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After slogging through 4 weeks of Sweet Sixteen voting, we’ve finally identified the eight best lawyer letters ever featured in the pages of ATL. Unsurprisingly, the seeding largely held — after all, that’s what good seeding does — but there were also some critical upsets, especially where stories from different eras clashed.

And so now that we’ve pared the field down to a manageable number (not that 16 isn’t manageable generally, but when half the entries have similar titles it would be a mess) we finally have a bracket image to work with.

So it’s time for you to vote!

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Greatest Lawyer Letter Ever? — Elite Eight”

* They’re making The Devil’s Advocate into a TV show. That is all. [io9]

* Lingerie brand is suing its former lawyer for screwing up its patent filing. What a boob. [NY Post]

* Chris Kluwe and the Minnesota Vikings have reached a settlement to avoid potential embarrassment. Now if only they could reach settlement with the Packers for the same reason. [NBC Sports]

* The world of raising hogs meets the Eighth Circuit. The fifth “H” stands for what the hell? [The Legal Geeks]

* Shares in Taser have gone up 25 percent since Michael Brown’s shooting. Oh, remember Taser? The company that makes a product that stops fleeing suspects without executing them? Looks like the market is expecting a sea change in how police do business. [Lawyers, Guns & Money]

* Jesus. A teenager who waited in jail for three years pending trial died in solitary confinement at Rikers Island when his heart exploded. A new lawsuit alleges that the prison just ignored the condition. So much for innocent until proven guilty. [Gawker]

* A new study undermines the myth that the gender imbalance in tenure is not related to productivity. But hey, who cares, tenure is passé according to Laurence Tribe. [Inside Higher Ed h/t TaxLaw Prof]

* When times are tough, lawyers are denying their law degrees in job applications. No matter how hard you pretend, your debt isn’t going away. [Law and More]

This summer, Above the Law expanded its editorial coverage with the launch of a suite of practice-focused channels. These new, topical components of our site include an eDiscovery channel, powered by content from Lexblog, JD Supra, and new ATL expert columnist Michael Simon, as well as pieces curated from ATL’s coverage of the broader legal industry. ATL’s eDiscovery channel will feature news stories, substantive trend analysis, and insights into business development issues relevant to eDiscovery and related legal technologies. (Among ATL’s other practice channels are Securities, Energy, and Government.)

The LexBlog network is the largest professional blog network in the world. LexBlog partners with clients to develop custom social media solutions and strategies that create powerful internet identities. LexBlog will provide ATL’s unparalleled audience with commentary on prominent legal developments and insight on best practices in the full range of practice areas, including eDiscovery.

ATL’s eDiscovery columnist, Michael Simon, has been in the legal industry for more than two decades. His background as a Chicago trial attorney, Director of Strategic Development at Navigant, and co-founder of eDiscovery expert consulting firm Seventh Samurai, give him a unique voice in the eDiscovery space. His debut column, Making Sense of eDiscovery Outside of the Bubble, offers a thoughtful introduction to legal technology and is but the first in a series.

JD Supra publishes insights and intelligence written by a network of over 20,000 attorneys and industry professionals. ATL’s partnership with JD Supra will give the ATL audience access to high-level eDiscovery content from Am Law 200 law firms and other expert sources.

ATL’s new eDiscovery channel is made possible by Omnivere, one of the largest integrated companies in the discovery management space. Omnivere provides services that encompass all aspects of litigation support, from Project Management, Review Support, and Hosting Management, to Attorney Review, Production, and Trial Exhibit and Document Management.

[I]f you’re in law school because you didn’t know what else to do after your BA, because you hate Math (and erroneously think Law doesn’t requite Math skills) and the sight of blood, therefore couldn’t be a physician, and have no goal other than to make a lot of money, and if you dislike work but have always relied on your IQ and adrenaline to ace all your courses, well, you chose the wrong generation to go to law school. Get thee out now whilest a partial refund of tuition is still available.

– Professor Michael Krauss of George Mason University School of Law, in an essay written on Forbes, where he tries to save one lamb.

As we’ve been covering in these pages, the Houston legal market is quite hot. So I’ve decided to pay a visit myself.

On the evening of September 15, I’ll be giving a talk in Houston sponsored by the Houston Urban Debate League (HUDL). In case you’re not familiar with it, HUDL is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that’s dedicated to re-introducing academic debate to under-served and at-risk students in Houston area high schools.

You can purchase tickets via the link below. It’s a fundraiser for HUDL, so proceeds will be going to a worthy cause. I look forward to seeing you there!

