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Sept. 28, 1987 WITH $62M, COVINGTON LEADS IN REVENUES The D.C. offices of two New York megafirms � Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom � are in a class by themselves when it comes to average profits earned by their partners, according to a Legal Timessurvey examining the profits and revenues of the 20 highest-grossing law offices in the District. Each law office included in this year’s survey generated more than $18 million in revenues during the last fiscal year. Covington & Burling ranks No. 1, with $62 million. Williams & Connolly is the only firm with fewer than 100 lawyers whose gross revenues exceeded $35 million. Top Grossing Firms Ranked by Profits per Partner 1. Skadden, Arps: $690,000 2. Fried, Frank: $575,000 3. Williams & Connolly: $395,000 4. Akin, Gump: $360,000 5. Patton, Boggs & Blow: $338,000 6. Shaw, Pittman: $270,000 7. Dickstein, Shapiro & Morin: $269,000 8. Arnold & Porter: $265,000 9. Hogan & Hartson: $260,000 10. Dow, Lohnes & Albertson: $255,000 Dec. 7, 1987 FINLEY, KUMBLE: MORE FALLOUT, MORE PROBLEMS Partners in the New York office of Finley, Kumble, Wagner, Heine, Underberg, Manley, Myerson & Casey stopped receiving all draws last week as founder and executive committee member Steven Kumble officially resigned from the firm. Pink slips to associates and support staffers were reportedly about to be issued. These and other examples of the disintegration of the once 700-lawyer firm abounded last week. At the Beverly Hills office, a dispute erupted when Marshall Manley, formerly a co-managing partner of the firm and now of counsel, reportedly demanded a $50,000 portion of his of-counsel compensation in return for his assist in collecting a bill from the City Investing Co., the liquidated parent company of the Home Group, of which he is president. In Washington, however, no partners have defected and the office was proceeding with plans to continue as an independent unit. The firm is awaiting final approval of a requested $15 million loan from the National Bank of Washington. [ Finley, Kumble closed its doors on Jan. 1, 1988. The D.C. office regrouped itself as Laxalt, Washington, Perito & Dubuc, which ultimately disbanded in the summer of 1991.] Sept. 18, 1989 THE TOP 20: CROSSING THE BILLION-DOLLAR MARK Big-time Washington lawyering has crossed the mythic billion-dollar mark. The 20 highest grossing firms and branch offices in the District had total gross revenues of $1.05 billion in fiscal 1988, a 25-percent increase over the fiscal 1987 total of $838.5 million, according to the latest Legal Timessurvey of revenues and profits. Not all of this growth is a function of firms growing larger. In last year’s survey of the 20 highest grossing D.C. law offices, 2,972 lawyers grossed on average $280,000. In the fiscal 1988 survey, 3,313 lawyers grossed on average $317,000 � a gain of more than 12 percent. Consistent with previous surveys, the branch offices of two New York megafirms � Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson � led with profits per partner of $885,000 and $560,000, respectively. Williams & Connolly, the perennial front-runner among D.C.-based firms, produced profits per partner of $530,000. The Legal Timessurvey was conducted in conjunction with The American Lawyer, which published a report on the nation’s 100 highest grossing firms. Only six D.C.-based firms made that list. Feb. 26, 1990 D.C. FIRMS MISERLY TOWARD PARALEGALS Following the theory that “it doesn’t pay to pay,” Washington firms are more miserly in compensating paralegals than their counterparts in other major cities, according to a recent survey of 200 firms nationwide. Average salary for D.C. paralegals, including signing bonuses and overtime, is about $27,000 annually. By contrast, paralegals at Dallas firms earn top-dollar, with average compensation totaling $36,000. Dallas placed just ahead of Los Angeles, where legal assistants earn about $34,600. The national average is $31,000. “Legal assistants are paid the most in large urban areas where firms have large litigation, real estate, and trust practices. The majority of those firms are not located in Washington,” says Robert Berkow, Ernst & Young’s national director of legal consulting. The January study of paralegals was conducted by Ernst & Young and the Legal Assistant Management Association. July 16, 1990 THE D.C. 75: FIRMS TAKE CAUTIOUS VIEW The jittery national economy apparently