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ATL’s Lawyer of the Year (2010): The Winner!

Above the Law’s 2010 Lawyer of the Year contest is now over. Thanks to everyone who nominated a lawyer; thanks to our finalists, for being such accomplished and interesting individuals; and thanks to all the voters, who picked our victor.

Here are ATL’s past Lawyers of the Year:

Two famous figures, and one anonymous one. A man, a woman, and an individual of unknown gender.

For 2010, who will join their distinguished ranks? Let’s find out….

One quick note on methodology. We were on the fence about whether or not to combine David Boies and Ted Olson, who are working together in the fight for marriage equality in Perry v. Brown (formerly Perry v. Schwarzenegger, the Prop 8 case). After much deliberation, we decidedly to list Boies and Olson separately (for reasons explained in our prior post).

It now looks like this decision, even if erroneous, was an instance of harmless error. Our winners received more votes than Boies and Olson combined, so listing Boies and Olson together probably wouldn’t have made a difference.

Kyle McEntee (left) and Patrick Lynch (right), co-founders of Law School Transparency (LST).

Congratulations to Kyle McEntee and Patrick Lynch, co-founders of Law School Transparency! They are ATL’s Lawyers of the Year for 2010.

If you’re not familiar with Law School Transparency, here’s the mission statement, from the website of LST:

Law School Transparency’s goal is to help inform prospective law students about the value of a law degree by providing open access to ABA-approved law school employment information. To this end, our website functions as an employment information and data clearinghouse. We aim to help prospective law students sort through employment information to understand some aspects of beginning a career post-graduation. We have also begun an initiative to collaborate with law school administrators and the ABA in the creation of a new reporting standard.

LST’s proposed reporting standard for law school graduate employment data is quite robust — perhaps too robust for some law schools, which might want to hide the ball from prospective students about how grim their graduates’ job prospects are. But even if it’s not what is ultimately adopted, it provides a valuable starting point for discussion (by the American Bar Association and U.S. News, among others).

Now that the value proposition of going to law school is getting more attention — not just in the blogosphere but in the mainstream media, from outlets as prominent as the New York Times — hopefully the cause of law school transparency will pick up steam in 2011. If it does, LST will deserve much of the credit.

Congrats again to Patrick Lynch and Kyle McEntee. It’s easy to complain about or poke fun at law schools pulling the wool over students’ eyes — we do it quite often here at Above the Law — but it’s much harder to develop a concrete solution and push for its implementation, which is what McEntee and Lynch are doing. Gentlemen, we salute you.

P.S. If you’d like to learn about how you can help LST in 2011, click here.

Earlier: ATL Lawyer of the Year: The Finalists!
ATL Lawyer of the Year: Nominations Needed

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