Contests

Congratulations to the two winners of our holiday caption contest, sponsored by Applied Discovery. We gave you this picture:
gift wrapped office.jpg
Almost 5,000 votes later, two winners emerged. Check them out, after the jump.

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Last week, we provided this photo to you, for a caption contest:
gift wrapped office.jpgThis time we picked not one but two groups of finalists. One group of nominees came from the comments on the post, in the traditional fashion. The second group of entries was generated by guests at the recent holiday happy hour, sponsored by Applied Discovery.
Check them out and vote for your favorite in each group, after the jump.

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ABA Journal Blawg 100 2009 badge.jpgThe legal blogs selected for the ABA Journal Blawg 100 have been announced. In case you’re not familiar with this fine tradition, now in its third year, the Blawg 100 are “the 100 best Web sites by lawyers, for lawyers, as chosen by the editors of the ABA Journal.”
The 100 websites are divided into various categories, and then readers vote for their favorite in each. This year, Above the Law is defending its title in the News category. Although we are up against some excellent competition — check out all the nominees here — we hope you’ll do us the honor of voting for us.
This year the voting process is a little different. You need to be a registered user of the ABA Journal website in order to vote. Registering is free and easy; you can do so here. Voting ends on December 31, 2009.
We have many friends in the legal blogosphere, so we will refrain from making endorsements in the other categories. If you’re looking for voting guidance, though, feel free to check out Marc Randazza’s picks over at The Legal Satyricon.
Congratulations to all the Blawg 100, and good luck to everyone in the reader voting. May the best blog(s) win!
ABA Journal Blawg 100 – News [ABA Journal]
ABA Journal Blawg 100 – All Categories [ABA Journal]

jackolantern.gifHappy belated Halloween, ATL readers. We hope your holidays were fun and free of criminal activity.
Over 2,000 people checked in over the weekend to vote in our caption contest. The winner after the jump.

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champagne glasses small.jpgAs tends to be the case every year, August and September were fabulously prestigious months here on the Legal Eagle Wedding Watch. Three SCOTUS clerks were featured in this space during that period (two in the same announcement!), as well as a minor AutoAdmit celebrity, an astrophysicist, and Biglaw names like Cravath, Mayer, Jenner, and Covington.
Today, we’re asking readers to sort through all this excellence and choose the two most impressive couples of the bunch to advance to the Couple of the Year round.
After the jump, you’ll find recaps of our write-ups on each set of newlyweds, as well as two reader polls, one for each month. Voting ends on Thursday at midnight; we’ll announce the winners on Friday.

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law firm swag treasure chest.jpgOur inaugural Law Firm Swag Contest was about quality rather than quantity. We had just four entries, but they were goodies.
Eschewing trinkets and baubles, K&L Gates took the high road, urging recruits to change their world through an innovative website. Perkins Coie went green, arranging for trees to be planted in honor of interviewees. And who doesn’t like a customized iPod, the swag doled out by Dobrowski LLP, the Texas litigation boutique?
But in the end, dear readers, you voted with your feet. Following in the footsteps of the “Sex and the City” gals, or maybe Imelda Marcos, you made it all about the shoes. The customized Nike footwear doled out by Mayer Brown scored a runaway victory, with over 55 percent of the 2,100 votes.
Props to the person in the Mayer recruiting office who came up with the brilliant idea for this Niketown summer associate event. If you’re looking for new running shoes — or, for that matter, the opportunity to do appellate litigation in New York — then sprint in the direction of Mayer Brown!
Earlier: Law Firm Swag Contest: The Finalists
ATL Contest: Best Law Firm Swag of 2009

law firm swag treasure chest.jpgPerhaps it’s a sign of the times. We received a whopping four (4) entries in our inaugural law firm swag contest. Is law firm swag, like subsidized soda or staff attorney programs, another casualty of the recession?
But if we cancel the contest, then the terrorists win. So, onward!
We realize, of course, that not everyone approves of swag. See, e.g., this comment:

This is fairly disgusting…. I find this article particularly untimely, given that most law students are struggling to find good jobs, and many practicing attorneys are struggling just to keep the jobs they have.

Jeez, commenter 58 — lighten up! Considering that we cover law firm layoffs in excruciating detail, to the point where many accuse us of doomsaying and fearmongering, we are aware of the tough job market. But, even in the Great Recession, some people are still getting offers — along with a little swag to sweeten the pot. So what’s wrong with some fun to balance out the gloom?
In defense of law firm schwag, here’s a trend worth noting: “going green.” Firms are trying to be environmentally conscious in their swag selections, as well as more socially responsible in general. This may make schwag less “disgusting” to its critics.
A second theme of swag this year: customization. In this age of individualism and/or narcissism, firms are letting swag recipients have a say in what gets given away. Just as firms are moving away from lockstep in terms of pay and promotion, so too are they allowing for greater tailoring in terms of swag.
Check out the finalists, and vote for the best law firm swag, after the jump.

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law firm swag treasure chest.jpgDespite the grim economy — which we don’t think is recovering yet, despite all the “green shoots” talk — law firms continue to interview. And to make job offers. And, of course, to woo the lucky few who get offers with fabulous prizes: the nifty gifts and cute tchotchkes, often branded with the firm’s name or logo, that we collectively call LAW FIRM SWAG.
At the recent Lavender Law conference (coverage here and here), we were impressed by the level of interview activity at the job fair. To be sure, it’s not clear whether any hiring was going on; but it was nice to see law firms out in force.
And it was nice to see their swag. There were pens, courtesy of Seyfarth Shaw, and compact shoeshine discs, courtesy of Townsend and Townsend and Crew. (Leave it to an IP law firm to bring out the snazzy hardware.)
And what about Sullivan & Cromwell, giver of bonsai trees, and the historical king of law firm swag? What did S&C dole out at this year’s Lavender Law conference?
Find out — and, even more importantly, learn how to nominate your favorite Biglaw gift in Above the Law’s first annual LAW FIRM SWAG CONTEST — after the jump.

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Thanks to the over 3,000 people who voted in our ATL Caption Contest. We now have a winner. Many of the proposed captions associated the shovels and bare soil with grave-digging, specifically the grave of Biglaw in the current troubled economic climate. But the winning caption tapped into a more evergreen joke in the world of law: screwing the client.

Here’s the winner:
legal ground breaking.JPG

ASSOCIATE: There’s a backhoe right there. Wouldn’t that be more efficient?
PARTNER: F**k that. We get paid by the hour.

Hats off — or not off, rather — to Austin attorney George Lobb (at far right) for crashing this photo of legal dignitaries and giving us caption contest fodder. More on that story here.

Did lawyer crash courthouse groundbreaking photo? [Austin American-Statesman]

Earlier: ATL Caption Contest Finalists: We Dig This
ATL Caption Contest: We Dig This

Last Thursday, we posted a photo of VP Joe Biden enjoying some good ol’ blueberry pie at his alma mater, Syracuse University College of Law. It was up to you to come up with a caption for the picture, and now it’s time to choose the best one. Here’s the photo once again:
Joe Biden Joseph Biden blueberry pie.jpg
After the jump, check out the finalists.

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