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Top U.S. corporate law firms

BTI Consulting Group has released their list of the top U.S. corporate counsels. Sidley Austin occupies the top spot, Skadden Arps is in second place and Jones Day takes the third place among the survey of Fortune 1000 companies.

Sidley topped the charts due to excellent corporate client recommendations, while last year's top firm, Skadden, was ranked as the number one "go-to" law firm for troubled American corporations.

For the second year in a row, clients voiced some dissatisfaction with Skadden Arps. Top-tier firms like Baker & McKenzie, Cravath Swaine & Moore, Kirkland & Ellis, Mayer Brown Rowe & Maw, Morrison & Foerster and Shearman & Sterling also received criticism from corporate clients.

Meanwhile in the UK, Clifford Chance and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer continued to enjoy top international rankings in the survey.

Job market improving for recent grads
After months of uncertainty, the job market for recent graduates seems to be showing signs of recovery.

A survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers revealed that two-thirds of U.S. companies are planning to recruit more graduates in 2006 than last year. Manufacturers plan to hire 11% more, while government/nonprofit employers expect a 9% increase in the hiring of recent graduates.

The legal industry is also predicting an upswing for recent law school graduates. Some experts claim the growing population of senior citizens has precipitated a greater need for legal advice, which in turn created more job opportunities for attorneys.

Mills & Reeves launches Healthcare Resource Centre
Mills & Reeves has initiated a unique online service for its healthcare clients called the Healthcare Resource Centre. The service is free for the firm's clients and is aimed at healthcare managers and clinicians.

The website provides easy access to legal briefings, judicial review and other information related to medical and mental health law, as well as employment law.

The HRC has come under fire by competitors who allege that Mills & Reeves undercuts their legal services by giving such information away free on the Internet.

Hazards of practice in North Carolina
Popular notions that the North Carolina legal system underpays attorneys have fueled an understaffing problem in the Tar Heel State, particularly within the court system.

North Carolina lawmakers are seeking to remedy the problem. Many have proposed raising the salaries of judges to avoid a mass exodus of jurists to private practice. A recent survey of judicial salaries in 2005 by the state Administrative Office of the Courts suggested an increase in judges' salaries to $155,000 and raising other court salaries accordingly.

North Carolina State Judicial Council's survey acknowledged that among 12 Southeastern states, North Carolina ranks third-last in salary for its chief justice.


Unemployable 4 yearrs after graduation pt. 3
Anerlin: I was solo for the first 5 years after law school. I did mainly family law and "rent law" (anything that walked in the door just to pay the rent). I had tons of clients, never had to advertise (all referrals and word of mouth), billed huge sums every year, but was able to actually collect very little. I even, on occasion, worked on the barter system. I got a lot of dental work done that way. After 5 years, I was just starting to make a little bit of money, but just couldn't take it anymore.

And don't forget, solo's have 2 full-time jobs: practicing law and running a business. Also, you have no benefits, no paid vacation, no sick days, and no one to cover for you when you've been up all night barfing! I just don't think it's worth it.

hamburgerman: being a solo is actually tougher than working biglaw. i've tried both. couldn't hack it either way. are you still solo, anerlin? ever since the immigration debate started heating up, i've been thinking about my days as a solo and how much immigration business i had. i bet its getting really hot these days.

Anerlin: No, I went into public interest. For 11 years. Now I'm trying to transition to private sector, or even government. It's been extremely difficult. I've been type-cast! But I keep trying.

hamburgerman: i figured it would be easier to transition to gov't with public interest experience. but i guess its more about who you know with a govt gig.

Anerlin: Yes, it is. Or who your references know. Which is a good point....make sure you remember to leave off a reference if you know the person who is looking at your resume hates one of your references! I forgot. Ouch!

hamburgerman: big law firms will look at a bunch of public interest experience and wonder why you weren't doing real work. big law will never get it.

Anerlin: Right. And the funny thing is, I've had biglaw attorneys jealous of me because I've actually changed law by appeals I've done! Also, I've had judge's relying on my expertise in certain areas! But, my cuffs are a bit frayed and my pumps are a tad worn and how could I possibly do quality work when I'm handling over 100 cases? Well, it's not easy. You have to become expert at what you do and you have to do things right and do them quickly.

I'm not looking for anything with biglaw anyway. I'm too old to put up with all that crap. I'm trying for small to mid-size. I think I'd fit in better.

hamburgerman: i definitely recommend small-midsize. the only reason to go with biglaw is if you're one of those despicable go-getters that makes everyone around them puke, or if you have student loans up to your neck.

The BTI Consulting Group


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