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).
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.
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….
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.
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 six years. You can reach them by email: [email protected].
Since late last year, things have been booming in Hong Kong / China in cap markets, especially Hong Kong IPOs. M&A deal flow has recently been getting a bit stronger as well. Although one can’t predict such things with any certainty, all signs are pointing to a banner entire 2014 for the top end US corporate and cap markets practices in Hong Kong / China. This is not really new news, as its been the feeling most in the market have had for a few months now and things continue to look good.
The head of our Asia practice, Evan Jowers, has been in Hong Kong for about 10 days a month (with trips every other month to both Shanghai and Bejing) for the past 7 months (Robert Kinney and Evan Jowers will be in Hong Kong again March 15 to 23), and spending most of his time there meeting with senior US hiring partners at just about all the major US and UK firms there, as well as prospective candidates at all associate levels and partner levels, and when in the US, Evan works Asia hours and is regularly on the phone with such persons, as our the other members of our Asia team. Our Yuliya Vinokurova is in Hong Kong every other month and Robert is there about 5 times a year as well. While we have a solid Asia team of recruiters, Evan Jowers will spend at least some time with all of our candidates for Asia position. We have had long standing relationships, and good friendships in some cases, with hiring partners and other senior US partners in Asia for 8 years now.
Are you challenged by the costs and logistics of maintaining your office, distracting you from the practice of law?
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:
Everyone is talking about the importance of Social Media in Corporate America. But it is relatively safe to say that most law firms and lawyers are slightly behind the social curve. Most lawyers, at minimum, use LinkedIn, for networking. Some even use Twitter for pushing out short, pithy content, while many have Blogs, where they write their little hearts out. The adage “it is better to give than to receive” is not always true though in the world of Social. In the Social World – it is best to listen, give back and engage.
Social Media is a communications tool that can deeply educate you about the needs and wants of your clients and prospects when used in conjunction social media monitoring and sharing tools.
Take this quick quiz and see if you know how to use Social to help you engage more with your clients or to better service the ones you have.