Blogging, In-House Counsel, Media and Journalism

Join An Online Celebration!

My column at Above the Law turns three today. Let’s celebrate!

What are the coolest websites for you to visit?

If you never watched this episode of “Old Jews Telling Jokes,” then you missed a treat. Turn down the volume and click through; it’s my birthday!

If you’re not a connoisseur of lowbrow humor, then click here and play the geography game instead! If you’re even slightly nerdy, it’ll entertain you for hours. Go ahead, it’s my birthday!

If you don’t like jokes or games, then you’re a stiff. No matter; you can join the party anyway! One website guaranteed to fascinate stiffs has created some remarkable maps; I’ve linked here to one showing all nuclear explosions since 1945. If that map doesn’t tickle you, click through the categories and find others that do. Go ahead; it’s my birthday!

Where else? Click here . . . .

Man, was that a con, or what? The last click before the jump (repeated here) was to one of the cutest columns that I’ve written at Above the Law, and it deserves more readers. Unless I miss my guess, it just got some.

But that’s just my opinion about my best column, what are yours?

In three years, I’ve written 215 columns for Above the Law, and folks have clicked through to “continue reading” those columns more than 1.3 million times. (I think I’ve just stumbled onto the blogger’s prayer: “May your finger get tired before I run out of ideas.”)

Which of my columns were most widely read?

It kills me that this remains my most popular column of all time. That column was a cheat to begin with, and my scam artificially inflated my pageviews. I suppose that’s good for advertising revenue at Above the Law, but it leaves me a little disappointed.

In contrast, my second most popular column served a purpose. The kid is now happily employed as an associate at one of the world’s leading law firms, and we know for a fact that my little ditty landed him the job. Not bad, if I do say so myself.

Number three on my personal hit parade — “How To Be A Crappy Partner” — was of course meant to be an educational piece. I think it’s worked! My sense is that law firm associates are now even more miserable than they were when I published the column more than two years ago! That gives a true sense of satisfaction.

But enough of opinions; what about facts?

When I read news articles about people disclosing personal information on the web, I always feel a twinge of guilt. I reveal more about myself online than any rational person would. If you’re a regular reader of my columns, then you know an awful lot about me, including (1) where I went to school, (2) my grades after my first semester of law school, (3) the judge for whom I clerked, (4) my entire work history, (5) the names of each of the four books I’ve written, (6) what I look like, (7) my height and weight and how my weight has changed over time, (8) where I jog every morning, and (9) my son’s name and where my daughter goes to school.

When you’re both desperate for material and a self-centered pig, I guess you incidentally reveal a lot about yourself as you write. I sure hope that none of my readers are hunting me down; I’ve made myself an easy target. (Actually, judging from the comments that some of you post, my hope about my readers may be misguided.)

What more is there to say on this, my happy day when I turn three?

First: If you like the columns, you’ll love the book! Inside Straight: Advice About Lawyering, In-House And Out, That Only The Internet Could Provide; buy a copy today! Who knows how long that puppy will remain in print?

Second, of course: Thank you.

I appreciate your correspondence, your thoughts, and even your vitriol. (I especially liked the commenter who suggested that I should subtitle my book: Inside Straight: The Annoying Ramblings Of An Uber Douche. I really don’t think I’d have come up with that one on my own, and the suggestion did make its way past the ABA’s editors and into the published version of the book.)

Finally, and more than anything else, I appreciate your readership. Thanks for visiting; you’ve made these last three years a blast.

Enjoy the party!

Mark Herrmann is the Chief Counsel – Litigation and Global Chief Compliance Officer at Aon, the world’s leading provider of risk management services, insurance and reinsurance brokerage, and human capital and management consulting. He is the author of The Curmudgeon’s Guide to Practicing Law and Inside Straight: Advice About Lawyering, In-House And Out, That Only The Internet Could Provide (affiliate links). You can reach him by email at

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