As special bonus season intensifies, Kathryn muses about compensation leadership and what the value of going big. Joe talks about vaccines and returning to in-person events and we recap the goings on at CUNY and Michigan where the deans faced pressure over past incidents.
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Above the Law -Thinking Like a Lawyer
What Does It Mean To Be A Market Leader
Joe Patrice: Hello.
Kathryn Rubino: Hello.
Joe Patrice: Welcome to another edition of Thinking Like A Lawyer. I’m Joe Patrice from Above the Law. That is Kathryn Rubino who is interrupting me again because that’s become our bit apparently.
Kathryn Rubino: Well, I don’t know if it’s a bit, but it really seems to annoy you, and as I believed that I mentioned on numerous occasions, that’s a big W for me.
Joe Patrice: Okay. Well, welcome to the show everybody. This is where we do our
weekly rundown of big events, big happenings.
Kathryn Rubino: All the legal stories you need to know.
Joe Patrice: And most of all the ones that you don’t actually need to know, that we find entertaining. As always, we have sponsors of one, and you’ll hear a little bit more later about Lexicon, and Nota powered by M&T Bank and LexisNexis® InterAction. But for now, let’s just gab a little bit. How are you feeling?
Kathryn Rubino: Yeah, I mean, fine.
Joe Patrice: Yeah.
Kathryn Rubino: I’ve been fully vaccinated at this point.
Joe Patrice: Oh, well congratulations.
Kathryn Rubino: Thank you. I’m feeling pretty good about it, you know.
Joe Patrice: Was the second shot bad for you?
Kathryn Rubino: It wasn’t great. It’s not my favorite thing that I’ve ever done, but it wasn’t awful. I had a day of like achy, fevery whatever yuckiness. Second day was you know, a little, I was very tired. A little bit of aches, but by day three, I feel, I felt perfectly fine.
Joe Patrice: Yeah. Okay. Well, that’s good.
Kathryn Rubino: Yeah.
Joe Patrice: So, now you’re in that period we’re what? Like a week or so, and 14 days or whatever it is. I don’t know?
Kathryn Rubino: Yeah.
Joe Patrice: But until you’re fully–
Kathryn Rubino:°Fully, considered fully vaccinated, and CDC has some separate kind of rulings about what you can, and cannot do. Yeah, ever closer to normalcy. It’s kind of where I feel like I am, and I’m pretty happy about that, and just in time for this summer. I fully intend this summer to be amazing.
Joe Patrice: Okay. Yeah. We know actually that that actually could be a transition to our first topic if we wanted to do a little bit of that, you know? Yeah, because I was having a conversation recently on the Clubhouse, the legal tech trending news Clubhouse meeting that we were having.
Kathryn Rubino: So, you remember the name of it now?
Joe Patrice:°I do remember the name of it now, but thanks for that.
Kathryn Rubino: Well, listen I got to keep you, honest.
Joe Patrice:°Remember the conversation given that there are going to be in-person conferences starting up over the summer, and late summer, and early fall, and not every conference is doing it, but some are. A lot of us on that show, the hosts and all were thinking, you know, this is great. You know, it’ll be exciting to get back and see people.
Kathryn Rubino: Yeah, I mean, I feel pretty good about it.
Joe Patrice:°Yeah, the audience did not. It was very interesting, and it kind of showed me. I mean, one of the problems with all of the lockdowns, and so on is that, we kind of exist in each with the extent technology has allowed us to stay in touch with people, we stayed in touch with people who might believe in our same bubble because I very much thought, that everybody I was around was going to wholeheartedly be excited to go to the thing, and it just wasn’t true.
Kathryn Rubino: Yeah, like post-vaccine summer is a “thing.”
Joe Patrice:°Very, very upset about the concept, very nervous about any idea of going in public this year.
Kathryn Rubino: Meaning, I guess I think a couple of things; first of all, I understand nerves because it is a big change, and all that kind of stuff. But I also think that, “It’s got to happen.” I see no reason why it shouldn’t happen this summer. I think, I saw a chart that 46 out of 50 states, and the
Joe Patrice:°The district.
Kathryn Rubino: District of Columbia are on track to offer vaccines to any adult. I think, it was 16 or over whatever it is, as of May 1 as Biden had promised. So, ever forward, you know, and that seems like, the overwhelming majority of people have access to the vaccine by May 1. I think that planning a summer seems very reasonable. I mean listen, I still think, and obviously, it’s born of the CDC’s recommendations still that people who are fully vaccinated continue to mask up. I will continue to mask up.
