When we run caption contests here at ATL, we prefer to withhold the back story on the photo. However, this photo, and the story behind it, has gone viral. We’ve gotten it many times in tips — Thanks, tipsters! — and even our non-lawyer friends have been sending it to us.
We’re running a contest anyway, but we’ll give you the back story now… or after the jump rather. Same rules apply as always: Submit possible captions in the comments. We’ll choose our favorites — with preference given to those with a legal bent — and let you vote for the best one.
Here’s the photo of a bunch of legal types:
legal ground breaking.JPG
Think of a great caption. Write it down. Then check out the real and incredibly bizarre caption for this photo after the jump.

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Texas State Bar seal.jpgAn ATL reader sent along a link to an attorney profile at the Texas State Bar website, with the following request:

Please find out if this is for real.

The photo on the State Bar of Texas website that prompted the reader’s plea to us, plus the backstory behind the picture — after the jump.

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Now that the New York Times has covered it, it’s official: the recession has hit the legal profession.
Here’s more evidence. Yesterday afternoon, while walking along 53rd Street in Manhattan (between Broadway and Eighth), we came across The Man in a Van. Aaron Heideman, aka The Man in a Van, is traveling around the country, collecting stories of how people have been affected by the recession. Contributors write down their narratives on a giant poster (which, when unfurled, spans 50 yards). Selected stories are written on the van itself.
Here is one person’s story, from a former law clerk — someone who would usually have no trouble landing a job:
how has the recession affected you man in a van project.jpg
Two additional pictures — a larger shot of the banner, plus one of the van — after the jump.

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Happy Family Photo.jpgYesterday we told you about the firm Trial Lawyers For Justice asking job applicants to send in some non-standard information. Among other things, the firm asked potential employees to send in a family photograph.
We asked Nick Rowley — who wrote the ad asking for applicants to send in their personal story and political beliefs along with their picture — to explain how these factors affect his decision making process for new hires.
He furnished Above the Law with a full response. We’re publishing it full after the jump. Let Mr. Rowley know if you agree with his reasons in the comments.

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Happy Family Photo.jpgWe all know that it is difficult to get a job in this legal market. But an advertisement posted on the Minnesota state bar website makes it look like we are just one step away from genetic testing for junior associates. At least in Iowa.
The request for new talent starts off very earnestly:

DECORAH, IA plaintiff firm is seeking a brilliant hardworking lawyer who would rather do research and writing than be in court. Firm practices catastrophic injury, medical malpractice, and wrongful death and is seeking a lawyer licensed or in the process of becoming licensed in Iowa and/or Minnesota willing to get licensed in both with a possibility of Wisconsin and California, who is willing to relocate to Decorah, IA. Position will be handling of the firm’s law and motion, discovery, legal research, and appeals (to work 50 hours per week, full time inside the office to prepare the firm’s trial lawyers who travel and spend most of their time in court). One month paid vacation per year, salary is negotiable and commensurate with experience and qualifications, the firm may be willing to provide housing in Decorah, IA. Writing samples, resume, and examples of briefs and projects worked on is required.

But then this plaintiff’s firm ad becomes … kind of creepy:

Much thought is going to be put into who will fill this very important position with the firm. Persons who are interested are requested to email a personal story of who the applicant is, what his or her political beliefs are, and what they believe about justice and personal injury litigation along with a recent personal and/or family photograph.

Political beliefs? A family photo? You know, this is one time where a little “X law firm is an equal opportunity employer …” tagline would be comforting.
What law firm put this advertisement together? Details after the jump.

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scotus small.jpgIf an institution as stodgy as Harvard University can give rise to a fashion line, why can’t the Supreme Court of the United States?
What we’re wearing today, after the jump.

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Earlier this week, we showed you a photo of a protest before an undisclosed law firm, then asked you to suggest captions. We now have six finalists and would like you to vote for the best of the bunch. To refresh your recollection, here’s the photo:
shame on you biglaw.jpg
And here are the finalists:

A. “Laid off associates try a new strategy after their restatement section 90 claims fail.”
B. “Firms run a risk of bad publicity when they lay off both labor lawyers and the print shop staff at the same time.”
C. “So you say they underpay their staff and associates, treat all employees poorly, and offer no medical or retirement benefits whatsoever? . . . Are they hiring?”
D. “What do we want?”
“When do we want ‘em?”
“No earlier than January 2011, economic concerns permitting!”
E. “Shame on Firm X for only laying off 2 employees. Doesn’t it realize we’re in a recession?”
F. “In a classic labor protest rookie mistake, the former associates wasted their budget on a fancy sign and failed to reserve funds for doughnuts, resulting in awkwardly low participation.”

The poll closes on Thursday at 11:59 PM EST. We’ll bring you the winner, plus the story (and firm) behind the photo, on Friday.
Earlier: ATL Caption Contest: Shame on You

It has been a long time since our last caption contest. In fact, we don’t believe we’ve done one since last year. So it’s time for a new one. The rules are the same as before:

[P]ost your caption entries in the comments. We’ll take our favorites, incorporate them into a poll, and allow you to vote for your favorite.

We present the picture below without comment or back story, so as not to limit your creativity. If you know the back story, please refrain from posting it.

We’ll tell everybody the real story behind the picture when the contest is over.

Please note that we have redacted the name of the firm in question, to prevent this thread from turning into a “Dump on Firm X” thread. So if you know the name of the firm, please don’t disclose it in the comments. When we inform you of the story behind the picture, we will inform you of the firm.
Here’s the photo. It’s a thumbnail, so feel free to click on it for a closer look.
shame on you biglaw.jpg

ass lobster asslobster.jpgAs you may have noticed, we generally moderate comments relating to a certain rather vulgar meme (and sometimes we ban IP addresses too).
If you don’t know what we’re talking about, then skip this post — and consider yourself lucky. But if you miss being able to invoke the ass lobster meme, then you’re in luck.
We are offering “ass lobster amnesty” in the comments to this post. Get it all out of your system now, since we will continue to zap “ass lobster” comments on other posts.
To inspire you, we took some photos this weekend of associate editor Kashmir Hill, posing with a big-ass lobster (five pounds).
Slideshow after the jump.

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AXA Panel 1.jpgThanks to everyone who attended last week’s cocktail hour and panel discussion, Market Volatility & Your Finances. The well-attended event — held at the headquarters of AXA Advisors, in a spacious room with stunning views of Central Park (see above) — was informative and fun.
A special thanks to Larry Bahr and AXA Advisors for hosting the evening. If you’re looking for a financial advisor to help you navigate these challenging times, you should definitely drop Larry a line.
We’ll be doing more Above the Law events in the future. If you’re interested in possibly sponsoring an event, please contact our sales and marketing director, Elyse DiPierri, by email (subject line: “Event Sponsorship”).
Check out the pictures, after the jump.

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