got on the nerves of D.C. law firms. Although an improvement over the lackluster showings of the early 1980s, the rate of growth for the District’s law offices over the last year was smaller than during the previous year and only a hair better than two years earlier, according to Legal Times’annual survey of firm size. Concerns about the economy and horror stories about firms that grew too fast make “caution” the watchword in metropolitan area law firms. Taken as a whole, the District’s 75 largest offices grew 9.4 percent in numbers of lawyers from 1989 to 1990. As of April 1990, the top 75 accounted for about 7,280 lawyers. Top 10 Largest Firms 1. Arnold & Porter: 291 2. Hogan & Hartson: 266 3. Covington & Burling: 265 4. Shaw, Pittman: 232 5. Akin, Gump: 220 6. Arent, Fox: 218 7. Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue: 216 8. Steptoe & Johnson: 201 9. Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering: 198 10. Crowell & Moring: 179 Oct. 15, 1990 THE TOP 20: BRACING FOR HARDER TIMES The largest law offices in the District of Columbia continue to grow impressive revenues � and profits that will generate envy in more troubled economic sectors. But the growth is slowing, and the worries are showing. The same forces shaking the local and national economies are taking their toll on the legal profession. The numbers that emerge in this year’s survey of the District’s top-grossing law offices provide only part of the story, but it is a telling part. Many firms have registered growth, but much of that growth reflects billings from earlier, better times. And that growth is sluggish by the standards of the freewheeling 1980s. Moreover, the figures from the survey do not reflect the developments of the last few months, when mounting business failures, the invasion of Kuwait, increases in the price of oil, and the federal budget mess have contributed to a grim economic outlook. For the biggest law firms in the District, the mood is one of caution and concern. Even firms like Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, which saw substantial growth in 1989, are a little nervous. “These are uncertain times,” says managing partner Lawrence Hoffman. “Law firms were making lots of money and not paying much attention to costs. The younger partners are going to be in for a cold shock,” predicts Bradford Hildebrandt, head of Hildebrandt Inc., the law-firm management consulting company. Nov. 19, 1990 RTC OFFICIALS EYE 140 SUITS AGAINST LAWYERS Lawyers are about to face an avalanche of malpractice litigation for their role in the $500 billion savings-and-loan debacle, according to a federal banking agency official. Of 505 investigations into the collapse of financial institutions, the Resolution Trust Corp. expects to pursue about 140 professional-liability claims against lawyers, according to John Beaty, an assistant general counsel at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. who is responsible for the RTC’s professional-liability caseload. While it has been clear for some time that lawyers and other professionals are being targeted in government and private efforts to recoup losses from the S&L disaster, Beaty’s projection is the most dramatic indication thus far not only of just how vulnerable lawyers are but also of the sheer volume of litigation coming down the pike. If Beaty’s estimate holds true, lawyers may be held partially liable for the failure of thrifts in 30 percent of the cases the banking agency is reviewing. And that, the government hopes, will mean the recovery of millions of dollars from lawyers’ deep pockets to help offset the staggering cost of the bailout. “There are a number of firms we’ve come across who are involved in suspicious activities that warrant further investigation,” Beaty says. “In many cases, it’s much easier for us to sue attorneys than directors and officers because they have insurance.” Dec. 10, 1990 HOWREY’S QUICK PICK While the legal community reacted cautiously to news that D.C.’s Howrey & Simon had named the country’s first nonlawyer partner, internally there was little debate. Managing partner Ralph Savarese says chief administrator Abe Isenberg was put on the list of partner candidates in October. By Thanksgiving, following a discussion before the full partnership and a meeting of the firm’s policy committee, Isenberg was in. “It wasn’t controversial,” insists Savarese. “We view him as a major contributor to the well-being of the law firm even though