Kathryn Rubino: I have no problem masking up. I can also continue to judge people who do not mask or who do not mask up properly.
Kathryn Rubino: I’m a big fan be like, “Excuse me sir, your nose is showing. Excuse me, sir.”
Joe Patrice:°You’re that person.
Kathryn Rubino: Well,
Joe Patrice:°I mean, that’s not a knock.
Kathryn Rubino:°Yeah. I think that it’s important to make sure people know that they’re seen, and when they’re doing the wrong thing. You know, and sometimes they didn’t realize it slipped or you know, or whatever and that’s fine. But I don’t understand people who seem to deliberately put it on below their nose.
Joe Patrice:°Yeah, because it seems like, it gets none of the efficacy with all of the same amount of annoyance.
Kathryn Rubino:°Yeah. I don’t understand it. But you know, I want to be clear like, I point to my nose.
Kathryn Rubino:°I think that folks should be aware.
Joe Patrice:°But it was interesting because you know these folks who obviously are very interested in technology, and so therefore, very glued in, but they just had reservations. Largely, I felt like, it reflected a kind of the degradation of institutional trust.
Kathryn Rubino:°Oh, yeah.
Joe Patrice:°There was a lot of you know, we also heard it was going to be over by the fall last year, and it’s like, “Well, right.” But we didn’t have a vaccine, and that was the thing that they thought would be ready, and wasn’t, but now we do.
Joe Patrice:°And I just feel like we can trust that.
Kathryn Rubino:°I have no issues trusting this vaccine,
Joe Patrice:°Concerns about variance.
Kathryn Rubino:°and any of the vaccines that are out there.
Kathryn Rubino:°Yeah. I mean, obviously, there is always a possibility of a variant we don’t currently know about is ineffective previously the vaccine, or you know, a different illness could always happen, right? Like there’s always a possibility of pandemics. There has always been a possibility of pandemics.
Kathryn Rubino:°But we still do things, and I just think that trusting in the vaccine is very, very, reasonable. I remember even in the fall you know, or you know, kind of in the mid portion of quarantine people say, “I can’t even imagine what will have to happen until this is over.” And you know, we had a COVID podcast about
Kathryn Rubino:°these sorts of things, and I remember saying, “When the vaccine comes.
Kathryn Rubino:°That’s when it’ll be over.” When we have the vaccine.
Kathryn Rubino:°And yeah, it’s only 95 percent or high 90’s or whatever, which is not perfect obviously. But I think it’s fine. It’s very, very, very, good against hospitalizations, against deadly impacts from this virus. That’s fine. If you get sick, and you have the vaccine, you are very, very, likely to survive. That’s where we need to be. And yeah, I intend to go out. I intend to travel again.
Kathryn Rubino:°You know, I have big plans for the summer. I assume you are also trusting this vaccine based on the way you’ve sort of framed it out?
Joe Patrice:°Yeah. Well, I mean the announcement that ILTACON will be, and it’s more are actually not, I shouldn’t say it’s in-person. It’s a hybrid conference. There will be remote attendees as well as physical attendees, and I, you know, booked my trip
Joe Patrice:°because it’s super cheap to do that right now because people are not all fully on board. But I do think that it’s important to trust in the science that it is going to work, and I think it it’s necessary psychologically to incentivize people to get this vaccine. Right? Like a part of part of the incentive is,
Kathryn Rubino:°We can go back.
Joe Patrice:°You can go back. If we start, you know doubting the idea that it is going to result in the change, it’s going to you know, erode the willingness of people to go ahead, and put themselves through days of aches, and pains if they think it’s not necessary to fix it.
Kathryn Rubino:°Honestly, and fairly minor in the big picture, and also, considering that I want this entire year without any colds or flus or anything because I was home, you know, it’s very, very, easy decision to make I think to get the vaccine. I think, you’re right that we have to very much incentivize folks to do it, and I think the other thing is, I wonder if people who can’t imagine sort of a post-vaccine don’t remember how quickly it changed
Kathryn Rubino:°from you know, “Everything’s fine. This is a flu, right?” To, “Nope.”
Kathryn Rubino:°Shut it down. It was like a weekend.
Joe Patrice:°Yeah, no. That’s an excellent point. Like the rapidity with which we changed everything about the world.
