Some have compared the world of large law firms to a gilded cage. The lawyers who toil for Biglaw may earn big bucks, but in exchange for the pay, they spend thousands of hours stuck in the office, shackled to their desks, deriving all their sustenance from Seamless.

So whose gilded cage is the most golden, the most elegant, the most comfortable? Welcome to Above the Law’s first-ever Lawyerly Lairs contest: a quest to discover the best law firm offices in America.

What do mean by “best”? Who is eligible to enter? How can entries be submitted?

Read on for the official contest rules and nomination guidelines….

There will be some subjectivity associated with the “best” office. Does that mean the fanciest and most fabulous one? The most comfortable and the most welcoming one? The one best designed to promote workplace efficiency? The “greenest” or most environmentally friendly one?

Answering these questions and balancing the different factors will be up to you, our readers. After we receive all the nominations, we will pick a slate of finalists and then turn it over to you for voting (just as we do with our other contests, such as our popular holiday card contest). The law firm office that receives the most votes will be crowned as our winner.

In terms of eligibility, we welcome nominations from firms of any size — small firms, midsize firms, or large firms. We expect many entries from Biglaw, given how much these firms spend on their digs, but we’re open to the possibility of a boutique firm’s beautiful and creative offices making the cut.

If you’d like to nominate an office, whether your own firm’s or another firm’s, please read — and scrupulously follow — these rules:

1. Please send all nominations BY EMAILnot by text message, not by hard-copy mail — to tips@abovethelaw.com, subject line “Lawyerly Lairs Contest.” (The reason we’re requiring email nominations will become clear when you read the rest of the rules.)

2. Please limit submissions to WORTHY CONTENDERS. Just because it’s your law firm’s office does not make it the best law firm office in America. We’re looking for offices that are especially beautiful, interesting, or cool — offices with unusual or unique features that can’t be found in any old office. A FLAVIA machine, while nice, does not qualify.

3. In your email, please include a BRIEF EXPLANATION of why this office is compelling. If you can’t offer an explanation, please rethink whether the office is a worthy contender (see rule #2, supra).

4. Please include, as ATTACHMENTS to your email, at least TWO PHOTOGRAPHS from your firm’s offices (but more than two are, of course, welcome). One photograph should feature a public area, such as a lobby or cafeteria or conference room, and one photograph should feature a personal area, such as an individual office (not necessarily your own office; feel free to send a picture of an office that you find particularly appealing). We will use these photographs when we present the nominees, so please be advised that your photos may appear on Above the Law.

5. The deadline for submissions is TUESDAY, AUGUST 21, at 11:59 PM (New York time). No exceptions. If you’re reading this post after the deadline, then you don’t read Above the Law frequently enough.

Feel free to email us with any questions. We look forward to your nominations.

UPDATE (8/30/2012): You can review and vote on the finalists here.


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