Although we’re now in 2011 — don’t forget to date your checks properly — we can still see 2010 in the rearview mirror. For example, our 2010 holiday card contest is still going on; you can review the contenders and cast your vote here.
And we still have yet to name a Lawyer of the Year for 2010. Thank you to everyone who responded to our call for nominations. We’ve narrowed down the nominees to a field of ten (although you’ll see only nine options in the poll because one is a joint nomination). As in past years, the contenders run the gamut from distinguished to despicable.
Every now and then we conduct reader surveys, to learn a little more about you. Today’s short survey — just two to four questions, depending on your responses — focuses on what you do and where you do it.
The survey is anonymous. The results will be used by us for a variety of purposes, both business and editorial (e.g., figuring out which stories to cover).
One short explanatory note. For the question about where you’re based geographically, the four domestic regions — Northeast, Midwest, South, and West — are based on the U.S. Census Bureau designations (which you can review here).
It’s the last day of December, so it’s a good time to look back on the year that was. And everyone else is doing it — e.g., the ABA Journal (the most popular stories of 2010); the National Law Journal (the defining moments at the Supreme Court in 2010); and the WSJ Law Blog (the key news themes of 2010).
We’ll do what we did last year and identify the ten biggest stories of the past year as decided by you, our readers. With the help of Google Analytics, we’ve compiled a list of our top ten posts for 2010, based on traffic (as represented by pageviews).
By the way, in terms of hot topics, the most popular category page for the year was Law Schools. In 2009, it was Layoffs. This seems like a sign of progress, since the former subject is somewhat less depressing than the latter (at least to most people; harsh critics of law school, such as the “scambloggers,” might disagree). It also reflects increased public discussion about legal education and the value proposition of going to law school.
What were the most popular individual posts at Above the Law in 2010? Let’s find out….
Or, if you’ll forgive the expression, a merry Christmas (to those of you who celebrate it). The entire team here at Above the Law sends you the warmest wishes of the season (subject to Manatt’s lawyerly disclaimers).
If you need some extra inspiration to get into the holiday spirit, check out the lovely Christmas poem that the lovely Kashmir Hill composed last year. Or view some clever law firm holiday cards. Or read about the holiday plans of various people within the legal profession — including NYU law professor Arthur Miller, prominent trial lawyer Mark Lanier, Elliott Portnoy of SNR Denton, Robert Morse of U.S. News, Dean William Treanor of Georgetown Law, and yours truly (karaoke, anyone?) — in this fun article, by Leigh Jones of the National Law Journal.
If you need some last-minute gift ideas, check out our list of the 12 Books of Christmas — some bookstores are still open (the Barnes & Noble at Union Square closes at 6 p.m. today; I just called). Or if you’re too lazy to leave your home or office, just go to Amazon and order a slew of print-at-home gift cards (one of my strategies this year).
Although Christmas Day isn’t until tomorrow, it’s generally being observed today. So here at ATL we’re following the lead of the federal government — thanks, 5 U.S.C. § 6103! — and taking off until Monday, December 27 (subject to the caveat that if some truly huge news breaks — e.g., God forbid, a Supreme Court justice fatally overdoses on egg nog — we will be on it).
So we’ll see you next week — when we will be around and publishing posts, although at a somewhat reduced level. Until then, be merry!
Left to right: Breaking Media CEO John Lerner and ATL editors Elie Mystal and David Lat.
The Above the Law holiday party last Wednesday was a huge success. So I’ve been told. Apparently, my night ended at some diner on the LES with Marin telling the waitress I needed an IV of fluids. Or something like that. Also, if you have my cell phone, hat, left shoe, or Livescribe Echo Smartpen, please send it back.
The event was hosted by our friends at Practical Law Company and ELR Search. They were great partners to have for an event like this. There were many readers who came to the event, and once they found out that I was actually not that entertaining (and kind of a bastard) in person, PLC and ELR representatives were there to give our readers some information between their drinks. It was a win-win. Readers got value and free drinks from our partners, and — emboldened by libations — they got to give me a piece of their mind. Apparently I really piss a lot of you off; who knew?
Lat was there too, of course. But people are nice to him and he didn’t get hammered, so his memories are pleasant. But who wants to read about other people’s happiness? Let me tell you how things went down from my point of view….
Don’t say I never did anything for you — I’m creating jobs. Okay, I’m creating a job. Well, not a full-time job, just a freelance writing gig. (But at least it pays more than this legal job or this one.)
Yes, after some deliberation, I’ve decided to step away from writing the small law firm column I helped start back in September. What alternative endeavor, you ask, could possibly draw me away from the highly lucrative world of blogging?
Glad you asked. In lieu of my twice-a-week column here (and my day job), I’ve accepted an offer to join the Army’s JAG Corps as a full-time, active duty sold… lawy… soldier-lawyer. Yes, like Tom Cruise in A Few Good Men (except less attractive and not the Navy).