Joe Patrice:°It is a sign that things can change. We are very bad as humans about predicting what it’s going to be in three months, four months, how we’re going to feel about it. Yeah, I’m hopeful that these folks, and their concerns will be allayed by then.
Kathryn Rubino:°And we can get ready for the roaring twenties version two. Hopefully not followed by it.
Joe Patrice:°And which for me because I’m going to ILTACON, as basically my opening salvo means I’m going to kick off the roaring twenties in Vegas, so.
Joe Patrice:°Yeah. It seems weirdly appropriate.
Kathryn Rubino:°I mean, well, ILTACON’s in August, right?
Kathryn Rubino:°There’s plenty of time even before then assuming, you now?
Joe Patrice:°Yeah, I don’t have anything really. Yeah.
Kathryn Rubino:°Your vaccination status is all up to date by then.
Joe Patrice:°I don’t really line up for any of that, but we’ll see.
Kathryn Rubino:°Time. There’s of time, plenty of time.
Joe Patrice:°Yeah. Plenty of time to get all of my tasks in order, and do that. So, if you’re interested in streamlining administrative tasks, let’s hear what our friends from Lexicon have to say.
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Joe Patrice:°Al right. Well, we are
Kathryn Rubino:°A seamless, seamless transition right there. Good job.
Joe Patrice:°I mean yeah. I’m a professional.
Kathryn Rubino:°You’re a real professional. Yeah.
Joe Patrice:°So, we’ve been talking for the last few podcasts actually now about spring and fall bonuses, which is the new bonus war raging throughout the
Kathryn Rubino:°Yeah. A quick recap of course just in case. In the fall of 2020, a series of BigLaw firms, and in to year end bonus, did special bonuses in addition to year-end bonuses ranging from 7500 to $40,000 depending class year, and sort of in addition as a thank you for hard work during the COVID season, and now again in the spring, are we folks doing that again. So, it’s a bit higher rate to sort of a market rate; I think it’s 12,000 through $64,000. They’re going to be in two tranches generally speaking, somewhere between April, and June or July depending on the firm, and then again in the fall. So, we are in the part of the year where the biggest, and best BigLaw firms are like, “Yep. We will pony up these market rates.”
Then it kind of made me wonder, if the firms that did it were “Wilkie started the spring bonus thing and but they mirrored the numbers from the fall and then Davis°Polk came over the top, and they kind of upped the ante, and Wilkie has made a secondary announcement saying, “They will meet those higher rates.” So, that was great for Wilkie folks, and it made me wonder, who’s the compensation leader? You wouldn’t have thought that Wilkie would have been the firm to make the first move and Davis Polk really came over the top, and they also did something similar in the fall where Cooley had you know, put out the first level of bonuses, and then Davis°Polk came over the top, and then the Davis Polk standard became the sort of market standard.
But you know, I always kind of think of compensation leader as Crevath, you know for years, they were always the first firm to announce year-end bonuses, and even when it came to sort of the fall special bonuses, they announced that they would not do them in the fall, and that they would make these decisions at yearends, and once kind of the Crevath’s domino gets tipped, so goes a large chunk of BigLaw. And so, far maybe this will change, but by the time this podcast comes out, but so far Crevath has not made any announcement regarding their spring bonuses. So, are they still the compensation leader?
Joe Patrice:°So, I’m going to push back. You just said something there, and I never really had thought about it before.
Joe Patrice:°But you used the phrase “compensation leader,”
Joe Patrice:°and talking about these things, which I don’t think that’s what you mean. From my perspective, compensation leader is, who’s paying the most. So, it would be a title you give to like a Kirkland & Ellis who pays one-and-a-half bonuses or Wachtell.
Kathryn Rubino:°Those folks are always above market, but I don’t consider them “compensation leaders” in the sense that no one follows them. In order to be a leader you have to have a follower.
Joe Patrice:°So, right? So, you’re defining leader as one that induces following,
Joe Patrice:°as opposed to a leader being
Kathryn Rubino:°The top.
Joe Patrice:°The top.
Kathryn Rubino:°There is a term that we use for folks who do that, which is, “They’re above market” and a whole category, and a lot of boutiques often find themselves in that position.
Joe Patrice:°I’m seeing it by like a recruiting perspective. If you were to say, “Hey, this firm’s a compensation leader” and you found out they are just someone who’s already at market, you would be annoyed, and like, a compensation leader would be signaling, “this is somebody who pays more.”
