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6 posts from November 2017

November 21, 2017

Men, Are You Really that Confused?

 

Clueless-guy-photo-1

Dear Men:

It's come to my attention that some of you are hopelessly lost as to how to deal with women in the post-Harvey Weinstein era. I hear that you are quaking in your boots, wingtips, loafers, whatever—because you no longer know the rules of engagement with your female colleagues.

On one hand, you are under pressure to pay more attention to the women on your team. You are told to put them on cases, transactions, and all sorts of matters so that they can shine. You are also told that you have to mentor them, sponsor them and take them under your wings so that can have a shot at success like the lads at the office. 

But then there's this message: Watch yourself. You better avoid even the slightest hint—much less the reality—of some kind of hanky-panky. You've heard that before but the recent allegations about Weinstein is driving home the point. If nothing else, the Weinstein affair shows how quickly accusations of sexual impropriety can destroy a career.

So you are racking your brains about how whether certain working situations might land you in hot water: Is it okay to review documents with a female underling in the office with the door closed? Can you travel with her alone on business trips and stay at the same hotel? Is it a bad idea to share a a meal together? 

Rest assure, The Careerist feels your pain and is on the case.

Let me begin our session by asking you this: Are you guys playing with us? Or are you honestly that clueless?

I ask because some of the anxiety men have expressed seems ripe for parody. One recent New York Times article suggests that this is a big problem facing men in white collar professions, particularly among those who "like to think they treat women as equals in the workplace." A male employee at PwC in San Francisco tells The Times: "I don’t think I’ve done anything wrong. But has anything I’ve done been interpreted another way?"

The upshot, according to The Times, is that some men are starting male groups to address these issues, and companies are cancelling after-hour parties (when in doubt, cut the fun). Plus, there's this predictable response among some conservatives: Invoke the Mike Pence Rule in which he famously declared that he would never, ever dine alone with a woman or attend an event that served alcohol without his wife Karen (whom he calls "Mother") at his side. 

Both of these reactions are silly. First, there's the self-flagellating uber-liberal response in which privilege, over-educated men (I'm talking about you BigLaw types!) spin their wheels about whether they've somehow (that unconscious bias thing again!) crossed a line with women. I'm not in the least worried about this group because if you're spending this much time analyzing your actions, you're probably pretty tame.

As for the Mike Pence Rule, I think most people who work in the legal or corporate sector would agree that it's a bit antiquated. Though it's hard to imagine a BigLaw partner openly adopting the Pence rule, it probably happens, and possibly more so in this post-Weinstein era. In fact, there's been lots of concern that women will suffer as a result. "When men, who tend to still be the gatekeepers of any industry, decide that they must roll back spending time with their woman colleagues or employees, it can have real, lasting impact on those women’s careers," comments The Huffington Post

Yes, it would be a pity if women lost out on opportunities because of the wrong lessons from the Weinstein affair. That said, let me also throw this out: Some men should abide by the Pence Rule. I mean if you're the type of guy who loses it when you're alone with a woman  and morphs into a sex slave (remember Donald Trump says he turns into an uncontrollable kissing machine in the presence of a pretty woman in that Hollywood Access tape), you shouldn’t be on the mentor list. I don’t think any woman would be missing out on a chance of lifetime not having your tutelage.

But I doubt most of you are quite that provincial. You are sophisticated citizens of the world. And big boys to boot. It can’t be that hard to figure out what’s acceptable behavior. I bet you have some inkling when you’re behaving inappropriately. (Simple rule: If in doubt, don’t do it.)

Remember, you’re the man—and more often than not, the Boss-Man. So please take responsibility and knock off the “it’s-so-hard-to-be-a-guy-these-days” stuff. OK?

All good wishes, 

The Careerist

November 17, 2017

Lawyers for Public Office + More News

VIvia-Politics-Composite
Jenny Durkin, James Stewart and Justin Fairfax.

 

My weekly look at the news in your world:

1. You—yes, you—should run for office. Reinventing yourself after a lifetime of law practice is a sizzling hot topic these days. How hot? Well, I moderated a panel on encore careers at the New York City bar recently—and it was standing room only. What's more,  current and former BigLaw partners were in attendance. Who knew that so many "mature" lawyers are still hungry for a second or third act?

We discussed all types of options at the panel, like serving on boards or working for nonprofit, but we totally missed this one: Running for public office. 

That's what a couple of lawyers (one from Venable and the other from Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan) did in this latest election cycle. Even better they won! 

