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We are pleased to invite you to Above the Law’s wine reception from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, March 28th, in celebration of Women’s History Month. The reception will be held in Washington, D.C.

Our guest speaker will be Veta Richardson, the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC). This event will be an opportunity for attendees to hear some remarks from Veta on the achievements by and challenges facing women in the legal industry, meet the Above the Law editors, connect with peers, and sample a number of delicious wines… all exclusively made by women winemakers. Come celebrate, network, and taste great wines and hors d’oeuvres. The event is sponsored by our friends at Recommind. Please RSVP below.

Also, earlier that same day, the traveling Lat and Elie roadshow will be visiting the campus of Georgetown University Law Center as guests of the American Constitution Society in order to debate the future of legal education. The debate will run from 12:15 to 1:15 p.m. and lunch will be served. (You can thank our friends at ViewYou for supporting this debate.)


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  • 11 Apr 2012 at 6:03 PM

Non-Sequiturs: 04.11.12

* I know a lot of people who would trust legal advice from a Nigerian pretending to be a lawyer at least as much as from a Cooley Law professor. [MSNBC]

* This would never have happened if Steve Jobs were still alive. [Huffington Post]

* Eating weed at a traffic stop seems less effective than keeping your weed out of your motor vehicle. [Legal Blitz]

* Jon Lovitz and Danzig got into it on Twitter about bullying bullies. Since I support bullies, I think I have to agree with both of them. [Gawker]

* Recruiters don’t spend a lot of time looking over your credentials. Based on my experience, it’s also possible that recruiters can’t read. [Lifehacker]

* Charles Manson was denied parole. I look back on the way he was then: a young, stupid kid who committed those terrible crime. I want to talk to him. I want to try and talk some sense to him, tell him the way things are. But I can’t. That kid’s long gone and that old man is all that’s left. [Slate]

Last week, we looked at why lawyers need soft skills and noted that there’s a general lack of this kind of training for them. Today, we’ll consider some strategies for learning to play nice in the legal sandbox.

As mentioned last week, there are so many different types of soft skills — communication, leadership, management, presentation skills, etc. What does a socially-awkward lawyer work on first? Well, it depends. (Fyi, “it depends” is a great lawyerly response for virtually every situation where you don’t know the answer.)

As with hard skills, the soft skills you should focus on depends on your pre-existing responsibilities and the skills you already have. For the purposes of this post, let’s assume you have none.

Below is a very basic outline of some required soft skills for particular levels of attorney seniority. I’ve listed a few skills listed for each level and a further description of one skill per level, to prevent this post from becoming a mind-numbing two-hour read (as opposed to a mind-numbing five-minute read). It’s a bit of a laundry list, but the idea is to provide a big-picture overview….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Moonlighting: Soft Skill Strategies That Aren’t Too Hard”

You can’t charge exorbitant hourly rates to wealthy clients for routine legal work and still call yourself a “profession” instead of “just another business.” You can’t raise the price of legal eduction to the point where young lawyers have to mortgage their financial futures before they even sit for the bar and still attract cautious and temperate professionals. You can’t advertise on television and twitter, turn courtrooms into a reality shows, Latham careers before they even start, have partners auction themselves to the highest bidder, and outsource legal work product to India because it’s cheaper — and yet still expect to there to be some “professional dignity” involved when somebody dangles the opportunity to make a buck in front of some lean and hungry legal service provider.

In short, you can’t do all of the things the legal profession has done over the past 20 or 30 years and expect to get anything other than a big pile of Shpoonkle.

Shpoonkle is the name of a new website set to launch Monday. The site will allow clients to post their legal problems and receive “bids” from lawyers willing to represent them. The site was dreamed up by a New York Law School grad (one day, we’ll have a story about an NYLS grad who is actually a practicing attorney instead of a cupcake salesman or legal services entrepreneur). And there are already a bunch lawyers who can’t wait to join this race to the bottom…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “‘The eBay of Lawyering’ Is The Natural Devolution of The Profession”

The last two New York Attorneys General have become wildly famous. Everybody knows who Eliot Spitzer is, mostly for the wrong reasons. Before he became Governor Client Number 9, Eliot Spitzer attained the title “Sheriff of Wall Street.” Meanwhile, the current NYAG Andrew Cuomo was already famous because of his father. As AG, Cuomo has continued Spitzer’s legacy of asserting jurisdiction over anything that will help him run for Governor. The plan seems to be working, and Cuomo is the prohibitive favorite to become the next New York Governor.

