Sometimes, the internet seems to exist largely in order to rate things. User-generated and unverified reviews of everything from movies to cars abound. The thing with this proliferation of ratings, be they on Yelp, or Amazon, or whatever, is that we usually don’t have any idea whether or not the reviewer has any basis for his rating. (In fact, the spoof product review has become its own literary micro-genre.)
Spurious or baseless ratings are not a problem when it comes to ATL’s Insider Survey (17,300 responses and counting — thanks everyone!), in which practicing attorneys and current students evaluate their own schools or employers. Among other things, our survey asks attorneys to nominate firms with over- and underrated practices within the respondent’s own practice specialty. Litigators nominate litigation departments, etc.
Which firms do those in-the-know consider to be better (or weaker) than their reputations?
The 2014-2015 law school year is now in full swing. 1Ls are grappling with the strange new world of the Socratic Method and briefing cases. 2Ls are hoping to score some sort of job out of the fall interviewing season. And 3Ls are wondering just what the heck they’re even doing on campus. If, in fact, they are even on campus at all. ATL’s law school experts have designed this challenge to help determine how much you know about the realities of the 3L experience. Take the 3LOL ‘Challenge’ and find out what you know.
It’s all over. Finally. Some of you complained that this competition took to long. I ask, “What else were you doing with your Tuesday afternoons?” This segment, originally planned for three weeks, became a marathon when it became clear that too many of these letters had almost identical titles. But we certainly had fun revisiting these classics from the archives.
And now we have an all-time champion to measure all future letters against.
* You may have been following the story of Justice Ginsburg’s officiating a wedding in New York this weekend. Well, if so, here’s the Times write-up. [New York Times]
* The federal courts are looking at tightening the word limits on appellate briefs. How do you feel about this move? I’m with the author that “The number of cases where attorneys think they need a word extension is greater than the number of cases that actually warrant one.” [New Mexico Appellate Law Blog]
* Scott Brown, formerly of both Massachusetts and the Senate, is threatening to sue Harvard’s Larry Lessig after Lessig labeled the Nixon Peabody “advisor on governmental affairs” a “lobbyist.” Lessig asks if the campaign preferred he write the more technical, “sold his influence to a DC lobbying firm.” Ha. [Time]
* Fordham professor Susan Scafidi, founder of the Fashion Law Institute and designer Narciso Rodriguez make the case for strong legal protection for fashion designs. [Room for Debate / New York Times]
* On Friday, Keith Lee wrote about a lawyer who billed a client for sanctions. We’ve written before about lawyers billing for the time spent boning their clients. A law professor who teaches professional responsibility asks: “Is billing for sanctions better or worse than billing for sex. I say sanctions. Can we have a survey on this?” Of course you can. Poll after the jump….
You have one more chance to make your voice heard in defining the greatest lawyer letter ever.
In a sense, all the letters in this competition were winners. But since we don’t give out participation trophies around here, we need to crown a champion.
We have two monumental lawyer letters remaining. Letters that loom above the field and shame the rest of the practice to up its game. Letters that provide the perfect, potent cocktail of playful condescension and brass-knuckled lawyering.
So let’s watch these two square off and figure out who wrote the greatest lawyer letter ever.
A couple of months back, Jordan Weissmann of Slate and our own Joe Patrice got into an entertaining little dust-up over Weissmann’s assertion that “Now Is A Great Time To Apply To Law School.” The various arguments ranged over — among other things — the available data from the ABA and the BLS, the scholarship of Michael Simkovic and Brian Tamanaha, and the impenetrable mystery that is the “JD Advantage.” We’ll let readers determine who got the best of the debate. (Hint: Joe did.) But as pundits squabble over the value of a JD or the wisdom of the applying to law school in 2014, what are current would-be law students themselves thinking?
Recently, in collaboration with our friends at Blueprint Test Prep, we conducted a survey of 400 Blueprint students studying for the October 2014 LSAT. (We conducted an earlier, different 0L survey in conjunction with Blueprint back in 2012.) Our goal was to get a snapshot of these 0L’s perceptions of the legal education landscape: will it be harder or easier to get admitted? What are the most important factors in choosing a law school? What are law school admission officers looking for? What are employers really interested in?
Read on to see what we could glean from the 0L mind, including their thoughts on why fewer people are taking the LSAT and applying to law school, even as some — à la Weissmann — predict the demand for lawyers will outstrip supply the supply of law school graduates in 2016.
And then there were four. According to Above the Law readers, these are the four best lawyer letters we’ve ever profiled. Four testaments to becoming a legal legend. Or at least a minor celebrity to the ATL faithful. In a couple of weeks it’ll all be over and we’ll have a reigning champion against whom we can judge all future letters.
So which will it be? There are few competitions that can say “throwing a porn star off the roof has a good shot to win.” At least very few competitions outside of Bangkok.
After slogging through 4 weeks of Sweet Sixteen voting, we’ve finally identified the eight best lawyer letters ever featured in the pages of ATL. Unsurprisingly, the seeding largely held — after all, that’s what good seeding does — but there were also some critical upsets, especially where stories from different eras clashed.
And so now that we’ve pared the field down to a manageable number (not that 16 isn’t manageable generally, but when half the entries have similar titles it would be a mess) we finally have a bracket image to work with.
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The Trust Women conference is an influential gathering that brings together global corporations, lawyers and pioneers in the field of women’s rights. Unlike many other events, Trust Women delegates take action and forge tangible commitments to empower women to know and defend their rights.
This year, the Trust Women conference will take place 18-19 November in London. From women’s economic empowerment to slavery in the supply chain and child labour, this year’s agenda is strong and powerful. Speakers include Professor Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Laureate and founder of the Grameen Bank; Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women; Mary Ellen Iskenderian, President and CEO of Women’s World Banking and many other influential leaders. Find out more about Trust Women here.