Time for another edition of quick and dirty news. Here’s what’s catching my eye.
Jones Day Gets Trumpier
President Trump might not be the darling of Big Law (remember, those elite lawyers tend to skew liberal), but he seems to have no problem recruiting from Jones Day. What’s more, some of those Jones Day lawyers who’ve moved over to the administration are in the forefront promoting his conservative social agenda, like limiting gay rights.
First, let’s try to do a quick count of Jones Day lawyers who have hopped over to the Trump administration. There’s Don McGahn, the mysterious White House counsel, and the coterie he brought over to work in other top positions (even as early as January, 12 Jones Day lawyers had landed in Trumpland). And goodness knows how many minion associates have followed in their footsteps.
Recently, the Trump administration has slotted more Jones Day folks for top jobs, according to The National Law Journal:
• Former associate Stephen Vaden for general counsel of the Department of Agriculture.
• Labor and employment partner Eric Dreiband for assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.
• Partner Dana Baiocco to head the Consumer Products Safety Commission.
And which Jones Day alums are pushing to curb gay rights? Let’s start with the cake wars now headed to the U.S. Supreme Court (a Colorado baker is refusing to provide wedding cakes for gay couples because of his Christian beliefs). A sizable number of Jones Day alums in the Office of Solicitor General signed the amicus brief supporting the baker/cake “artist,” including Chad Readler, John Gore, Hashim Mooppan and Brinton Lucas. As Marcia Coyle reports in the NLJ, the decision to support the baker was contentious within the DOJ.
And in another hot-button case involving gay rights, ex-Jones Day now DOJ lawyer Hashim Mooppan argued that employers have the right to fire people for sexual orientation, reports Vice News. Mooppan, who also signed the wedding cake brief, made this argument before the 13 judges of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit:
“Employers under Title VII are permitted to consider employees’ out-of-work sexual conduct. There is a commonsense, intuitive difference between sex and sexual orientation.”
Not sure what Mooppan is saying there. In any case, I’m guessing he won’t be invited to the next LGBT affinity group meeting at Jones Day or elsewhere.
So who says Big Law folks finds Trump’s positions abhorrent? My prediction: Jones Day’s reputation as a right-wing firm will solidify, and it will attract a lot more recruits of that ilk.
Alternative career for lawyers: porn! I know a lot of lawyers want out of law and look for other careers that will still pay the rent. Let’s see … there’s legal headhunter, career coach, real estate salesperson. Say, how about porn?
That’s the route that a young woman took in the U.K. But instead of practicing law for a few miserable years, Ella Hughes quit right in the middle of law school. You can read her first-person account on the BBC news site.
So why did Hughes drop law for porn? Well, rest assured that she did try to make it all work:
I did it for a year alongside my degree, but I was really struggling to balance it all, and my university professors eventually found out. They told me law and porn don’t mix.
And, she did her math before making the jump:
It wasn’t an easy decision. I weighed up how much money I could earn per month from porn, and how much with law. Depending on your profile, you can earn between £500 to £1,000 for a shoot — and up to £2,000 in America. I realized that by the time I finished my bar exams, I could have bought myself a house and car from doing porn.
Plus, she likes the work: “The sex only lasted 20 minutes, and it was so easy. The more I did it, the more I fell in love with it. I started doing around 15 scenes each month.”
Good money, breezy work: What’s not to like? Oh, I know, what you’re going to say: It’s tawdry, so undignified. But before all you lawyers get on your high horse, consider her effective hourly rate. Here’s how Joe Patrice at Above the Law calculates it :
She says she earns “between £500 to £1,000 for a shoot.” Since shoots last around 20 minutes according to Hughes, that’s a billable hour between $2,000-$4,000.
An hourly rate between $2,000 to $4,000? Now, that’s something Big Law partners can respect! Not even Ted Olson can beat that.
Seven law firms are listed among best places to work. Crain’s just came out with its list of 100 best places to work in New York, and seven firms made it.
Here are the pageant winners from the law side:
Adam Leitman Bailey
Alston & Bird
Frankfurt Kunit Klein & Selz
Michelman & Robinson
Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton
What can I say? I take these “best” lists with a grain of salt. Maybe folks are deliriously happy at these places. Or maybe they have a very hardworking PR person who put a gun to employees to sing their praises. It’s plausible these are decent places to work, since none of them have reps as horrible sweatshops. Let’s give them a benefit of the doubt, so congrats!
Contact Vivia Chen at email@example.com. On Twitter: @lawcareerist.