Postcard From America

Time for another postcard from America….





We all know what a big week it’s been in the US.


We’re already taking bets on how soon it’ll be before the Republicans start blaming any ills on "Democrat Lawyers".. it’s bound to come sooner than later.


In legal news this week.


San Francisco firm Thelens have now taken over from Heller Erhman as the ex firm to watch as their ex partners and employees spread over the land looking for new work.


The ABA journal reports up to 90 Thelens people will be joining Nixon Peabody


The ABA Journal writes:

Some 60 to 90 lawyers from the dissolving Thelen firm are joining Nixon Peabody, following a partnership vote today to admit dozens of new members.

"The new attorneys are joining all four of Nixon Peabody’s departments: business, intellectual property, litigation, and real estate. The firm also plans to hire a number of associates and staff from Thelen to help support the new partners," Nixon Peabody reports in a press release.

It says the new hires will triple the attorney roster in Nixon’s Silicon Valley office and bump the total number of lawyers on the firm’s attorney roster up to 825, the release states.

Today’s vote ups the ante from a previously reported estimate that some 60 Thelen lawyers might be snapped up by Nixon Peabody.

Although the release doesn’t give an estimated number of Thelen lawyers making the move to Nixon Peabody, a spokesman for the New York-based international law partnership tells in an e-mail that he expects 60 to 90 Thelen attorneys to join his firm. That estimate includes both partners and associates.


Also a very interesting post over at the Feminist Legal Theory blog entitled – Women As "Canaries In Coal The  Mines" That Are Large Law Firms


Using the example of Heller Erhman the post identifies why women (and younger employees) leave these firms identifying  reasons and setting off  chains of events that can lead to the firm’s failure

“Women were the canaries in the coal mine,” says Gillette. “What we found is that the issues that were causing women to leave law firms have become the issues that are causing young lawyers to leave large law firms, whether men or women.”

The project identified several problems with the management structure at law firms that are forcing out young lawyers unwilling to wait for the remote partnership prize, contributing to unhappiness among Baby Boomer lawyers seeking new practice options, and eroding the cohesiveness that had held firms together.


Finally.. just so that we are in no doubt as to the health of the US legal industry  Am Law Daily Reports


U.S. Legal Market Contracts Further, Labor Report Shows
The legal services sector shed 1,100 jobs in October as contraction in the general economy continued to hit law firm employment, according to figures released Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Overall, jobs in the legal industry have shrunk 1.1 percent since October 2007, the report says, to 1.16 million employees. Those include not just lawyers but anyone on payroll, including paralegals, public relations specialists, secretaries, and many others. (Statistics compiled by BLS are adjusted seasonally.)