If you’ve ever been in a bookstore (and we hope that you have), you’ve seen the ubiquitous red Zagat guides, often situated right next to the checkout line to encourage impulse purchases. They’re wonderful resources for the restaurant-obsessed (note my avoidance of the f-word). The Zagat guides compile thousands upon thousands of user-generated reviews and distill them into clear, concise, often clever capsule reviews of restaurants in top cities around the world.

Last year, Google purchased Zagat for between $100 million to $200 million. That’s a pretty nice chunk of change — especially for a pair of former lawyers.

Yes, Tim and Nina Zagat are attorneys. Let’s learn about how they got their start….

At which leading law school did the Zagats meet? How did they come up with the idea for what turned into a nine-figure publishing empire? Courtesy of our friends at Bloomberg Law, here’s the video (in which interviewer Spencer Mazyck gets corrected by Tim Zagat in the first 30 seconds):

Very interesting! The Zagats both did time — a lot of time, in fact — at several top law firms. But their payday as publishers makes profits per partner look puny.

As we’ve written before, though, it’s not all about the benjamins. And based on Tim Zagat’s comments in the interview, discussing hobbies that turn into businesses, it sounds like he’d agree.

Congratulations to the Zagats on all of their success. As a loyal and longtime user of their guides, I know I’m glad they made the jump from law into something new and different.

Stealth Lawyers: The Zagats, Founders of Zagat Survey LLC [Bloomberg Law via YouTube]
In a Twist, Google Reviews Zagat, and Decides to Bite [New York Times]

Earlier: Career Alternatives for Attorneys: Perfumer
Career Alternatives for Attorneys: Comedian
Career Alternatives for Attorneys: Forager
Career Alternatives for Attorneys: Master of Wine


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