About a month ago, I asked for nominees for an epic bracket that would ask: Who is your favorite fictional lawyer. The suggestions flowed in. In the comments, over email, via Twitter, and even from people I met in bars. And the tips came from all kinds of people. Lawyers and law students, their parents, legal journalists and bloggers, and even television critics.
Everybody has a fictional legal character that they cherish and wanted to see represented. I had hoped that a 32 lawyer bracket would capture most of the worthy contenders, but it turns out we could have made a 128 lawyer bracket and still had notable snubs.
So we’ve had to make some tough cuts to bring it down to 32 lawyers. And we’ve had to create some arbitrary cut-offs, like limiting ourselves to lawyers who got their fictional start in the last 30 years — to keep things manageable and keep this from becoming an Atticus Finch coronation exercise. But with big apologies to Perry Mason, Tom Hagen, and the older readers who adore them, I think we’ve come up with 32 lawyers fictional lawyers worth arguing over…
I knew the moment would come when I’d have to watch a full hour of Nancy Grace and I was not looking forward to it. The daytime anchors and hosts had been mere fluffers for Nancy Grace’s performance at night and there were multiple teases to her show throughout the day. For Nancy Grace is the shrieking televangelist of something called victims’ rights. In her worldview, there are saintly victims and black-hatted criminals who roam the earth, preying on the canonized. Previously, I knew she had been criticized for picking the wrong saints. While the Duke Lacrosse case had made fools of many, very few had been as brazen and unapologetic as Ms. Grace.
This, of course, made something like Caylee Anthony’s tragic death a sort of no-lose proposition for Nancy Grace. Caylee is dead and she’ll always be dead and all the wild conjecture in the world won’t change that heartbreaking fact. I planned to watch three solid hours of Headline News last night, starting with the full-frontal assault of Nancy Grace and giving myself two solid hours of cool down with Dr. Drew and Joy Behar.
So I sat up straight on my couch, turned the channel back to Headline News, and steadied myself for the onslaught….
On Sunday night, I was sitting on my couch eating Chicken McNuggets®, when Lat Skyped™ me. The following is a faithful transcript of our conversation.
Lat: Hey Juggs, I’ve got an assignment for you. Wait, why aren’t you wearing a shirt? Me: Why are you wearing a top hat? L: Touché. Listen, I have an idea for a pretty delicious story. Did you read that article in the Times about Headline News’s coverage of the Casey Anthony trial? M: I only read Mad Magazine. L: Okay, well, listen. Is there any way you can put on a shirt? M: *mumbles angrily and stomps off camera to find a respectable shirt* L: Okay, cool. Listen, that post you did about Jose Baez got some deliciously high page views. This trial is apparently through-the-roof popular and I think I know what you can do to cover it. M: Go on. L: I want you to… wait for it… spend a day watching Headline News. You watch the coverage, scribble down some thoughts and… presto! We’ve got ourselves a delicious post. M: Do I have to wear a shirt? L: Jesus, what the f**k is it with you and shirts? No. God, I don’t care. Wear whatever you want. Just watch TV and write down your thoughts. You think you can do that? M: Sure. I’ll be like Marlow, exploring the Heart of Darkness. L: That’s another thing. Your random literary references. They barely make sense and I’m pretty sure you haven’t read any books. M: Your top hat’s stupid. L: Okay, just do this. Ciao. M: Seacrest out.
The other day, I was watching television and I saw several commercials advertising divorce firms and personal injury firms. One ad featured a scene of nursing home neglect, followed by dramatic music and terms like “BEDSORES,” flashed across the screen in all-caps. Another ad featured William Shatner asking me if I needed legal help.
Two thoughts came to mind after watching these ads: (1) what shady television shows was I watching that would cause a legal marketer to decide that I was part of the target audience for people with issues relating to BEDSORES, and (2) does anyone actually decide to seek out a lawyer based on these seemingly ridiculous ads?
So I decided to investigate television advertising as a marketing technique for small and solo practitioners. Who, if anyone, stands to benefit from using television advertising?
Every season leads to more opportunity for me. I want a future too. I was going to go to school to get my law degree, but I really don’t want to do that work in the ant farm world. I’m seeing where it leads me, I want to be a performer.
