Announcements

With just two weeks left in the year 2012, we thought that now would be a good time to ask you, our loyal readers, to submit your nominations for Above the Law’s sixth annual LAWYER OF THE YEAR competition.

We’ll be running the show just like we’ve done it in the past: you submit your nominees (in the comments to this post), we’ll review them and pick a slate of finalists, and then you’ll vote on them in a reader poll — and hopefully your efforts won’t be mooted by the coming Mayan Apocalypse.

The winner will receive the glorious and honorific title of Above the Law’s Lawyer of the Year for 2012. Feel the prestige, my friends!

So, what are the criteria for nominations? We’ll break it down for you….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Above the Law’s 2012 Lawyer of the Year Competition: Nominations Needed”

As 2012 draws to a close, marked by bonus announcements and holiday parties, many of our readers are thinking about making career transitions. Departure memos follow bonus checks as naturally as models and bottles follow… bonus checks.

Here at Above the Law, we regularly receive inquiries from people interested in working with us, on either a full-time basis or as guest contributors. While we are thankful for your interest, we are usually not in a position where we are looking (so if you don’t hear back from us in response to your query or pitch, please assume that we’re passing).

But right now we happen to be in hiring mode. Keep reading for information about the two positions we’re hoping to fill….

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Sorry guys, but I’m gettin’ out of here. Through the window, of course. Because why not?

So, it feels a bit surreal for me to say this, but today is my last day as an assistant editor at Above the Law. I wrote my first piece for the site, as a freelancer, nearly two years ago, and it’s been quite a ride since then.

As part of the ATL team, I attended the IP trial of the century, I’ve interviewed some incredible attorneys (and several less incredible ones), and I’ve written about Biglaw lawyers turned small business owners.

I’ve enjoyed working under the watchful eye of the ATL Commentariat, as well as the readers brave enough to send us actual emails. You all have kept me honest, kept my ego in check, and kept my spell-check working hard. I’ll miss you crazed internet goblins.

But it’s time to move on; it’s time to get goin’….

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Last month, a commenter responded to one of my posts with something to the effect of, “I knew your writing would start to suck once you had a kid.”

That statement, I think, will inevitably end up being true. How can anybody possibly be focused at work when they have a newborn at home? I’m writing this post while my three-week-old baby is sleeping in a rocker next to me. That means that I’m, at most, paying about 30 percent attention to what I’m writing. I don’t have a fun Argo reference for you, because instead of seeing the latest movie event of the fall, I spent the weekend trying to lower my diaper changing time. Right now, I’m about as engaged with this post as Obama was engaged in his debate with Mitt Romney.

And my kid is only three weeks old, which means he’s still functionally immobile. What’s going to happen when he’s crawling around? What’s going to happen when my Jamaican nanny — if you have some info on good, “cost-effective” child care, let me know — is calling me to ask if it’s okay if he eats the dog’s treats?

Yeah, I think my job will suffer. And my “job” involves coming online and making law students cry. I don’t have to structure billion-dollar deals or even key-cite an opinion.

So I have to ask all these people who claim they’ve achieved some kind of work/life balance, and that they “have it all” — what the f**k are you talking about?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Babies, Balance, And Going Back To Work”

Since we last mentioned the new Above the Law App, sponsored by WestlawNext, more than 3,500 of you have downloaded it. To everyone else, what the heck are you waiting for? Not many things in life are free, but our app is!

With the new app, you can now check Above the Law from anywhere you want. Trapped in a doc review dungeon? Check the ATL app. Bored at a deposition? Check the ATL app. Have no fear, because now you can spend your days reading the pages of Above the Law from the carefree comfort of your own wireless devices without your employer snooping on you.

Download the app today! It’s available here on iTunes and here for Android. Enjoy.

Hello. How are you guys? Working hard? Getting ready for the season of bonuses and profit distributions? Realizing that 3L year is just as useless as I’ve always said it was? I hope all is well.

You might have noticed that I was away last week. That’s because at 10:59 p.m. on September 24th, my wife gave birth to a healthy baby boy. Here’s my son, Claudius Elie Charles Mystal:

He’s a Libra, which means he’s supposed to have an affinity for lawyering. Don’t worry, I’ll make sure to crush any law school dreams early on. Actually I’ve already got to start thinking about getting him into preschool. Bloomberg now has people going to school once they’re six weeks old.

Since I’ve got so much stuff to do, I’ll be out a couple more weeks. I’ve already learned that having a newborn is like going to jail in The Wire: you only lose two minutes of sleep, the minute you wake up and the minute before you get back to bed.

