Category Archives: Employment

American Apparel Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Earlier today, American Apparel filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.  The LAist published a post with further details about the filing available here.  The article cites to the company’s debt issues and the legal bills related to the sexual harassment lawsuits, defamation, corporate shareholder disputes, and an unlawful termination lawsuit involving their former CEO, Dov Charney, as the root of the need for a bankruptcy filing.  With a lack of liquid assets and huge amounts of debt resulting in significant interest payments, the corporation created a financial restructuring model which they hope to have accepted by the Delaware bankruptcy court and trustee.  Read more about the bankruptcy details in this recently published LA Times article.

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Massachusetts HomeCorps Program

I recently rediscovered this article in the National Consumer Law Center’s Consumer Impact Newsletter about the early stages of HomeCorps.  The article is from the Spring 2013 newsletter, and on page 8, describes the Massachusetts HomeCorps Program as a “small battalion [of legal services attorneys that] has been deployed to stop foreclosures in their tracks.”

Starting in 2012, I was one of the 18 attorneys hired to advocate for homeowners, tenants, and consumers facing foreclosure-related issues.  We are housed in legal aid agencies across the state of Massachusetts with cases from various counties.  We advocate on behalf of our clients on a vast range issues like housing, consumer rights, debt collection, mortgage issues, tax lien cases, property lien cases, and loan modification issues.

HomeCorps and legal services was one of the most fantastic, humbling, fulfilling, exciting, and challenging jobs that I have ever had.  I truly loved working with my colleagues and clients.  After three years with HomeCorps and legal aid, I have started the next chapter of my life and moved to Washington DC to pursue an LL.M. at the Georgetown University Law Center.

As the Massachusetts HomeCorps Program continues to grow with the National Consumer Law Center, the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation, and the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, it will be interesting to see how it evolves and adapts to fit the needs of communities!

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Legal Aid Legislative Briefings at the Massachusetts State House

Earlier this week on Monday, February 10th, I spent the morning at the Massachusetts State House for the 13th Annual Civil Legal Aid Constituent Services Briefing.  Legal aid advocates from across the state spoke to leaders, aides, and state house staffers about issues that impact people.  Specifically, the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation brought in attorneys to focus on unemployment, the impact of the American Care Act on health care, housing, foreclosures, homelessness, domestic violence, and government benefits.  I have included a few pictures from the morning below.

Weyonnoh Nelson-Davies, Mehda Makhlouf, and I answering questions at the Community Legal Aid table at the State House.

Weayonnoh Nelson-Davies, Mehda Makhlouf, and I answering questions at the Community Legal Aid table at the State House.

Mehda Makhlouf talking about Medicare, Medicaid, MassHealth, Commonwealth Connector, and other health care items.

Mehda Makhlouf talking about Medicare, Medicaid, MassHealth, Commonwealth Connector, and other health care items.

Marc Potvin, from Neighborhood Legal Services, informing others about foreclosure law.

Marc Potvin, from Neighborhood Legal Services, informing others about foreclosure law.

Weayonnoh Nelson-Davies speaking about government benefits.

Weayonnoh Nelson-Davies speaking about government benefits.

In addition to meeting legislative staffers from offices based out of Worcester and Hampden County, I met Christine Lee who is a reporter for Channel 22 News.  I would just like to note that she was a lawyer before she became a journalist.  Follow her on Twitter at @christinenews .

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Melissa Kept Him Truckin’

This article was published in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette earlier today.  The news story deals with the trucking business, unemployment challenges, tribulations with bad jobs, and the assistance of legal aid.  I wanted to share the article with you because it features my awesome co-worker, Melissa Pomfred, and all the great work that she does in employment law.

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Boston Bar Association’s Panel on Mistakes New Lawyers Make

I did not have the pleasure of attending the Boston Bar Association‘s Panel on “Mistakes New Lawyers Make.”  However, I did get the email summary of the event.  I am going to direct you to their link, available here, which lists very practical advice for newly admitted lawyers.

All the advice is common knowledge, but I found one of the pointers very interesting and I am re-posting it below:

Don’t try to fix your mistakes too quickly. Acting to[o] quickly can lead to another mistake.

I have never heard that one before!

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To Write a Thank You Note or Not

Recent law graduates and job seekers are battling it out in this horrendous legal job market.  There is no shortage of depressing job posts about unemployment rates, salary freezes, pay cuts, and alcoholism in attorneys.

That being said, I thought this blog post, titled “Post-Interview Thank You Notes,” was helpful and realistic.  Check out Robyn Ginsberg‘s article here.  As a Recruiter at BCG Attorney Search, Ms. Ginsberg recommends that, “I generally advise my candidates to do what feels natural and right to them. If you are the type of person who would typically send a thank you note to someone for taking the time to meet with you, then there is no reason to forsake your usual instincts in the interview context.”

Furthermore, she states that a thank you note will not ensure an offer, but if the note is filled with grammatical and spelling errors then it will result in no offer.  Check out the post.

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Safety in Numbers

Novak Druce + Quigg LLP plans on merging with Connolly Bove Lodge & Hutz before January 2013 to create a larger intellectual property firm.  Novak Druce was originally founded by former Howrey lawyers in 2005.  The ABA Journal writes about the upcoming merger, and read more about the law firm change here.

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Perks of Legal Tweeting According to LOMAP

When I graduated from law school, one of the first organizations I interacted with was the Law Office Management Assistance Program (LOMAP).  They offer great seminars for anyone interested in becoming a soloist.  They are also superb at helping attorneys network with each other.  Many people say that they are a hidden gem among the Massachusetts legal field for soloists or small firms.  Recently, Jared Correia, the Senior Law Practice Advisor at LOMAP, published a piece about the perks of tweeting to help get clients.  Check out his article here.

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Only 55% of 2011 Law School Grads Have Full Time Jobs

2011 graduates are not surprised by the recent release of job statistics about the law market.  They are not surprised because a lot of my fellow class graduates are still looking for legal jobs because fewer and fewer companies and firms are hiring.

The ABA Journal published an article announcing that only 55% of law graduates, who finished school in 2011, have full time jobs.  Stating that it is a tough job market is an understatement.

A 2011 law graduate and attorney friend, who I deeply admire, told me the other day, “I think employers are mistaking our [2011 law graduates] desperation for stupidity.”

The ABA Journal also published an article saying that only 65% of employed 2011 law graduates work at jobs that require bar passage.

Comfort food: fresh, homemade biscuits

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Class of 2011 Law Grads Face the Worst Job Market

The employment statistics for last year’s class of 2011 graduates are out.  Every year, the Association for Career Legal Professionals (NALP) collects data on recent law graduates and how they are thriving in the legal and non-legal job market.  The 2011 numbers were released and the job market is looking very glum for these graduates.

NALP’s article titled, “Class of 2011 Law School Grads FaceWorst Job Market Yet—Less Than Half Find Jobs in Private Practice” is available here.  But, Above the Law wrote a succinct summary of NALP’s findings.

David Lat, founder of Above the Law, wrote:

[T]he class of 2010 graduates did even worse than the class of 2009 — no small feat, given how rough a year 2009 was for legal employment. So it’s impressive, in an admittedly perverse way, that the class of 2011 fared even worse on the employment front than the class of 2010.

Lat reiterates that the employment numbers for 2011 law school graduates are the worst in nearly 20 years.  Read the full article available here.

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