O'Melveny's Brad Butwin lies about coronavirus pay cuts

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BloggerAMG

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O'Melveny's Brad Butwin lies about coronavirus pay cuts

Post by BloggerAMG » Thu Jun 04, 2020 10:19 am

hey all,

I'm that former attorney who, as a hobby, blogs about ethical issues at O'Melveny. It's been an oddly busy two months. Normally I write a post every few months, but suddenly it's a post every other week.

First, they hired a partner who had been sued for discrimination (by a latina single mother) at his prior law firm and who, based on the timing of events, may very well have been asked to leave.
REDACTED

Next, O'Melveny had promised to consider women or people of color for all of their lateral hires. So out of curiosity I checked their last nine lateral partner hires, and all were white men. That led to a post about the diversity grift industry in law -- essentially a group of organizations that give law firms "certifications" and imprimaturs for money, so that the organizations' CEOs can make preposterously large incomes, without actually doing anything for diversity. That post went viral and had like 5,000 reads.
REDACTED

Then, I heard that a bunch of law students were in an uproar because they felt duped by O'Melveny's vault ranking, which is something I've been warning about, so I wrote about that.
REDACTED

Which brings us to the post I finished this morning, that cracked me up as I wrote it. Pasted below. It's about the shameless disingenuousness and money-grubbing that I've only seen from O'Melveny. I hope those who like the blog enjoy it.

If the mods don't want this to appear they can disapprove this post so it never appears.

# # #

O'Melveny's Brad Butwin lies about coronavirus pay cuts

O'Melveny's Chair Brad Butwin gave an interview to the American Lawyer. In the interview, Mr. Butwin said that O'Melveny did not cut pay during the covid-19 crisis. This is big. Attorneys and clients are keeping track of firms that announced pay cuts, because it sends a signal, e.g., about how the firm treats employees, and the firm's financial condition. Mr. Butwin is providing them with useful information when he tells this reporter that O'Melveny did not change compensation.

Mr. Butwin went on to say that the partners "cherish" the employees and will do "all [they] can" to protect them. This is amazing. Who wouldn't want to work for such a firm? Those other firms just treat you as an employee, but O'Melveny's partners cherish you and will do anything for you.

The problem is that just a few weeks prior, law students were in an uproar because O'Melveny did cut summer associate pay, in a private e-mail to them. Their pay was cut by about $10,000 over the summer. These pay cuts will boost the partners' income by an estimated 2.4% ($10,000 pay cut per summer associate multiplied by an estimated 80 summer associates, divided by 170 partners, divided by $2,000,000 profit per partner = 2.4%).

Remember, these are students. They need that money for living expenses, much more than wealthy partners need an extra 2.4% of income. And O'Melveny knows they need the money. That's why O'Melveny offered them a $10,000 loan to make up for the lost income.

It turns out there is one thing O'Melveny's partners cherish more than their employees -- a 2.4% increase in income. If the partners can make an extra 2.4% by cutting employee wages, they'll do it. This is a small story, but I write about it because it's an amusing amalgam of the shameless money-grubbing and disingenuous marketing you might expect from this organization. You don't see this from other law firms.

(All links to proof are in the original blog post). REDACTED
Last edited by cavalier1138 on Thu Jun 04, 2020 12:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Wild Card

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Re: O'Melveny's Brad Butwin lies about coronavirus pay cuts

Post by Wild Card » Thu Jun 04, 2020 11:58 am

Could you cite to your source, that O'Melveny is screwing over summer associates?

The image in your post seems to be a screenshot of a reddit post. Could you link to the reddit post?

(And yes, we all know that OMM sucks and deserves to be nowhere near that tier of firm called the V20 or V25 or w/e.)

