It’s the last day of December, so it’s a good time to look back on the year that was. We’ll do what we’ve done for the past three years (wrap-up posts from 2009, 2010, and 2011 can be found here, here, and here) and identify the ten biggest stories of the past year as decided by you, our readers. With the help of Google Analytics, we’ve compiled a list of our top ten posts for 2012, based on traffic (as represented by pageviews).
By the way, for the third year in a row, the most popular category page on Above the Law was Law Schools. People have now been intensely focused on the declining value proposition of going to law school for as long as it takes to earn a Juris Doctor degree. Isn’t it time that we graduate from the current educational model?
The second and third most-popular categories on ATL in 2012 were Biglaw and Bonuses. Although this year brought us the largest law firm failure ever, nearly all other firms indiscriminately doled out offers to summer associates, and bonus season looked better for the first time in years. While the legal profession is still in transition, things are certainly looking up, and through the highs and the lows, we’ve been there to cover it all.
So what were the ten most popular individual posts at Above the Law in 2012? Let’s find out….
Here they are, in ascending order of popularity; click on the title of each post to be taken to the original story.
10. Lil Wayne Is Quite Possibly the Best Deponent of All Time: Depositions usually aren’t very exciting, but every now and then, you get a gem that’s worthy of public fanfare from the legal world. Given the substance of these leaked deposition clips (courtesy of TMZ), it’s fair to say that Lil Wayne thinks he’s above the law.
9. Lesbian Law Student’s Explicit Law Firm Sex Diary Goes Public: This past summer, a law student thought it would be a good idea to write about her sex life online, in graphic detail, where everyone could read about all of the hot lesbian action that she’d been getting as a summer associate at a law firm. Oh là là, très sexy!
8. ‘[Bleep] With Me And You Will Have A Huge [Bleep]hole,’ Warns Biglaw Partner: When attempting to schedule a deposition via email, Martin Sweeney, a Cozen O’Connor partner, had several choice names for opposing counsel (e.g., “pansy,” “p**sy,” and “ignorant slut”). He then warned fellow email recipients like so: “[Bleep] with me and you will have a huge [bleep]hole.” Alas, Sweeney ended up with the huge [bleep]hole — he’s no longer a partner at the firm. (And he’s currently in fourth place in our Lawyer of the Year competition).
7. Law Revue Video Contest 2012: The Finalists! This year, 23 law schools submitted 31 videos for our annual law revue video contest. Some of them were funny, some of them were “meh,” and some of them made us want to cry. There was some fierce competition when it came time to vote for your favorites, but in the end, an Ivy League law school stole the show. Feel free to watch the videos again for some legal entertainment.
6. A Law School Love Story: Prominent Professor Marries Columbia 3L: What happens when a law professor who’s been described as “the James Bond of Columbia Law School” marries one of his students in a ceremony officiated by Justice Elena Kagan at the Supreme Court of the United States? Rumors and juicy gossip galore! Leave it to your editors at ATL to cover heartwarming general interest stories like this one.
5. Breaking: Cravath Announces Year-End Bonuses; Let the 2012 Bonus Season Begin! Cravath kicked off this year’s Biglaw bonus season on November 26, announcing bonuses that were more generous than in years past (though some would argue we’ve not yet returned to the pre-recession “salad days” of bonuses). On the bright side, Cravath made payouts on December 21, instead of pushing their associates over the fiscal cliff.
4. A Quinn Emanuel Partner’s Lecherous ‘Reply All’: Oh, the dangers of email. We certainly admire this Quinn Emanuel partner’s “gumption.” Commercial litigator Kevin Reed sent out a lecherous — and now infamous — reply-all to the entire New York office of the firm, applauding a colleague’s “tight dress.” Scandalous!
3. Departure Memo of the Day: Parenting Gets The Best Of One Biglaw Associate: This former Biglaw attorney rocked the legal world with her epic departure memo. The memo went viral, with mentions everywhere from the Huffington Post to the New York Times, and made many people question their own sense of work/life balance. (FYI: The Clifford Chance Mommy is currently in second place in our Lawyer of the Year competition.)
2. The U.S. News Law School Rankings Are Out! In a profession obsessed with prestige, who doesn’t love this list? The post announcing the arrival of U.S. News & World Report’s influential law-school rankings always makes our top ten stories — in 2009, it took fourth place; in 2010, it placed third; in 2011, it took the top slot. This year, it’s our silver medalist. From the crème de la crème to the new and improved “second tier,” prospective law students, lawyers, and legal educators will continue to salivate over the U.S. News rankings.
1. Cam Girl Pleasures Herself In A Top Law School’s Library: An amateur porn star. A top law school library. A 43 minute and 43 second video of a woman masturbating and massaging her breasts for an online audience. As can be expected, this winning combination resulted in orgasmic pageviews. The video was deleted, but your ATL editors had the foresight to take screen shots of all the action. Consider this 2012′s happy ending.
We hope you enjoyed this look back at the ten most popular stories of 2012. If you have a favorite Above the Law story from the past year that didn’t crack the top ten, please feel free to give it a mention in the comments.
And now for a brief programming note: Since Tuesday is the federal holiday for New Year’s Day, we won’t be publishing much (if at all) between now and Wednesday, January 2. Happy New Year! We’ll see you in 2013!