Pulse of the CITY

winners

■We like a city where the billionaires pay full I price. Sam Wyly wants George W. to be prèsident, and by golly he’s willing to ” spend whatever it takes to get him there. So far that amounts to at least $2.3 million. What will he get in return? A week in the Lincoln bedroom? A junket on Air Force One? In-circle points?

losers



■ Can things get any worse for JCPenney CEO James Oesterreicher? His personal share-holding in the dismally performing retailer has slid some $3 million in 24 months. At his salary of $612,000, he’ll need to work four years and 10 months just to get back to even.



HOW TO SELL TO DALLAS

Simple. Blondes and Cleavage.



Everywhere else in America, Volkswagen is selling its Beetles on a hip combination of nostalgia, design, and price. But Metro VW in Irving has launched its own campaign that carries a distinctively Dallas attitude. The DART bus ads, created by Bedford Advertising, feature a busty blonde and captions such as “High Maintainence. Low Maintainence” and “Spends Your Money. Saves Your Money.” The spoofs are clever enough to have attracted national media attention, but will they sell cars? Well, duh.

Baby Lawyers Get Big Bucks

Competition from dot. coms and Silicon Valley create feeding frenzy for first-year talent.



THE TROUBLE STARTED when Silicon Valley firms began offering huge salaries to snare the lop law school graduates in the country. Then came all those pesky dot. coms just itching to snatch up lawyers with promises of soaring slocks and early retirement. And finally, there are all the other big firms in town scrambling to recruit- and keep-lop talent. Thai’s why many of Dallas’ biggest law firms and branches have made the decision to dole out up to $125,000 to hire first-year associates, up about 25 percent over last year. Along with that salary hike comes the need to raise the base pay and bonuses of second-, third, and fourth-year attorneys as well. That can lake a big chunk out ol’ partners’ profits.

In February, Vinson & Elkins raised its starting associates’ salary for the second time this year-to $115,000 dot.com clients, and the firm has also started its own venture fund. The firm, in turn. oilers equity shares to its associates to entice them to slay.

Gary Lawrence is a partner and managing director at Akin Gump Technology Ventures, a group within Akin, Gump. Strauss. Hauer & Feld, the sixth largest firm in the country. He says not a week goes by that he isn’t approached by a dot.com for an executive or general counsel position. And he confesses the offers have become increasingly attractive.

“It only takes one success story to make it intriguing.” Lawrence says.

dot. com clients are luring away his associates with promises of IPO splendor. The firm has to offer competitive salaries if il wants to successfully recruit and retain associates. And Vinson & Elkins is not alone. Mike Boone, co-founder of Haynes and Boone, declined to provide numbers but concedes that his firm is matching competitors’ salaries. However, he does see an end to the unprecedented pay-offs,

“You increase compensation and all it does is hit the bottom tine,” says Boone. ’”You can’t raise the hourly rales because the market and your clients won’t accept that. It means less income for the firm,”

Like its Silicon Valley counterparts. Haynes and Boone has begun to take equity positions in addition to-or in lieu of-legal fees from its dot.com clients, and the firm has also started its own venture fund. The firm, in turn. oilers equity shares to its associates to entice them to slay.

Gary Lawrence is a partner and managing director at Akin Gump Technology Ventures, a group within Akin, Gump. Strauss. Hauer & Feld, the sixth largest firm in the country. He says not a week goes by that he isn’t approached by a dot.com for an executive or general counsel position. And he confesses the offers have become increasingly attractive.

“It only takes one success story to make it intriguing.” Lawrence says.

Mavs Cedric Ceballos Wants To Be a (Rap) Star

But the athlete’s crossover may be ill timed.

BILLIONAIRE ENTREPRENEUR Mark Cuban may be inspiring the Mavericks more off the court than on it. Small forward and 10-year NBA veteran Cedric Ceballos hay decided to launch his own business, a recording label dubbed Handle Your Business Records. The first order of business the new label will handle is Ceballos’ first rap album, Enuff Said.

What qualifies Ceballos to star in his own recording? What doesn’t? Several of his fellow NBA-ers have already made their way into the rap game: 76er Allen lverson,Timherwolf Kevin Garnett, Trailblazer Rasheed Wallace, and Lakers Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant (O’Neal has even released a “Best of …” album).

“I always wanted to be an entertainer,” explains Ceballos. as if being a former NBA All- J Star and a perennial league ^1 leader in scoring and rebounding is not glory enough.

For all we know, Ceballos might be the next big-time rap star, but before he goes too far with the recording label, he probably should check with Cuban. The Broadcast.com founder might be able to tell him how MP3 technology on the Internet will affect record companies. When names like Warner, Sony, Universal, BMG, and EMI are running scared from a 5 month old Internet downloading device called Napster, it might not be the best time to jump into the business. Then again, with a 2-year contract worth $7,4 million Ceballos, doesn’t need us to worry about his business skills.

