law partners are miserable, lost souls, I've got news for you: They are quite happy, thank you. Plus, they're making bundles of money. And guess what? Many wouldn't dream of scaling down their practice (and the money) for more free time. In sum, they like what they’re doing and how they're doing it.

Too Much Mommy Time?

Maybe Donald Trump has sensitized me to the plight of men who feel they're not getting a fair shake. Or maybe I'm just skeptical of what seems to be too good to be true. In any case, I'm getting nervous about some of those wonderfully generous policies aimed at women, particularly new moms.

Pay Disparity: Cronyism or Just Plain Sex Discrimination?

Maybe I've been around the block too many times, but I can't get that worked up over the news this week that male partners make 44 percent more than their female counterparts. (That’s the finding of a recently released survey of big firm partners by Major, Lindsey & Africa.) It's a crying shame. But, really, is that news?

7 Firms (Not on Wall Street) Make ‘Best Place to Work’ List

Crain's New York Business recently listed its 100 best places to work in the Big Apple—and, once again, Wall Street law firms are no where to be found. Only seven law firms made it. And the winners are . . .

Pathetic Parallels: Big Law and Corporate America

Female lawyers of America, take heart: You are not the only ones stuck in your careers. Your sisters in Corporate America are just as screwed.

Are Women's Awards Insulting or Empowering?

I hate to burst your balloon, but I find "best female lawyers" lists annoying. To me, these shoutouts suggest that women are unable to compete with the big boys. Its become a booming industry to dole out awards to "top" women in law and business. Recently, titles owned by my own company, ALM Media LLC, have entered the fray.

The Hungry Lawyer Abroad

By Vivia Chen |

How to eat your way into your client's heart, even when the meal is, um, unusual.

My Evening (Almost) With Barack Obama

OK, President Obama wasn't in my apartment, but he was in my apartment building. Last Sunday, he dined in the apartment directly above mine. My neighbor hosted the event and graciously invited me. Sadly, the meal ticket was $25,000 per person, and, as a poor journalist, I had to decline.

Why Do Women Leave Firms? Because They Can

Uh-oh, it looks like your firm just wasted a ton of money recruiting those bright young women from top law schools. You know the type I'm talking about: They're polished and poised. The female pipeline at your firm is fixed. And your stats on women will look fabulous 10 years down the line. Or so it would seem.

David Sanford.

Lawyer in Chadbourne Gender Bias Case Fires Back

The gender discrimination case against Chadbourne & Parke isn't quieting down. After 14 female partners at the firm publicly chided David Sanford for bringing the class action case on behalf of partner Kerrie Campbell without contacting them first, he has responded with an "open letter" of his own addressing their concerns.

business woman with red boxing gloves on,ready to battle, against an industrial background

Female Partners at Chadbourne: We're Not Victims

The gender discrimination suit against Chadbourne & Park is getting hotter. It now appears that other female partners at the New York firm are ganging up on Kerrie Campbell, the woman filed a high-profile gender discrimination suit last month. I hate to say it, but it’s beginning to look like a Big Law episode of “Mean Girls.”

David Sanford, Chairman Sanford Heisler, LLP

Should Chadbourne—and Big Law—Be Afraid of David Sanford?

Sanford Heisler name partner David Sanford made his name lobbing bias suits at Fortune 500 companies. Last week he invited me to chat at his New York office. We were 10 minutes into our conversation about his latest client, Chadbourne & Parke partner Kerrie Campbell, when he laced into me: “What you wrote was a disservice!”

Midlevel Associates are High as a Kite

By Vivia Chen |

They claim to be on Cloud 9, our survey shows. Really?

Frances McDormand, Melania Trump, Donald Trump sculpture

Ladies, Are You Better Off in Fargo?

Summer is almost over so I'll save my more serious and depressing rants for another day. For now, I’ll keep things light and fluffy with my latest compilation of quirky, weird and mind-boggling news. First and foremost: the nine best U.S. cities for female lawyers.

Phylis Schlaflly, the Equal Rights Amendment foe who died, was actually a feminist, though she was loathe to admit it.