Reports The National Law Journal: "Litigation counsel Justin Fairfax was elected lieutenant governor of Virginia—setting him up to serve alongside fellow Democrat Ralph Northam, who won Virginia’s gubernatorial race. And another Big Law attorney, Quinn Emanuel’s Jenny Durkan, won her race to become Seattle’s next mayor."

NLJ also reports there might be more BigLaw politicians in the pipeline, including Venable's former chair James Shea, who hopes to become the next Democratic nominee for governor for governor of Maryland. 

 
Both Fairfax and Durkan are injecting diversity into public office. Fairfax "became the first African-American to be elected to a statewide office in Virginia since 1989—the year L. Douglas Wilder was elected governor." And Durkan is a lesbian. A former U.S. attorney for the Western District of Washington, she was the first openly gay top federal prosecutor.
 
I think it's perfectly logical for BigLaw types to get into politics: They've got the skills, the smarts and a high tolerance for boring details that should come in handy in the governing process. Plus, if you've been a BigLaw partner, you probably have some savings under your belt to take the pay cut that public life requires. I say, go for it!

2. Too bad you missed your best shot at getting into Harvard Law School. I hate to say I told you so, but didn't I suggest that you apply to your dream law school when the going was good?

It might seem like ancient history now, but law, especially BigLaw, had a stinky reputation in the aftermath of the recession. (Anyone remember those layoffs when associates got tossed like broken toys after Christmas?) For about five years or so, starting in 2010, application rates to law schools were on a steady decline.

Well, if you didn't apply back in the day, you've missed your chance at squeezing into a top (or better) law school. According to TaxProfBlog, LSAT takers rose 10.7 percent in September/October—and that's on top of a 19.8 percent  increase in June. That increase was "the largest since 2009-10, when LSAT-test takers hit an all-time high (171,514)."

Is this just a momentary bump? Nope. Registrations for the December LSATs are up 19.8 percent. TaxProf says: "We are headed for a third consecutive year of increases in LSAT test-takers (and the largest yearly increase, dwarfing 2015-16's 4.1 percent and 2016-17's 3.3 percent), which followed five consecutive years of declines."

So here's my advice to you: Go against the herd. Unless you're dead set on being a lawyer and are sure you can get into a "decent" law school (in my opinion, that would be top 50 ranked schools), you might consider something else.  Perhaps podiatry school? (People will always have feet problems.)

3. Move over, Gloria Allred. Robbie is here. I don't know if this is the kind of client she could have or would have taken on at Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison, but Roberta Kaplan is now representing a woman who's been sued for defamation by filmmaker Brett Ratner after she accused him of rape. 

Kaplan, of course, is famous for arguing the Edie Windsor case before the Supreme Court in 2013 that recognized gay marriage. Before she started her own firm this year, Kaplan was a litigation partner at Paul Weiss.

Kaplan is representing Melanie Kohler, an owner of a scuba shop in Hawaii, who accused Ratner of raping her 12 years ago on Facebook. The New York Times reports that Ratner slapped her with a defamation lawsuit, "just hours after the Los Angeles Times published a story with allegations from six women — including actresses Olivia Munn and Natasha Henstridge — accusing Ratner of sexual misconduct and harassment."

The Times article suggests that Kohler was intimidated by Ratner's lawyer Martin Singer into removing her Facebook post. Singer denies the charge.

In any case, Kohler shouldn't be scared now that she's got Kaplan on her team. I mean, Kaplan is a big gun.

4. My next appearance:

Women in the Workplace - What's Holding Us Back?

The Cornell Club of New York
November 30, 2017 – 8:00 – 9:30 a.m.

(Sponsored by The New York Women's Bar Association Foundation, Inc.)

 

 

vchen@alm.com

November 13, 2017

It's Lonely at the Top for BigLaw's Few Black Leaders

African-American-Big-Law-copy

 

What's rarer than black partners in Big Law? How about black managing partners or chairs of major firms?

That would appear to be a tall order, considering the bleak statistics. African Americans make up 4.1 percent of  big firm associates in 2013 (down from 4.8 percent in 2008), and a puny 1.7 percent of partners.

Since 1991, when David Andrews (now deceased) became the managing partner of McCutchen, Doyle, Brown & Enersen, there have been very few members of this exclusive club, including: Dennis Archer, chair emeritus of Dickinson Wright; Leonard Givens, CEO of Miller Canfield; John Daniels, chair emeritus of Quarles & Brady; Benjamin Wilson, chair of Beveridge & Diamond; Maurice Watson, chairman of Husch Blackwell; Frederick Nance, global managing partner of Squire Patton & Boggs; Karl Racine, managing partner of Venable; and, most recently, Ellisen Turner, the new managing partner of Irell & Manella, and Jonathan Harmon, who’s slated to be the chair of McGuireWoods.

