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Posts by Marin

F. Murray Abraham could be a producer of Two and a Half Men.

While bedbugs continued their silent attack on the Waldorf Astoria, this Tuesday morning, The Plaza hotel also came under assault by a creature equally insidious: Insectus Charliesheenus.

The police found the “star” of  Two and a Half Men three and a half sheets to the wind, naked in his trashed suite at the Plaza, after the woman he was with felt threatened and called the front desk…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Fame Brief: Requiem for a Sheen”

Ginni Thomas could be accidently dialing Anita Hill in this photo.

By now it’s ancient news that Virginia “Ginni” Thomas — wife of Justice Clarence Thomas, Tea Party-er, and Heritage Club Foundation member — lost her damn mind and called Anita Hill. Many news outlets have speculated as to what in God’s name could possibly have motivated Ginni to “reach across the airwaves and the years” and ask for an apology, like some creepy ex-boyfriend from high school who hasn’t moved on.

Some of them conclude with infuriating non-theories like “only time will tell” or “we’ll never know.”  That is unacceptable.

I’ve compiled a list of sung and unsung theories of the phone call and included a reader poll, so that we as a community can determine what really happened, record it in Wikipedia, and get on with our lives. Because, as Ginni herself might say, this is America. And majority rules….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Fame Brief: Seven Theories on Ginni Thomas’s Call to Anita Hill & A Reader Poll”

Ed. note: Have a question for next week? Send it in to

Dear Above the Law,
I’m a third-year litigation associate in New York City. Lately, I have been thinking about *trying* to make a lateral move. But a nagging thought keeps holding me back: When you’re a lawyer and you reach your late 30s/ early 40s, what do you do? Where do you go?
So, here’s my question: If you (1) are lucky enough to have a job at a mid-law firm; (2) are doing well; (3) like your partners; (4) like the work; and (5) realistically think that you have a decent shot at making partner, should you stay even if you feel (really) underpaid? (i.e., you make about half as much as your Biglaw counterparts, but work comparable hours). And not just underpaid right now — but probably underpaid for the duration of your career.
I’m just nervous about transitioning because I have security with my current firm. The last thing I want is an extra $30,000 today, and unemployment tomorrow.
Dear No Mercy,

If you’ve ever been to Iceland, you probably noticed that there are no old people there.  My personal theory is that they throw old people into tar pits like on The Dinosaurs. But if you ask any Icelanders where there hell everybody over 40 is, they’ll usually shrug or laugh or give some non-committal answer like “they‘re around,” mainly because they don’t actually know. Similarly, nobody knows for sure what happens seven years down the road to all the first years that started. Because even if you tally up all the farewell emails, a few of your co-workers will remain unaccounted for, in the tomb of the unknown lawyer

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Pls Hndle Thx: Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?”

Yonni Barrios and his mistress Susan Valenzuela. It's going to be awesome when Angelina Jolie plays her in the movie.

I don’t normally follow the news, because that’s how I roll. But stories that involve “miracles,” “tests of courage” and the “triumph of the human spirit” have my name written all over them. Such was the case with yesterday’s rescue of the Chilean miners.

The premise of 33 sweaty, sex-starved men entombed 20,000 leagues under the earth’s surface is itself an automatic made-for-tv-movie starring Mario Lopez and Tony Danza. Throw in some of the rich details that have come out of this underground vacation from hell, and you have surefire Oscar gold.

There’s the preposterous Lord of the Flies-esque ascribing of a persona to each of the miners (medic, scribe, ingénue, happy, sleepy, dopey, etc.); the amazing eBay crap that they sent down to the miners, which included dice, pocket bibles, signed Barcelona soccer shirts, game consoles, and a photo of Elvis; the hilarious subplot of avarice and entitlement (sending back a dessert of canned apples, requesting pillows); and, finally, the pièce de résistance, the priceless vignette of miner Yonni Barrios’s wife and secret mistress discovering each other at the makeshift vigil-city. 

So, what should the movie be called?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Fame Brief: Chilean Miners Lawyer Up for Media Deals”

Ed. note: Have a question for next week? Send it in to

Dear Above the Law,

I’m a jobless 3L with waning hope (shocking). I want to practice patent law in some capacity, but I majored in mathematics and only gained patent bar eligibility through an 8 hour engineering exam last April. Apparently I’m not a hedonist these days. Anyway, by the time I got my passing results on the FE (Fundamentals of Engineering exam), the summer Chicago Patent Firm Festival application deadline had lapsed.

I’m now considering going back to school to get a master’s degree in mechanical engineering. Do you think it would injure my (non-existent) law career to take a couple years away from the law in order to educate myself further in eventual pursuit of patent aspirations?? (And to give myself a back up career, let’s be serious).

— Patently Nerdy

Dear Patently Nerdy,

I stared at the sentence “Apparently I’m not a hedonist these days,” wondering what that meant and if it was final confirmation that I had lost cognitive abilities after the concussion, but I concluded that that sentence makes no sense and that you were trying to say “I’m a glutton for punishment.”

