Holidays and Seasons

Bonus season is upon us, but some people aren’t satisfied with the extra wad of cash they’ve received. In the eyes of disgruntled associates, these are the same bonuses that were handed out last year — only this time around, they’re stale and being served cold.

The angry associates will trudge along to their Biglaw holiday parties, muttering under their breath about the five-figure sum the partners have low-balled them with this year. The name Cravath will be grunted with disdain and paired with an eye roll, and whispers of “Why didn’t I choose Boies Schiller during OCI?” will be followed by mournful sighs.

Cheer up, everyone. There’s a very obvious solution waiting for you just inside the doors of the party you didn’t want to attend….

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Sometimes in life you face choices. When faced with a slight, you can either walk away or you can keep it real.

Take the case of this benchslap. The lawyer felt the judge was being unfair because an appearance was scheduled for the date of the office holiday party. He could have just sucked it up, but he decided to “keep it real.”

And like so many of the protagonists of the Dave Chappelle skit of the same name, it ends with an important lesson about what happens when keeping it real goes wrong….

(Please note the UPDATE added below.)

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Over the summer, the Texas Legislature passed the “Merry Christmas Law.” With the first Yuletide under the new law now upon us, folks are revisiting the law’s wisdom or lack thereof. The law provides that a “school district may educate students about the history of traditional winter celebrations, and allow students and district staff to offer traditional greetings regarding the celebrations, including: (1) “Merry Christmas”; (2) “Happy Hanukkah”; and (3) “happy holidays” [ . . . ] A school district may display on school property scenes or symbols associated with traditional winter celebrations, including a menorah or a Christmas image such as a nativity scene or Christmas tree, if the display includes a scene or symbol of: (1) more than one religion; or (2) one religion and at least one secular scene or symbol.” The law also provides that any displays may not include “a message that encourages adherence to a particular religious belief.”

Admittedly, this sort of law at first sounds a bit like a legislative resolution saying, “Can we all just agree once and for all that America is seriously the greatest country ever and Jesus totally loves us best?” There’s a problem, though, with commentators who “find it hard to believe any Christmas-observing child feels deprived of the holiday spirit in school, especially in Texas.” The problem is that some Texas schoolchildren have, indeed, had their rights infringed upon by school officials. Many liberals respond as though laws like this and the outrage that inspires them are silly. But ask Jonathan Morgan, and he’ll tell you that it’s not so silly…

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Your ATL editors: David Lat, Staci Zaretsky, Joe Patrice, and Elie Mystal.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year: a time for law firm bonuses, new partner announcements, holiday cards (including our annual contest), holiday gifts, and holiday parties.

Thanks a lot to everyone who came out last Thursday night to attend the Above the Law holiday party. This year’s festivities were extremely well-attended (the bar was packed), and the entire crowd enjoyed all of the specialty drinks that were served. Thanks to our sponsors, Superior Discovery and Prestige Legal Search, for making such a great evening possible.

If you weren’t able to make it out, don’t worry — we’ve got you covered. Here are some of the pictures from a night that was full of fun and fabulosity…

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Who says lawyers and law firms are humor-impaired? A Canadian litigation firm, Paliare Roland Rosenberg Rothstein LLP, has been winning publicity and props for its clever holiday card based on the troubles of Rob Ford, the Toronto mayor who has admitted to smoking crack.

This reminded us: it’s time for Above the Law’s fifth annual holiday card contest! This favorite feature is fun for the whole family, and it’s perfectly legal too.

We are a legal website, so of course there are rules. Read carefully; failure to follow them to the letter will result in disqualification. Here they are:

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* Another lawyer is going on The Bachelor! This time it’s Andi (pictured), a Wake Forest Law grad who is described as a federal prosecutor (though other sources say she works at the district attorney’s office). She says she got a murder conviction in 8 minutes, which is impressive for someone who graduated last year. Like, hard-to-believe impressive. Well, now she’ll be trading in all that self-respect for roses and 15 minutes of reality TV fame. [Huffington Post]

* The law of underground trespassing — when drilling sends contaminants into neighboring land. “I poison your milkshake. I poison it up!” [Breaking Energy]

* At least a couple readers have had a bad exam experience already this term. Here’s how to deal with it. The advice is pretty good except for advising you to avoid alcohol. Alcohol is always the answer. [Law School Toolbox]

* It’s time to start making moves to improve your long-term quality of life. [Law and More]

* Kevin Underhill of Lowering the Bar has a new book about all the stupid laws on the books out there. It’s called The Emergency Sasquatch Ordinance. [Lowering the Bar]

* When you hear about the similarities between Obamacare and the Heritage Foundation plan from the old days, recognize you’re getting spun. [Lawyers, Guns & Money]

* Trying to balance out religious symbols in public spaces for the holidays is dumb. All you need is the Festivus pole. Lest you forget the story of Festivus, there’s a video embedded beyond the jump…. [PrawfsBlawg]

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Did you catch 60 Minutes last night? Did you at least catch the 60 Minutes promos during various awesome football games this weekend?

On last night’s program, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos declared that Amazon intends to send drones to your house to deliver packages. I’m pretty sure this is the only strategy that would be ultimately effective in Afghanistan. Instead of using drones to bomb people, if we were sending HD televisions, water, and vacuum cleaners, you’d see that region become much more amenable to America. At the very least, sending people things from the ATL holiday gift guide (sponsored) is better than sending them warheads.

But the thought of Amazon drones dropping consumerism on us from the sky should be pretty terrifying to Americans. How would that even work? I live in an apartment building… the humans often don’t know where to leave my packages. Watching Bezos, all I could think of was angry robots shooting copies of the Washington Post at me through my window while I read news on the internet.

Luckily, the Amazon plan is currently illegal. And it’s likely to stay completely unworkable…

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‘Who needs a bonus? We have these nifty red hats!’

The holiday season is upon us, and yet again, you have no idea what to get for the fickle lawyer in your life. We’re here to help. Even if your bonus check hasn’t arrived yet, any one of the gifts we’ve highlighted here could be a worthy substitute until your employer decides to make it rain.

We’ve got an eclectic selection for you to choose from, so settle in by that stack of documents yet to be reviewed and dig in….

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Making the guest list and checking it twice.

With Thanksgiving just a few days away, the holiday season is underway. And you know what that means: law firm holiday parties, and all the mischief they entail.

(And also the Above the Law holiday party, sponsored by Superior Discovery and Prestige Legal Search, where any mischief that might occur is off the record. For details and to request an invite, just click here.)

Every holiday party is preceded by an invitation. And this year two prominent law firms are pushing the envelope in this department.

Let’s have a look, shall we?

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The holiday season is upon us, and we hope that we’ll be the first ones on your list when you schedule your party destination plans. Just in case the giant ad bar at the top of the site wasn’t a good enough reminder about the Above the Law holiday party, I’m here to give you all of the details again.

This year, our sponsors are almost as prestigious and superior as our readers: Prestige Legal Search and Superior Discovery. Here are all of the details that you need to know:

Thursday, December 5, 2013
7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. at Dewey’s Flatiron in New York, New York
OPEN BAR FOR ALL THREE HOURS

You’ll get to meet all of the Above the Law editors, some of our finest columnists, and sample each of our specialty drinks. Alcohol is a great social lubricant, and we know that all of our guests will be especially well-lubed (which is almost definitely what she said).

Dewey think you’re going to have a blast at our holiday party? Totally! You know you want to come. RSVP below to join in all the fun:

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