Reader Polls

Good luck to all of our readers who are now going through the on-campus interview process for 2015 summer associate positions. We’re sure that, armed with Anonymous Recruitment Director’s 8 tips for OCI, you are racking up offers left and right.

Once you have the offers, how do you decide between them? How do you weigh, for example, overall prestige versus strength in a specific practice area?

To this question we now turn….

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Now for the last 4 contenders in our lawyer letter bracket. Be sure to check out the previous three installments where polls are still active for another week. Here’s Day 1Day 2, and Day 3. As of right now, there are a pair of upsets in the offing.

Let’s see how the final tally turns out next week when we begin the Elite Eight….

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We’re halfway through the first round of this epic bracket. We’ve got polls active right now from Day 1 and Day 2 featuring eight different lawyer letters — seeded by all-time traffic — vying for a trip to the Elite Eight.

Now the next four entrants join the party.

Do you remember these gems of legal authorship?

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We recently asked readers to submit possible captions for this picture:

Now that readers have voted on the finalists, it’s time to announce our worthy winner….

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Welcome back!

Last week, we kicked off The ATL Lawyer Letter Bracket by letting you choose your favorite piece of lawyer writing from the annals of ATL. Day 1 pitted No. 4, The Greatest Response To A Cease And Desist Letter, Probably Written While Drunk, against No. 13, This May Be The Best Cease And Desist Letter Ever Written, and No. 5, This May Be An Even Greater Response To A Cease And Desist Letter, against No. 12, Scathing Letter Suggests Smart Lawyer A Dumb [Expletive].

Today we have the next four teams in our competition looking for your vote….

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Not since its pursuit was enshrined in the Declaration of Independence has “happiness” had a bigger cultural moment than now, and not just because of that “room without a roof” earworm. There is a new and rapidly growing science of happiness, a mash-up of economics and psychology sometimes called “hedonics,” which tells us that money can buy happiness, but only to a point. Meanwhile, in corporate America, we witness the emergence of a new C-suite character, the Chief Happiness Officer, who is responsible for employee contentment. Sort of like an HR director, but smiling and magical.

Recently, the U.S. National Bureau of Economic Research released a paper, “Unhappy Cities,” reporting the findings of a major survey asking respondents about their satisfaction with life. The authors, academics from Harvard and the University of British Columbia, found that there are persistent differences in self-reported subjective well-being across U.S. cities and, unsurprisingly, residents of declining cities are less happy than other Americans. (Interestingly, the authors suggest that these unhappy, declining cities were also unhappy during their more prosperous pasts.)

So there are unhappy cities; there are also unhappy (and relatively happier) law schools. When ATL’s own Staci Zaretsky learned that Springfield, Massachusetts — home of her alma mater, the Western New England University School of Law — made the list of unhappiest cities, it came as no surprise: “It’s hard to tell where the local misery ends and that of the law school begins.” Prompted by Staci’s observation, we wondered whether unhappy cities make for unhappy local law students. Or is the law school experience so intense and self-contained that one’s surroundings have little impact? What are law students in the happiest (and unhappiest) cities in the country telling us about their own personal satisfaction?

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Last week, we asked readers to submit possible captions for this picture:

Let’s have a look at what our readers came up with, and vote on the finalists…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Caption Contest Finalists: A Sneaky Law Student’s Hidey-Hole”

One of the most popular recurring features on ATL is the intentionally (or unintentionally) funny lawyer letter. Cease-and-desist letter responses famously offer lawyers the most freedom to let their comedy flags fly, but we’ve profiled some pretty entertaining C&D letters, rants to executive agencies, settlement offers, and cover letters. They’ve covered intellectual property, political speech, and throwing porn stars off roofs.

With years of these hilarious letters piled up, it’s time to revisit the archives and determine a champion….

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Lawyers love detailed instructions and examples, even in their love lives. They want to know if they’ll be able to find a romance at their high-ranking law schools, and they’re obsessed with Legal Eagle Wedding Watches, if only as confirmation that some day they too will be happily married.

What these inquisitive lawyers all seem to forget, though, is that the prelude to the perfect marriage is the perfect engagement ring.

But how much should you be spending on one?

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Earlier this month, we launched the ATL Law Firm Reputation Survey, asking those of you working in Biglaw to rate your peers and competitors. (Take five minutes and take our survey here.)

For our purposes, we split “reputation” into two distinct aspects: 1) the reputed strength and quality of a firm’s practice, and 2) the perceived desirability of the firm as a potential employer. For some, these factors will be functionally equivalent. For others, these are less overlapping considerations.

To date, we’ve received not quite a thousand survey responses and today we share some preliminary findings. What are you telling us thus far about which firms have the strongest practices? Which firms are some of the most coveted Biglaw employers in major markets?

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