David Lat

David Lat is the founder and managing editor of Above the Law. His writing has also appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, New York magazine, Washingtonian magazine, and the New York Observer. Prior to ATL, he launched Underneath Their Robes, a blog about federal judges. Before entering the media world, David worked as a federal prosecutor in Newark, New Jersey; a litigation associate at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, in New York; and a law clerk to Judge Diarmuid F. O'Scannlain of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. David graduated from Regis High School, Harvard College, and Yale Law School, where he served as an editor of the Yale Law Journal. David has received several awards for his work on Above the Law, including recognition as one of the American Lawyer’s Top 50 Big Law Innovators of the Last 50 Years; one of the ABA Journal’s Legal Rebels, a group of pioneers within the legal profession; and one of the Fastcase 50, "the fifty most interesting, provocative, and courageous leaders in the world of law, scholarship, and legal technology." David's first book, Supreme Ambitions: A Novel, was published in 2014 David's first book, Supreme Ambitions: A Novel, was published in 2014 to rave reviews. According to the New York Times, "for an elite niche -- consisting largely of federal judges and their clerks -- Supreme Ambitions has become the most buzzed-about novel of the year." You can connect with David on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook, and you can reach him by email at dlat@abovethelaw.com.

Posts by David Lat

  • Federal Judges, Judicial Reports, State Judges

    Judicial Reports: More Eyes on Judges

    A hot new trend in the world of law: websites that turn the tables (benches?) on the judiciary, by placing judges rather than litigants under the microscope. First there was The Robing Room, which bills itself as a site “where judges are judged.” And now there’s a great new resource called Judicial Reports, published by […]

    0 Comments / / Sep 11, 2006 at 4:28 PM
  • Contests, ERISA, Hotties, Jim Telfer

    Honorary ERISA Hottie: Jim Telfer

    As we mentioned when announcing the nominees, we received many more ERISA hotties than we were able to include in our contest (which ends tomorrow). We also received a number of excellent submissions after the close of nominations. As we explained to those who submitted belated nominations, we adopted a bright-line rule of no late […]

    2 Comments / / Sep 11, 2006 at 4:06 PM
  • David Gest, Divorce Train Wrecks, Drinking, Fabulosity, Gay, Kim McLane Wardlaw, Liza Minnelli, STDs

    Liza With a “Z” — and a “VD,” Too

    We’ve always had a great deal of affection for boozy chanteuse Liza Minnelli. Why? Check out this surprisingly eloquent squib from her Wikipedia bio: Minnelli’s work in Cabaret molded her popular image, from the black helmet of hair and extravagant eyelashes that have remained her visual trademark to the perception among many that she shares […]

    0 Comments / / Sep 11, 2006 at 2:51 PM
  • Blank Rome, Musical Chairs

    Musical Chairs: 09.11.06

    Here are the highlights from the latest collection of job moves: New Firms: * Eve Rachel Markewich and Lawrence Rosenstock are leaving Blank Rome’s New York office to set up their own shop, to be called Markewich and Rosenstock. They will focus on Surrogate’s Court and general commercial litigation. Markewich was an unsuccessful candidate for […]

    0 Comments / / Sep 11, 2006 at 2:31 PM
  • Lawsuit of the Day, Ridiculousness, Sean Combs

    Lawsuit of the Day: Diddy or Didn’t He?

    Over the years, rap impresario Sean Combs has tried on monikers like designer sneakers. He’s gone by “Puffy,” “Puff Daddy” (our personal favorite), “P. Diddy,” and, most recently, “Diddy.” But on the other side of the pond, Sean Combs will have to find another nonsensical name to call himself. From the BBC: Rap star Sean […]

    0 Comments / / Sep 11, 2006 at 1:45 PM
  • Money, Supreme Court Clerks

    Will Review Cert Petitions for Food

    The brilliant young lawyers who clerk at the Supreme Court, after hanging out with the justices for a year, can head to the private sector and collect signing bonuses of $200,000 (and up). Former SCOTUS clerks get these bonuses just for showing up to work — they’re in addition to the six-figure salaries they’ll earn […]

    1 Comment / / Sep 11, 2006 at 12:41 PM
  • Contests, ERISA, Hotties

    ERISA Hotties: The Current Standings

    Just 24 hours remain in our ERISA Hotties Contest. As we previously announced, we’re closing the polls tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. Eastern time. So if you haven’t done so already, you need to get out there and vote. Click here to vote on the men, and here to vote on the women. Since our last […]

    0 Comments / / Sep 11, 2006 at 12:04 PM
  • Antonin Scalia, Eyes of the Law, Federalist Society, John Roberts, Leonard Leo, Ted Olson

