Think back, if you can, to August 30, 2006. It was a very different time: George W. Bush was still president, the economy was still booming (even if some of that prosperity was illusory), and the starting salary for most associates in large New York law firms stood at $145,000.

It was on this date that Above the Law first launched. Check out Lat’s letter from the editor, announcing ATL’s debut. Many of the features mentioned in that letter — Legal Eagle Wedding Watch, Lawyerly Lairs, The Eyes of the Law — are still staples of the site today. (Others have morphed a bit. For example, we no longer make fun of other people’s advice columns; we instead publish one of our own, Marin’s Pls Hndle Thx.)

Today we are delighted to be celebrating ATL’s fourth birthday (or “blogiversary,” as some in the blogosphere like to say; but the word “blogiversary” is even uglier than the word “blogosphere”). We’d like to thank all of you — our readers, our tipsters, our sponsors, and our friends — for your support over the years.

To celebrate and to thank you, we’ve decided to extend the special Gilt Groupe menswear sale for Above the Law readers (previously mentioned here). It was supposed to have ended yesterday, but due to popular demand — hundreds of items have been purchased, such as this Thomas Pink necktie that Lat bought, and many selections are sold out — we’re extending the sale through Thursday, September 2, at midnight. To browse the store, click here.

Once again, dear readers, thank you. This site would not be possible without your visits, your tips, and your generous patronage and support.

P.S. Several of our women readers have asked us when ATL will have a women’s wear sale. Fear not; we’re working on special deals for the ladies as well. Keep an eye out for them in the future.

For New Lawyers, the Going Rate Has Gone Up [New York Times]

Earlier: A Gilt Groupe Sale for Above the Law Readers
Happy Blogiversary to… Us! Above the Law Turns Three
Letter from the Editor: Welcome to Above the Law

The applications for our Morning Docket opening were so wonderful — and overwhelming (no more apps being accepted) — that we figured we’d go back to the well to fill another freelance position available here on Above the Law. We’re launching a column aimed at in-house counsel, and we’re looking for a writer.

We’ve done a lot of in-house coverage before, from the very good pay — e.g., Gregory Palm of Goldman Sachs; J. Michael Luttig of Boeing — to the occasional layoffs that rock that world.

But now we’re looking for someone who has been on the inside. Someone who has been a corporate consumer of legal services, not just a provider of them. Someone who has had the rare joy of calling up a partner in private practice, bossing him or her around at 4:30 p.m. on a Friday, and getting the desired work product by 8:00 a.m. on Monday. You know, someone who has lived the good life.

But we know the challenges a writer could face with this column. We know, for example, that pesky SEC rules could hamstring a writer who is currently employed at a large publicly held company. If you’re in a position where another lawyer at your company would probably have to review your column before publishing, this job probably isn’t right for you.

But maybe you used to work in-house and now have a private consulting practice, or an academic job? Or maybe you’re still in-house, but at a smaller enterprise? What we’re looking for is a person with experience of and insight into the world where lawyers protect the corporate shield (and sometimes make it home in time for dinner).

You can share your wit and insight with ATL’s thousands of readers (who may insult you; don’t take it personally). You can hone your writing skills (on the non-legal side). You can write under your own name or under a pseudonym (so long as you aren’t breaking any laws). And you will be paid (at a level commensurate with a freelance writing gig like this one).

If you’re interested, please send us your résumé or a brief bio, along with a cover email describing your vision for the column and how you’d make it appealing to corporate counsel readers. You can reach us at [email protected] (subject line: “In-House Column”).

Thanks for your interest. We look forward to hearing from you.

As I mentioned on Friday, today is my last day as a daily contributor at Above the Law. I’m off to write about The Not-So Private Parts for Forbes.

It’s been two and a half years since my first post for ATL. What have I learned about lawyers since? After the jump is a list of the top five things I’ve come to understand about the Esquired class.

Since I can’t find an inflatable slide here in the Above the Law offices, I’ve found inspiration in another viral departure story

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Departure Memo: Kashing Out”

From time to time, I find it necessary to give Above the Law readers an extended break from their tireless work as copy editors, issue spotters, and defenders of American values. That’s right — it’s time for me to go vacation.

What will I be doing? Well, to be honest, I’ve been inspired by the Bonobos ad campaign. It reminded me that there was a time when I was interested in a broad array of topics — like the behavioral proclivities of bonobo apes — that had nothing to do with the legal issues of the day. I used to care about things like ape sex, string theory, and Egyptian eunuchs. So I’m taking a bit of a cultural holiday. MoMa, Museum of Natural History, Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking, here I come….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Elie’s Semiannual Vacation Memo”

We’ve mentioned it before, but since it’s just a few days away, we wanted to issue a reminder about the Above the Law summer soiree. It’s taking place this coming Monday here in New York. You’re cordially invited to come have drinks and hors d’oeuvres with the ATL editors and your fellow readers.

The party is hosted by Above the Law and the Practical Law Company. Here are the details:

Monday, July 12, 2010
6 PM – whenever
Amity Hall (80 West 3rd Street, New York, NY 10012)

The event is free, but space is limited, with priority given to summer associates and law students. Please RSVP by email, to [email protected].