Kathryn Rubino:°No, no, no. But I think if you were like hearing, “Oh, I’m going to a firm that is a compensation leader, I think, yeah, I think it’s where the market winds up, but stuff that it’s the firm that’s on the cutting edge. That there’s never a doubt that your firm is going to match or lead on questions of compensation.
Joe Patrice:°I don’t think that’s what, wait. I think I do. I don’t think that that’s a wrong like
Joe Patrice:°What about like, market leader? Because like the market follows them. But they’re not they’re not leading income. Like, I feel like that if you say, use “compensation leader,” you’re signaling these people, “pay more,” and I don’t want to do that. But it is true that they’re leading the market by setting market.
Kathryn Rubino:°They’re definitely
Joe Patrice:°Words like above market, and stuff.
Kathryn Rubino:°I’m happy to use the term market leader.
Joe Patrice:°Okay. We’re good. Well now,
Kathryn Rubino:°That’s fine.
Joe Patrice:°We have successfully
Kathryn Rubino:°Established our parameters. Okay.
Joe Patrice:°All right.
Kathryn Rubino:°What was that noise.
Joe Patrice:°That was the gavel. We’ve decided.
Kathryn Rubino:°Oh, it’s has been decided.
Kathryn Rubino:°I thought it was like a hammer, and I was like,
Joe Patrice:°In a way it was.
Kathryn Rubino:°”What are we fixing?” Okay, but I thought it was like, you were like fixing or making a hole in a wall. I don’t know. It’s still a little confusing to me. Anyway, my question still remains. What firms –
Joe Patrice:°Yeah. Let’s go back to that.
Kathryn Rubino:°Yeah, he natural point to you guys. Who is the market leader?
Joe Patrice:°Oh, yeah. Because you said, it was always Crevath.
Kathryn Rubino:°So, it was always Crevath. I don’t think, I’m not sure it is anymore. Davis Polk is putting in a strong resume.
Kathryn Rubino:°A strong, strong resume.
Joe Patrice:°And Milbank a few years ago, weren’t the ones who have led in salaries.
Kathryn Rubino:°Whose folks, and that’s another question, is there somebody really a market leader if they’re only pushing forward on bonuses, because that’s not, it doesn’t change sort of the year-to-year compensation. Are you only a market leader if you’re pushing salaries above? I think that there’s an argument that that might be true. I definitely think that Crevath has a lot of cache in the industry, but Cooley is the one who made the decision first
Kathryn Rubino:°in the fall, and then Davis Polk came over the top, and that’s what became the standard in the spring. We’re talking about Wilkie who made the decision first, and then Davis Polk again came over the top. So, there’s a very strong argument that it was Davis Polk, I think.
Joe Patrice:°Yeah. I likened this in recent write up of I believe Debevoise’s announcement. You should think of all of these bonuses, and salaries as they’re a lot of like a heist film, all right?
Joe Patrice:°So, like you’ve got like a heistcon artist film. So, like in The Sting, you’re a Robert Redford character, and he wants revenge, but like, he comes up with an idea, and he can’t pull it off without an older, wiser helper. So, like Wilkie came up with this idea, “We are going to give people bonuses,” and then Davis Polk came in, he’s like, “No, no, no. So, here’s how we’re really going to do it.” And then, the next whole act is, Davis Polk basically going around, and getting all the old gang back together for one more score of paying a bunch of associates, and much like a heist film, I’m sure in the partner meetings of all these firms, they initially pushed back, and say something like, “I’m getting too old for this shit” and then finally come around and say, “All right, fine. I’m in.”
Kathryn Rubino:°We’ll get too over it. That’s a good one. I enjoyed that. You know, I think it’s interesting, and I think that’ there’s also a big difference, and I’m not sure even though I do think there’s a strong argument that Davis Polk is kind of the “new market leader.” I do think that putting it in the term of “special bonus” counts against that in an important way because if you recall back in December, we talked about this a little bit, but when people mark bonus money as “special,” it is not a guarantee for the following year, right? If you put it as a part of your underlying, even if it’s still a part of a bonus, but it’s part of like, the end year-end bonus, there’s kind of a baseline assumption that that level will be met the next year.
