Law Firm Insider: 7/12/11

Get the latest updates on what's happening in the Best Law Firms.


The latest job report was pretty grim for the U.S., but it painted an especially dour picture of the legal profession. In June, about 2,600 jobs were lost in the industry. The median starting salary for 2010 law school graduates declined 13 percent to $63,000, according to a separate survey by the National Association for Law Placement. The median starting salary for 2009 law graduates was $72,000.

More bad news: law firms are facing an increasing number of malpractice claims this year, according to a survey conducted by Ames & Gough.

As the NBA enters what is expected to be a contentious, possibly prolonged lockout, both sides are lawyering up. The player's association has hired Dewey & LeBouef partner Jeffrey Kessler, while the league and team owners have hired Proskauer Rose partner Howard Ganz.

Michael Simon, a partner at Perkins Coie, is leaving the firm to become a U.S. District Judge in Oregon. He was nominated by President Obama last summer.

Google has hired three major law firms to help stave off an antitrust investigation by the Federal Trade Commission. Lawyers from Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, Bingham McCutchen, and Holland & Knight will represent the search giant.

Despite the bad job market, there was a flurry of activity over the past week as many firms took on new lawyers.

Polsinelli Shughart acquired Los Angeles firm Quateman and its six attorneys. In Denver, the firm hired Steven Wright, a real estate expert.

Barnes & Thornburg hired commercial litigator Vincent Schmeltz III, formerly of Dewey & LeBoeuf. The firm also hired Kevin McDermott, a litigation partner who will work in Columbus, Ohio.

K&L Gates hired James Matthews, Katy Koski, and Alejandro Fiuza to become partners in its Boston office, and hired Andreas Füchsel as a partner in its Frankfurt, Germany office.

Allen & Overy is opening an office in Washington, D.C. after hiring three partners from O'Melveny & Myers.

Former U.S. district judge Stephen Larson is joining Arent Fox, where he will work in the firm's litigation practice group.

LeClairRyan is merging with Biedermann, Reif, Hoenig & Ruff, giving LeClairRyan 14 new attorneys in its New York office.

Linklaters has opened an office in Abu Dhabi.

DLA Piper added seven lawyers to its Munich office and promoted 16 lawyers in Australia. The firm also hired finance lawyer Jacqueline Hodes in Miami.

Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker hired Michael Michetty to work in its leveraged finance practice in New York City.

Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough has hired Kathryn Reed to work in its Washington, D.C. office.

Loeb & Loeb has hired patent litigation expert Brian Arnold, who will work in the firm's Los Angeles office.

Greenberg Traurig has hired Owen Nee, who will split time between the firm's New York City and Shanghai offices.

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