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Ed. note: Please welcome Steve Dykstra, our newest columnist, who will be covering the Canadian legal market.

I am a Canadian-trained lawyer and legal recruiter. I recruit throughout North America so I really get to study the legal systems on both sides of the border. I thought it would be fun and interesting to highlight some of the differences between the American and Canadian systems — hence the column’s title, “The View From Up North”.

As this is my first column, I want to provide a bit of an overview. In coming weeks, I’ll focus more narrowly on specific topics.

Sound good?

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ATL Director of Research Brian Dalton and the trivia belt in the cave where we keep him.

The tab is pre-paid. Kaplan is bringing iPads for the winners. And the championship belt is here.

This Thursday at Connolly’s in New York City (121 West 45th Street), Above the Law will crown the best Biglaw trivia team, and they will receive a festive belt. Kaplan will gift an iPad to the best team not hooked up with a firm. Drinking and merriment will be had by all (mostly Joe). Garments will be rendered (mostly mine). Socrates himself will illustrate his famous methods (mostly a lie).

So, if you’ve answered “yes” to question 1, come on down and meet us. Especially if you are studying for the bar; it’ll do you good to be out around friends when your total stress-induced meltdown happens.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER NOW!

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Nicole Black. My column, Today’s Tech, will highlight how individual lawyers are using specific technologies in their law practices. More on my column later, but first let me explain who I am and why I’m writing this column.

Above all else, I’m a total geek. My geekery started back in the late 70s when I was in elementary school and my dad brought home a TRS-80 computer. I had to learn how to program in BASIC to get that computer to play Pong. But trust me — it was worth it.

It was in law school in the early 1990s that my geek status was solidified. That’s when I became a diehard Trekkie. Star Trek: the Next Generation was my escape from the stresses of law school, and I watched it religiously. I was fascinated by the technologies used by the characters and the writers’ vision of the future and remember thinking how amazing — and unlikely — it would be if we had just a few of those technologies available in my lifetime….

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Not our belt, but an idea of what we’re thinking.

Save the date. On July 10th at Connolly’s in New York City (121 West 45th Street), you’re going to have a chance to show off your knowledge to win a trophy that can be proudly displayed at your firm.

Well, not a trophy so much as a championship belt. A badass championship belt that Above the Law and Kaplan Bar Review will get custom ordered to signify that you and the summer associates you bring with you were the best of the best.

Does that sound like something you’d be interested in? No? Did I mention there will be alcohol?

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We’re about to release Above the Law’s second annual ATL Law School Rankings. We’re doing it live on the Kaplan180 tonight at 8:00 p.m. Click here to watch the show, or hop on to Above the Law after 9:00 p.m., when we will reveal the full rankings.

In the meantime, you can check out last year’s rankings over here. We’ll see you later tonight.

UPDATE (9:07 p.m.): Here are the new ATL Law School Rankings.

Thanks again to everyone who came out to the ATL/Kaplan Bar Prep trivia night in D.C. last week! Students from all across the Washington area descended on The Bier Baron to vie for honor and technological goodies provided by our sponsors from Kaplan Bar Review. Oh, and even those who couldn’t succeed at trivia still got free food and some booze, because a trivia night is never a total loss.

If you’re a law student wondering when we’ll make it to your town, be patient. I know of a couple of locations we’re planning to hit in the next few months.

So let’s recap our D.C. extravaganza and check out some pictures of the action…

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Thanks again to everyone who came out to the ATL Trivia night in Boston last Thursday! Over 100 law students gathered in the basement of Clery’s to vie for both honor and the goodies provided by our sponsors from Kaplan Bar Review. We’d advertised the free food and drinks and the free iPad minis and Google Chromecasts, but we also learned that Kaplan was giving away hundreds of dollars of free credit for Kaplan Bar Review courses, with everyone in attendance receiving a nice discount.

And if you’re a law student wondering when we’ll make it to your town, be patient. I know a couple of locations we’re planning to hit in the next couple of months.

So let’s recap our Boston extravaganza and check out some pictures of the action….

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Now that we’ve been doing it for a couple of days, we thought we’d tell you what we’re doing.

ATL Redline is a new project for Breaking Media that will represent Above the Law’s presence on Kinja, Gawker Media’s popular publishing platform. Above the Law has established itself as the go-to place for lawyers and law students who want an inside look at the practice of law and the lives of attorneys. With Redline, we’re going to draw on that knowledge to highlight the law behind today’s news for a broader audience. Whether it’s the latest celebrity scandal or the next outrageous campaign speech, there’s usually a law or lawyer somewhere influencing what is happening. Redline will cut out the jargon, so you won’t need a law degree to have an informed opinion and participate in the debate.

Veteran Above the Law editor Elie Mystal will be heading up this effort. Elie is a former associate at Debevoise & Plimpton and a graduate of Harvard University and Harvard Law School. He’s also quite used to vibrant conversations with readers and commenters, so have at him. That being said, we wouldn’t want to hang Elie out to dry alone, so David Lat, Staci Zaretsky, Joe Patrice, and the rest of the ATL team will also be posting on Redline and joining in our broad discussion of law and policy.

We are very excited to collaborate with Gawker Media on ATL Redline and look forward to taking advantage of all the great tools Kinja offers to spur discussion and debate around the web.

Thank you for your support,

John Lerner
CEO, Breaking Media

UPDATE (2/13/2014, 11 a.m.): Due to weather conditions and safety concerns, this event is being postponed to a future date. Thanks for your patience and understanding.

Valentine’s Day is less than a month away, which means it’s time to either Get Serious with the person you’ve been seeing once a week for two months or start the Slow Fade.

If both those options sound… unpalatable, here’s another idea:

Stop by the Above the Law Valentine’s Day Party in NYC, sponsored by the new Business Law Center on Westlaw Next™ from Thomson Reuters. Come for the three-hour open bar, the Thomson Reuters-branded M&Ms, and cool door prizes. Stay for the awkward mingling.

Don’t worry, it’s being held on Thursday, February 13th, so you’ll still have time for disappointment and prix fixe dinner on the 14th.

Register in the form below, and we’ll send you an email with the exact time and location.

If you can’t attend or aren’t in the NYC area, you can still register to win one of two Platinum Deluxe Elite Grand Prize Swag Bags. These Swag Bags include everything you need to make this Valentine’s Day a memorable one, i.e., Russell Stover chocolates, ATL and Business Law Center burnout t-shirts that you will only wear as pajamas, and an iPad Mini. Boom.

We hope to see you at the party!

As we’ve mentioned before, last year was a great year for us here at Above the Law. In 2013, we experienced record traffic and revenue, for which we thank our readers and our advertisers.

We have big plans for 2014. In March, for example, we’re hosting Attorney@Blog, our first-ever convocation of leading legal bloggers. You can get more details — and tickets — over here.

We are also planning a major expansion of our content offerings, by dramatically increasing the ranks of our outside columnists. If you might be interested in writing for our pages, keep reading to find out how to apply….

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