Yes, this is something I want. No, I’m not crazy — just want to do something awesome. The government is going to pay me to undergo weapons training, learn land navigation, stay in shape, and — oh yeah — be a lawyer. It’s a four-year commitment, and if anyone is interested, I’m going to try and chronicle with my journey over at my personal blog: (A)musing Dick. (I’m not sure how that will go because, as Lat knows, blogging and government work don’t always mesh very well.)
The important thing here is that there’s a writing opportunity available. Read on if you’re interested….
Every now and then we conduct reader surveys, to learn a little more about you. Today’s survey, aimed at practicing lawyers, seeks information about your practice area.
The survey is anonymous. The results will be used by us for a variety of purposes, some of them business-related and some of them editorially oriented (e.g., figuring out which practice areas we should cover more).
When we launched the ATL Courtship Connection in New York, we received a number of plaintive emails from lawyers in other cities asking us to give matchmaking a whirl in their towns. Judging from these emails, Chicago, L.A. and D.C. are all cities with numerous single lawyers desperate enough adventurous enough to turn their love lives over to Above the Law.
Loyal Courtship readers know that we had a mixed track record setting up legal types in the Big Apple. There were a few duds, a couple of studs, one make-out session, and one utter FAIL. To our knowledge, though, there were no LTRs (or STDs) as a result of our playing Cupid.
We’ve decided we might have better luck in another city, so we are bidding Manhattan and its surrounding boroughs farewell for now, and taking this matchmaking service down I-95 to Washington, D.C., a.k.a. the best city in which to be a lawyer.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year. No, not because we enjoy wasting time and money trying to buy off family members with presents. It’s a great time of year because we are about to have an opportunity to interact with our readers, face-to-face. That’s right, it’s time for a holiday party.
When: Wednesday December 15th from 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Where: Bar 29; located at 405 3rd Ave b/w 28th and 29th. Why: Open Bar from 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m; pleasant conversation with fellow readers, inside scoops about stories we can’t print. How: Space is limited, so please RSVP here.
Come on, compare that with your average firm holiday party. Would you rather hang out with us, or go to a firm event where you can:
Have awkward conversations with a partner who can’t differentiate between you and the guy who mows his lawn.
Engage in forced smiling and laughing when somebody tells you how “great” the bonuses are.
Desperately try to avoid sexually harassing your co-workers, fail, leave unsure if you will still have a job in the morning.
No need to worry about such traumas and dramas at the ATL holiday party. The partners who show up are cool, the associates and law students who show up are relaxed, and the ATL contributors you’d like to sexually harass have already seen the worst you have to offer.
Seriously, we really want to meet as many of you as we can and hear your feedback and enjoy your company. But please RSVP because we don’t have unlimited space (and we’ve learned that it’s… safer if Elie doesn’t encounter too much traffic on his way to the bar).
If you are considering a virtual law practice, you know that many of today’s solo firms started that way. But why are established, multi-attorney law firms going virtual?
Many small firms are successfully moving part—or even all—of their practice to a virtual setting. This even includes multi-jurisdictional practice spanning several states and practice areas, although solo and small partnerships are still the largest adopters of virtual law.
Can you do the same? The new article Mobile in Practice, Virtual by Design from author Jared Correia, Esq., explores how mobile technology bring real-life benefits to a small law firm. Read this new article—the next in Thomson Reuters’ Independent Thinking series for small firms—to explore how a mobile practice:
Reduces malpractice risk
Enables you to gather the best attorneys to fit the firm, regardless of each person’s geographic location
Leverages mobile devices and cloud technology to enable on-the-spot client and prospect communication
Transitioning in-house is something many (if not most) firm lawyers find themselves considering at some point. For many, it’s the first step in their career that isn’t simply a function of picking the best option available based on a ranking system.
Unknown territory feels high-risk, and can have the effect of steering many of us towards the well-greased channels into large, established companies.
For those who may be open to something more entrepreneurial, there is far less information available. No recruiter is calling every week with offers and details.
In sponsorship with Betterment, ATL and David Lat will moderate a panel about life in-house and we’ll hear from GCs at Birchbox, Gawker Media, Squarespace, Bonobos, and Betterment. Drinks, snacks, networking, and a great time guaranteed. Invite your colleagues, but RSVP fast, as space is limited.
Ed. note: The Asia Chronicles column is authored by Kinney Recruiting. Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates, counsels and partners in Asia than any other recruiting firm in each of the past seven years. You can reach them by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s that time of year again when JDs are starting to apply for 2L summer jobs and 2L summers are deciding which practice area to focus on.
For those JDs with an interest in potentially lateraling to or transferring to Asia in the future, please feel free to reach out to Kinney for advice on firm choices, interviewing and practice choices, relating to future marketability in Asia, or for a general discussion on your particular Asia markets of interest. This is of course a free of cost service for those who some years in the future may be our future industry contacts or perhaps even clients.
For some years now Kinney’s Asia head, Evan Jowers, has been formally advising Harvard Law students with such questions, as the Asia expert in Harvard Law’s “Ask The Experts Market Program” each summer and fall, with podcasts and scheduled phone calls. This has been an enjoyable and productive experience for all involved.