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Re: O'Melveny's Brad Butwin lies about coronavirus pay cuts

Post by BrainsyK » Thu Jun 04, 2020 12:02 pm

Wild Card wrote:
Thu Jun 04, 2020 11:58 am
Could you link to the reddit post?
Not OP, do not have any opinions on O'Melveny negative or positive, just providing the link.

https://www.reddit.com/r/LawSchool/comm ... m_changes/

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Re: O'Melveny's Brad Butwin lies about coronavirus pay cuts

Post by dabigchina » Thu Jun 04, 2020 12:54 pm

How are the summers getting a pay cut? Just from the summer program being truncated? It's not clear to me from the reddit thread and I don't feel like clicking on the blog link to give OP revenue to his or her blog.

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Re: O'Melveny's Brad Butwin lies about coronavirus pay cuts

Post by cavalier1138 » Thu Jun 04, 2020 12:56 pm

This is what I get for not reading too closely.

OP: I'll leave your initial post up, but this is not a forum for you to publicize your personal blog. You may feel free to continue to showcase your lack of understanding of legal ethics and weird axe to grind with a firm that doesn't operate all that differently from any other firm, but do it without the shameless self-promotion.

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Re: O'Melveny's Brad Butwin lies about coronavirus pay cuts

Post by BloggerAMG » Thu Jun 04, 2020 12:58 pm

Wild Card wrote:
Thu Jun 04, 2020 11:58 am
Could you cite to your source, that O'Melveny is screwing over summer associates?

The image in your post seems to be a screenshot of a reddit post. Could you link to the reddit post?

(And yes, we all know that OMM sucks and deserves to be nowhere near that tier of firm called the V20 or V25 or w/e.)
For proof, I always take a screenshot of the computer screen, making sure to include the part that includes the URL of the source. If I actually link to the source, it might change, so that's why I use a screenshot instead. In this case, two students received a private letter from O'Melveny and described its contents.

The thing about O'Melveny's vault ranking, where they grade themselves so highly that they consistently win the #1 ranking in diversity, summer program and/or "best firm to work for" is that -- any law firm can do that. Any law firm can send emails and voice mails to their associates, and have meetings, to get them to fill out the Vault surveys in a way that inflates the firm's ranking, so they can win these meaningless awards. Other firms don't do that. At one of the events, the Partner in charge of the LA joked that, "You all took your five dollars and filled out the survey." (Might not be an exact quote as I'm going from memory but it was similar to that.) We're supposed to be in a somewhat honest profession here.
Last edited by cavalier1138 on Thu Jun 04, 2020 1:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Last warning on using multiple accounts.

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Re: O'Melveny's Brad Butwin lies about coronavirus pay cuts

Post by 12YrsAnAssociate » Thu Jun 04, 2020 1:06 pm

BloggerAMG wrote:
Thu Jun 04, 2020 12:58 pm
The thing about O'Melveny's vault ranking, where they grade themselves so highly that they consistently win the #1 ranking in diversity, summer program and/or "best firm to work for" is that -- any law firm can do that. Any law firm can send emails and voice mails to their associates, and have meetings, to get them to fill out the Vault surveys in a way that inflates the firm's ranking, so they can win these meaningless awards. Other firms don't do that. At one of the events, the Partner in charge of the LA joked that, "You all took your five dollars and filled out the survey." (Might not be an exact quote as I'm going from memory but it was similar to that.) We're supposed to be in a somewhat honest profession here.
I've worked at 2 firms and both pushed us hard to fill in the Vault surveys. We received multiples emails, calls, and in person requests, and were told that these surveys were good for highlighting the firm's name. No one came out and said "give our firm the highest score across the board," but the message was clear that that's what they expected.

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Re: O'Melveny's Brad Butwin lies about coronavirus pay cuts

Post by nixy » Thu Jun 04, 2020 1:10 pm

According to the reddit link, the “pay cut” for summer associates is because they shortened the summer program. In practice of course that reduces their pay, but it a technical sense it’s not a pay cut because they’re getting paid the same salary.

