Cravath's Good Ol' Boys Miss the Good Ol' Days

LAW
• One old lawyer reminisces about his time at Cravath in the fifties and speculates on why big law used to be — used to be? — such a man's world: "Obviously, male bigotry played a major role. But I think something else was involved — an attempt to protect certain values that mattered greatly to the practitioners of that time. They wanted a workplace free of the messiness of male-female relations. They liked to say, 'Yes, sir,' and 'No, sir,' and be done with it. Women might bring distractions: flirtations, gossip, dating. No more male bonding." Aw…! [American Lawyer]
• Everyone's talking about Robert Morgenthau stepping down after 33 years as Manhattan D.A. — except Robert Morgenthau. [NYT]
• NYU Law School listserv smackdown! First e-mail: "I decided to compile a list of the easiest professors at NYU Law for those of us who: 1. Want an easy A, and 2. Don't care about the grade and just want a B without doing a thing." Second e-mail: "Does your mom still teach here? Because I heard that she's REALLY easy." Third e-mail: "If you came to NYU Law school thinking to take shortcuts to get easy As as opposed to taking classes that you would find challenging and helpful to your understanding of law practices, here's my nugget of advice: save the money and go to a state law school." Fourth e-mail: "We come to NYU to take made-up classes like 'Jesus & the Constitution,' 'Inter-Animal Contracts,' and 'International Law.' Coming to NYU for anything other than intellectual masturbation or an easy job is a waste of money." [Above the Law]

FINANCE:
• Department of unexpected match-ups: Warren Buffett and Whoopi Goldberg are fighting it out over the estate tax, which is supposedly affecting more and more "middle class" families. You know, all those people with more than $1 million in assets. [NYP]
• John Thain is taking the tough-love approach at Merrill Lynch, ordering 40 percent bonus cuts in the fixed-income division that brought the bank to its knees. Some mortgage traders may see their bonuses cut as much as 80 percent — that is, assuming they still have their jobs. [Bloomberg]
• Check out the 101 dumbest moments in 2007 business. No surprise, Stan O'Neal and Chuck Prince made the top ten, but both come in behind Thomas the Tank Engine. [Fortune]

MEDIA
• David Letterman is looking to ink an interim deal with the striking writers, a distinct possibility since he owns his own production company. The rest of the late-night hosts will likely return, sans writers, in early January, when we'll likely see whether Leno can still beat Letterman single-handedly. [NYT]
• News divisions at both CBS and NBC announced a big round of cuts right at the end of last week, including seven staffers at NBC News and twenty at CBSNews.com, nearly half of the Website's editorial staff. Merry Christmas! [Mixed Media/Portfolio]
• Philly news hottie Alycia Lane, she of the bikini shots, is arrested in New York for punching a police officer in the face and calling her a "dyke bitch." How awesome would it be if her punishment included covering the story herself? [NYT]

FASHION
• Hervé Léger by Max Azria makes its big debut return this Fashion Week. [WWD]
• Cheerio! Vivienne Westwood's taking her show back to London. [British Vogue]
• And Stefano Pilati will not be doing a runway show for YSL's menswear collection. Instead, he'll do a showcase and private dinner. [Fashion Week Daily]