We just wanted to take a moment to thank everyone who took our Above the Law reader survey (which is now closed). We obtained some interesting demographic data about the ATL audience, which you can access if you’re curious in our media kit (PDF). You also provided us with helpful feedback and suggestions.
In terms of the demographic data, here are some highlights:
Region: 97 percent of you live in the U.S. and Canada, 16 percent in New York City, and 14 percent in Washington, DC. Quelle surprise.
Median Age: 29. No Metamucil ads here!
Average annual household income: $99,000. Darn, guys, we just missed six figures! You law students and law clerks are draggin’ us down (but we love you anyway).
By the way, the conventional wisdom still holds true: If money is your main motivation, you’re better off in finance than in law. The annual HHI of readers of our big brother blog, DealBreaker, is $206,000 (higher than the salary of every federal judge save the Chief Justice).
Education: DealBreaker readers may be richer; but you guys are smarter. Ninety-eight percent of you have a bachelor’s degree or higher, and 72 percent of you have a master’s, JD, or PhD. (The comparable figures for DB: 94 percent and 39 percent, respectively.)
Consumer Habits: You people are lushes — in the past 7 days, 81 percent of you have consumed an alcoholic beverage. And you don’t go to the gym enough: only 49 percent have been in the past week.
(The Wall Streeters over at DB are in better shape: 68 percent have been to the gym in the past 7 days. But they also drink more: 90 percent have had a tipple in the past week.)
As for your reader feedback, we’ve collected some of the more interesting comments, which we reproduce after the jump.
For those of you who missed the survey, we’d still like to hear from you. Please treat this post as an open thread for your random rants or raves about ATL. Such information helps us do our job better. Thanks!
We’ve received some inquiries about the fate of our previously announced Law School Dean Hotties Contest. In case you’re wondering: No, you didn’t miss the nominees. We’ve been meaning to announce them for the longest time. It’s just that we’ve just been insanely busy, on the road a lot, and sleep-deprived. And putting together hottie nomination posts, with their many photos and testimonials, is quite time-consuming. (Yeah, we know, cry us a river.)
But we will announce the nominees soon. So check back later today or tomorrow, to find out the contenders for the title of America’s hottest law school dean.
In the course of reviewing the LSD hottie nominations, we noticed a striking resemblance between the young Howard Dean and one of your nominated hotties, Deputy Dean Jed Rubenfeld of Yale Law School. Check it out below….
Another weekend, another out-of-town excursion. In a few hours, we’re heading back up to the Big Apple, to attend events at the New Yorker Festival. A brief description of the Festival, from its website:
The New Yorker Festival returns for its seventh year, from October 6th through October 8th, in a celebratory weekend of public discourse on arts and ideas. The three-day schedule of events encompasses readings, musical performances, interviews, debates, and excursions around New York City.
If you happen to be attending the Festival too, please come up and say hello. We’ll be at these events:
We’re especially looking forward to the appearance of Justice Stephen G. Breyer, whom we’ve never seen up close and personal.* Justice Breyer will be interviewed by Jeffrey Toobin — who, for obvious reasons, is one of our favorite legal journalists (or writers of any type, period). Last year we attended Jeff Toobin’s interview of Edie Falco, which was nothing short of brilliant — one of the best live interviews we’ve ever attended (and we’ve attended many over the years; we’re interview junkies).
Our excitement about seeing Justice Breyer has only increased since we realized, earlier today, that he looks like an older version of one of our favorite screenwriters and actors: the phenomentally talented, unfailingly hilarious Mike White, who wrote and acted in Chuck & Buck, The Good Girl, and The School of Rock (among many other films).**
Check it out. Here’s the ocular proof:
We were originally going to these comments in the comments. But we found ourselves going on for a while, so we figured we might as well do a post on it — and have it count towards our daily postcount quota target.
To Anonymous 1:05 PM: Doing your own blog and spending half an hour a day writing for ATL aren’t mutually exclusive. Why not do your own blog, then link frequently to it in Non-Sequiturs? That way you’d have thousands of people reading you instead of just a few dozen (if you’re lucky; many personal blogs have fewer than 50 readers).
Also, remember that Morning Docket and Non-Sequiturs will carry your byline. Unlike many blogs, where interns do the drafting but don’t get writing credit, the MD and NS posts will be signed by you. Everyone will know they’re being entertained by your brillant wit. (Note: If you prefer to write under a pseudonym, though, we’re happy to accommodate you.)
To Anon 1:49 AM: The ATL postcount quota target is 10-12 posts a day; lately we’ve been falling short. If we had some assistance, then we’d be able to hit that target consistently. We could also do longer and more in-depth pieces, which we rarely get the chance to do these days.
There’s tons of legal news that we just never cover because of a lack of time. There are many fun and interesting stories that we miss, and lots of tips we never follow up on, because we’re running this blog all by ourselves. (At our former home, we had the help of a co-blogger, three interns, and a freelance photographer.)
Don’t get us wrong, this job is great fun — the most enjoyable job we’ve ever had. But if you think it’s not time-consuming, think again. It’s tons of work to (1) keep up with all of the reading (newspapers, legal newspapers, other blogs); (2) maintain email correspondence with readers, tipsters, and fellow bloggers; and (3) crank out 10-12 posts a day (some of which are supposed to be funny).
