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….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Above the Law Holiday Party Recap — With Pictures!”

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….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Goodbye Josh Dickinson… and Hello Job Opening (Above the Law Seeks a Small Firm Columnist)”

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).

Please take the survey by clicking here. Thanks!

ATL Practice Area Survey [Survey Monkey]

Courtship connection.jpgWhen 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.

Read on for details…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Capital Courtship Connection: Calling Single Lawyers in D.C.”

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.

Our friends at Practical Law Company and ELR Search have done the heavy lifting. All we have to do is show up and hang out. Here are the details:

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).

Hope to see you on December 15th. And thanks again to our sponsors, Practical Law Company and ELR Search.

Let’s face it: lawyers aren’t great about giving gratitude.

Yesterday we posted a Quote of the Day urging readers to take stock of their blessings and to be thankful for them. The quotation and its source were promptly mocked.

On Thanksgiving Day, it’s appropriate to ask: Why aren’t lawyers better about giving thanks?

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Ed. note: This is the first installment of Inside Straight, the new in-house counsel column by Mark Herrmann, which we announced earlier this week.

On Friday, you were a litigator: You wrote briefs, argued motions, took depositions, and tried cases.

On Monday, you were a litigator: You identified loss contingencies, minimized them, quantified them, and removed them from a balance sheet.

What happened?

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Every high-profile law firm seems to be getting involved with the incredibly partisan fight for or against EPA’s new climate regulations; Dutch women work significantly less than their American counterparts, have a big pay gap, but are still happier; and a Google maps camera crew busted a drug deal in Brooklyn last week. Why am I giving you these seemingly unrelated news bits? Because starting next week, I’m going to be writing for ATL about gender issues, green causes, and social media — and where they intersect with law and the legal profession.

Hopefully I’ll be able to expand upon ATL’s tradition of reporting, first to satisfy my inner journalist (I’m a Columbia Journalism School graduate and I worked as a reporter for a newspaper in India for over three years), and second because… well, who doesn’t like forcing comments out of Biglaw firms?

More about me, including a picture, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Meet ATL’s New Ami

Some time ago, we solicited applications for a new position here at Above the Law: a columnist to cover the world of in-house counsel. We received many outstanding applications, and we thank everyone who applied for their interest.

Today we are pleased to announce the launch of the new column, entitled Inside Straight (for the poker aficionados among you). As its name suggests, the column will cover the world of corporate counsel with all of the candor and insight that you’ve come to expect from ATL.

Our columnist — a former law firm partner, current in-house lawyer, and author of a well-received book on legal practice — should be familiar to longtime followers of the world of legal blogging….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Above the Law Launches a New Column for In-House Counsel”

I’ve been appropriately chastised for writing this column from behind the protective wall of a pseudonym. Readers want to know who’s talking to them. As a reader, I get that.

To the extent I did not get it, the point that was made very clear in the comments to my inaugural post:

It’s hard to take seriously anyone who hides behind a pseudonym. Your description of your bona fides leaves a lot to be desired. Why are you afraid to reveal your name, your law school, and your current and past employers? How are we to know whether you have any special insights into the practice of law at a small firm such that we would be interested in reading a twice weekly column?

By way of response:  I agree. I agree. Not afraid – just wanted to be cautious (I’m still a lawyer by training after all) given that I’d never done anything like this before (commence the “yeah, we can tell” comments) and I had no idea how long the column would last. Good point.

People use pseudonyms for a variety of reasons and I had mine. Sufficed to say, those reasons no longer merit my anonymity. So let’s get to it. Answers and vitals after the break… double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Little Richard Comes Out of His Pseudonymous Closet”

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