Billable Hours Be Gone: Should the Hourly Billing System Be Replaced?

by Stacia Weber October 24 2007, 23:11
I. Introduction

Law firms have adjusted to recent generations of associates that demand a better quality of life in conjunction with their careers. [1] A young lawyer wants it all: a successful career, a family, and time for a social-life outside the office. "Work/life balance" has become a buzzword for firms attempting to recruit the best and brightest. Some firms have responded to the needs of working parents who prioritize childrearing by offering reduced and alternative working schedules. [2] Others allow associates to bill some of their time to pro bono work, which increases the esteem of the profession [3] in addition to satiating a young associate's need to make a difference. While programs such as these move toward the much sought after "work/life balance." they may not be enough to truly achieve a happy, well-balanced life. [More]


Corporate | Labor

Pro Bono Helps Out Corporate Law

by Karen Lee October 16 2007, 12:05
I. Introduction

In a survey by the American Bar Association (“ABA”), an overwhelming majority of lawyers asserted that legal professionals should do pro bono work. [1] Indeed, the Supreme Court’s majority stated in a 1989 decision that “in a time when the need for legal services among the poor is growing and public funding for such services has not kept pace, lawyers’ ethical obligation to volunteer their time and skills pro bono publico is manifest.” [2] Though 93% of attorneys polled by the ABA agreed with this statement, only 66% of these attorneys backed belief with action to do pro bono work, averaging 39 hours a year per attorney. [3]

In this day and age, almost every major corporate law firms has a large pro bono program. [4] These programs are publicized in news releases and in large, splashy sections of their web sites. [5] But is this pro bono policy a central firm policy or mere self-promotion, and what place does it have in today’s modern corporate practice? [More]



Economically Reprehensible Behavior, or Benefits and Risks of Morality? (1 of 2)

by Kamran Chaudri October 5 2007, 19:08
I. Introduction

Whether it is through mutual funds, pensions or direct purchases of shares in companies, some investors are taking more than profit maximization into consideration when investing. These investors seek to promote individual social or moral preferences by choosing investments based on the products and procedures of an investment, rather than solely on accounting profitability. Essentially, these investors are looking to use their money for both moral and monetary profit. Of course, when it comes to capital markets, the customer, i.e. the investor, is still the boss. Thus understanding this trend is not merely an academic exercise but perhaps a lesson to those seeking funding. [More]

The 700 MHz Club: Verizon’s Challenge to the FCC’s Open Access Requirements

by Patrick Schuette October 4 2007, 01:00
I. Introduction

With the passing of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, Congress amended Section 309(j)(14) of the Communications Act of 1934, setting a February 17, 2009 deadline for the switchover from analog television to digital television.[1] After this deadline, all full-power television station licensees that hold a license to operate on a frequency between 698 and 806 megahertz (MHz) may no longer operate on that frequency.[2] On a television, these frequencies encompass channels 52 to 69.[3]

As a result of this freed up bandwidth going back to the government, Congress instructed the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to auction off licenses to operate on these frequencies.[4] The purpose of these auctions is to encourage the development of new technology, to encourage competition, to recover a portion of the value of the spectrum for public use, and to encourage efficient and intensive use of the electromagnetic spectrum.[5] According to some estimates, the auction of these frequencies could raise in excess of $10 billion.[6] [More]

Securing IP Interests Means Securing a Future for Your Business

by Rayna Gokli September 20 2007, 21:21
Starting a new business can be a scary venture, especially for an inexperienced entrepreneur. [1] However, adhering to one little known business fundamental can help make the process run as smoothly as possible. [2] Specifically, securing one's intellectual property ("IP") interests from the start can secure a solid future for a new business by ensuring more funding from venture capitalists and investors. [3] IP traditionally includes patent, trademark, copyright and trade secrets, all of which can be protected with the right legal knowledge or competent attorney. [4] This article explains the four types of IP interests, their advantages and disadvantages and the benefits of securing them during the start-up stage of new businesses. [More]