How did these men (no women, of course) beat the odds? And what advice do they have for young lawyers of color?

In my conversations with these leaders, what’s clear is that this is a very pragmatic, focused bunch. Though they all voice frustration with the pace of racial progress in the legal profession, they cast a cold eye about what it takes to succeed.

"It's incumbent on firms and lawyers to demystify the practice of law," says Wilson of Beveridge & Diamond, one the nation's biggest environmental firms. "It's important for young lawyers to understand the business of law." 

And that means hitting the ground early on client development. "When I came out of law school in the mid-70s, I had no expectations. But I thought if I had an aptitude for business and law, I'd always find a demand," says Daniels of Quarles & Brady. "I was focused on business development early on."

What helps in developing business is being a big fish in a small pond. Though most went to top law schools, many in this group opted to go back to their home towns. After Harvard College and University of Michigan Law School, Nance headed straight for Cleveland's Squire Sanders & Dempsey. "I was born in Cleveland and had a lot of community ties," explains Nance. After becoming friends with Cleveland mayor Michael White, Nance was tasked with keeping the Cleveland Browns from moving to Baltimore—a matter that put him on the national map and catapulted him into the front ranks of sports lawyers (he now represents LeBron James).

"The data shows that opportunities are better for people of color in smaller cities," says Maurice Watson of Hursch Blackwell, a 600-lawyer firm based in Missouri. A graduate of Harvard Law School, Watson didn't think twice about going back home. "When you come back to a market like Kansas City and you have a cadre of people who support your advancement, you can reach the highest leadership level."  

Which brings us back to a nagging question: Why aren't more black lawyers seeing this level of success in BigLaw, particularly Wall Street type firms? Why is the pace of change so painfully slow? Is it bias that's still keeping black lawyers from getting the opportunity to succeed? 

"There are individual successes but even reaching 2 percent of African American partners seems high at this point," laments Wilson. That said, he says he's encouraged by the actions of clients: "It's not just the general counsel but all in-house counsel. Their willingness to speak up about diversity, to exercise their clout is making a difference." And that emphasis on diversity is no longer lip service, adds Turner of Irell & Manella. "There's no turning back."

As for bias, every leader I talked to in this group say that it's real and insidious—but that there's only so much to be gained by harping on it. "I tell people I was born in Birmingham and started out going to segregated schools, and ended up at Harvard Law School," says Daniels. "I focus on what I can control."

Nance agrees: "If you're going to be obsessed about perceived slights, you're heading to the wrong profession. When I was an associate, lots of times some partner called me by the name of some other black associate. You've got to let that stuff go. The prize is too big to let those minor things upset you."

 vchen@alm.com

 
Photo: Top row left to right: David Andrews, Dennis Archer, John Daniels, Maurice Watson Bottom row left to right: Frederick Nance, Benjamin Wilson, Ellisen Turner, Jonathan Harmon
 
 
 
 
 

November 10, 2017

BakerHostetler Partners Give Trump Reckless Advice (+ Other News)

Composite-Trump-again

BakerHostetler partners tells Trump how to shut down Mueller's investigation. At first, I thought it was a joke.  But we're not remotely close to April Fools Day. It is, however, the season of ghost and goblins, and what these two Big Law partners are advising Trump is downright scary.

Writing in The Wall Street Journal, BakerHostetler partners David Rivkin (left)and Lee Casey (right) propose that President Trump "can end this madness" of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation "by immediately issuing a blanket presidential pardon to anyone involved in supposed collusion with Russia or Russians during the 2016 presidential campaign, to anyone involved with Russian acquisition of an American uranium company during the Obama administration, and to anyone for any offense that has been investigated by Mr. Mueller’s office."

It's that simple: If Trump uses his presidential power to pardon whoever has been implicated, Muller can't do his job and will have to shut down the investigation. Rivkin and Casey write: "The president himself would be covered by the blanket pardon we recommend, but the pardon power does not extend to impeachment."

The advice is coldly cynical, but Rivkin and Casey wrap it in noble cloth. They claim that  the Muller's investigation has been bias from the get-go and that the charges represent "weaponization of criminal law." Instead of an investigation by special counsel, they propose that questions of interference in U.S. elections by Russia be investigated by Congress.