A Night with David Lat, founder of Above the Law [Houston Urban Debate League]

A well executed survey can expose the deep hypocrisy of a group’s world view, especially when that group is law students. My all-time favorite example of this was the Kaplan survey that illustrated how law students thought that their classmates were making a horrible decision to go to law school, while they themselves were making a very wise choice.

That survey looked at people’s views on the way in. Today we’ve got a survey that looks at what people think about their law school experience on the way out. In general, they really liked their law school experience… except for when it came time to get a job…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Law Grads Feel ‘Practice Ready,’ Employers Seem To Disagree”

Mindy Kaling and Preet Bharara at the Harvard Law School commencement.

The legal world doesn’t have too many “crossover celebrities,” figures who are big enough to be known outside our little corner of the world. We can all think of a few — Alan Dershowitz, Judge Judy, Supreme Court justices (arguably) — and not all of them are awesome (cough cough, Nancy Grace).

One of the youngest crossover celebrities is Preet Bharara, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. He’s been on the cover of Time magazine. He’s attended the Vanity Fair Oscars party.

Bharara is best known for his crackdown on Wall Street abuses and insider trading, but he’s a fun person underneath the prosecutor’s dark suit. Yesterday the New York Times ran an interesting profile of Bharara. Here are some highlights….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “A Portrait Of A Prosecutor: 5 Fun Facts About Preet Bharara”

A few weeks ago, I discussed whether it was possible to go paperless. I want to pick up where I left off and drop a few more tips for how to go paperless and why it’s important. For me, as a solo practitioner, I have to be efficient. It’s how I keep an edge over other small firms and how I level the playing ground with big firms. But, it’s not all about competing with others. I reduce my paper use because I am just way too busy to spend 3 hours doing something that I could do in 30 minutes.

Also, just to be clear, when I say “paperless,” I really mean “mostly paperless.” It is not possible or practical to go entirely paperless in this current decade, but I think that the less paper we use, the better.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Benefits of Going Paperless, Part 2″

If you are a connoisseur of social media, you’ve seen thousands of links and updates about the situation in Ferguson. You’ve seen a number of reports about the crisis in Gaza. You’ve been kept abreast about our military operations in Iraq. It’s been a busy August for news.

Of course, you’ve ignored most of those links and instead been on a targeted hunt for Ice Bucket Challenge vines. If you are over 40, let me explain: instead of giving money to support research on Lou Gehrig’s Disease, people are dumping buckets of ice water on themselves. Actually, most people are giving $100 to ALS research AND dumping buckets of ice water on themselves. Awareness! It’s working, so read this before you judge.

The… whatever this is has made its way to law school campuses thanks the UVA Law School Office of Career Services. As our tipster put it, there is video of UVA Law CSO “getting ice buckets dumped on them by a row of bros.” Does that sound like something you would like to see?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Career Services Ice Bucket Challenge Is On”

Relief usually connotes relaxation and release of stress. Not so for a lawyer seeking or challenging a preliminary injunction. Especially when your filing deadline is the day after a holiday you had hoped to spend doing anything, literally anything, other than working….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Qui Tam: Injunctive Relief”

Last week’s column discussed the underappreciated role that second chairs play in modern litigation practice. But how best to fill the role, once it is earned?

The easy answer is fanatical preparation. Meaning you will need to prepare for every hearing, no matter how minor, as if you were going to be handling the argument yourself. Or if you are at trial, and supporting another lawyer on the testimony (be it direct or cross) of a witness, preparing as if you were conducting the examination. Apply the “laryngitis test” if you need motivation, as in what would you do if the first chair woke up that morning without a voice? Knowing that you could be thrust into the spotlight on short notice should be motivation enough for thorough preparation.

But you also need to put that preparation to good use. Arguing in open court is difficult, for even the most seasoned advocates. If you are being asked to sit at counsel table, the idea is not for you to admire the wood paneling in the courtroom. The expectation is that you will put your knowledge of the case to work, by anticipating the flow of the argument, and making sure that whoever is arguing has any needed information readily available for immediate use. When your partner is speaking, that means keeping track of whether they will need to refer to a document along the way. Or whether they have forgotten to raise an important point. For that latter reason, working out a non-intrusive note passing system in advance can be worthwhile. The key is not to disturb the flow of the argument, but to enhance its effectiveness. If you have nothing to contribute, you should not be sitting there wasting the client’s money. The need to be “active” does not give license to hijack the hearing or cause distraction, of course. Engaged listening at all times and sparing active participation are the better approach in almost all cases.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Beyond Biglaw: Warming the Chair (Part 2)”

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