Thanks. We look forward to seeing you on the 12th.

Career Center AboveTheLaw Lateral Link ATL.jpgWe are pleased to announce the launch of our newly re-developed Career Center, featuring an enhanced design and completely updated firm profiles based on the results of the 2010 ATL / Lateral Link Career Center Associate Satisfaction survey.

Are you curious which firms are getting the most buzz? Which firms do people most want to work for? Want to compare firms on compensation, billable hours, partnership prospects, summer programs, maternity leave, etc.? Check out the revamped Career Center, powered by Lateral Link, for user generated insider information, and see how your colleagues and peers rank your firm and others. It’s like Yelp! for law firms!

On the updated Career Center, you will find out that this firm’s compensation includes a unique bonus program for associates who attract new business to the firm, this firm considers associates for partnership after a “refreshingly brief” four to seven years at the firm, and this firm’s unlimited pro bono policy results in its lawyers averaging over 160 pro bono hours annually.

We are still working out a couple bugs here and there so if you see any errors (in the site or the data), please email us.  As always, we encourage you to send information about your law firm experience by emailing us or by clicking the "Update Firm Data" button in each firm snapshot.

Ed. note: If you don’t access Above the Law through an RSS reader, or if you don’t even know what an RSS reader is, feel free to ignore this post.

To those of you who have been clamoring for a restoration of ATL’s full RSS feed, your pleas have not fallen on deaf ears. We’ve decided to bring back our non-truncated RSS feed. For more on why we experimented with an abridged RSS feed and why we’re restoring the full feed, see this post by our CEO here at Breaking Media, Jonah Bloom.

Of course, accessing ATL through an RSS reader isn’t the only way to enjoy the site. You can sign up for our email newsletter — which we’re going to be revamping and expanding in the next few weeks, by the way. You can also follow us on Twitter, where an automated feed of our stories is mixed in with handcrafted tweets (signed individually by your editors — “DL” for Lat, “EM” for Elie, and “KH” for Kash).

To our RSS subscribers, thanks for bearing with us during this trial period. We hope you enjoy the restoration of the full feed.

Testing a Truncated RSS Feed on Above the Law: The Results Are In [Breaking Media]
Newsletter Sign-Up [Above the Law]
Above the Law Twitter feed [Twitter]

While two of your ATL editors are stuck in unseasonably cold New York, Elie Mystal landed in Puerto Rico today to attend NALP’s Annual Education Conference. Judging from NALP’s website, it sounds like there was some controversy over the exotic location. They have a whole section devoted to “Why Puerto Rico?” (“It’s home to three NALP member law schools and a number of important legal employers.”)

Regardless, Elie is happy to be there, though also a little scared given some of the previous things he’s written about the organization. He’ll be filing posts based on sessions he attends, as well as covering the conference pithily in real time on the ATLblog Twitter feed.

Check out the conference schedule here and tweet at Elie and at ATL if there’s something you desperately want him to attend. Elie’s currently at the session on “Recruiting in the Aftermath of the Recession,” led by Frank Kimball of Kimball Professional Management and Helen Long, the director of legal recruiting at Ropes & Gray LLP. He tweets:

Recruiting in the aftermath of the recession. “aftermath”?? Yeah, this should be fun

Follow ATL on Twitter at atlblog. All of the editors of ATL are also on Twitter. Follow us at DavidLat, kashhill, and ElieNYC.

Earlier: We’re a Bunch of Tweeps

above the law logo.JPGIt’s time for Above the Law to start living in the now. We’ve been growing and growing, building on a platform that is so 2006. It’s time for us to embrace the brave new world of 2010.

We’re making two changes that we hope will make reading and interacting with Above the Law easier and less likely to result in a sexually transmitted disease. If you’ve been reading Above the Law over the past six weeks — thank you, we know we haven’t made it easy on you. We hope that these changes will ameliorate the recent problems and technical difficulties.

  • We’re changing our publishing platform to WordPress. We believe that WordPress is a better fit with our needs over time and will allow us to integrate additional ways to help you procrastinate.
  • We’re moving our commenting platform to Disqus. The Disqus platform should allow us to lessen the burden on our servers during traffic spikes. Disqus also represents our latest attempt to maintain our freewheeling comment threads without risking the lives of innocent civilians.

The Disqus platform requires you to register with a unique name and email address of your choosing. Perhaps, as many of our tipsters do, you have already set up a dummy email account? Perhaps you think it would be funny to use Grandma’s old Compuserv address? We don’t really care, Disqus isn’t going to spam you, and we won’t spam you.

As always, we will protect your anonymity, and we’re not going to sell the information you provide.

So, how exactly is this going to work?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Above the Law Steps into the Current Decade”

thank you post it note.JPGA quick word of thanks to this week’s advertisers on Above the Law:

If you’re interested in advertising on Above the Law or any other site in the Breaking Media network, download our media kits, or email [email protected]. Thanks!

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