If you’ve been watching the NBA playoffs, you know that there’s a new lawyer show starting this June. Well, I’m sure there are 15 new lawyer shows on USA that will all be terrible, but I’m talking about the new one on TNT. So far, the promos for Franklin & Bash have been hilarious. I’m excited about the show’s potential. I mean, I’ll probably watch any show with Zack from Saved By The Bell at least once, but between Mark-Paul Gosselaar, one of the Robot Chicken guys, and a producer who worked on Sports Night and The West Wing, I think this should be good scripted television.
I’m psyched for the show — so psyched that I think it’s time to fire up a fictional lawyer contest.
I’ll be needing some nominees to fill out a massive 32-lawyer bracket….
It feels like I receive at least one email a week from a pissed-off white male. I feel like everywhere I look there is some white person whining, complaining, playing the “victim” card, and moaning about how difficult things are for a white person nowadays. I’m telling you, if white males have to live under a non-white male president for another four years, Ted Nugent is going to start writing spirituals.
Sometimes I respond to these “white plight” emails. Sometimes I get into passionate debates with people. Never do I sit back and say, “Man, white men really are getting screwed on this issue. White power!” I mean, at the end of the day the playing field still ridiculously favors white males. Sometimes white men can’t see it, just like sometimes you can’t tell that the Earth is curved when you’re standing on the ground. But if you look up — and do some math — it’s pretty obvious we live on a sphere, and it’s pretty obvious we live in a society that favors white males.
But I am… open-minded. And my mind was blown wide open when I read a blog post on Just Enrichment about the paucity of white male judges as fictional characters. Without having the resources to do a full-scale survey of every movie or television character in the past twenty years, this guy makes a compelling point that white males are disfavored when it comes to portraying impartial justice.
And I think this guy — Adam Chandler, a 3L at Yale Law School — is absolutely right….
What do you get when you cross Top Chef with Mark Cuban’s The Benefactor (anybody remember that? HA), steal half the name of America’s Next Top Model, and throw in inexplicably famous “chef” Curtis Stone? Only the single greatest reality show on NBC during the 8 p.m. time slot on Sundays: America’s Next Great Restaurant.
This groundbreaking pilot’s premise is that people who did boring things with their lives because they were too poor or risk-averse pitch restaurant franchise ideas to Curtis, Bobby Flay, and two other judges that nobody recognizes, who then back the winner with money from NBC’s budget their own wallets to open three identical restaurants so they can fail in three different cities at the same time.
As you may have guessed, America is not watching, the show is not Great, and I somehow doubt that The Spice Coast (or whichever proposed restaurant wins) will threaten the national hegemony of McDonald’s, although I might order it from Seamless Web. If I liked Indian food. Which I do not.
In any event, competing in “ANGR” is one of our own…
The legal industry is being disrupted at every level by technological advances. While legal tech entrepreneurs and innovators are racing to create a more efficient and productive future, there is widespread indifference on the part of attorneys toward these emerging technologies.
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 seven years. You can reach them by email: email@example.com.
We at Kinney Asia have made a number of FCPA / White Collar US associate placements in Hong Kong / China thus far in 2014. Most of such placements have been commercial litigation associates from major US markets, fluent in Mandarin, switching to FCPA / White Collar litigation. Some have already had FCPA experience, but those are difficult candidates for firms to find (this will change in coming years as US firms are now promoting FCPA / White Collar to their 2L summers who are fluent in Mandarin and have an interest in transferring to China at some point).
Legal Week quoted Kinney’s Head of Asia, Evan Jowers, extensively in the following relevant article here.
There is a new trend in the market, though, where mid-level transactional US associates, fluent in spoken Mandarin and written Chinese, are interviewing for and in some cases landing junior FCPA / White Collar spots in Hong Kong / China at very top tier US firms.
When the LexisNexis Cloud Technology Survey results were reported earlier this year, it showed that attorneys were starting to peer less skeptically into the future, and slowly but surely leaning more toward all the benefits the law cloud has to offer.
Because let’s face it, plenty of attorneys are perhaps a bit too comfortable with their “system” of practice management, which may or may not include neon highlighters, sticky notes, dog-eared file folders, and a word processing program that was last updated when the term “raise the roof” was still de rigueur.