Let’s move on, quickly…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Pls Hndle Thx: Getting Schooled”

Robyn and Mel Gibson; in happier, younger times.

In this week’s installment of “What the Hell is Wrong with Mel Gibson?“, our tragic hero took a break from allegedly beating the sh*t out of ex-girlfriend Oksana Glengarryglenrossgrivioa (and following up with typo-ridden text apologies) to hash out his divorce settlement with soon-to-be ex-wife Robyn. The settlement is on track to be the largest divorce payout in Hollywood history, with Robyn to get at least half of the almost $1 billion Mel earned during their 28-year marriage (community property, go go Gadget Family Law class).

But, as with everything Mel-related as of late, there’s a slight problem…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Fame Brief: Mel Gibson’s Celebrity Goodwill Hunted”

Ed. note: Have a question for next week? Send it in to


I am a 2L at Columbia and I am deciding amongst Cravath, Davis Polk, Debevoise (Elie should chime in now), Paul Weiss, and Sullivan & Cromwell.

I am getting married in December so I would love to work at a family-friendly firm. Like Elie, I’m a raging liberal, and I heard Paul Weiss seems to fit that bill. On the other hand, I want to be at a firm with plenty of lovely women. I am bi and my soon-to-be hubby doesn’t mind if I taste a woman’s sweet nectar. Plus I simply cannot live without a pair of supple breasts in my life. (My man is ripped so no manboobs for me.) I met many cute associates at Davis Polk too and I remember an ATL article that mentions the great number of hotties at DPW.

So many choices! Can you help me out?

— Paradox of Choice

Dear Paradox of Choice,

Nice try, but this question’s a flame because nobody uses the term “sweet nectar” unless they’re (1) referring to the drink Odysseus used to get the Cyclops drunk and poke his eye out, or (2) a copywriter at Cosmo. Nevertheless, we’ll answer it because it’s slim pickings around here this week, and it’s better than another snooze-alert “should I quit law school?” question.  Of course you should quit law school. Don’t be ridiculous.

Let’s break down these firms…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Pls Hndle Thx: Family Friendly, Lesbian, Liberal – Is There a Firm for That?”

Ed. note: Have a question for next week? Send it in to


So I was invited to a rock concert in California with a couple of young, “normal” partners. Presumably it was because I expressed interest in the music (and would have attended anyway).

What is the expected protocol for concert attendance in this type of social setting? Am I expected to pre-party with them or offer to drive? I don’t want to be known as the office Bogart.

— Rolling Another Billable

Dear Rolling Another Billable,

Make no mistake, these junior partners invited you to this “rock” concert to see if you have that je ne sais quoi it takes to make partner. After all, any schmuck with a pen can draft a purchase agreement, but only a true partner-track associate knows all the lyrics to The Scientist and can ROCK OUT to Ants Marching. This concert is the most important night of your law firm career thus far, and if you’re not going to screw it up, you’re going to need a few pointers…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Pls Hndle Thx: Night at the Roxbury, With Partners”

If you’re like most people who have an important drug test coming up — say, for a new law firm job or for probation (kind of the same thing) — you probably prepare by doing things such as guzzling water, sucking pennies, or ladling your roommate’s urine into a pocket flask.

A somewhat less effective way to prepare involves going on a cocaine and amphetamine binge hours before your drug test and hoping for the best. But that didn’t stop Lindsay Lohan from trying last week:

Lindsay Lohan’s probation has been revoked and a bench warrant issued for her arrest…. Although the bench warrant was issued, it’s being held — i.e., on hold — until Friday at 8:30 AM, when Lindsay is ordered to appear in court.

The move by Judge Elden Fox comes after Lindsay failed two drug tests recently … one showed the presence of cocaine and another showed amphetamines.

Under the terms of her probation, Lindsay could get 60 days for her latest misstep, and the bench warrant comes just weeks after Lindsay completed a 14-day jail stint and 23 days in UCLA’s in-patient celebrity-enabling sanctuary rehab for another parole violation.

As an occasional taxpayer (albeit in a different state), I’m annoyed California has to waste precious time and resources monitoring and jailing Lindsay, when they could be doing something useful, like banning Jay Leno. As a lawyer, I’m itching to blame someone or something(s) for her downward spiral, and I have found the proximate clause: her boobs.

Let’s take a closer look…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Fame Brief: Lindsay Lohan and Breast Implants, the Gateway Drug”

We’ve already titillated you with an interview of one of the Apprentice contestants, former Clifford Chance associate James Weir. Now we’ll get our first look at the rest of the contestants on tonight’s premiere of The Apprentice, which this season is built around a recession theme (and stocked with a number of layoff victims, including laid-off lawyers).

Click on the liveblog below to experience the glory and majesty of Donald Trump, Donald Trump’s hair, and the recession-aided desperation of strangers.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Apprentice Premiere: The Liveblog”

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