Phyllis Schlafly Was a Feminist

I don’t like to speak ill of the newly departed, but I was never a fan of Phyllis Schlafly, who died on Sept. 5 at 92. She was simply poisonous to the cause of gender equality. Besides spearheading the killing of the Equal Rights Amendment, she turned feminism on its head in countless ways. Actually, let's count some of the ways.

Businesswoman Being Gossiped About By Colleagues In Office

So You Want to Sue Your Firm

Well, this is awkward: You've just sued your law firm for discrimination, yet you're still showing up for work. What’s worse, you're still sitting next door to the partner who's made your life hell for the past five years. What an uncomfortable situation—even worse than having to work with an ex-lover on a deal or case.

iStockphoto/grinvalds

Herrick, Feinstein Takes Its Cue From Speed Dating

If you've been in the throes of on-campus interviews, you're probably sick of the game by now. Although sessions usually last no more than 25 minutes, they often feel like slow torture. Within minutes, you can probably tell whether the firm is interested in you, or if the interviewer would rather take a prolonged bathroom break.

Are Millennials Driving Up Billables?

I hate to say this, but I told you so. Remember all that fuss about how millennials are high-maintenance brats who don’t have the same work ethic as their elders? The American Lawyer devoted a whole issue to the topic in March, but I took another view.

Martin Shkreli, Kellyanne Conway, Donald Trump

Trump's Ties to Wachtell and Other Weirdness

From where I sit (New York), Donald Trump is not getting much Big Law support. I've only met one partner who's leaning toward Trump (not to worry, I won’t out you). But maybe Trump's luck will change with the appointment of Kellyanne Conway as his campaign manager. The Republican strategist is married to a top litigator.

Roger Ailes, former Fox CEO (Fred Prouser/REUTERS/Newscom).

Is There a Roger Ailes Lurking at Your Firm?

Were you truly that shocked about the allegation that CEO Roger Ailes hit up Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson and other female employees for sex? I think that might depend on how old you are. If you're 50 or over, Ailes' behavior might not be entirely surprising.

Tips on How to Get Out of Jury Duty

You are busy, busy. You're negotiating two super-important matters and your clients are constantly clamoring for your attention. Then you get hit with a jury summons. You've already deferred. Is there another option? There is. And it's simple: Lie.

Still from the film

I Was Juror No. 4

By Vivia Chen |

Like everyone, I dreaded jury duty. But it proved to be a powerful experience.

Why Are Older Women Leaving Big Law?

By Vivia Chen |

You hear this so often that you probably take it as holy gospel: Women bail out of Big Law because of the impossibility of balancing the demands of work and home. Being a big firm lawyer, as every Manhattan third-grader knows, is an unforgiving, pressured job.

Megyn Kelly

Dare to Bare It at the Office?

By Vivia Chen |

It’s hot and stinky out there, and Donald Trump could be our next president, but let’s focus on the burning issue of the day: What to wear to the office?

10 Male Behaviors That Annoy Female Lawyers, as Told to The Careerist

Remember the advice I passed on to you ladies about how to be assertive, yet lovable? Well, it provoked a number of responses from readers (OK, female readers). In a nutshell, some women said they’re sick and tired about getting schooled on how they should behave.

How Women Can Be Assertive (and Lovable)

I know you’re tired of hearing about how hard it is for a woman to be in charge. But despair not: This time we’ve got some tips on how to manage and avoid the pitfalls.

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

Mummy Dearest: A Look at the Mommy War in the UK

It's been far too long since I've written about Mommy Wars. Thankfully our sisters across The Pond have given me an excuse to wade into one of my favorite subjects. Britain, after its big Brexit vote, is about to get a new leader. And two powerful women wanted the job.

Paul Clement of Bancroft following a funeral mass for late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Feb. 20, 2016.

Want To Do Conservative Pro Bono? Good Luck.

By Vivia Chen |

Most projects skew left. But some lawyers and firms have bucked the trend.

Senior Associates Get No Respect

Are senior associates and counsel being ignored or getting the short end of the salary stick?

eternalcreative/iStockphoto

White Female Privilege

By Vivia Chen |

Economic status, not necessity, is what allows women to stick it out in jobs.

STUDIO GRAND OUEST/iStockphoto

Tips on Overcoming That Dirty Feeling About Networking

By Vivia Chen |

Business school profs tell you how to enjoy networking.