he doesn’t work for clients or handle cases.” While new D.C. rules allowing nonlawyers to be elected partner made it possible for Isenberg to become a member of Howrey & Simon, some members of the American Bar Association are now trying to ban nonlawyer partners nationwide. Feb. 11, 1991 HUNGARY FOR BUSINESS Now D.C.’s Arent, Fox, Kintner, Plotkin & Kahn is joining the rush to cash in on Eastern Europe’s burgeoning legal market. Next month, the firm is opening an outpost in Budapest � its first beyond-the-Beltway branch. The move is an outgrowth of talks that began last fall with Hungarian entrepreneurs eager to engage the firm in ventures throughout Eastern Europe. “We have a lot of U.S. clients, but also foreign clients, looking to Eastern Europe who have a crying need for services we can offer,” explains Jerome Akman, manager of Arent, Fox’s international section. May 27, 1991 ONEK, KLEIN’S DEMISE SIGNALS CLOSING OF ERA In the 10 years since D.C.’s Onek, Klein & Farr was founded by three former Supreme Court clerks, the boutique has been an inspiration to many lawyers. “It really was pretty close to the open democracy it was touted to be,” says David Boyd, a former Onek, Klein partner who left in December 1989. “There was a fair amount of talking about issues. We’d moot-court one another. It was a great place to work.” Onek, Klein was among a small group of elite legal boutiques founded in the early 1980s by risk-taking lawyers seeking to escape the bureaucracy and impersonal atmosphere of the large firms. Many of them seemed destined for greatness. In 1982, The American Lawyereven dubbed Onek, Klein one of the 20 “great new firms” in the country. But after June 30, only nine of those 20 firms will remain. What happened to Onek, Klein mirrors what befell a number of other well-regarded boutiques that did not make it: Once they achieved a certain level of success, they faltered over whether to continue to grow or to turn away business to preserve their original personality. July 15, 1991 D.C. FIRMS RUN INTO THE RECESSION After years of believing that their government-related practices made them immune from the vagaries of the national economy, the major D.C. law firms ran into the recession last year. Although the District’s 20 top-grossing firms still generated impressive revenue in 1990, up 10.5 percent over the previous year, that growth barely paid for the additional lawyers hired to generate it. Those lawyers grossed about $355,000 each, just $5,000 more than they did in 1989. And partners took home, on average, roughly the same profits in 1990 as they did in 1989: $385,000. “D.C. dodged the bullet better than other major markets in the Northeast,” says Howard Mudrick, who tracks District firms for Hildebrandt Inc., the New Jersey-based law firm management consulting company. Still, law firm managers and consultants warn that 1991 will be even tougher because of slow collections in the fourth quarter of 1990 and declining workloads in early 1991. “It’s almost like someone turned off the spigot on Oct. 1,” remarks Ward Bower, a principal at Altman Weil Pensa, a Newton Square, Pa., law firm management consulting company. Sept. 2, 1991 FOLLOWING THE MONEY With the Soviet Union’s one-dimensional political system a thing of the past, American lawyers are quickly working to cover all the newly formed bases � namely, the Soviet Union’s growing roster of independent republics. D.C.’s Steptoe & Johnson and Chicago’s Baker & McKenzie, which both have Moscow outposts, are already shopping around for lawyers to represent them outside the Soviet capital. Eugene Theroux, a partner in Baker & McKenzie’s D.C. office, says the firm will now be hiring more lawyers in the republics to give clients greater access to business activities outside the Russian Republic. “It has become a much larger playing field,” he says. “Our Moscow office may be of some assistance, but not comprehensive for projects that need to be approved in places like Riga.” Steptoe & Johnson partner Sarah Carey agrees, noting that the swell of business generated by the fallout from the failed coup creates a greater need to establish a presence in outlying republics. “We’re strengthening a network of affiliates in capitals of republics where clients are doing business,” Carey says. Oct. 7, 1991 BCCI SCANDAL THREATENS CLIFFORD & WARNKE For almost a decade, Clark Clifford had a game plan for his law firm’s future that centered on its work for First American Bankshares