Okay, okay, if you insist, one more picture….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Vacation Memo: Paternity Leave”

Many of our readers get highlights from Above the Law in their inboxes every day. Our ATL Newsletter spotlights our top content from the day, so you’ll never miss the story that everyone is talking about.

But what if you just can’t get enough of our partner-level coverage? From partner issues to partners with issues, from law firm implosions to notable lateral moves, we’ve got lots of content for — and by — partners at leading law firms. So that’s why we’re rolling out another newsletter that’s dedicated entirely to partners.

What are you waiting for? Just click here to receive the latest and greatest news du jour from the world of Biglaw partnerships.

We’ll get back to our regularly scheduled programming of news and commentary in a second. But today is 9/11, and so many of us in the legal community were affected by the tragic events that happened 11 years ago. We wanted to take a moment to honor that loss. Below is a statement from New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman which seems appropriate.

STATEMENT FROM A.G. SCHNEIDERMAN ON 11th ANNIVERSARY OF 9/11 ATTACKS

On this solemn anniversary, I join with all New Yorkers in remembering and honoring those we lost 11 years ago. They were first responders who rushed in to the burning towers to save others, and civilians who were just trying to go about their daily lives. Few in our state have been untouched by the impact of the unspeakable attacks on our country that day, and we still ache at the absence of mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters. So as we honor their memory today – and the memory of the brave men and women in uniform who have sacrificed their lives to protect us since then – let us pray for their families and loved ones, and recommit ourselves to work for a more secure future.

* Happy Blogiversary to… us. Above the Law turned six years old last week. In blog years, that’s like 100. I think we should put that on the masthead: Above the Law, Established circa 1912. In any event, thanks to all of our loyal readers who have been here from the beginning. Click on the link to take a look at how it all began. [Above the Law]

* Family claims they were kicked off a flight because the airline didn’t want their child with Down Syndrome sitting in first class. If they win, I think they are going to be able to afford a lot of first class flights in the future. [The Consumerist]

* Obama is going to have more judicial vacancies after his first term than he inherited from Bush. Part of the problem is that conservatives know how important the courts are and move to obstruct the President at every opportunity. Part of the problem is that progressives don’t seem to understand how important this issue is. [Boston Review]

* I hope many of you spent your Labor Day not feeling bad about having no paid labor. [The Onion]

* I do not rule out the possibility that the who pretend to be concerned that affirmative-action “hurts” minorities are the biggest goddamn hypocrites on the face of the Earth. [Accuracy in Academia]

* Don’t get me wrong, affirmative-action is so going down this upcoming term. There might be suitable alternatives in its place. I’m just finding it funny how some people are so outraged by this one program that allows colleges to “consider” race while developing their class. I can’t imagine how people would react if there was an inherent racial preference in American society for four hundred years. [SCOTUSblog]

Faith Hill will probably not make it to the Above the Law Fantasy Football party.

Are you ready for some football… wait, what, we’re not singing that anymore? That’s a great song. Banning that song is like something Hitler would do.

Anyway, I’m getting back into the fantasy football thing. I hosted a league for Above the Law readers a few years ago. That was hard because the economy kind of exploded that fall.

Now, I want to get back in the game. I’m going to get crushed this year — I don’t think having a newborn meshes well with running a fake football team. But I;m going to want the distraction. It’s also so much fun to watch football the year after your team wins the Superbowl. Everything is gravy; if they stink, who cares, you’re the defending champions.

Are you interested in playing with me and your other Above the Law editors? Staci is in. Danzig is in. Lat will not be participating, but we’ll keep him posted. Playing fantasy football with ATL readers is fun. There’s a lot of smack talking especially around trade time because, well, have you ever seen lawyers try to make a trade where everybody “wins”?

Here’s how it’s going to work: you’ll email me and say you want in. Elie@Abovethelaw.com. If there is enough interest, I’ll run two leagues. If there’s more than that, I’ll email all the people who don’t make the cut and they can organize on their own. Preference will be given, in order to: friends, nice commenters, first come, girls, Harvard grads, mean commenters, Yale grads. Or something like that.

Oh, and two more important things:

  • We’re using ESPN. It’s the worldwide leader — Yahoo and CBSsports are not.
  • It’s going to be an auction style draft. Because auction requires SKILL while snake drafts require getting lucky in the draft order. Auctions are fun, and auctions mercilessly punish people who can’t make time for the draft.

Make sure you let me know by Friday so I can spend the weekend organizing and getting out some draft times. I can’t wait for my team, Pacific Walrus, to crush you this fall.

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