Which means New Yorkers need to elect another attorney general. Unfortunately, nobody is paying attention to the Democratic primary (next Tuesday) where the winner will most likely be a shoe in for the job of top lawyer in New York. A recent Quinnipiac poll showed that 77% of registered Democrats have no idea who they’re going to vote for. More embarrassingly, 8% of respondents to an open-ended question about who they will vote for said they were going to vote for a person who is not actually running for NYAG. That’s double the 4% support “frontrunner” Kathleen Rice received.

Arguably, it’s the most important AG job in the country, the election is a week away, and 85% of the potential voters haven’t made up their mind or don’t know who is in the race. Think about that the next time somebody complains about “regulation” of Wall Street. I can’t blame Jamie Dimon if he’s not thrilled about listening to an AG who was elected by five guys who thought it would be a funny to show up and Ice election day workers.

So, as a public service to all the Above the Law readers who might actually have to deal with the NYAG, I’m liveblogging tonight’s Attorney General debate. Please check it out, I’m trying to be helpful…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “New York State Attorney General Debate: The Liveblog”

A paralegal tries to cool himself off.

It’s getting hot in herre
So turn off all your lights.
I am… getting so hot…
I wanna turn my lights off! [FN1]

Here on the East Coast, things are heating up. Unfortunately, we’re not talking about the legal job market.

We’re speaking much more literally. For the past few days, New York, Washington, and places in between have been in the grips of a brutal heat wave. On Tuesday and Wednesday, temperatures in NYC broke record highs, entering triple-digit territory.

Today, mercifully, has been a bit better. In D.C., temps will top out in the mid-to-upper 90s this afternoon. As a Washington Post reader quipped, “Only in the mid 90′s today… better grab a jacket before leaving the house!”

They say lawyers are cold-blooded creatures — but we get hot too. How are law firms and law schools coping with the heat?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Heat Is On! How Are You Handling It?”

To check in to this morning’s coverage, please check in here.

The second part of today’s festivities — including the introductory statements from Kagan, after the jump…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Liveblogging the Kagan Confirmation Hearings: Opening Statements Session II”

  • 25 Jun 2010 at 5:22 PM

Non-Sequiturs: 06.25.10

* If Kenny Rogers was a patent lawyer, Kramer would still be the only person who preferred his chicken to the Colonel’s. (Or: some thoughts on Bilski.) [Patently-O]

* Even real estate lawyers don’t read their mortgage contracts. [Property Prof Blog]

* To a liberal, “you can’t take it with you” isn’t a clever saying; it’s a fundamental rule that will be enforced by the sword if need be. [Going Concern]

* And now comes the part where BP tries to pass liability off onto its friends. Other corporate offenders are starting to look at BP the way prison inmates look at child molesters. [WSJ Law Blog]

* But let’s keep the BP hate within the laws of physics and chemistry. It cannot rain oil from the sky. [The Rachel Maddow Show]

* The internet “kill switch” is making progress. But now the bill will come with a whole new cybernanny department organized under Homeland Security. [Huffington Post]

* The Blagojevich trial rolls on, embarrassing essentially everybody that has ever spoken with the man. [Althouse]

Lawyers like going the extra mile — and we’re not just talking about meticulousness in contract drafting. For whatever reason, many lawyers like to run. Some go long distances, like the marathon (an event where lawyers excel, especially at young ages). Others are in for the shorter haul — e.g., last night’s Lawyers Have Heart 5K, in Boston. (Congratulations to all the finishers — and to Bingham, whose team raised the most money for the American Heart Association.)

Yesterday we did a quick item on lawyers and law firms participating in the JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge in New York. We solicited your tips about interesting attorney participants in the race. Several readers wrote in to identify the finisher they believe to be the fastest runner from a large law firm.

Who is he, and where does he work?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Update: The Fastest Biglaw Lawyer in New York”

Back in February, we reported that Marc Zwillinger and Christian Genetski, who previously headed up the internet practice group at Sonnenschein, were leaving to start their own firm, Zwillinger Genetski LLP. The firm is only a few months old, but it’s already at seven lawyers — and growing.

The Blog of Legal Times reports:

New Internet law boutique Zwillinger Genetski is bulking up with the addition of three attorneys, including Yahoo! Inc. associate general counsel Elizabeth Banker. The new hires nearly double the size of the three-month old Washington-based firm, bringing its headcount to seven.

The usual migration is from a law firm to an in-house job (often for lifestyle reasons). But sometimes we see moves in the reverse direction. E.g., Daniel Cooperman, who went from Apple back to Bingham McCutchen; Bear Stearns refugees, who wound up at various firms.

Elizabeth Banker is just one of the three new hires at Zwillinger Genetski….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Musical Chairs: Internet Boutique Spun Off from Sonnenschein Goes on Hiring Spree”

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