So please, consider applying to write either Non-Sequiturs or Morning Docket. Help put the “we” in “we” here at Above the Law!
Application details appear here (for Morning Docket) and here (for Non-Sequiturs) Please submit your materials before Friday, October 6, at 5 p.m. Thanks!
Just as we’re looking for a writer for Morning Docket (thanks for your applications thus far), we’re looking for someone with a way with words — and an impeccable comic sensibility — to take over Non-Sequiturs.
Non-Sequiturs is our end-of-the-day linkwrap passing along funny or interesting links, prefaced by brief and amusing commentary. Witty writing is important, but good taste is just as critical. You should have an eye for amusing, quirky, thought-provoking material. If you can find a way to tie your items together thematically, that’s even better.
Oh yes, timing. Just as Morning Docket should be up by 9 a.m., Non-Sequiturs should generally be ready by 5 p.m. each day. But we would coordinate this with the publishing of other posts, and there would be some flexibility here.
One nice thing about Non-Sequiturs is that you get to dispense ATL link love — to your friends, your family, or your own blog. See, e.g., Ted Frank’s recent NS post. Just don’t abuse your exalted position (haha) by linking to blog posts by your aunt that have nothing to do with law. And don’t give away links in exchange for bribes (or if you do, please deal us in).
Interested in this fun, quasi-influential writing position? To apply, please email us (subject line: “Non-Sequiturs”). Please include (1) a brief blurb introducing yourself, and (2) an example of how one of your Non-Sequiturs posts might look. For more application details, look back at our help wanted post for Morning Docket.
One more thing: Your byline will appear with each NS post, so you will receive recognition for your efforts. You can use your actual name or a pseudonym, whichever you prefer.
We look forward to hearing from you!
Good morning. David Lat is in Bumrungrad International Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand for the weekend for what has been euphemistically called “elective surgery.” Rest assured, D-Lat will return Monday, safe, sound, and happy to blog, if having to sit on a comfy pillow to do so, and we should all be supportive of the very difficult decisions involved.
In the interim, Lat has asked me to fill in a few posts this Friday, and I’ll start by introducing myself. My name is Ted Frank. Some fifteen years ago, I correctly identified the sequence at which Victoria, William, Xavier, Yolanda, and Zachary were seated at a circular table, filled in all corresponding ovals correctly, and was rewarded with a wheelbarrow of money to attend law school in a variety of bad neighborhoods in Connecticut and Massachusetts and Illinois. Because law interested me as a public-policy mechanism, I picked up a copy of The Economics of Justice while I was in a Chicago bookstore visiting that school, and smitten enough to decide to go there on what they called a “Public Service Scholarship.” A year of clerking and a dozen years of BigLaw taught me that litigation incentives actually create miserable public-policy results, and I’ve been writing about this problem on Walter Olson’s Overlawyered blog since 2003 and the Point of Law blog since 2004. In 2005, the American Enterprise Institute invited me to run their Liability Project directing research on the tort system and its effects; it’s a pay-cut, but the issue is important to me, and then there’s the whole Jewish guilt thing over not yet having done the public service I had hypothetically been awarded a scholarship for. And all of this has culminated in today’s guest-blogging opportunity on Above the Law, surely the highlight of my career, and worth a tenth of a point if Lat ever scores my wedding. More after the jump.
ATL sends its warmest congratulations to Judge Diarmuid F. O’Scannlain,* of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit! This month, Judge O’Scannlain celebrates twenty years on the federal bench. During two decades of distiinguished service, Judge O’Scannlain has established himself as a shining star in the federal judicial firmament.**
We had the honor and pleasure of clerking for Judge O’Scannlain during the 1999-2000 judicial year. He was a wonderful boss to us and our co-clerks, and he continues to be a great mentor and friend to this day. (He’s also quite handsome, in a Paul Newman sort of way; see photo at right.)
This weekend, Judge O’Scannlain is celebrating his federal judicial “anniversary” with a reunion of his law clerks. In a few hours, we’ll be leaving for the airport to catch a flight to Portland, Oregon.
We’ll be spending much of today in an airplane. But fear not, ATL readers: we have arranged for a brilliant and hilarious guest blogger to entertain you in our absence. We’ll be back over the weekend or on Monday. Happy Friday!
* Not that you’d be calling him by his first name (unless you’re a fellow Article III judge), but in case you’re curious, “Diarmuid” is pronounced DEER-mid. See here. “O’Scannlain” is pronounced o-SCAN-lin.
** Also celebrating his 20th judicial anniversary this month: Justice Antonin Scalia, a good friend of Judge O’Scannlain (and regular recipient of O’Scannlain clerks in his chambers). Justice Scalia received his commission as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court on September 25, 1986; Judge O’Scannlain received his Ninth Circuit commission the following day.
We’re having a bit of a slow morning (as well as technical issues), for which we apologize. Please bear with us.
Today we’re traveling — not just leaving our apartment, which is a form of travel, but actually visiting another city in another state. Crazy, we know.