All this would be fun stuff for a debate at some Federalist Society event if it weren't for the very real possibility that Trump might take up the advice. After all, it fits with the ethos of the White House Counsel's office where bare technical adherence to the law is all that matters. (Fun fact: Even John Yoo, the author of the infamous "torture memos" during the W administration, writes that a blanket pardon, while legal, is a crummy idea.)

Then what would happen? The Democrats will scream and holler, and the Republicans (with the exception of those on their way out) will sit quietly, and Trump could get his way. It would throw a monkey wrench into the whole system and do serious damage to the presidency and our trust in government—essentially fulfilling Stephen Bannon's nihilistic vision. 

Gee, thanks Messrs. Rivkin and Casey. You're giving lawyers a swell reputation.

A shiny trinket for an ex-S&C associate. Sullivan & Cromwell might be fabulously prestigious and lucrative, but I can assure you that not even its biggest, fattest rainmaker could afford what one of its former peon associates is buying.
 
Joseph Tsai, a one-time S&C corporate associate turned Alibaba co-founder, is awarding himself with a little trophy: A 49 percent stake in the Nets, which, according to The New York Times, is the seventh-most valuable team of the N.B.A. franchise. 
 
It could end up being a decent investment, but Tsai's acquisition of the Nets seems to be largely a play thing. The Times says that Tsai will be buying the stake with his own money (he's worth $9 billion, according to Forbes), and that he will be hands-off (he'll keep his day job at Alibaba and won't be involved in the basketball or business sides of the Nets).

So why all this effort to acquire this particular toy? Well, Tsai has an interest in sports, reports the Times, "dating back to his time as a lacrosse player at Yale." 

How quaint that it all goes back to his college days. In any case, I'm pretty sure Tsai isn't feeling too bad that he didn't stick it out at S&C.

Ugliest on campus award: three goes to law schools. Law schools and other academic institutions usually fight to be on those top 10 list, but being on this list is no badge of honor.

We're not talking about academic reputation, but aesthetics. AD recently came out with its most ugliest buildings in higher education—and law schools were well-represented.  Actually, over-represented. Law schools comprised three out of the eight structure on America's ugliest university architecture list. And they are truly breathtaking.

Here they are in all their glory: 

6a00d8341c4eab53ef01bb09c8d1e8970d-800wi
University of Baltimore School of Law

 

6a00d8341c4eab53ef01b7c925bbba970b-800wi
University of Maine Law School
6a00d8341c4eab53ef01b8d2b00cfc970c-800wi
University of Iowa College of Law


Hat tip: TaxProf blog.

 

November 9, 2017

David Boies' Mea Culpa Doesn't Cut It

Saint_Francis_of_Assisi_by_Jusepe_de_RiberaIt's hard not to be charmed by David Boies. I've met Boies on several occasions and interviewed him about a range of topics—from his opinion about Donald Trump, a skirmish he got into with Alan Dershowitz, to his star turn on The Good Wife. He's a rock star of lawyers, a maverick who looms above the stuffed suits of the profession and a shiny knight for liberal causes.

And, of course, he's brilliant. Yet, he comes across as soft-spoken, direct and remarkably homespun (those iconic Sears' suits! those Merrell shoes!).

So how did a bonafide legend like Boies get caught in the tawdry Harvey Weinstein mess in which his judgement and ethics are called to question?

There are two ways to view Boies' role in the Weinstein catastrophe: It was either chutzpah or stupidity. Judging by what Boies has said so far, he'd prefer if you pick the stupid option. 

In case you missed it, the backstory is this: Boies signed off on hiring Black Cube, an investigation agency, to thwart the publication of a New York Times story about Weinstein's sexual abuses, according to The New Yorker's Ronan Farrow. (Black Cube's investigators—one posed as a women's advocate, while another pretended to be a Weinstein victim—ingratiated themselves with actress Rose McGowan and a journalist to pump them for information about Weinstein's alleged assaults.) To top it off: The Times was a Boies Schiller & Flexner client at the same time. (Less than 48 hours after the New Yorker story broke, The Times fired Boies Schiller & Flexner.)

Unsavory allegations, unsavory client, unsavory techniques—plus a heaping serving of a possible conflict of interest. You couldn't ask for a better setup for a story about the fall of a living legend. Most lawyers and law firms wouldn't recover, but what about Boies?

To his credit, or because he has no other choice, Boies is not dodging the issue. His method is to fall on his sword. "We should not have been contracting with and paying investigators that we did not select and direct," he told The New Yorker. "At the time, it seemed a reasonable accommodation for a client, but it was not thought through, and that was my mistake." 

