ATL Idol

avatar Alex ATL Idol.jpg[Ed. note: This post is by ALEX, one of the finalists in ATL Idol, the "reality blogging" competition that will determine ATL's next editor. It is marked with Alex's avatar (at right).]
On-campus interviews are just around the corner. Biglaw firms are soldiering on with their recruiting efforts despite a crap economy. We can’t help but think, though, that recent layoffs and OCI cancellations have introduced a new level of anxiety into the process. Poor little 2ls; the gravy days are over. If it was critical before, it’s even more critical now: don’t mess up your interview.
It’s hard to say exactly what it takes to ace a 20-minute interview in a cramped hotel room or a cubbyhole in your law school. I’ve been on both sides of the ball for OCI, and I’m still not sure.
hot seat hotseat.jpgI had an interview as a law student where one of the two partners talked on his cell phone (loudly) in the bathroom while the other, feet resting on the bed, spoke without pause for 20 minutes about character. I didn’t say a word. I work at that firm now.
I’ve recommended that my firm hire less accomplished kids because they had funny hobbies and didn’t breath out of their mouths. And, as a general rule, I’ve nixed anyone who recited information from my bio.
The entire process is somewhat arbitrary. It really depends, in large part, on the personality of your interviewer. I think we can agree, however, that there are things that you should never say or do.
Tell us your OCI horror stories in the comments. Awful questions, awful answers, inappropriate comments, etc. We’ll post the best of the worst on Thursday.

avatar Exley ATL Idol.jpg[Ed. note: This is the farewell post of EXLEY, who was eliminated yesterday from ATL Idol, the "reality blogging" competition that will determine ATL's next editor. It is marked with Exley's avatar (at right).]
When I was a teenager, some of my classmates and I got bussed to a public high school 40 minutes away. We were part of a program for social outcasts who scored well on a couple of standardized IQ tests, and we applied all of our angst and intellect to harassing our bus drivers — we bellowed Queen’s “We Will Rock You” at the top of our lungs, we threw our lunches and snowballs at other cars to try to cause accidents (sometimes successfully), and once on our way home we all stared stonily at the bus driver by way of his rear view mirror until he finally cracked, turned the bus around, and drove us back to school.
centaur.jpgThrough my brief stint as an ATL Idol contestant, I’ve come to appreciate both what Lat does, and how those poor high school bus drivers must’ve felt. You guys are as unruly as a centaur’s dark and frothy pubes.
Read more, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “ATL Idol: Exley’s Farewell”

ATL Idol Above the Law Idol AboveTheLaw Idol smaller.jpgThanks to everyone who voted in Round 1 of ATL Idol, the “reality blogging” contest that will determine the next editor of Above the Law. The polls just closed, at noon. Voter turnout was strong, with almost 1800 votes cast.
It was a competitive race. The top three finishers were within a few points of each other (and the top two were especially close). Here are the results:
ATL Idol Round 1 results.jpg
Congratulations to MARIN, SOPHIST, ALEX, and FROLIC AND DETOUR, who will all move into Round 2 of the competition. Saying farewell is EXLEY (who plans to pen a farewell post that we will bring you later).
Here’s what to expect from your ATL Idols this week:

  • a feature — i.e., a longer piece that will span multiple posts and days — starting tomorrow, and going through the week;
  • another head-to-head round, on Wednesday, to be reviewed by our celebrity judges; and
  • a freestyle post, on Thursday, on a topic of the contestant’s choosing (humorous or serious).
    Check back soon, to read more from your fabulous Idols!
    Earlier: Prior coverage of ATL Idol (scroll down)


  • ATL Idol Above the Law Idol AboveTheLaw Idol smaller.jpgAnd now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for. The polls in ATL Idol, our effort to find this site’s next top blogger, are open. You can text your vote to Ryan Seacrest vote for your favorite Idol in the online poll, below.
    Polls will remain open over the weekend. Voting for round 1 will conclude on MONDAY, AUGUST 4, at noon (Eastern time). The one contestant with the fewest votes will be eliminated. The remaining four will move into round 2.
    GOOD LUCK!!!


    Earlier: Prior ATL Idol coverage (scroll down)

    ATL Idol Above the Law Idol AboveTheLaw Idol smaller.jpgLater today, we will open the reader polls in ATL Idol, the “reality blogging” competition in which you will select the next editor of Above the Law. Before we do that, however, we’d like to give our panel of “celebrity judges” the chance to weigh in on the contestants.
    Reader opinions on the competitors have been all over the map, as well as overwhelming in volume, with hundreds of comments posted in total. So hopefully this concise commentary, from experts in legal blogging, will be clarifying.
    To refresh your recollection, the distinguished judges are:
    ATL Idol Judges AboveTheLaw Idol Above the Law Idol panel.jpg

  • Ann Althouse, Robert W. & Irma M. Arthur-Bascom Professor at the University of Wisconsin Law School, and author of her eponymous blog, Althouse;
  • Tom Goldstein, head of the D.C. litigation practice and co-head of the firm-wide Supreme Court practice at Akin Gump, and founder of SCOTUSblog; and
  • Dahlia Lithwick, senior editor of Slate (where she blogged at Convictions), author of two books, and a contributor to the New York Times and the Washington Post (among many other publications).
    Read the judges’ reviews, after the jump.

    double red triangle arrows Continue reading “ATL Idol: The Judges Speak (Week 1)”

