Arin Greenwood

Stephen McDaniel

* Is the D.C. Circuit is okay with TSA screeners touching your junk? Professor Orin Kerr discusses an opinion handed down today. [Volokh Conspiracy]

* According to his mother, Mercer Law grad Stephen McDaniel — a “person of interest” in the investigation of the death of Lauren Giddings — would like to serve on the Supreme Court someday. He might want to get a haircut first. [Macon.com]

* Speaking of SCOTUS, here’s Linda Greenhouse’s scorecard for the Term that just finished. [Opinionator / New York Times]

* Could a change in Irish law result in priests going to prison? [Catholic News Agency]

* Can a criminal defendant assert a Batson claim based on sexual orientation? [Poliglot / Metro Weekly]

Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe): all grown up now.

* Lawyer turned novelist Arin Greenwood offers conflicting thoughts on the Canadian legal troubles of comedian Dave Foley. [Washington City Paper]

* “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Lawsuits”: Justin Tenuto reviews “the most interesting, amusing, and preposterous claims from a decade of Potter case law.” [Legally Easy]

* Has diversity taken a hit during the recession? Not on the campuses of the University of California, according to Heather Mac Donald. [City Journal via Instapundit]

* How can legal departments implement new technology to increase the value they provide to their organizations? [Above the Law (sponsored content)]

Move over, chick lit. Make way for “clerk lit”!

Over the past few years, we’ve seen a number of novels focused on the clerkship, a professional rite of passage for many a prestige-obsessed young lawyer. In these books, plucky law-clerk protagonists have tried to do justice while also holding on to their jobs (and their sanity, and even their lives).

One of the first was The Tenth Justice (1998), a thriller by Brad Meltzer that went on to become a bestseller. More recent examples of “clerk lit” include The Law Clerk (2007), by Scott Douglas Gerber, and Chambermaid (2007), by Saira Rao. (Rao’s buzz-generating book, which generated controversy because it was seen as based heavily on her clerkship for the notoriously difficult Judge Dolores Sloviter (3d Cir.), was discussed extensively in Above the Law’s pages.)

Today we bring you news of a new novel featuring a law clerk protagonist: Tropical Depression, by Arin Greenwood. It tells the story of Nina Barker, a neurotic young lawyer toiling away at a large New York law firm, who decides — after losing her job and her boyfriend — to leave it all behind, by accepting a clerkship with the chief justice of a faraway tropical island.

Let’s learn more about Tropical Depression and its author, Arin Greenwood — who, like her protagonist, graduated from a top law school and worked at a leading law firm, before accepting a clerkship on a remote Pacific island….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Tropical Depression: The Latest in ‘Clerkship Lit’”

document review Above the Law blog.jpgThat’s the question that Arin Greenwood — who previously brought us this great article, as you may recall — tackles in a long but interesting piece for the Washington City Paper, entitled Attorney at Blah. Greenwood writes:

For more and more law school graduates, this is the legal life: On a given day, they may plow through a few hundred documents—e-mails, PowerPoint presentations, memos, and anything else on a hard drive. Each document appears on their computer screen. They read it, then click one of the buttons on the screen that says “relevant” or “not relevant,” and then they look at the next document.

This isn’t anyone’s dream job, but more and more lawyers in big cities around the country are finding that seven years of higher education, crushing student loans, and an unfriendly job market have brought them to windowless rooms around the city, where they do well-paid work that sometimes seems to require no more than a law degree, the use of a single index finger, and the ability to sit still for 15 hours a day. Is this being a lawyer? It is now.

The best stuff is at the beginning, in which Greenwood paints a vivid (and hilarious) picture of a temp attorney’s daily grind of document review. The end of the piece, a description of the grim realities of the legal job market for most law school graduates, might be interesting to lay readers, but it will be all too familiar to anyone who’s heard of Loyola 2L.

Check out the full piece by clicking here.

Attorney at Blah [Washington City Paper]

laptop computer coffee newspaper Abovethelaw Above the Law.jpgSeveral readers drew our attention to this fascinating article from our local free weekly, the Washington City Paper:

Wanted: Gullible Lawyers
By Arin Greenwood

I was hired over e-mail. A boss I never met promised me $14,000 a month. How could I fall for that?

Two tipsters have done an especially good job teeing it up, so we’ll just quote from their plugs:

“Have you read this? Very entertaining story about a lot of people who got scammed on craigslist, a sizable portion of which were lawyers. Most interesting is the author’s take on what the goal of the scam was.”

“This is so interesting! Even if you don’t write about it (which you should: any story that includes a hapless and pathetic Columbia law grad, an Indian lesbian, Rupert Murdoch, and 15 lawyers embroiled in a scam de l’amour deserves the full treatment from ATL, no?), you just must read this! Delicious!”

We concur. It’s a bit long, but a wild (and worthwhile) story. Check it out here.

Wanted: Gullible Lawyers [Washington City Paper]
the fake job.. turned into a real article [Arin Greenwood]