Remember Jane Allen Clark? She’s the Texas attorney who originally used the quasi-racy photo on the left for her lawyer profile on the state bar website. After we wrote about it, she replaced it with the more staid portrait on the right:
Jane Allen Clark Jane Clark Jane A Clark before after Texas State Bar lawyer.jpg
But where did that first photo come from? An eagle-eyed reader drew something to our attention….

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Notes from the Breadline Roxana St Thomas.jpgEd. note: Welcome to the latest installment of “Notes from the Breadline,” a column by a laid-off lawyer in New York. Prior columns are collected here. You can reach Roxana St. Thomas by email (at, follow her on Twitter, or find her on Facebook.
Many of us know (and some of us have described, at some length) what life in the breadline feels like. But what, exactly, does life in the breadline look like? What are the visual manifestations of uncertainty, general financial malaise, and persistent despair? Well, dear readers, sometimes life in the breadline looks like a laid-off associate in her pajamas and down coat, on the verge of ranting at strangers in the bank. Sometimes it looks like the very same associate staring at her inbox, certain that an encouraging email (offering something other than a chance to collect your designated award from the British Lottery) will appear momentarily. Other times, it can be seen in the world outside one’s cat-plagued home, where the indicia of economic apocalypse are ubiquitous.
This week, I am pleased to bring you my own photo essay from the breadline. (Take heart, TLDR crowd — something that doesn’t require actual reading!) I hope you enjoy these shots of street life, and I thank the kind photographer who helped to document my wanderings.
Of course, every life looks a little different … which is why it’s time for another Homework Assignment from the Breadline. Specifically, we want pictures — in the form and media of your choosing — of your life in the breadline. Send me the images that illustrate your experience, symbolize the moment, and document the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of your adventure / ordeal / journey. I look forward to viewing your responses! Please: no nudity, crush films, or dogfighting videos.
Without further ado, I present “Scenes from the Breadline.”

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(Or: A photo essay on unemployment.)

Jane Allen Clark Jane A Clark Texas State Bar.jpgLast month, we linked to the Texas Bar profile for Jane Allen Clark. At right, it was racier than most of the bar association photos we come across.
We wrote at the time:

We called Jane Allen Clark to ask about the photo, and how she chose it. “I just liked it,” she told us. “We all want to look like L.A. Law, I guess.”
After getting our call, she speculated that “maybe [she] shouldn’t have used that particular photo.”

After the Above The Law post, she decided to get rid of this particular photo.
See the replacement after the jump. In our opinion, it’s much worse.

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coxsmith.gifOn Monday, we reviewed the new website of Ballard Spahr. The firm rolled out a new name: it’s just Ballard Spahr LLP now, and not Ballard, Spahr, Andrews & Ingersoll LLP. While it shaved some names from its moniker, it upped its photo count: attorneys had to take two photos for their bios, a head shot and a full-body shot.

We created a poll and asked whether it’s acceptable for your firm to ask you to take a body shot for the website. Almost 70% of you said no.

But Ballard’s not the only firm making its attorney do body shots. Commenters on the Ballard thread pointed us to another firm that requires both body shots and a bit of acting.

They do it bigger and better in Texas. A San Antonio-based law firm, Cox Smith, makes its attorneys take three photos for their firm bio pages.

A selection of the Cox “triple threat” photos — along with reader-provided captions, some of them irreverent, so consider yourselves warned — after the jump.

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Ballard Spahr.jpgBallard Spahr has revamped its website. It’s clean, it’s fresh, and it has lots of stock photos and little comment pop-ups. One ATL reader urged us to take a closer look:

You guys have to check out the new Ballard Spahr website, it is hysterical. Click on any attorney, there are two pictures, face and body. It looks like a model portfolio or comp card for actors.

We did some clicking in Ballard Spahr’s “People” section, and we can confirm there’s some amusement value to the head shots paired with full body shots.

While we perused, we wondered whether it’s reasonable to ask associates, special counsel, and partners to go beyond the head shot. Some looked happier about it than others. Check out some of our favorite Ballard body shots and take our poll, 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

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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