    The Eyes of the Law: Leading Lawyers Chowing Down

    In response to our request for legal celebrity sightings, you sent a few our way, which we now share in these pages. But we know that you can do better. Next time you see a famous lawyer or well-known judge around town, please let us know, by email (subject line: “Sighting”). Today’s sightings have a […]

    1 Comment / / Sep 11, 2006 at 11:45 AM
  • Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 09.11.06

    * Five years after 9/11, the nation reflects on the tragic events of that day and mourns the thousands of lives that were lost. Former Solicitor General Ted Olson — whose wife Barbara Olson, the prominent conservative commentator and lawyer, was on the plane that crashed into the Pentagon — turns 66 today. [Legal Times; […]

    0 Comments / / Sep 11, 2006 at 9:35 AM
  • Contests, ERISA, Hotties

    ERISA Hotties: A Weekend of Campaigning

    The polls in our ERISA Hotties Contest will remain open throughout the weekend. In fact, as we previously mentioned, they’ll stay open until Tuesday. Click here to vote on the men, and here to vote on the women (if you haven’t done so already). With a few more days of voting, there’s ample time for […]

    1 Comment / / Sep 8, 2006 at 5:30 PM
  • Ann Althouse, Bad Ideas, Clerkships, Larry Sonsini, Non-Sequiturs, SCOTUS, Supreme Court, Supreme Court Clerks

    Non-Sequiturs: 09.08.06

    * Larry Sonsini reminds us of why we should use the phone, and NOT email, if we’re going to do something sketchy. Also, his spelling and typing skills aren’t perfect. (But by the standards of Biglaw partners of his generation, he’s in the 95th percentile — assuming he typed this all himself.) [WSJ Law Blog] […]

    0 Comments / / Sep 8, 2006 at 4:49 PM
  • State Judges, State Judges Are Clowns, Violence, William Singletary

    Why Didn’t He Just Brandish His Gavel?

    The legal world has its own version of the saying “The customer is always right.” It’s a rule that litigators are quite familiar with: “The judge is always right.” The rule holds true even if you’re a government employee, performing one of the duties of your job, and the judge chases after you with a […]

    1 Comment / / Sep 8, 2006 at 3:40 PM
  • Musical Chairs

    Musical Chairs: 09.08.06

    Lots of job changes to report today. We’ve reviewed them, so you don’t have to. Here are the highlights: In House Counsel: * AIG, the troubled insurance giant, has named Anastasia Kelly as its general counsel and senior regulatory and compliance officer. Kelly is no stranger to choppy waters, having previously served as GC of […]

    0 Comments / / Sep 8, 2006 at 2:25 PM
  • Contests, ERISA, Hotties

    ERISA Hotties: When the Polls Will Close

    Our ERISA Hotties Contest is definitely steaming up the windows at pension law offices around the country. Our email inbox is overflowing with ERISA erotica. Apparently, many of you want to engage in some “prohibited transactions” with our bevy of ERISA beauties… (If you haven’t done so already, you can vote on the ERISA women […]

    0 Comments / / Sep 8, 2006 at 1:36 PM
  • Contests, ERISA, Hotties

    ERISA Hotties: Your Female Nominees

    With apologies for the delay, here’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for: announcement of the female nominees in our first annual ERISA Lawyer Hotties Contest. (You can review and vote upon the male nominees here.) We originally planned on having ten women as finalists. But as we did with the men, due to the […]

    23 Comments / / Sep 8, 2006 at 11:42 AM
  • Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 09.08.06

    * Larry Sonsini (at right), Zeus of the Silicon Valley bar, finds himself at the center of the scandal surrounding the Hewlett-Packard boardroom leak investigation. We’ll definitely have more to say about this later. [Wall Street Journal; WSJ Law Blog] * President Bush’s decision to transfer 14 terror detainees from CIA secret prisons to the […]

    0 Comments / / Sep 8, 2006 at 10:02 AM
  • Bruce Wolk, Contests, ERISA, Hotties, Michael Maricco

    ERISA Hotties: Messages from Your Male Nominees

    Our ERISA Hotties Contest is in full swing (at least on the male side; female nominees coming soon). To review the field and cast your vote, click here. Last night, like the responsible journalists that we are, we contacted all of the nominated male hotties for comment: Dear ERISA lawyer: Congratulations. You have been selected […]

    1 Comment / / Sep 8, 2006 at 9:42 AM
  • Food, Internal Memos

    Fun With Internal Memos: Submissions, Please

    We know we ask a lot of you: salary information for Skaddenfreude, legal celebrity sightings for The Eyes of the Law, and funny summer associate stories (which you’ve been slow to deliver thus far). But please, indulge us yet again. One of the (few) pleasures of working in a large law office is receiving silly […]

    2 Comments / / Sep 8, 2006 at 9:12 AM