2 Mar

Shades of Joe Piscopos movie classic heads are rolling at PATTON BOGS, the national law firm housing DC’s largest and most profitable lobby shop. THe firm has dropped more than its Legal Briefs. 65 lawyers and staff this week hit the chopping block this week including 23 in the DC office.

Of those moving on, 30 are attorneys and 35 are non-attorneys that include a public policy adviser, paralegals and secretaries. The firm did not let go any partners.  Adjustments to partner headcount will be made over time.

According to managing partner Ed Newberry strategy was “We want to continue pushing the firm in those core areas that we have established,” . Within public policy, regulatory practices such as telecom and energy complement the work conducted by advocates. Newberry was also quoted saying “I started out as an associate here 20 years ago, and it’s my mandate to continue that strong personal culture that we have here. I want the firm to be a place where people are excited to come to work.”

According to “Chamber- News” “Diversity was felt to be most palpable in the DC office – “there’s a real push for it there.” Other offices were described as “fine,” but “perhaps lagging behind in comparison to DC and New York.” A foundation offers around $10,000 to an Hispanic student to work in the summer each year.”

“Chamber-News” went further “A tiered billing system is in place throughout the firm, with three set targets: 1,650, 1,800 and 1,950 hours. Juniors tend to start on the 1,950 level, but this figure is bumped up by 100 hours pro bono and 50 hour citizenship requirements, creating an overall target of 2,100. Hitting that target can be tough, and associates noted that “there is quite a discrepancy” between those who achieve their target and those who don’t. Location plays a part, and DC-ers found the target realistic while Denver-ites said reaching it would be a “struggle.” Practice area also enters the equation, and litigators were often the worst affected, mentioning that “some months I’ll only bill 120 hours,” pushing the 2,100 target further into the distance. Fortunately, there’s no “adverse reaction” if juniors fail to reach their target, although it does impact on the receipt of an annual bonus, which is awarded based on numerical achievement. A discretionary, merit-based bonus complements this, but juniors were unsure of the criteria that would make them eligible for it. “

Boasting “Community” via the Patton Blog, the Dallas office is reported to have a MAD MEN feel to it; Happy Hours took place every 3rd Thursday; DCs public policy group meets Fridays; Denver and Newark enjoyed “monthly litigation lunches.” Denver associates got a “360 degree views of the surrounding Rockies” from their vantage point on the 49th floor –“it’s absolutely beautiful” with similar sensations in New York, Anchorage, Northern Virginia, Doha and Abu Dhabi.

Patton Boggs highlights include acting for the plaintiffs in a case brought against the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which sought to return a Cézanne – stolen by the Bolsheviks in 1918 – to its rightful heirs and representing “famous cyclist Lance Armstrong in a high-profile case where Armstrong was accused of alleged misuse of performance-enhancing drugs.”

Karma….. the good of the world can be undone in one


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