While bonuses are burning up the comments here at Above the Law, there’s another discussion raging over at the ABA’s SoloSez Listserv — where solo and small firm lawyers from around the country share resources, practice tips and the occasional anecdote.
Claiming the debt load for the average ASU grad has increased by $40,000 since she applied, the 3L is “reaching out to the online community to help [her] pay for it.” Good choice, since everyone knows that bloggers are just rolling in cash.
Given its entrepreneurial nature, this seems right up the small firm alley. But the plan has been received quite poorly by a majority of practitioners.
More about the sponsorship, what she’s willing to do for it, and the identity of the student, after the break…
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….
We mentioned this briefly last night in an update appended to Non-Sequiturs, but it’s big enough news that it merits more coverage. Michigan assistant attorney general Andrew Shirvell — whom we’ve covered extensively, for his blogging campaign against Chris Armstrong, the openly gay (and ridiculously handsome) student body president at the University of Michigan — has been fired by Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox.
(A commenter had this punny response to the news: “Gosh. Is that the last time Andrew Shirvell will run into trouble with Cox?”)
I previously wondered whether Shirvell deserved to be fired. As AG Cox noted in explaining why he didn’t fire Shirvell immediately, government lawyers have free speech rights too.
Most of you weren’t as concerned. In an Above the Law reader poll last month, over 80 percent of respondents said that Cox should fire Shirvell.
And so he has. According to the Michigan AG’s office, Shirvell went well beyond the bounds of permissible free speech….
I’m telling you guys, this country is going to hell, one ridiculous overreaction at a time.
If you missed the story, the ABA Journal has a nice summary of what’s going on at Syracuse. The facts are pretty straightforward: student writes a satirical blog which attributes funny, Onion-style quotes to real people. The real people get their panties in a bunch. Syracuse launches an investigation into whether or not the blog constituted libelous bullying of other students, and whether the student author should be expelled for a “code of conduct” violation.
Now, to be clear, if we are going to hold people accountable for being mean to others, expulsion (and not jail) is a far more appropriate response. But, to my mind, this isn’t libel. This is clear parody, and satire should be protected, not punished…
Above the Law is currently experiencing its first organized boycott. Surprisingly enough, it’s coming from readers who hate typos believe that ATL has shown insensitivity towards the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
UPDATE: We are pleased to report that, after some productive dialogue, the boycott appears to be over. Details below.
This came as something of a shock to us. Above the Law has several LGBT writers, and our parent company, Breaking Media, has multiple LGBT employees. If you read through our archives for LGBT issues and for marriage equality, you’ll come across coverage that is extremely supportive of and sensitive to the concerns of LGBT individuals.
So what are the boycotters upset about? Let’s find out….
This past week, bestselling author Seth Godin pointed out that most bloggers and users of social media are failing miserably:
There are millions of songs on iTunes that have sold zero copies. Millions of blog posts that get zero visitors each day.
The long tail is real… given the ability, people create more variety. Given the choice, people seek out what’s just right for them to consume. But, and there’s a big but, there’s no guarantee that the ends of the long tail start producing revenue or traffic. And a million times zero is still zero.
So what are attorneys with little or no traffic to their blogs doing wrong? Let’s discuss….
I like to think of this column as a conduit for information relevant to small firm practices. Given the variety of practice settings we’re lumping into the phrase “small law,” it’s important that you hear from people other than myself. I know, you’re crushed — me too. Toward that end, I’ll be interviewing small firm lawyers over the coming weeks (months?), and posting their thoughts and responses. I’ve talked to several of you out there (don’t think I’ve forgotten!), and I would love to hear from others interested in sharing their stories (please email me).
As an aside, I’m cognizant of the tension between asking my readers to tell me their stories and writing from behind a pseudonym. I actually would much prefer to drop the “Little Richard” moniker (c’mon, you’ll miss it a little), but am holding off until I get a green light from my current employer. I agree that you should know who’s talking to you, and I’m working on that.
In that vein, there are plenty of people besides me who are already talking to you, and doing so without the anonymity. Thus, I welcome you to my periodic roundup of news and musings from the small firm blogosphere. Think of it as your morning docket, only it won’t be up in the morning, it won’t be every day, and it will probably be less clever.
With that ringing introduction, let’s get to the list…
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We currently have a very exciting and rare type of in-house opening in China at one of the world’s leading internet and social media companies. Our client is looking for an IP Transactional / TMT / Licensing attorney with 2 to 6 years experience. The new hire will be based in Shenzhen or Shanghai. Mandarin is not required (deal documentation will be in English) but is preferred. A solid reason to be in China and a commitment to that market is required of course. This new hire will likely be US qualified (but could also be qualified in UK or other jurisdictions) and with experience and training at a top law firm’s IP transactional / TMT practice and could be currently at a law firm or in-house. Qualified candidates currently Asia based, Europe based or US based will be considered. The new hire’s supervisors in this technology transactions in-house team are very well regarded US trained IP transactional lawyers, with substantial experience at Silicon Valley firms. The culture and atmosphere in this in-house group and the company in general is entrepreneurial, team oriented, and the work is cutting edge, even for a cutting edge industry. The upside of being in an important strategic in-house position in this fast growing and world leading internet company is of the “sky is the limit” variety. Its a very exciting place to be in China for a rising IP transactional lawyer in our opinion, for many reasons beyond the basic info we can share here in this ad / post. This is a special A+ opportunity.
When you talk to a prospective lateral about your firm during their first meeting, the conversation can go deep, sideways, and in circles. There is so much to share and discuss. What path of a dialogue can you follow to get better odds of a favorable conclusion?
Consider this template as a model you can use to discuss your firm’s opportunity. This simplifies the conversation and gives you a mental framework so the discussion is meaningful, relevant and moves things forward.
The Four P’s
In my transition from retained corporate executive search to legal search, I saw that there were many levels of complexity in the move of a partner transitioning from firm A to firm B. In placing an executive in a corporation, it was simple because of the linear nature of relationships in corporations. In a law firm, because of the multi-layered aspect of the interdependent relationships that each partner must manage with others, the dialogue is much more involved.
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