Like of course it’s all bullshit but this is how all firms and large companies operate. Of course they say they love and cherish their employees, and of course they do stuff to save money, especially in a crisis. There are firms who’ve cut summer programs entirely or laid off associates. Is OMM worse than they are just because OMM put out some feel good puffery about not hurting their employees?

And of course all firms encourage their associates to rank them highly on Vault.

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Re: O'Melveny's Brad Butwin lies about coronavirus pay cuts

Post by LBJ's Hair » Thu Jun 04, 2020 2:08 pm

You gotta move on, OP. Not because OMM is an upstanding corporate citizen or anything, but for the sake of your mental health.

I get flaming 'em in TLS whenever someone mentions them, but you literally run an I Hate OMM grudge blog that you've been updating once a month for 3+ years. Can't be good for you.

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Re: O'Melveny's Brad Butwin lies about coronavirus pay cuts

Post by nealric » Thu Jun 04, 2020 2:53 pm

BloggerAMG wrote:
Thu Jun 04, 2020 10:19 am
hey all,

I'm that former attorney who, as a hobby, blogs about ethical issues at O'Melveny.
I hate to say it, but this is not a healthy hobby. Have you considered bird watching, cycling, or arts and crafts instead? I say that a bit tongue and cheek, but the obsessive nature of your quest doesn't really help you make your point. To the extent OMM has flaws (and I'm sure it has more than a few), those flaws do not appear to be particularly unique.

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Re: O'Melveny's Brad Butwin lies about coronavirus pay cuts

Post by 12YrsAnAssociate » Thu Jun 04, 2020 3:21 pm

LBJ's Hair wrote:
Thu Jun 04, 2020 2:08 pm
You gotta move on, OP. Not because OMM is an upstanding corporate citizen or anything, but for the sake of your mental health.

I get flaming 'em in TLS whenever someone mentions them, but you literally run an I Hate OMM grudge blog that you've been updating once a month for 3+ years. Can't be good for you.
Someone said this last time OP posted, and he basically said "NO YOU."

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Re: O'Melveny's Brad Butwin lies about coronavirus pay cuts

Post by BloggerAMG » Thu Jun 04, 2020 9:48 pm

Ughhh. I don't have my old BloggerAMG account, as I lost the password and don't remember the email. If a mod could post this under my old BloggerAMG account I would appreciate it.

1. I made an error in the post. $10,000 pay cut per summer associate multiplied by an estimated 80 summer associates, divided by 170 partners, divided by $2,000,000 profit per partner isn't 2.4%. It's 0.24%. Might I recommend you all do this calc when criticizing law firm financial decisions? It's hilarious to see how little some of these decisions actually mean to the money-grubbing partners.

2. The blog takes no time and is incredibly fun. While you post hundreds or thousands of posts on TLS -- why I don't know -- I post once a month or so about the ethical issues at one particular law firm. It's meant to inform, and hopefully does that. Unless it stops becoming fun, that blog will go on for decades. I highly recommend you all consider devoting your posting to something that actually informs on an obscure subject, rather than just chit chatting. I cannot comprehend why anyone would spend anonymously chit chat online.

3. Finally, on the topic of self-promotion. I make no money on the blog in any way. It was published for moral reasons, if that's OK. From the counter on the bottom, you can see it's had 200,000+ hits and I don't really need TLS to promote it. It's there on google, for people to find.

Have a great day.
Last edited by cavalier1138 on Fri Jun 05, 2020 6:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Changed poster to original account.

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Re: O'Melveny's Brad Butwin lies about coronavirus pay cuts

Post by person237 » Fri Jun 05, 2020 2:22 am

I am probs gonna get shit on here, called a naive n00b (perhaps fair), but yes the blog is likely not healthy for OPs mental health, but we shouldn’t just dismiss how shitty these firms are. And we shouldn’t just accept things like “ah that’s just how a corporation works haha they win!” It’s good to air all this garbage out and let people decide for themselves.