Kathryn Rubino:°And it’s not, that’s a good big deal. So, by putting it as a special bonus, it’s very like a moment in time, here’s the payments, good job, but there’s not an overall benefit, you know, there’s not a going forward benefit to folks. And I think that, either putting it in year-end bonuses or in compensation numbers generally, has a much stronger impact not just on, you know, folks who are in law school, that’s what the numbers you really care about. Like, I don’t know if somebody’s in law school should really care about who’s leading in special bonus numbers because at the time they graduate, we’re not going to have special bonuses probably.
Joe Patrice:°Yeah. Yeah. I mean that’s true too, or as your kind of thing about leadership, does it signal? Even if it’s not that these bonuses themselves will be around in the future years, does it signal that you’re going to affirm that is committed to the idea they want to be leading on this sort of thing?
Kathryn Rubino:°Yeah, and I also think then there’s a level of distinction between firms that will always match whatever the, Joneses’ or Crevath’s or the Davis Polk’s’ do versus folks that are willing to kind of stick their check out.
Kathryn Rubino:°And you know, whether it’s you know, Milbank because they kind of push the overall compensation up and then, you know Crevath came over the top when it came to mid-level, and senior associates, they made those numbers higher for older associates who are more experienced associates, and then Milbank had to come out, and match those numbers again. But even though that had to happen, and maybe, you know, Milbank would have preferred if their numbers were just matched, I still think that, there’s a benefit that that’s kind of a firm is saying, “We will stick our necks out to push compensation forward.” Right? That if there is an opportunity to pay folks more, we will do it. We will not just depend on everyone else to make these decisions. We want to be part of that conversation. We want to be thinking about how to pay our associates, and what’s the best way to do that. And I think that, that is a very different attitude about compensation, about the role of associates at the firm than a firm who, of course, they’ll always pay whatever one else pays, but is going to you know, do it four weeks after the fact,
Kathryn Rubino:°or two months after the fact, you know. I think that is the sort of small hints that you get as a perspective; lateral or law student or whatever, that tell you what the firm really thinks, and what the firm really cares about.
Joe Patrice:°Yeah. Their values. Yeah, the values they have on it. Yeah, I know, that is an excellent point. Obviously, there’s some people concerned out there that whenever there’s a bonus, there are sky is falling folks who say, “Oh, no. They’re not going to able to keep this up in this economy or whatever.” But I feel like, these firms know what they’re doing, and they’re going to be fine and just because
Kathryn Rubino:°And some firms won’t be able to meet it. And you know, maybe that just creates another level of distinction, which is, “Okay too.”
Joe Patrice:°Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. And you know, we’re coming out of an economic bump, but one that BigLaw more or less got through, but you know, it’s, we’re coming out of it, and people are being rewarded for what they did during it. And if you have any questions about how have law firms weathered previous economic downturns that come out stronger on the other side, LexisNexis® InterAction has released an in-depth global research report confronting the 2020 downturn lessons learned during previous economic crises. Download your free copy at Interaction.com/LikeALawyer to see tips, strategies, plans, and statistics from leaders who have been through this before, and how they’ve reached success again.
Kathryn Rubino:°I was best at that transition up for you.
Joe Patrice:°A little bit. I mean, but you made a good point, yeah. And so, I had to kind of change it back.
Joe Patrice:°I was ready to go to the ad read, and then you threw a curveball, but we made it through. We made it through. So, since we are people who produce things on the internet,
Joe Patrice:°and we need people to read things. I guess, were legally obliged to use the phrase “cancel culture” occasionally.
Kathryn Rubino:°I can’t, I can’t take it. I just like that phrase.
Joe Patrice:°It’s dumb, but nonetheless.
Kathryn Rubino:°And I was okay with it when it was just like, well, “Is R. Kelly cancelled? I was like, “Uh-huh.”
Kathryn Rubino:°Yes, but I think that the right has done a great job of sort of reappropriating it, and making it this whole thing. But I still fundamentally believe in the concept that, holding folks accountable for things they do, and things they say is very good.
Joe Patrice:°Yeah, yeah.
Kathryn Rubino:°It’s very good, and it’s very important, and we should continue to do all of those things, even if you get you know, granted, “Well, you’re part of the cancel culture.” It’s like, “I don’t care. Bad things happen. We got to call him out.”
