Thanksgiving

Who was busy stuffing themselves silly with turkey and all the trimmings? And who was busy loading up on billables? Tell us by taking our short and confidential survey, brought to you by Lateral Link. Then check back later in the week for the survey results. In the meantime, you can visit the Career Center to find out more about the vacation policies at the top law firms.

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.)

Who doesn’t love Thanksgiving? What is not to love about a holiday that involves eating obscene amounts of food, lounging around, battling people at Black Friday sales, and working a short week? Unless, of course, you are Ted the Turkey.

As holiday season comes into full swing, I am reminded of my lawyer friends who are not able to celebrate because of work obligations. Many of my Biglaw friends lament the fact that they do not get to take time off for vacations or holidays. Is it any easier, however, for small firm attorneys? Indeed, with fewer attorneys, there are fewer people to share the workload. And even smaller matters have deadlines that often fall around the holidays.

If one of the reasons that Biglaw associates consider going to small firms is because of the greater flexibility to take time off for the holidays or vacation, it is my duty to prove (or disprove) this belief. Please take this survey and help us discover whether small firm practice truly means a better work/life balance, at least in this respect. Thanks!


Now that Thanksgiving is almost upon us, some of you may already be thinking ahead to the winter holiday season. That’s precisely what you should be doing if you want to take more time off than just your firm’s designated holiday days. For some associates, the holidays are a good time to use your vacation days, but you will need to plan ahead if you want your vacation to be a real break from work.

The Career Center, brought to you by Lateral Link, has compiled a list of the top five tips to help you have a happy holiday season away from the office….

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It’s almost Thanksgiving, an entire American holiday centered around gluttony and based upon the kindness of people we later tried to exterminate.

And football.

And pie. Lots of pie.

Now, normally pie is an unqualified good (unless you are on a diet, which I never am). It’s hard to see how this all-American treat could be overcomplicated. But leave it to a group of law students to ruin pie….

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With Thanksgiving just a week away, turkey may already be on your mind. But hopefully so are family, friends, and a time to reflect on what you are thankful for this year. If you’re having trouble with that last part, the Career Center has put together a list of the top 4 reasons Biglaw associates can be thankful for their jobs this holiday season.

1. Next up, bonus season. Most of you have actually been feeling quite optimistic that bonuses will be bigger than last year’s combined year-end bonus plus spring bonus. Of course, we’ll have to wait until Cravath makes the first move to see whether there’s any truth to those predictions, but at least you know there will be bonuses to be had.

So what else made the list?

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Let’s face it: lawyers aren’t great about giving gratitude.

Yesterday we posted a Quote of the Day urging readers to take stock of their blessings and to be thankful for them. The quotation and its source were promptly mocked.

On Thanksgiving Day, it’s appropriate to ask: Why aren’t lawyers better about giving thanks?

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I realize some readers may be unemployed and other lawyers are not happy in their jobs. You still have plenty of reasons to give thanks for what you do have.

Not everyone has the opportunities to go to college and law school, and not everyone possesses the abilities to read, to argue, to counsel and to negotiate. While not all of us are millionaires, most of us are comfortable, and we should not take our comforts, or our health and welfare, for granted.

Molly Peckman, director of associate development at Dechert, in an article for The Legal Intelligencer (gavel bang: ABA Journal).

Thanksgiving turkey Above the Law blog.jpgGreetings, Above the Law readers. Please accept our wishes for a very HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

We hope you aren’t spending much time in front of the computer today (or tomorrow, which is effectively a holiday too). But if you are — for some depressing reason, like work — feel free to bemoan your fate in the comments.

We will keep you company over the next two days. We won’t be writing as much as usual, but we will be publishing a few posts for those of you who happen to be around.

This year has been a tough one for the nation, as well as for many ATL readers. Despite the difficulties, please take time to reflect upon what you’re thankful for. Some possibilities: your job, if you still have it, even though you might not love it; your bonus / partnership draw, if you’re getting one, even if it’s smaller than last year; your health, even if it could be better; your family, even if you want to throttle them sometimes; and your friends. (These are just obvious starting points; feel free to list more blessings in the comments.)

As for your ATL editors, we are obviously thankful for you, our readers. Our audience is sizable, devoted, and growing: our 2009 traffic year-to-date is up by over 120 percent over last year (i.e., it has more than doubled).

Thank you for your site visits and pageviews, your comments (even the mean ones), and all the great tips you send us (often by email, but by many other methods as well). To the extent that this site is a useful source of information and/or entertainment, it’s because of you. So, thank you — and Happy Thanksgiving!

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