Basting the Body Beautiful

Basting the Body Beautiful

Naked art struts down the runway at the Body Painting Ball.

DALLAS NATIVES CANDY AND CHRIS SMITH, 30, ARE ON A mission: to transform the Dallas art world into a whirling, sexy, ultra-hip scene rivaling Manhattan’s East Village or SoHo. The identical twin sisters and artists say that the influx. of Intemet-employed thirty somethings provides a new audience for experimental and sometimes provocative performance art. “The Internet is bringing an international crowd to Dallas, and they are bored oui of their minds.” Candy says. “People are ready for something other than dinner and a movie, and they’ll pay to do it.”

Candy and Chris are the daughters of long-time civic leader Forrest Smith and graduates of the Dallas Arts Magnet School. They have been performing since the first grade. Their latest and most titillating exhibition was the Body Painting Ball, a show that melded film, dance, stage, and artistry into a three-dimensional, very physical brand of expression,

“I wanted the artists to push past their fear of using a human as a canvas,” Candy explained. “1 had a conception of the body as a canvas for temporary art”.

Fortunately for the standing-room-only crowd of 528 people al the Deep Ellum Center for the Arts (DECA), the artists did not disappoint The show raised $11,(100 in ticket sales to benefit DECA, where Chris serves as executive director. A coffee table book and documentary are in the works.

WHAT PEOPLE ARE READING



TINCY MILLER, State Board of Education member and community volunteer: Henry F. Du Pont and Winterthur: A Daughter’s Portrait, by Ruth Lord. “This is a history of the Du Pont family.

Winterthur is the unrivaled center of American decorative art. There are 175 rooms.” She’s also reading Tuesdays with Morrie, by Mitch Albom, and The Brethren, by John Grisham. “I read two or three at a time.”



ART LOMENICK, Post roperties: Buffett: Vie Making of an merican Capitalist, by Roger Lowenstein. “I’m reading this because Post is a public company, so anything regarding Wall Street is interesting to me.”



TED PILLSBURY, Pillsbury & Peters Fine , Art: The Journals of Sylvia Plath. “It’s a must read!”



BILL MCCORMACK, managing partner, Hughes and Luce: In the Beginning… Was the Command Line. by Neal Stephenson. “I’m reading to get more information on the Internet. What’s between two covers is magic. It can inform you and totally transport you unlike any other medium.”

Sole Searching

Fendi treads on the heels of last season’s drab colors, changing its spring prints to bright florals and geometric shapes. E. 61st Street. Hand-painted thong, $310. Lizard slide. $495. Fendi needle- point mule, $535.

This shoe boutique’s ultra-mod fashions step into the 21st century. From European styles to Japanese asymmetrical, fashion forwards will love this stop. ARTISTi NIKOLINI, Patent leather anatomic toe sandal, $175. Red patent leather mule, $170.

Dallas shoe designer. Krista de la Harpe, sized up regally when she was commissioned to make the now Queen of Uganda’s wedding shoes. Since de la Harpe cobbles her own creations, it takes eight to 12 weeks to get a pair on, but it’s well worth the wait. Krista de la Harpe Shoe Salon. Pink “Clemmie” sandal. $185. Gray handbeaded “Janice Garner” slide, $230. “Bnvized Beauty ” slide with wedged heel, $200.

5 HOT SPOTS FOR COOL FUN

Get a head start on summer by making reservations now for some of Dallas’ most papular getaways.



THE HEIGHT OF GOOD TASTE.

Drink rare wines, hike, and dance until dawn at the annual Food & Wine magazine Classic in Aspen, Colo. The most prestigious international food-and-wine event draws leading chefs and wine authorities Andrea Immer and Joshua Wesson. June 9-11. 877-900-WINE.



REFRESH THE MIND.

Shakespeare. Dante. Austen. Reacquaint your brain with the world’s greatest artists. St. John’s College in Santa Fe, N.M., offers weeklong seminars on classical literature and music. July-Aug. 505-984-6104 or www.sjcsf.edu.



HIGH-ALTITUDE HEAT.

Colorado gives Texas cuisine a run for its money at Vail’s Southwest Chili Fest. Visitors enjoy live music, an Old West shoot-out, and chili made by local restaurants. Maybe they can’t compete with Texas chili, but who can beat the beauty of Vail? June 24. 970-476-1000 x, 3015 or www.visitvailvalley.com.



FLOATING FIRST CLASS.

Leave the city for the isolated back country of Idaho. Raft the staggering 8,000-foot drop from Devil’s Mountain to the Snake River-one of nature’s most beautiful gorges. Everything-even a floating pontoon bar-is included. 800-262-1882 or www.hughesriver.com.



FLYCASTING FANTASY. School is in session on the Pecos River, an hour outside of Santa Fe, N.M. Cast your first fly or study new techniques with Instructors from Santa Fe Flyfishers. Hike or ride horseback along the company’s private stretch of the river. 800-555-7707.

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