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Unrequited Love, Sizzling Texas + More News and Gossip!

Vivia Chen

March 15, 2018

Finger-artIt's been a messy, stressful week. So let's take a quick and breezy look at some news items you might have missed:

Did John Quinn react like a jilted lover? A reader emailed me this urgent question: "Would Quinn Emanuel be so pissed about Faith Gay leaving and having paid her millions if she were just a man?" 

The reader was referring to John Quinn's angry reaction to Gay's goodbye letter in which she announced her decision to leave Quinn Emanuel and start her own firm. In her letter, she cited a poem that talked about love. 

Quinn wrote to her: "Faith, I wish I could join in the high minded sentiment you express here. Some day maybe I will be able to. But not yet." He then goes on to remind her the firm "made you a legal star" and that she got "paid well over $100m—far more than you ever dreamed you could earn."

I suppose Quinn's letter did sound a tad personal and arguably patronizing, as if he were Henry Higgins who plucked Eliza Doolittle out of the gutter and made her the big deal litigation partner she is today. But in Quinn's defense, Gay was the one who announced her departure with a flowery poem, which, I have to admit, is a tad annoying.

So back to that vexing question: Would John Quinn have used more moderate tones if the departing partner were a man? 

Oh, dear reader, I cannot say, for what do I know about the mysteries of the partner heart?

Texas is the hottie du jour. As some of you know, I spent my childhood and adolescence plotting to get out of Texas. Now, it turns out that the Lone Star state is the place to be—particularly if you're a lawyer.

First, the market is burning hot. Every out-of-state firm seems to be setting up shop there, or desperately trying to do so. Among those that have opened offices in Texas are Winston & Strawn, Dorsey & Whitney and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. Dickinson Wright even launched an office in El Paso (seriously). Moreover, Texas Lawyer reports that "82 percent of law firm leaders in Texas have been approached over the last year about a combination with another firm."

Secondly, it's where you might actually have a shot at making partner. Texas Lawyer reports that "18 of the 25 firms with the most lawyers in Texas promoted 85 lawyers to partner, compared with 68 new partners last year for the same group of firms." 

What's more, Texas now boasts three law schools that are on Law.com's go-to list for Big Law hiring. They are the University of Texas at #17 (no surprise there), Southern Methodist University at #28 (quite respectable) and University of Houston at #43 (a newcomer to the list).

Anyway you look at it, Texas is a sizzling market. If you care about that sort of thing.

Join Team Trump! Finally, for those of you looking for work, may I suggest that you get your resume over to the Trump administration fast? As you probably know, over 40 percent of his hires have left. And more is expected. So think job openings!

And if you're worried that your academic and work creds aren't up to snuff: Don't sweat. Did White House counsel Don McGahn worry that a lot of the candidates he proposed for federal judgeships were unqualified? Hell no! And did Trump hesitate to give 24-year old Taylor Weyeneth the job of deputy drug czar despite having scant experience (Weyeneth was fired from the New York law firm O’Dwyer & Bernstien where he was a paralegal)? Hell no! (Update: Weyeneth was recently pushed over to Department of Housing and Urban Development.) 

So do the bold thing, apply for those top jobs! You might look into the Justice Department too. Hell, why not submit your name for Jeff Sessions' job? I don't think DOJ is such a fussy place anymore, considering it made a boo-boo in a recent argument, citing an overturned case. (Career advice: Always Shepardize!) 




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I love the gossip part of your work the best. Keep the gossip rolling. Love it.

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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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