The 1Ls who are currently being wined and dined by law firms may be wondering: How do I distinguish one from the other? Earlier this month, I offered the idea of assessing them by whether you could see the balldrop in Times Square from their offices, but that's pretty ephemeral -- that location is going to feel like a giant headache while wading through tourists during the rest of the year. So here's a couple of other metrics.
If you're paranoid and/or a technology geek, perhaps you can determine which firms are superior by whether they're still using Blackberrys. Those addicted to the Crackberry, without a plan for rehab, are clearly inferior. The company that claims the underlying patent for the Blackberry shows no signs of willingness to accept royalties from RIM, the manufacturer, and NTP's willingness to grant an exception for government workers won't apply to private sector attorneys. Don't work for a firm that waits for the 30-day grace period -- go to the Palm Piloteers today!
If you're a "wild-haired, sandal-wearing radical" who reluctantly feels compelled to sell out, check out Deroy Murdock's list of firms whose pro bono work for Guantanamo Bay detainees will make you feel more at home. I had been planning to look up everyone who was in the "Guantanamo Bay Bar Association," so Murdock and his Young Republican assistant have saved me some time. And if you want to hit the twofer -- Murdock quotes an anonymous former high-level federal attorney as saying, "Why our best law firms would dedicate their pro-bono resources to suspected terrorists rather than, say, people rendered homeless by Katrina, is beyond me" --
Mayer has an associate who is the Co-Chair of the ABA Tax Section's Hurricane Katrina Task Force;
Blank Rome one who is working on takings issues associated with Katrina (whatever those may be);
Covington & Burling pledged $100,000 to Katrina relief;
Holland & Hart had given over $75,000 as of October 2005, and also notified employees of how they could donate unused time off;
Hunton & Williams had a daylong seminar last month about Katrina. Though I don't know of Shearman & Sterling's Katrina work, one of their attorneys was a "stalwart" of the 9/11 Project.
And that's just what I get from searching the sites that Murdock himself linked for "katrina."