Joe Patrice:°So, one of the interesting aspects of all of this is that, last week we had a couple of stories that actually broke the mold a little bit of the standard narrative because we had two people in law schools who were confronted with transgressions, and their responses were: one, to say, “Yeah, this was wrong, and so I’m stepping back from my position.” And another who said, who didn’t step down but nonetheless offered
Joe Patrice:°a full-throated apology, and it just led to me saying, “Oh, well, this is you know, this is kind of the right way of doing things.” There quibbles about like how they get one about them, and some of which, are very substantive, and important, but nonetheless, it was in a world in which we tend to have these come up, and are met with people who dabble down on it, and say, “No, I totally stand by that, and you’re against me for saying, ‘I can’t do whatever.’” We had people actually did kind of the right thing, and it got me thinking because I got feedback from some of these stories from readers who were very much inculcated in this idea that there’s some crusade out there to ruin people’s lives, and they were very much on. “Oh, you all just hyped this stuff up, and these folks are victims of things” and I’m like, even they themselves aren’t even treated acting like they’re victims of things. But come on.
Kathryn Rubino:°Should you want to go into a little bit of the details, so we’re not,
Joe Patrice:°Yeah. So, the CUNY situation was CUNY’s Dean Mary Lu Bilek is stepping down. We knew she was stepping down at the end of the year, that has been out there. What we didn’t know was, why? And the reason was somewhat convoluted, but she had pushed for a junior white professor to get tenure, which a lot of the faculty felt was
Kathryn Rubino:°Sort of skipping the line.
Joe Patrice:°was skipping, skipping the line over several more qualified people of color who were awaiting tenure. At this point, there was a meeting confronting her about it. They did not ultimately give this woman tenure, but the Dean made an offhand remark that seems to be something along the lines of, “No one should blame that junior professor for what’s going on here.” In an analogy, “I’m the slave holder who would have to pay reparations if anyone’s going to pay reparations, it should be me.” is generally basically the quote. Obviously, an analogy that seems to almost make light of the situation whereby comparing it to this, which while still important is not the same thing,
Kathryn Rubino:°A tenure question is not the same as —
Joe Patrice:°Exactly, but you know, it was bad, but the it seems as though the real problem for her, and while stepping down is probably the right move and whatever under this because it has kind of a direct impact on the trust relationship with to run faculty. That said, I feel like the big problem that some folks have pointed out that I do have sympathies with was, this all happened months ago, she decided she was stepping down, but wanted to kind of step down, and not get into it, not have a discussion about it, and just kind of keep it.
Kathryn Rubino:°Keep it when you Google her name.
Joe Patrice:°Yeah, keep it.
Kathryn Rubino:°Slaveholder will always come up.
Joe Patrice:°Yeah, I hear that, but not even address it head on with folks.
Joe Patrice:°with folks, and no transparency.
Kathryn Rubino:°It probably would not have been as much of a story.
Joe Patrice:°And that’s what I think.
Joe Patrice:°I honestly think had we gone you know, had the school said, “Here’s what happened. Here’s what I meant. I now understand why that was bad. Here’s why I wouldn’t do that. Here’s what was going on with this.” A transparency, I think probably would have avoided almost all of these issues, but you tell us about what’s going on at Michigan.
Kathryn Rubino:°Yeah, Mark T. West is the dean there. Another dean situation.
Kathryn Rubino:°And he is an expert in Japanese law, and has written several books about it. And there were some students outraged over the covers of the book, which is very much trade in stereotypes of Asian people, and Asian women in particular, and were called out on social media over the covers, and it wasn’t new like these books came out years ago. But also, I think the image of seeing all three covers back-to-back, I think was very powerful, and folks at the school had been trying to call it out previously. You know, there was a lot of you know, I think a year or so ago, there was an effort to call attention to the book covers, but I think that kind of right now with the violence that has been happening against AAPI folks, you know, there was a Zeitgeist, and it really kind of took hold, and Dean West came out, and wrote a very long apology explaining sort of that, they recognized why. The stereotypes they traded in were problematic, steps that they’re taking obviously, it’s hard to you know, it’s a physical printed copy, you can’t just kind of pull them back out of existence. But the efforts that they’re making to make sure that digital copies no longer have those same images, that future printings would no longer have those images on them, and some of the students that initially called Dean West out have said that, they felt very glad that there was an apology. They felt that they actually were heard, and seen, and how that was such so important for Dean West to take responsibility, and to really engage in the substance of what was going on.