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Re: O'Melveny's Brad Butwin lies about coronavirus pay cuts

Post by cavalier1138 » Fri Jun 05, 2020 6:21 am

person237 wrote:
Fri Jun 05, 2020 2:22 am
I am probs gonna get shit on here, called a naive n00b (perhaps fair), but yes the blog is likely not healthy for OPs mental health, but we shouldn’t just dismiss how shitty these firms are. And we shouldn’t just accept things like “ah that’s just how a corporation works haha they win!” It’s good to air all this garbage out and let people decide for themselves.
No one's doing that. The OP has just been on a weird quest to shame one specific firm, as though O'Melveny is uniquely bad among biglaw firms.

More importantly, half their posts display a complete lack of understanding of legal ethics. For example, their prior thread took O'Melveny to task for not settling a Title IX suit against Harvard (O'Melveny won the suit for Harvard in summary judgment). They were also outraged by a story that O'Melveny's benefit provider (not O'Melveny) denied coverage to a former employee. And as seen in this thread, they're framing a reduction in the length of the summer program as a "pay cut" in order to claim that the firm has lied about not cutting salaries.

So sure, it's fine to be honest about biglaw (and I don't think anyone's under any illusions about who you represent at a large firm). But that's not what the OP is doing.

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Re: O'Melveny's Brad Butwin lies about coronavirus pay cuts

Post by cavalier1138 » Fri Jun 05, 2020 6:27 am

BloggerAMG wrote:
Thu Jun 04, 2020 9:48 pm
Ughhh. I don't have my old BloggerAMG account, as I lost the password and don't remember the email. If a mod could post this under my old BloggerAMG account I would appreciate it.
That would be because you apparently changed your email address to a non-existent account. Feel free to post a new message in the Lounge, and an admin can see if there's a way to get it back.

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Re: O'Melveny's Brad Butwin lies about coronavirus pay cuts

Post by nixy » Fri Jun 05, 2020 7:33 am

Yeah, it’s totally fair to discuss moral issues with what working for big law firms entails. It’s just weird to 1) act like OMM is some unique bad actor rather than entirely typical of big law firms and 2) completely fail to grasp how legal ethics works in an adversarial system. No one is saying that any individual person has to be cool with arguing for summary judgment for Harvard on a sexual discrimination lawsuit against the school; it totally makes sense if that’s work that you, personally, don’t want to do. But it’s also work that our adversarial legal system and the governing rules of ethics not only contemplate, but require.

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Re: O'Melveny's Brad Butwin lies about coronavirus pay cuts

Post by beepboopbeep » Fri Jun 05, 2020 1:16 pm

I should make a BloggerAMG bingo card. IIT, we've already got "oh, I'm a loser for writing a blog about my O'Melveny grudge? no u, TLS poster!" -- one of the standard AMG bag of tricks. Predicting the next few:

- Misrepresenting a news article and not responding when someone calls him out for it (in threads ostensibly about legal ethics :joy: )

- Asking people to doxx themselves so AMG can write some law firm's general counsel about a poster being a bad little boy on the internet

- Blaming the profession of attorneys for the opioid crisis, various large-scale conflicts, etc.

- Arguing perfectly ordinary litigation strategy is an ethics violation

FWIW I agree that OMM games Vault rankings harder than pretty much every firm. It's comical that they're #1 in tons of associate life metrics. But every firm tries to do this. No idea why OMM is better at it than everyone else.

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Re: O'Melveny's Brad Butwin lies about coronavirus pay cuts

Post by 12YrsAnAssociate » Fri Jun 05, 2020 1:53 pm

beepboopbeep wrote:
Fri Jun 05, 2020 1:16 pm

- Asking people to doxx themselves so AMG can write some law firm's general counsel about a poster being a bad little boy on the internet
Has he done this? I've seen the others.