Unfortunately, our internet connection is experiencing “issues.”* So we may need to go in search of a Starbucks.
In the meantime, while you wait for us to slap up new procrastination material, why not explore our archives, to see what we’ve written in the past about your favorite law firm or judge? Click here, then scroll down — no, farther down — for the category listings.
Or, better yet, why not take our reader survey? You can access the survey via the links in this post. The good news is that we should soon have the number of responses that we need, at which point we will stop bothering you about this. Thanks!
* A quintessentially “New York” story. We once went to an Asian fusion restaurant in Manhattan with a group of friends. One person didn’t like her soup, perhaps too adventurous for her tastes (she was from what some of you call “flyover country”). So another friend calls over the waitress and says: “Excuse me, but would she perhaps be able to get something else? She’s having some ‘issues’ with her soup.”
(Said “issues” were quickly resolved with the provision of a salad to the discontented diner.) Earlier: Survey Says: “Please Do Me!” Fun With Surveys: Show Us How Smart You Are
Since fall is job hunting season in the legal profession, both in terms of firm jobs and judicial clerkships, ATL offers you this “public service announcement”: our top ten interview tips.
We’ve received requests for interview advice from readers. Rather than repeat ourselves in emails, we thought we’d just write our “wisdom” down in a single post. It’s essentialy an outgrowth of our continuing series of Interview Horror Stories, which give you an idea of what NOT to do during a job interview.
1. Review your social networking site profiles (if any) for appropriateness. Here’s what one reader had to say:
Guess what. People making hiring and career decisions about you can indeed use Google, MySpace, Friendster, Facebook, etc. So can clients who are paying $300 or more per hour for your services. To the extent possible, you might want to make an effort to make yourself appear halfway professional. Or at least get rid of the materials that make you look like a drunken fool.
Yeah, that picture of you chugging a forty is pretty funny — but you should probably remove it. See alsothis cautionary tale, from the New York Times.
2. Make sure your breath is fresh. Please, don’t inflict halitosis upon your interviewer. You can check your breath by breathing into your cupped hand and sniffing (quasi-gross, but effective). Bring along a tiny packet of those Listerine strips, which you can pop discreetly when needed.
3. No gum during the interview. Bad breath is verboten; but so is chewing gum, even of the breath-freshening kind. We shouldn’t have to tell you this, but we do.
And don’t try the trick of sticking it in an upper corner of your mouth, so you can resume chewing it later; it can affect your speech. When the interview is done, treat yourself to a fresh piece. You deserve it!
4. Get Them to Start Talking About Themselves. This is everyone’s favorite topic. They are as bored with you as you are with them, so avoid you and make it about them. (Gavel bang: John Carney, a former practicing lawyer and editor of DealBreaker, our big brother blog.)
5. Cologne or Perfume? Probably safest not to — especially if you’re interviewing with this guy (he bans it in chambers).
If you do, select a subtle scent — e.g., not Drakkar Noir — and use it sparingly. (We like Eau d’Orange Verte by Hermès.)
Oh, but a resounding “yes” to showering — and deodorant.
The rest of our interview advice appears after the jump.
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When Chintan Panchal decided to leave a global BigLaw partnership to start his own firm, he could only hope that he would face the high-quality problem of firm building that many had cautioned him about. Focused on the uncertainty surrounding of a new firm launch, he decided to tackle staffing needs, IT challenges, and financial planning requirements after he had built up his legal practice.
Panchal Associates LLP–a corporate/finance and outside general counsel boutique–was quickly off to a great start. Clients and matters were flying in the door, and Chintan soon had a team of lawyers and staff with a variety of operational needs. To continue building an excellent team and provide them with a competitive benefits package, to expand his physical presence to include a European practice and additional partners, and to scale his operations and IT capabilities to support this growing enterprise brought with it demands of time, money, and expertise. Chintan knew he needed help.
“With the assistance of NexFirm, we have upgraded the capabilities of our firm to meet, and in some cases exceed, the standards we were used to at our former BigLaw firms. Operationally, we can now attract and service clients we didn’t have the bandwidth to support in the past, and continue to build our team with the best and brightest legal talent in the industry,” said Chintan Panchal, adding “It has worked out quite well in our case; NexFirm is an essential partner for us.”
The holiday season is upon us, and yet again, you have no idea what to get for the fickle lawyer in your life. We’re here to help. Even if your bonus check hasn’t arrived yet, any one of the gifts we’ve highlighted here could be a worthy substitute until your employer decides to make it rain.
We’ve got an eclectic selection for you to choose from, so settle in by that stack of documents yet to be reviewed and dig in…
The traditional job application and interview process can be impersonal, and applicants often struggle to present themselves as more than just the sum of their GPAs, alma maters, and previous work history. ATL has partnered with ViewYou to help job seekers overcome this challenge. ViewYou NOW Profiles offer a unique way for job seekers to make a personal, memorable connection with prospective employers: introduction videos. These videos allow job candidates to display their personalities, interpersonal skills, and professional interests, creating an eDossier to brand themselves to potential employers all over the world. Check it out today!