and the Bank of Credit and Commerce International. Through a steady stream of income from the banks, Clifford, now 84, saw a way to ensure the survival of Clifford & Warnke, the small law firm he had built on the pull of his name and political connections. And he had found a lead man for the firm’s next generation: 44-year-old Robert Altman. Now that plan is in shambles, BCCI has been shut down by British regulators, and all ties to First American were cut when Clifford, suspected of helping BCCI gain control of the bank’s holding companies, was forced to resign as chairman of First American. Worst of all, Clifford and Altman face criminal investigations in New York and Washington, as well as a Federal Reserve probe, related to their work for BCCI. [ Clifford & Warnke broke up in January 1992. BCCI-related charges were brought against Clifford and Altman in New York state and D.C. federal court. The federal charges were dismissed in the spring of 1993, Altman was acquitted of all charges in the state case that August, and the state charges against Clifford were dismissed that November.] Oct. 21, 1991 SIDLEY & AUSTIN SETTLES RTC MALPRACTICE CASE Chicago’s Sidley & Austin has agreed to pay the government $7.5 million to settle a malpractice case stemming from its representation of savings-and-loan association kingpin Charles Keating Jr. and his now infamous financial empire. If no settlement had been reached, the Resolution Trust Corp. planned to add the 675-lawyer firm to its civil RICO case against Keating and some 50 other defendants, including Cleveland’s Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue. At Sidley & Austin’s 125th anniversary celebration earlier this month in Chicago, 270 partners were lectured on how to practice law defensively. Suggestions ranged from paying more attention to clients’ financial affairs to keeping an eye out for any unusual client behavior that could signal trouble. “We definitely do things differently,” says one partner who requests anonymity. “The message from our annual meeting is that we should really try to know who our clients are. We should ask more questions.” March 2, 1992 HOW KAYE, SCHOLER WAS BROUGHT TO ITS KNEES Last Thursday, after days of turmoil and uncertainty, lawyers representing New York’s Kaye, Scholer, Fierman, Hays & Handler converged on Washington with one mission in mind � to save the 75-year-old firm. Into the wee hours Friday morning and throughout the day, these lawyers met with officials from the Office of Thrift Supervision in the hopes of hammering out a settlement to end the war that has been raging between regulators and Kaye, Scholer. It is a battle that Kaye, Scholer had tried to win for more than a year by enlisting top-notch defense lawyers, using hardball litigation tactics, and steadfastly refusing to acquiesce to OTS demands for money, sanctions, and an admission of wrongdoing. But last week, it became clear that Kaye, Scholer’s aggressive strategy had failed. On Monday, OTS Chief Counsel Harris Weinstein announced that the agency had filed an unprecedented $275 million suit against the firm and three of its partners. Weinstein also revealed that the OTS had taken the devastating step of freezing the firm’s assets and those of three partners. Clearly Kaye, Scholer had underestimated the resolve of OTS officials to hold the firm accountable for its alleged role in the collapse of Charles Keating Jr.’s Lincoln Savings and Loan Association. [ In a March 10, 1992, order, Kaye, Scholer agreed to pay $41 million to settle charges stemming from its work for Keating. In April 1993, Jones, Day also agreed to settle with the government � for a record $51 million.] Feb. 28, 1994 A NOD TO ‘DOMESTIC PARTNERS’ Julie Abbate was open about being a lesbian when she joined D.C.’s Covington & Burling as an associate last fall. But she didn’t know what to say when a staffer asked if Covington would provide health insurance coverage for the staffer’s homosexual companion. So Abbate sought out Donald McMinn, another homosexual associate who’d been at the firm for a few years, and the two put the question to the managing partner for personnel. Within a few weeks, their inquiry had helped prompt a trailblazing new policy. As of Jan. 1, Covington is making health-care coverage available to the “domestic partners” of its lawyers and support staff, whether the couples are homosexuals or unmarried heterosexuals. Covington appears to be the only one of the largest