Joe Patrice:°You know, in some ways this comes full circle back to the vaccine conversation we were having because I feel as though, these stories were important because it showed much like in the vaccines at how it’s important as an incentive for people to get vaccines to think, “Yes. This means you’re going to get back.” I think it’s also important to incentivize apologies by saying, “Yes, if you do these, if you do come forward, and talk about it, and we have an honest, and it doesn’t make it right.” But it does mean that you know, people will feel heard, and will respect the fact that you have taken that step. And that’s important because part of the reason, and I wrote this in a piece, I think most of the time, when these folks double down on stuff, it’s because they’re jerks, and that’s fine. Like, simply Occam’s razor still applies. They’re doubling down because they’re jerks, but I think there’s also some folks who just could potentially be thinking, “Well, there’s no way I’m ever going to
Kathryn Rubino:°Get out of this thing.
Joe Patrice:°be able to apologize. So therefore, I may as well double down, and it’s like, “No, there is a value to coming forward.” And saying like, “Yep, clearly I’m wrong. Here’s what I meant. Here’s why I know that wasn’t right. But I hope you respect why and where I was. I’m better now.” And life moves on.
Kathryn Rubino:°Yeah. I think just two quick points: I think first of all, I never knew that apologies needed a high person, but here we are,
Joe Patrice:°Yeah. Right.
Kathryn Rubino:°they need to be hyped. But the other part is, I also don’t even though, you know, I think that right, and I think that you know, being an apologies PR person is a thing. I don’t want to kind of say that, “It’s an automatic get-out-of-jail-free card.” I think that there’s also a difference, and I think people could hear the difference between heartfelt, honest, real apologies, and ones that are done just as a, Oh, can’t this be over now.”
Joe Patrice:°Under duress, kind of yeah. Yeah, and that’s true too.
Kathryn Rubino:°Yeah. And I think that kind of analyzing apologies is definitely real, and definitely something that is done. And I think that, there’s there is a real difference between earnest, and true, and thoughtful apologies, and folks who are willing then to do the work to make sure that they don’t do similar things in the future, and it’s not just like, “I said, I’m sorry. I’m done. What’s going on?” That goes back to the, “Who’s the jerk thing?” And then, we don’t want to incentivize jerks unnecessarily.
Joe Patrice:°I mean, the lessons you learn in law school aren’t necessarily just about “Black Letter Law.” Sometimes, it’s also learning how to kind of function as a professional out there.
Joe Patrice:°But the thing that it isn’t is, learning to be an accountant. You went to law school to be a lawyer not an accountant. Take advantage of Nota, a no cost IOLTA management tool that helps solo and small law firms track client funds down to the penny. Enjoy peace of mind with one click check reconciliation, automated transaction alerts, and real-time bank data. Visit trustnota.com/legal/ to learn more. Terms and conditions may apply. So, that brings us once again, to the end of our program. I obviously thank Nota powered by M&T Bank and Lexicon, and LexisNexis® InterAction for sponsoring this show. You should be subscribed to the show if you aren’t already that way, you get these downloaded directly every time a new drop that way, you can also give us reviews, stars, as well as right things. It shows engagements, helps the algorithm realize, “Hey, this podcast is actually about law.” People who are interested in law might want to subscribe, and put this out there. So, that’s wonderful too. You should be reading Above the Law as always and we’re on top of all these bonuses. Actually, a new bonus just came in while we’ve been sitting here. So, I guess, we got that actually, your old stomping ground so it looks like.
Kathryn Rubino: Say, hello to Wilson.
Joe Patrice: °Wilson. So, next you should be following us on social media. I’m @josephpatrice. She’s @kathrynI, the numeral one. That is where we are on the Twitters. You should listen to our shows. Kathryn also hosts the podcast called, The Jabot. I am on the legal tech week, Journalists’ Roundtable at the end of every week though, I wasn’t on last week, but I’ll be on in the future. Also, on the legal tech trending news
and with all that, I guess, we’ll close out this show and we’ll be, as I said back next week. Again, virtually and whatever and at some point in the future, we’ll be in cities and maybe we’ll actually see some of you listeners out there in the Clubhouse, if you’re a person who hangs out on Clubhouse these days. We do that on Wednesdays at 12:30. I will not be on this week.
Kathryn Rubino: Do you wear pink because it’s Wednesday?
Joe Patrice:°I mean, it’s Clubhouse, it’s not official.
Kathryn Rubino: Well, I just I know, but pink, all right, never mind. Go on.
Joe Patrice:°So, any way then, you should check out all the other shows that we are not on the legaltalknetwork.com. So, I think with all that, we’re all done, and we’ll check in with you again next week.
Kathryn Rubino: Bye.
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