Announcements

Above the Law’s 2011 Lawyer of the Year contest is now over. Thanks to everyone who nominated a lawyer; thanks to our finalists, for being such accomplished and interesting individuals; and thanks to all the voters, who picked our victor.

Here are ATL’s past Lawyers of the Year:

For 2011, who will join their distinguished ranks? Let’s find out….

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It’s hard to believe that another year has passed, but here we are. It’s December 31st, New Year’s Eve. The weather is turning cold, the Republican presidential contest is heating up, and it’s time to review this year’s biggest stories on Above the Law.

Consistent with past practice, we will refrain from offering our subjective judgments on the most important stories of the year. Instead, just as we did back in 2010 and 2009, we’ll identify the ten biggest stories of the past year as decided by you, our readers. With the help of our friends at Google Analytics, we’ve compiled a list of our top ten posts for 2011, based on traffic.

In terms of overall topics, the most popular category page for the year was Law Schools, for the second year in a row. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, since the year was an eventful one for the legal academy. It would be fair to describe 2011 as an annus horribilis for the law school world, with various forces laying siege to the ivory tower. The attackers include not just unemployed lawyers turned scambloggers, but the mainstream media, led by David Segal of the New York Times; plaintiffs’ lawyers, who have already sued several law schools (and have announced plans to sue at least 15 more in 2012); and even a tenured law professor calling for reform (Paul Campos, currently in the lead for 2011 Lawyer of the Year).

The second most-popular category at ATL: Biglaw. Although we’ve expanded our small-firm and in-house coverage dramatically here at Above the Law, adding multiple columnists in each space, our coverage of large law firms still draws major traffic and drives discussions.

Now, on to the ten most popular individual posts on Above the Law in 2011….

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The year is quickly drawing to a close, but we have unfinished business to conduct here at Above the Law. We still have to crown our Lawyer of the Year for 2011.

Thank you to everyone who responded to our call for nominations. We’ve narrowed down the nominees to a field of twelve (although you’ll see only eleven options in the poll because one is a joint nomination). As in past years, the contenders run the gamut from distinguished to despicable.

And the nominees are….

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With just two weeks left in the year 2011, we thought that now would be a good time to ask you, our loyal readers, to submit your nominations for Above the Law’s fifth 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.

The winner will be bestowed with the glorious, honorific title of ATL’s Lawyer of the Year for 2011.

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

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Sometimes silence is golden.

The executive editor of the New York Times, Jill Abramson — who once worked as a legal journalist, for Steve Brill at the American Lawyer — recently issued A Note to Our Readers About Comments, in which she explained various changes to the Times’s commenting system. We thought we’d follow in the Gray Lady’s footsteps and announce a tweak of our own to the Above the Law comments.

Comments and online anonymity are hot topics right now, both here and abroad (e.g., India). Writer Katie Roiphe just mused about the angry anonymous commenter. Privacy lawyer Christopher Wolf recently argued, in the New York Times, that websites should “consider requiring either the use of real names (or registration with the online service) in circumstances, such as the comments section for news articles, where the benefits of anonymous posting are outweighed by the need for greater online civility.” Many Times readers disagreed, defending the value and importance of anonymous speech online.

In light of these conflicting concerns — civility, privacy, free expression — let’s turn our attention to the ATL comments….

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Just in case the giant ad bar at the top of the site wasn’t a good enough reminder about the Above the Law holiday party, I’m here to give you all of the details again. This shindig is being sponsored by our friends at Practical Law Company, and our fabulous event is going to be held tomorrow, November 30, at Bar 29. Bar 29 is located at 29th and 3rd, and the open bar will run from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Please RSVP below. I mean really, why wouldn’t you want to come? You’ll get to meet all of the ATL editors, including Lat (who I need to consult with about my shoes), Elie (who may or may not be wearing pants), and me (I’m still picking out my outfit). And trust me, we all know how to party.

Please let us know if you’ll be there. We’re going to have a great time, and we know you will, too!

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Happy Thanksgiving, from your friends at Above the Law. As always, we give thanks to our readers, our tipsters, our advertisers, and even our commenters.

We also give thanks to Judge Richard Posner. This brilliant and hilarious jurist has just given us something to chuckle over as we munch on our Thanksgiving turkey.

This opinion by Judge Posner, handed down yesterday, could be viewed as “giving the bird” to an offending attorney. And the bird in question is not a turkey. Can you guess which bird is involved?

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(And a bonus benchslap from Judge Posner.)

As we told you last week, the Above the Law holiday party is going to be held on November 30th at Bar 29. The bar is located at 29th and 3rd, and the open bar runs from 6:00-9:00 p.m. The party is sponsored by our friends at Practical Law Company — you might remember them from yesterday’s article about training alternatives for students who graduate from law school with few practical skills.

Please RSVP below. We’re trying to get a sense of our numbers. If it’s a smaller, more intimate gathering, I’ll show up in my usual blogging attire of a black robe and a badass medallion like Caiaphas. If there are a bunch of you coming, I’ll have to shave and put on a shirt or something.

Let us know if you are coming. It should be a fun time.

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What are you waiting for? Sign up for the Research Corner today by clicking here.

Disclosure: This obituary has been provided by Lateral Link, an Above the Law advertiser.

We are very sad to inform the legal community that Frank Kimball, a true leader in our legal industry who influenced thousands of attorneys, from law students to managing partners, during his successful career, passed away last Friday, October 28.

In addition to contributing to Above the Law, through a popular series of career advice posts, Frank provided search services, project consulting and training for leading law firms for almost two decades. He interviewed, hired, placed, or counseled more than 11,500 law students and attorneys. Frank was a partner with McDermott, Will & Emery from 1986-1992, served for six years on the hiring committee, ran two summer programs, and was chair of the national hiring committee in 1990-1992.

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