D.C. law offices to provide health coverage for the life companions of its homosexual attorneys and support staff. Some branches of large firms based outside the District also make the coverage available, and some smaller D.C. law offices may as well. July 18, 1994 THE TOP 20: BETTING ON BETTER TIMES After weathering the recession with only a moderate amount of pain, Washington’s top-grossing law offices bet on their futures and began to grow again last year, according to this year’s Legal Timessurvey of revenues and profits. The 20 highest-grossing firms increased their legal staffs by more than 7 percent in 1993. But while firm leaders are optimistic, the firms won’t know until the end of 1994 or later whether their gamble paid off. That’s because the Top 20′s gross revenues increased only 6.4 percent in 1993, lagging slightly behind the growth of lawyers. Top Grossing Firms Ranked by Gross Revenues 1. Arnold & Porter: $153 million 2. Covington & Burling: $131 million 3. Hogan & Hartson: $118.5 million 4. Howrey & Simon: $110 million 5. Wilmer, Cutler: $98 million 6. McKenna & Cune $82 million 7. Steptoe & Johnson: $80.5 million 8. Akin, Gump: $79.5 million 9. Shaw, Pittman: $78 million 10. Williams & Connolly: $75.5 million May 8, 1995 ASSOCIATE MALAISE DEEPENS Associates at D.C.’s Arnold & Porter finally reached their breaking point last spring after a long period of firm belt-tightening and increased work. They defected in record numbers, forcing the firm to mount an advertising campaign for new lawyers. At the firm’s annual lawyers-only picnic last year, two associates say, only about 20 of 124 associates showed up despite the abundance of flame-roasted lobster, premium beer, putt-putt golf, a bluegrass band, and even the chance to sink a partner in the dunk tank. And Arnold & Porter is not alone among the District’s large law firms when it comes to associate malaise. Indeed, most of Washington’s 20 top revenue-generating law offices have experienced more than the usual associate unrest during the last year. Now these firms are realizing that it makes economic sense to pay more attention to associate concerns. In a Legal Timessurvey of benefits and work requirements for associates at the District’s 20 highest-grossing law offices, it is clear that the firms are trying to show young lawyers that they are valued employees rather than just moneymaking machines. For instance, the vast majority of the surveyed firms now count part-time work toward partnership chances, have ditched up-or-out policies, include associates on firmwide committees, and even provide emergency day care for associates’ children at no more than cost. Sept. 25, 1995 THE D.C. 75: SLOWLY, BUT SURELY Washington’s largest law offices appear to have learned the lessons of the high-flying 1980s, and have begun to accept modest growth as the measure of their success. The city’s four largest law firms remained in their accustomed places in this year’s D.C. 75, although their lackadaisical performance ran counter to the trend of small but solid increases in size. The number of lawyers at the four largest firms either dropped by a bit or just inched up. Once more, D.C.’s Hogan & Hartson took the top spot. Overall, the 75 largest law offices in the District employed 7,784 lawyers as of April 1 � up 2.1 percent from last year. Top 10 Largest Firms 1. Hogan & Hartson: 327 2. Covington & Burling: 287 3. Arnold & Porter: 263 4. Howrey & Simon: 260 5. Shaw, Pittman: 246 6. Akin, Gump: 234 7. Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering: 205 8. Arent Fox: 199 9. Crowell & Moring: 197 10. Steptoe & Johnson: 196 Jan. 22, 1996 LAW FIRMS FIND A HOME ON THE WEB The astonishing growth of the World Wide Web has created a frenzy among law firms to set up a site. Firms of widely varying sizes are now sporting home pages. But not everybody is getting hooked on the electronic line. While some lawyers describe being on the Web as a necessity in an age where clients are looking for technologically capable firms, many lawyers � and not just the technophobic ones � are holding off. Even those enthusiastic about the new medium concede that it remains to be seen whether having a Web page will be good for business. Estimates of how many firms have established a presence on the Web vary considerably. A site maintained by Yahoo! provides links to approximately 375 law practices, but this list clearly understates the actual number. The myriad of Web pages reflects two basic