Boies repeats those explanations in a recent public statement that followed. He states that he made it clear to Weinstein that he would not represent him with respect to McGowan's charge that the movie mogul raped her. He also reiterates that it was Weinstein's other lawyers who "selected private investigators to assist him and drafted a contract." And again, Boies emphasizes that he signed the contract with Black Cube because, it "seemed at the time, like a reasonable accommodation for a longtime client." 

I wish I could take Boies at face value, but it strains credulity to think that a lawyer—any lawyer, much less a very savvy one—would blindly sign a contract for something that he's barely involved in. Indeed, there's nothing "reasonable" about the accommodation. It would make far more sense if Weinstein's other lawyers signed the contract, since they are the ones who are supposedly directing the private investigator.

Which raises this question: Was Boies and his firm truly that out of the loop about what the private investigators were doing, which was to dig up dirt on women to discredit them? That's puzzling, since The New Yorker reports that the investigators sent summaries of reports to Weinstein's lawyers (though it's unclear which lawyers), and that Weinstein himself had forwarded photos of himself and McGowan to Boies and another lawyer that supposedly help prove his innocence. 

And though Boies admits that he knew what the investigators were trying to find ("I was told at the time that the purposes of hiring the private investigators were to ascertain exactly what the actress was accusing Mr. Weinstein of having done, and when, and to try to find facts that would prove the charge to be false and thereby stop the story"), he suggests that he was unaware about their sleazy methods and purposes: "Had I known at the time that this contract would have been used for the services that I now understand it was used for, I would never have signed it or been associated in any way with this effort."

Boies seems to want it both ways: He knew that the goal was to stop the Weinstein story in its tracks, but he insists he didn't know that the road to achieve those goals would be so sordid. Coming from a tough litigator who knows how to play hardball, that's hard to buy.

As for the whole conflicts of interest thing with the Times, Boies essentially relies on a technicality. In his statement, he says that "when we were engaged by the Time we made clear that we needed to be able to continue to represent clients adverse to the Times on matters unrelated to the work we were doing for the Times." 

Boies might be technically right about the (overly?) broad waiver, but that hardly seems to be the best way to sooth an angry client. Not surprisingly, The Times fired Boies Schiller and issued this: "Whatever legalistic arguments and justifications can be made, we should have been treated better by a firm that we trusted."

Boies is in a pickle, and he seems unsure about how to put distance between himself and his now ex-client, who happens to be one of the most hated men in America. "I don't believe former lawyers should criticize former clients," Boies tells Farrow in The New Yorker. But in the same breath, he sort of does just that: "In retrospect, I knew enough in 2015 that I believe I should have been on notice of a problem, and done something about it."

Like lots of Weinstein's male cohorts who have found themselves in his ugly ambit, he seems to be saying, "My bad. I could've, should've done something." It sounds contrite, but I'm not sure where it leads. 

At the end of the statement he issued in the aftermath of the New Yorker article, Boies pleads his case:

I have devoted much of my professional career to helping give voice to people who would otherwise not be heard and to protecting the rights of women and others subjection to oppression. I would never knowingly participate in an effort to intimidate or silence women or anyone else, including the conduct described in the New Yorker article. That is not who I am.

And wouldn't we all love to believe him?

vchen@alm.com

Art: St. Francis d'Assisi (Wikipedia)

November 1, 2017

Amal Clooney's #Me-Too Moment (Sort Of) + Other News

Rs_600x600-170311113533-600.2-amal-clooney.cm.31117My quick and dirty look at the news is now a weekly treat! Here's the edition for those with attention deficit disorder:

George Clooney's #MeToo moment (on behalf of Amal). I still doubt we will hear many female lawyers working in Big Law speaking up about their own experience with sexual harassment on the job, but I guess George Clooney is a good proxy.

Reacting to the sexual harassment/assault allegations concerning Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, Clooney told The Telegraph: "My wife, who is a human rights lawyer, says she's faced those exact kinds of situations in law."

Of course, we can't help but wonder where Clooney's wife "faced those exact kinds of situations in law." Let's see now: Amal did work at Sullivan & Cromwell's New York office early in her legal career. Could it be that esteemed firm? Or the U.N. where she advised Kofi Annan on Syria? All that would be juicy, but, alas, there's no hint from George where those incidents happened.

"My wife is a very smart, very together, very accomplished human rights lawyer and she said ‘There have been times in my life, in the law community, I had to tell someone to knock it off'," Clooney also told The Telegraph. "So it happens everywhere."

