Art

Lawyers, have you been looking for a unique way to do some self-branding? Of course, we don’t mean that you should literally brand yourself, but this Mexican lawyer did just that. She turned herself into a walking piece of art, and is now known as the “Vampire Woman” by her colleagues in the tattoo and body modification industry.

We know what you must be thinking: “Aren’t female vampires supposed to be sexy?” That might be the case on True Blood, but we’re not so sure about this girl. They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but the Vampire Woman’s look makes us wonder whether she’s capable of keeping clients from running out of her office screaming. Don’t believe us? See for yourself….

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I know why the caged bird tweets.

* Here’s a nice round-up of some of the most controversial laws that will be enacted in 2012. Looks like California is going to have some fabulously multicultural litigation. [Associated Press]

* What do you get when you cross an artist with a penchant for Rastafarians with the son of a Boies Schiller name partner? The biggest copyright fair use appeal ever. [New York Times]

* A Massachusetts town paid Phoebe Prince’s family only $225K to settle. With lawyer’s fees, it’s almost not even worth suing if your kid gets bullied to death. [ABC News]

* Everyone is going cuckoo over Iowa’s conservatives, even the Eighth Circuit. Iowa Law’s former dean is facing a political discrimination suit. [WSJ Law Blog]

* Apparently, this PhoneDog Twitter account case is a pretty big deal in the world of social media law. I’ll turn discussion of this issue over to our social media expert, Brian Tannebaum. [CNN]

* An employee at a presumably small law firm in New York had her jaw shattered while a thief ransacked the office. Give this woman a bonus. Hell, give her a raise, too. [New York Post]

My worst day as an artist is better than my best day as a lawyer.

Nathan Sawaya, former Winston & Strawn attorney turned LEGO artist, commenting on his decision to leave his lucrative Biglaw career to play with toys. His latest exibition, The Art of the Brick, will be on display from December 2, 2011 – February 20, 2012 at the Morris Museum in New Jersey.

* Prop 8 proponents have standing. So, I guess the Ninth Circuit will now be looking at the merits of bigotry? [MetroWeekly]

* Five ways to get your clients to pay you faster. How did “breaking kneecaps” not make the list? [Open Forum]

* Ethics for cops. Not that I agree with her, but if my police force is reading Ayn Rand I’d be happy. Reading for cops > more shooting practice for cops. [Blue for Justice]

* As opposed to figuring out whether or not IMDB should have posted her age, I think this pissed off actress should be speaking out against the double standard that says women age like vinegar while men age like wine — wine that needs a special pill to pop its cork as it gets older. [Not So Private Parts / Forbes]

* We’re still trying to figure out which works of art the Nazis stole from whom and what is to be done about it. Every now and again, it’s important to step back and remember there are the Nazis, and then there’s everyone else. [ArtNews]

* If he keeps this up, Kunta Kinte is going to have to shove the Reading Rainbow right up Herman Cain’s ass to remind him of the hundreds of years leaders fought and died so that black people were allowed to read. [Hufffington Post]

For editorial use only.

When I signed on to write full-time for Above the Law, I thought that I might be able to make some of our readers and commenters see the sunnier side of things at lower-ranked law schools. I had a very positive experience, and I don’t have very many regrets about the school I chose to attend.

But sometimes lower-ranked law schools do things that make even me cringe.

News came to us that the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law has created what the school is calling an Illustrated Law Journal. UDC Law’s new journal aspires to provide visual illustrations of laws and legal concepts so that laypeople and jurists can get a handle on the law in the world around them.

In other words: “Hey John Q. Public, you’re pretty dumb, here’s a comic book about law.”

When about 95% of the legal profession is centered around the written word, why do we need a coloring book law journal?

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We spend a lot of time with soon-to-be-unemployed 3Ls who are looking for some way to express their dissatisfaction with their law school and the career services they received. When people pay or borrow over $100K for three years of legal education and their employment future still comes down to how they perform during McDonald’s supersized hiring day, it makes people bitter.

Recently, UVA Law students have been putting in requests to be named Kings of the Bitters. We understand that their T-shirt based protests continue (can a brother get a link to buy a shirt?). We don’t know how effective they’ve been at steering 0Ls away from UVA Law, but then again, it seems like the only thing that effectively impacts 0L decision making is more paperwork.

Once you get to law school, you realize that the important pieces of paper are the ones you get in the mail informing you whether or not you have a job. But many UVA Law students are receiving thin rejection letters. One student pushed all of his rejection papers together into perhaps the most creative display of student dissatisfaction we’ve seen during the recession.

The 3L has taken the marble facade off of one top law school, exposing the sad reality lying underneath…

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Associates are under a lot of pressure these days. But we applaud those junior lawyers who respond to the current demands with initiative and creativity. We found just such an associate in Toronto.

The man’s problems seem trivial to the outside world. His office is crappy. He needs an upgrade, but not because he wants to feel like he’s some hotshot. He just knows that he has to look like a hotshot in order to generate business. This is how he explains it on a Craigslist post:

I work in a large Bay Street law firm. Many of my partners and clients have extensive collections of original artwork. As a struggling associate with a mortgage, no job security and a wife with a penchant for running into things with our car, I cannot afford to buy original artwork myself, so I appear low-rent to the higher-ups. Given the high standards of my clients and partners, I also cannot go out and buy prints or copies of original art – I will be laughed into the unemployment line.

A lot of associates would have noted the problem and left it at that. Maybe they would have gone home crying to their mothers about life’s unfairness. But not this kid…

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Christopher Boutlier, male model turned interior designer.

Over the long weekend, the Washington Post magazine treated us to a delicious inside look at the gorgeous home of Christopher Boutlier, an interior designer, and his partner, Aaron Flynn — a lawyer. Flynn practices environmental and administrative law in the D.C. office of Hunton & Williams.

Flynn may be a mere associate, but he lives like a partner: he resides in D.C.’s desirable Dupont Circle neighborhood, in an 1,110-square-foot condominium; he has an art collection; and he sleeps with a model. (The fine-featured Boutlier was a model before becoming an interior decorator.)

So just how fabulous is their apartment?

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Alfred Steiner, artist and MoFo associate

Morrison & Foerster tends to attract quirky types. The firm is demonstrably offbeat, from its mildly bizarre website to its embracing the moniker “MoFo.” So we were not particularly surprised when an artist type auctioning off a piece of conceptual art on eBay turned out to be a lawyer from the firm.

Alfred Steiner is a tech and IP lawyer in MoFo’s New York office. He described the piece to us thusly:

In a conceptually reductive context where works are increasingly defined more by an agreement between artist and collector (whether written or oral, tacit or explicit) than by the tangible manifestation of the work itself, what would a work become if it were reduced to be coextensive with that agreement, that is, if that agreement were the work itself?

Yup, the piece of art is a contract. What we were surprised by was how much a contract from a Morrison & Foerster attorney went for on eBay…

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To those of you who celebrate it, Happy Easter!

Last year we gave you a law-related Peeps creation, by lawyer Frank Salamone. We continue the tradition this year:

So, what’s the backstory behind this year’s Peeps diorama?

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