schools of thought about what a page should do. One features elaborate graphics and interactivity in order to highlight the firm’s technological expertise. Examples of this type include the sites of D.C.’s Arent Fox Kintner Plotkin & Kahn and San Francisco’s Cooley Godward Castro Huddleson & Tatum. Snazziest of all is the home page of Chicago’s Gordon & Glickson. Put up late last year, the page employs the latest in Web graphics technology. It allows users to e-mail the firm’s attorneys merely by clicking on their names. The other school of Web-page design downplays graphics in the interest of speed. By sticking mainly to text, firms like Baltimore’s Venable, Baetjer and Howard and D.C.’s Steptoe & Johnson allow their visitors to get right to the substance. It takes only a fraction of the time to load Venable’s Web site as it does Gordon & Glickson’s. And while Venable’s page is not nearly as visually stimulating, the point of the site, according to D.C. partner and home page designer Kenneth Bass III, is not simply to be a billboard for the firm, but to provide prompt access to information to the 4,000 people per week who visit the page. Feb. 26, 1996 A CUSHY DEAL A merger with 70-lawyer Cushman Darby & Cushman could be just what San Francisco’s Pillsbury Madison & Sutro needs to pump up its troubled D.C. outpost. And Cushman Darby’s managing partner admits that his firm is interested in a merger with another firm. But leaders at both firms are downplaying the talks between them, saying they are too preliminary to discuss at any length publicly. Cushman Darby, a 104-year-old intellectual property firm, is routinely propositioned by firms hoping to swallow a hot IP practice, says managing partner Raymond Sweigart. But “the idea of going in with a large general practice that has little, if any, IP capability is not something that we had been specifically contemplating in our strategic plan,” Sweigart says. [ Pillsbury and Cushman Darby officially merged in September 1996.] June 17, 1996 DICKSTEIN’S GREAT LEAP In the second whirlwind law firm wedding in Washington in recent weeks, the D.C.-based insurance coverage practice of New York’s Anderson Kill Olick & Oshinsky decided last week to join D.C.’s Dickstein, Shapiro & Morin. The move may mean the end of Anderson Kill’s 45-lawyer D.C. branch. The insurance group is led by name partner Jerold Oshinsky, who says he brings with him an estimated $25 million in annual billings, about a third of Anderson Kill’s firmwide revenues in 1995. The addition of that practice could make Dickstein, Shapiro one of the top 10 grossing firms in the District, as well as the seventh largest at about 214 lawyers. In recognition of the value he is expected to bring to the firm, Oshinsky’s name will be added to the door, making it Dickstein, Shapiro, Morin & Oshinsky. July 1, 1996 NO MORE MARTINDALE HEAVY LIFTING The courts’ move to provide free information directly has economic ramifications for private companies like WestLaw and legal newspapers that package and re-sell the same stuff. Another legal-information provider could find itself in a similar quandary of its own making. Martindale-Hubbell, the producer of those ubiquitous tomes that line law office walls throughout the land, is now on the Web. So the same information that a certain legal newspaper paid $675 for in 1996 is now available for � nothing. But let’s face it, it’s still much easier to walk 10 feet and grab a book than to log on, click, click, click, and hope the Web site doesn’t crash before your boss does. Dec. 23/30, 1996 FOR LAW FIRMS, A HAPPY ENDING Nineteen ninety-six will be remembered as the year that D.C. law firms emerged from the recession, but had a hard time believing it. The year began on a sour note, with Howrey & Simon cutting five partners and Arnold & Porter handing pink slips to 58 support staffers. The blizzard and the federal government shutdowns hurt business as well. But the February passage of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 set the tone for the rest of the year, sparking a rush of regulatory and transactional work at firms like Wiley, Rein & Fielding and Dow, Lohnes & Albertson, which have substantial telecom practices. “In the communications field, a blind pig could find work,” says Richard Wiley, managing partner of Wiley, Rein. “We’re busy as we can be.” By any measure, the job market is bustling and people are busy. But law firm consultants say their clients are still