  • avatar Frolic and Detour ATL Idol.jpg[Ed. note: This post is by FROLIC & DETOUR, one of the finalists in ATL Idol, the "reality blogging" competition that will determine ATL's next editor. It is marked with Frolic & Detour's avatar (at right).]
    Sadly, some of the juiciest summer scandals in Biglaw history occurred prior to the advent of Above the Law. Though some of us at ATL may be loathe to admit it, many of them occurred when this year’s 2Ls were still in high school. So far, this year’s pink-cheeked and diligent class is failing in its duty to generate entertainment for the rest of us. So let’s all step into the Wayback Machine and visit the glory days of summer scandal.
    Mr Peabody.jpgPicture it: summer, 2000. First-year salaries recently hit $125,000…the dot com boom is a boom, not a bubble…offers will follow summers as day follows night. And a Boston tech firm called Testa Hurwitz had not yet gone to the Great Courtroom in the Sky.
    The marquee event of Testa’s lavish summer program is a Duck Boat tour of Boston and the Charles River. Summers, associates, and partners alike enjoy some fine beverages and then set out for some amphibious sightseeing.
    Under the influence of free champagne, a Harvard summer (naturally) decides that it would be hilarious to drop trou and moon his friend in the neighboring boat. Once his pants are down, however, he experiences some confusion about where he is, just as Nature begins to sing her siren song. Is that a life preserver in front of him, or a urinal? In front of the entire firm, the summer leans against the railing and takes a piss in the Charles.
    It wasn’t easy to do in those days, but… no offer.

    avatar Alex ATL Idol.jpg[Ed. note: This post is by ALEX, one of the finalists in ATL Idol, the "reality blogging" competition that will determine ATL's next editor. It is marked with Alex's avatar (at right).]
    Biglaw lawyers:
    Every single one of your non-lawyer friends and family members think that you know “the law” because you’re lawyers. You don’t. You work in biglaw. Don’t worry, ATL will give you some small-building law to use when the inevitable email arrives or you need some lawyerly advice yourself.
    Today’s topic: landlord-tenant law.
    August is almost upon us. Lots of people are moving. Summers, law-school grads, Cadwalader attorneys. Maybe there’s still time to knock some dollars off of your last rent check. I spoke to an attorney who handles landlord-tenant issues in New York. He works in a really small building and likes to golf on Thursday afternoons.
    Nutshell after the jump.

    double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Small-Building Law for Tall-Building Lawyers: Landlord-Tenant”

    avatar Marin ATL Idol.jpg[Ed. note: This post is by MARIN, one of the finalists in ATL Idol, the "reality blogging" competition that will determine ATL's next editor. It is marked with Marin's avatar (at right).]
    Ever wonder what happened to Kory McFarren, the (literally) crappy boyfriend who stood by for a month while his girlfriend, Pam Babcock, grew overly attached to a toilet seat? The AP reported yesterday that McFarren was sentenced to six months probation after pleading no contest to a misdemeanor count of mistreatment of a dependent adult.

    But don’t break out the party hats just yet.

    Kory McFarren toilet seat boyfriend.jpg

    Also Tuesday, McFarren was sentenced to six months in jail for an unrelated charge of lewd and lascivious behavior for exposing himself to a teenage neighbor in March.

    Apparently while Babcock convalesced in the hospital, McFarren sought solace by staring out his window. And masturbating.

    “This has been going on for a long period of time,” the neighbor said. “While we were using our pool or hot tub, he would stand in his window and watch and play with himself. It has become much worse lately.”

    The resourceful neighbors tried to block McFarren’s view by piling logs in front of the pool. But “[a]s winter wore on, the wood pile shrank,” presumably leading to the expansion of McFarren’s own wood pile.

    In a cruel twist of fate, he has ended up exactly where Babcock did — in the can.

    Boyfriend of woman stuck to toilet gets probation [AP]
    Boyfriend arrested in new crime [The Hays Daily News]

    ATL Idol Above the Law Idol AboveTheLaw Idol smaller.jpgHere’s the second half of the “head-to-head” round of ATL Idol. If you’re not up to speed on what’s going on, background information is available in this prior post (or just scroll down the front page).
    You can check out the second half of the head-to-head round, featuring the blogging of FROLIC AND DETOUR, SOPHIST, and MARIN, after the jump.

    double red triangle arrows Continue reading “ATL Idol: The Head-to-Head Round (Part 2)”

    Welcome to the first half of what we’re calling the “head-to-head” round of ATL Idol, the reality-TV-style talent search for Above the Law’s new editor. The second half will published later this afternoon.
    To refresh your recollection, here’s how this round will work:

    ATL Idol Above the Law Idol AboveTheLaw Idol smaller.jpgWe’ll publish the contestants’ different takes on the same story (actually, a pair of comparable stories — the contestants can choose). The head-to-head round is designed to show how the bloggers all tackle the same or similar stories, to eliminate any advantage one might derive from an extra-juicy set of facts.

    This is also the round that will be reviewed by ATL’s panel of celebrity judges: Ann Althouse, Tom Goldstein, and Dahlia Lithwick.
    Check out the first half of the head-to-head round, in which ALEX and EXLEY write about the same story, after the jump.

    double red triangle arrows Continue reading “ATL Idol: The Head-to-Head Round (Part 1)”

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