I think it's great that George is speaking up on this issue, especially since he's worked with Weinstein himself. But it would be much more effective if Amal talked about it herself. Maybe I'm old-fashioned, but I think people should do their own #MeToo reveals. 

Hand over the moolah or I will tell all to Above the Law. Seriously, is this the best threat this ex-Big Law associate could come up with?

The Recorder's Scott Flaherty reports that a former Los Angeles-based Dentons associate admitted that he illegally took confidential information concerning the firm's hiring and billing practices: "The onetime Dentons lawyer, Michael Potere, 32, was arrested on June 22. Prosecutors accused him of downloading sensitive documents from the firm, then threatening to leak information to the legal blog Above The Law unless he was provided $210,000 and a piece of artwork from Dentons’ Los Angeles office."

Not the most sophisticated heist of the year. Frankly, I would think that an associate who graduated from a good school (Northwestern), served as an assistant D.A. for the Illinois attorney general's office (criminal division, no less) and worked at two major firms (he also worked at Kirkland & Ellis), would come up with a grander, more twisty scheme.

I mean, why only $210,000? Plus, what art work at Denton's could he possibly have coveted? And threatening to spill the beans to Above the Law? Hey, what about moi—The Careerist?

Attention bargain hunters: Law schools that deliver value. I know that those of us who cover Big Law are serving the 1 percent that serve the 0.1 percent, and that we have a very narrow (e.g., elitist) view of which law schools are worthy of attending.

The truth is, of course, most lawyers don't practice in the rarefied confines of major law firms in big cities.

Keeping us honest is The National Jurist which looks at schools of a different ilk—ones that serve a more middle market (definitely not T-14, and maybe not even top 100 in the U.S. News & World Report). It looks at law school’s tuition (25 percent), students’ average indebtedness (15 percent), the employment rate (35 percent), students’ cost of living expenses (10 percent) and bar passage rates (15 percent). As Above the Law's Kathryn Rubino noted,  the ranking is based "solely on providing the best value for students, something quite distinct from the prestige that usually drives rankings." 

I'm not sure you should go out of your way to attend these schools, but if you happen to be in Ohio or Nebraska or similar venues, and don't mind staying there for the rest of your natural life, here are the go-to law schools for value:

1     Georgia State University
2     University of Georgia
3     University of Florida
4     University of Wisconsin
5     University of Nebraska
6     University of South Dakota
7     Univ. Arkansas, Fayetteville
8     University of Alabama
9     University of Kentucky
10   University of Oklahoma
11    Rutgers Law
12   University of Montana
13   University of Arizona
14   Brigham Young University
15   University of Iowa
16   Florida State University
17   Florida International U.
18   University of Cincinnati
19   Ohio State University
20  Arizona State University
21   University of Missouri
22  University of Mississippi
23  Louisiana State University
24  University of New Mexico
25  Texas Tech University 

Odds and ends:

1. What readers griped about: So I got a little blowback to my post on Harvey Weinstein ("Ready for BigLaw's #Me-Too Moment?"). A few readers thought I was minimizing the harassment that goes on in law firms (I was not, though I do believe that the sexism in Big Law is of a different order from the type alleged in the Weinstein matter). And one reader disagreed with me that Angelina Jolie couldn't get a callback at Gibson Dunn without high grades. (The reader thought the male partners at the firm would make an exception.)

2. Where you can find me this week: 

NYC Bar, November 2, 2017. Time: 6:30-8:30. I'm moderating panel on Time for an Encore Career? Finding Work That Matters in the Second Half of Life

The panel will include Encore.org's Marci Alboher (author, The Encore Career Handbook: How to Make a Living and a Difference in the Second Half of Life); City Bar Justice Center's Lynn Kelly; BoardAssist's Susan Fisher; and The Everest Project's Pam Carlton.

 vchen@alm.com

About The Careerist

The Careerist takes an inside look at how lawyers shape their careers and manage their lives. The blog aims to dissect developments in the profession, provide useful information and advice, and give lawyers a platform to voice their views. The goal is to provide a fresh, provocative take on the state of lawyering.

About Vivia Chen

Vivia Chen

Vivia Chen, The Careerist's chief blogger, has been covering the business and culture of law firms for a decade. A former corporate lawyer, Chen is fascinated by those who thrive (as well as those who don't) in the legal profession. Her take: Success in the law (and life) doesn't always travel a linear path. If you have topics you'd like to discuss or information to share, contact her: VChen@alm.com

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