skittish. “While 1996 was for most firms a very strong year, everybody is hesitant to accept this as the new trend,” says James Rabenhorst, a partner in the law firm services group at the D.C. office of Price Waterhouse. “There’s a lot more skepticism than I can recall in such a good year because they don’t have the confidence that the marketplace is strong again.” June 2, 1997 D.C. LAW FIRMS ON A TECH TREK When Piper & Marbury’s Edwin “Ned” Martin Jr. walked into a crowded breakfast meeting for high-tech companies, he noticed that one type of person was in short supply � the entrepreneurs themselves. The room was packed instead with several hundred lawyers, accountants, and other professional service providers, all hoping to meet the next Bill Gates. “I did my quick scan, and I think [only] 30 people there out of 429 were from venture-financed high-tech companies,” says Martin. Indeed, the Maryland and Northern Virginia technology corridor is rife with lawyers these days as Washington-area firms strive to capitalize on the booming tech industry that some call second only to Northern California’s Silicon Valley. Mining that new terrain poses tremendous opportunities for Washington lawyers. But it also poses some challenges. Will tradition-bound Washington firms be versatile enough to tap into the uncertain, entrepreneurial world of cutting-edge technology? Will they be outmaneuvered or outgunned by the technologically savvy law firms on both coasts that have been on this train for some time? And as one would-be tech client put it, they can talk the talk, but can they walk the walk? They’re certainly trying. Eager lawyers are pounding the pavement along the Dulles Toll Road in Virginia and I-270 in Maryland, hoping to find companies on the cusp of posting huge profits. Everyone seems mindful that any of the numerous small Internet-related startups could be worth millions in legal business some day. “Downtown was built on the building cranes of the 1960s,” says James McNair III, a partner at the McLean, Va., office of D.C.’s Zuckerman, Spaeder, Goldstein, Taylor & Kolker, “and Tysons has been built on the high-tech of today. It’s just getting rolling here. There’s so much that can be done.” Oct. 6, 1997 FIRMS FLOCK TO CAMPUS FOR FALL RECRUITING In an annual fall ritual, thousands of law students parade in dark wool suits to on-campus interviews with law firms. But this year, students may find the ritual more gratifying than at any other time this decade. The number of firms recruiting on campus has risen dramatically. That increased interest is a sure sign of an improving job market for newly minted lawyers. Legal recruiters and law school career advisers confirm that interest in D.C.-area students is robust and increasing. This fact, in tandem with the upward drift of starting associate salaries in Washington and other major markets, bodes well for the next generation of lawyers. “People are saying things like, ‘We’re so busy, we just need bodies,’ ” says Laura Lane, assistant director for career development at George Washington University Law School. And Nancy Carver, GW’s director of career development, says this year’s interview season was “ probably the best market we’ve had since the early 1990s.” Nov. 17, 1997 D.C. FIRMS RATCHETING UP STARTING SALARIES On Friday, Nov. 7, the associates at D.C.’s Hogan & Hartson received a brief memo from the executive committee announcing that the firm was raising associate pay levels for 1998. The odd thing was that Hogan & Hartson had already bumped associate salaries, from $74,000 to $75,000, just four months earlier. But when a handful of D.C. firms boosted salaries past the $80,000 mark last month, the associates’ grumbling and marketplace pressure forced Hogan’s management to put in another raise on the heels of the first. Beginning Jan. 1, Hogan will pay first-year associates $82,000, plus, in many cases, a bonus. Because D.C.’s firms � currently enjoying strong demand for their services � are so hard-pressed to find and keep top-of-the-line associates, they are willing to pay top dollar for them. And when one firm decides to up the ante, even by as much as 10 percent, the others soon follow. This latest raise is the largest the D.C. area has seen since associate salaries stagnated almost a decade ago during the recession. � Compiled by intern Laura LacciPart 1: June 19, 1978 – July 27, 1987Part 3: June 29, 1998 – June 30, 2003

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