Diversification in Corporate Law

by Karen Lee July 10 2007, 01:05
I. Introduction

In today’s world where every law firm claims to value diversity throughout their ranks and prioritize it as a top concern in recruiting, it is easy to forget that even in the 1960s, Secretary of Labor Willard Wirtz called the American legal profession “the worst segregated group in the whole economy.” [1] According to a 2003 American Bar Association study, slightly more than 89% of all lawyers in the nation are white. The overall numbers of women and minorities at the associate level are improving substantially, but the odds of making partner stay low. [2] Lawyers of color account for less than 5% of partners in all of the largest American law firms, according to the National Association for Law Placement. [3] White males have five times better odds than women of making partner, and seven times better than Asian-Americans or African-Americans. [4] Minority-owned firms provide a greater likelihood for advancement for many associates towards partnership, and the Clinton administration’s programs worked to create a better environment for such firms. [5] However, in recent years a backslide has occurred; legal and political changes have made it more acceptable for corporations and the government to give short shrift to minority-owned firms. [6] Still, without pressure from the government, market forces are causing diversity in larger firms to become a business imperative. [7] [More]


Corporate | Labor

Evolution of Maternalism in Corporate Law

by Karen Lee April 20 2007, 01:07
I: Introduction

During the uncertain times of World War II, Harvard University’s president was interviewed concerning the condition of the law school. He stated that it wasn’t bad as he had expected, given the war-time circumstances: “We have 75 students, and we haven’t had to admit any women.” [1]

One would think that the legal industry would have made giant strides towards remedying such primitive opinions. On the contrary, a recent Harvard Law survey of large corporate firms found that some male lawyers still drop pencils under boardroom tables as an excuse to look at women’s legs, and take clients to strip clubs where their female colleagues feel unwelcome. [2] Fortunately, not all firms tolerate such behavior. This article aims to examine the obstacles facing women and mothers in the field of corporate law, and what actions some firms are taking to alleviate their unique burdens. [More]


Corporate | Labor

Telecommunications Entrepreneur Concocts Grand Scam: Off-Shore Accounts, Smart Business Planning or Underhanded Tax Evasion?

by Naureen Amjad April 6 2007, 15:15

There is no way to get around paying taxes. This was a fact Walter Anderson learned the hard way. While directors may owe fiduciary duties to their shareholders in terms of wealth maximization, this cannot be accomplished through illegal means. Shareholders expect their directors and officers to legitimately run the business and to employ their acquired business knowledge in order to promote shareholder wealth. Anderson interpreted such Delaware law to allow him full access to evade payment of personal income taxes by storing his acquired assets in off-shore bank accounts, away from the reach of the Internal Revenue Service.[1] Such actions were not considered sound business judgment and Anderson has been indicted for engaging in a tax evasion scheme, obstructing the IRS, and defrauding the District of Columbia government by failing to pay over $200 million in taxes.[2] [More]



Subprime Slump: Will the Economy Follow?

by Alicia Filter April 5 2007, 01:33
On February 7, 2007, the Senate Banking Committee heard testimony which indicated that nearly 20 percent of subprime mortgage loans obtained in the period from 2005-2006 will result in foreclosure, affecting over 2.2 million families in the United States over the next few years. [1] On Monday, April 2, 2007, the second largest provider of high-risk, subprime mortgages, New Century Capital Corporation of Irvine, California, filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection and fired 3200 employees in the wake of its own "financial missteps" and trouble with the SEC and U.S. Department of Justice over financial statements which failed to accurately account for financial losses the corporation was suffering, as well as mismanagement of the corporation. [2] With more than 25 subprime lending companies shutting down over the past few months [3], many are wondering about the implications for the future of both the subprime market and the economy.

Subprime mortgages are those given to consumers with credit scores below 620, indicating that these consumers are generally late in paying their bills and often have significant delinquencies in their credit reports indicating frequent late payments on obligations of 30 to 90 days. [4] Alternatively, subprime mortgages are issued to consumers with high debt-to-income ratios or with limited credit histories. [5] As compared to prime borrowers, "subprime borrowers are disproportionately minority and lower income, older, less well educated, less financially sophisticated, and less likely to search for the best interest rate." [6] This indicates that subprime mortgagees may not fully understand exactly what they are getting themselves into contractually and financially at the time they sign their mortgage documents. [More]

Pestilence, War, Famine, Death...and Unemployment?: An Analysis of the Internet Message Boards' Impact on Law Firm Recruitment

by Collin Delaney March 28 2007, 16:01
I: Common Sense is Not So Common

Polished black shoes. Dry-cleaned charcoal gray suit. Freshly pressed royal blue dress shirt. Red power tie. I ran through this checklist for every on-campus interview and call back interview this fall. Emails from my Career Services Office reinforced this sartorial splendor constantly. Eventually I began to notice that the CSO included several new items. “Make sure your Facebook and MySpace profiles do not have/reveal anything incriminating about you. Employers will check before an interview.” Come again? The hiring partner of a Vault 100 firm is going to “friend” me? [More]


Corporate | Labor

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