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Re: O'Melveny's Brad Butwin lies about coronavirus pay cuts

Post by beepboopbeep » Fri Jun 05, 2020 1:56 pm

12YrsAnAssociate wrote:
Fri Jun 05, 2020 1:53 pm
beepboopbeep wrote:
Fri Jun 05, 2020 1:16 pm

- Asking people to doxx themselves so AMG can write some law firm's general counsel about a poster being a bad little boy on the internet
Has he done this? I've seen the others.
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=304733&start=25#p10417874

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Re: O'Melveny's Brad Butwin lies about coronavirus pay cuts

Post by dabigchina » Fri Jun 05, 2020 5:22 pm

These threads are always a trainwreck, but I just can't look away.

Never change, AMG. Never change.

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Re: O'Melveny's Brad Butwin lies about coronavirus pay cuts

Post by wanttoreadmythread » Sat Jun 06, 2020 4:56 pm

Hey all,

I'm glad you're interested in me and my blog and thoughts but I'm going to head off. Just so there's no misunderstanding about how I view you, below is the final post I wrote to help the blog's owner improve it. Please try to live a life outside of the internet.

Good day.

BloggerAMG
wanttoreadmythread wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 10:00 am
I'll offer a recommendation before I head off.

Essentially, there are two types of people who surf and contribute to anonymous forums. The first type seeks obscure information, and/or seeks to share information. The second type are, basically, and pardon me, losers who use forums to "socialize" in a way that allows them to hide their infirmities.

The former can be identified because they don't post much, and when they do, it's informative. The latter post a ton and their posts are just pointless chit chat. Often, the latter's posts are needlessly insulting or argumentative, as the use anonymity to assert themselves in ways they wouldn't dare in the real world.

The latter appear to have taken over your forum, and give it a loserish vibe. Consider just mass-banning them so they don't suffocate new entrants. You have to prune branches to let new ones grow. Your forum used to be much busier than it is now.

Good luck.

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Re: O'Melveny's Brad Butwin lies about coronavirus pay cuts

Post by LBJ's Hair » Sun Jun 07, 2020 11:51 am

wanttoreadmythread wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 4:56 pm
Hey all,

I'm glad you're interested in me and my blog and thoughts but I'm going to head off. Just so there's no misunderstanding about how I view you, below is the final post I wrote to help the blog's owner improve it. Please try to live a life outside of the internet.

Good day.

BloggerAMG
wanttoreadmythread wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 10:00 am
I'll offer a recommendation before I head off.

Essentially, there are two types of people who surf and contribute to anonymous forums. The first type seeks obscure information, and/or seeks to share information. The second type are, basically, and pardon me, losers who use forums to "socialize" in a way that allows them to hide their infirmities.

The former can be identified because they don't post much, and when they do, it's informative. The latter post a ton and their posts are just pointless chit chat. Often, the latter's posts are needlessly insulting or argumentative, as the use anonymity to assert themselves in ways they wouldn't dare in the real world.

The latter appear to have taken over your forum, and give it a loserish vibe. Consider just mass-banning them so they don't suffocate new entrants. You have to prune branches to let new ones grow. Your forum used to be much busier than it is now.

Good luck.
Amazing -- "I want to speak to your manager"

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Re: O'Melveny's Brad Butwin lies about coronavirus pay cuts

Post by nixy » Sun Jun 07, 2020 1:35 pm

There are so many beautiful logical fallacies in that.

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Re: O'Melveny's Brad Butwin lies about coronavirus pay cuts

Post by beepboopbeep » Sun Jun 07, 2020 2:22 pm

AMG, we already have the "nO YOuR tHe lOSeRs, TLS" bingo square checked. Try again?

(anyway, if you're going to make the claim that the people shitting on you are just trolls who don't contribute substantive info, I hope you've coded all of our posts as substantive or trollish. Just out of curiosity, what's nixy's ratio? I totally admit to mostly just shitting on things lately -- at least in my non-anon posts -- but nixy's one of the few actual contributors left.)

Seriously? What are you waiting for?

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