The weekend of November 25-26 was shockingly short on lawyer weddings.
Call us paranoid, but we began to wonder: Were the editors of the New York Times wedding pages trying to starve us of material? Did they reject almost all wedding announcements for that week in which at least one spouse was an attorney?
This explains why, instead of the usual three, we have only two couples in competition this week:
The weekend of November 18-19 was a strong one for lawyer weddings (even if not as strong as November 11-12). Once again, we had to make cuts in deciding whom to write about. Here are the three couples on today’s docket:
We’re a little behind in Legal Eagle Wedding Watch (hereinafter “LEWW”). We’ll be rectifying that shortly.
But before we do, a methodological digression. It concerns how we score couples on the “family” component of the competition. We respond to some reader questions we’ve received:
1. “Isn’t rating people based on the wealth and pedigree of their families horribly obnoxious and elitist?”
Yes. And that is the raison d’etre of LEWW.
2. “Why don’t you give couples higher scores if they came from impoverished backgrounds? Someone born to poor immigrant parents, who somehow managed to make it to a top law school and top law firm, is much more impressive than some rich legacy kid with the same achievements.”
A fair question. But we’re rating couples, not invididuals. An individual who overcame tough circumstances to achieve success in the legal profession is an impressive individual; but a Mayflower descendant marrying the child of a billionaire is an impressive couple.
For centuries, marriages have been used to bring together agglomerations of wealth and power. See, e.g., Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI. And this remains true today, even if not to the same degree. This is why the Times, despite being much more meritocratic in its couple selection than decades past, still has a hard-on for Daughters of the American Revolution, and Sons with First Names That Sound Like Last Ones.
In short, despite the changes over the years — more racial and ethnic diversity, the inclusion of gay couples — the NYT weddings and celebrations page still has a “Social Register” feel to it. And LEWW, in keeping with that spirit, awards extra points for “Social Register”-worthy families.
3. “You’re pretty stingy in scoring families. What does a perfect ’10′ look like?”
A timely question. Earlier this month, on November 19, we saw a couple with an astronomically high score in the family department. We won’t be rating them in LEWW, since neither spouse is a practicing lawyer (although the husband has a law degree). But here’s what a 9.9 — or maybe a 9.8, to leave some room for improvement — might look like.
She is a daughter of Carroll M. Carpenter and Edmund N. Carpenter II of Wilmington, Del. Her father is a partner in and a former president of Richards, Layton & Finger, a law firm there. The bride is a descendant of Eleuthère Irénée du Pont de Nemours, the founder of the DuPont Company….
He is a son of Elizabeth Rogers Brokaw and Mr. Brokaw III of Southampton, N.Y. His father retired as the chairman of Invail Capital, an investment firm in New York. The bridegroom is a descendant of William Bradford, a governor of Plymouth Colony, and of Dr. Josiah Bartlett, a New Hampshire signer of the Declaration of Independence.
Yes, we have tagged this under “Nauseating Things.”
The weekend of November 4-5 was a little short on lawyer weddings in the New York Times wedding announcements. But the weekend of November 11-12 had a lot of them.
We had a hard time picking which pairs to profile. We came thisclose to writing about Lauren Clabby and James Moore V, but we were scared off by the epic length of their announcement. In the end, we settled upon these three couples:
Here at Above the Law, we offered up lavishcoverage of the magnificent wedding of Ted Olson and Lady Booth. Given Olson’s status as a giant of the legal profession, a former Solicitor General and leading Supreme Court advocate, this coverage was fitting and proper.
But, alas, it was not complete — and it may have been inaccurate in certain respects, for which we apologize. These omissions and possible errors were brought to our attention by some helpful reader comments.
Here are the items we’d like to address. Please refer back to this post and this post for background, as needed.
1. We assumed that the gentleman who escorted the beautiful Lady Booth down the aisle was her father. It appears we were correct. According to this comment, by Wayne N. Perkey II, “that is our father (Wayne N. Perkey) walking her down the aisle. It was indeed a beautiful wedding, and a good time was had by all.”
2. We said we didn’t know the identity of “the Margaret Thatcher doppelganger in the floral print dress.” We were enlightened by this comment:
Although Mary Ellen Bork would not likely quarrel with an analogy in any aspect to the Iron Lady, the term Margaret Thacher “doppelganger”… is hardly ‘fair’ to the very lovely Mary Ellen, wife of the esteemed Judge — and unintended style-celebrant on these pages.
We thank this commenter for the information, also corroborated by an email we received: “The [woman in the floral print dress] is Mary Ellen Bork. She read two Shakespeare sonnets picked out by Ted and Lady, and then gave a prayer. She’s a former nun.”
(That observation, of course, begs another question: Did Mary Ellen Bork cast off her nun’s habit in order to be with Bob Bork? If so, it’s tremendously romantic. As the Mother Superior said to Maria in “The Sound of Music”: “Follow your heart! Even if that beard is a bit scratchy.”)
3. “Napa Casual.” This has generated controversy more heated than Bush v. Gore, Ted Olson’s most famous case. We originally wrote:
Despite the tremendous collective brainpower of these august guests, we hear that several of them were left scratching their impressive craniums by one wedding detail: the request on the wedding invite for “Napa Casual” attire.
These leading minds of the bench and bar can slice, dice, define and parse the most complex legal terms known to man. But throw two innocent little words at them — “Napa Casual” — and watch them panic.
There’s disagreement among the commenters about this detail (which we received from a source we regard as highly reliable). Some commenters say that the “Napa Casual” request was “a myth.” Others say that yes, there was such a request, but it was made with respect to the rehearsal dinner (not the wedding).
How can we settle this dispute between anonymous commenters? Like good lawyers, we’re going to issue a document request. We’d very much appreciate it if someone would send us a digital photograph or pdf scan of the Olson-Booth wedding invitation and/or the rehearsal dinner invitation. The only way to settle this disagreement is by recourse to ocular proof.
We’re still having email problems, so please contact us at our temporary address: abovethelawtips AT gmail DOT com. Thank you. Earlier: Lady and Ted’s Excellent Adventure: Wedding Photos That Rock The Eyes of the Law: Ted Olson’s Star-Studded Nuptials
After several weekends full of lawyer weddings, we’ve hit a dry patch. Last weekend, we found only three couples in the New York Times wedding announcements that included at least one lawyer. So we don’t have much choice in the couples we’re reviewing today:
Last week, we opened the polls in our October 2006 Couple of the Month competition. And today — Election Day, natch — we closed ‘em.
It was an exciting race. Lori Alvino and Matthew McGill took an early lead, which they held through the weekend. But Katherine Dowling and Marc Axelbaum started gaining on them — fast.
This morning, Katherine and Marc moved within striking distance of Lori and Matt McGill. And then, earlier today, they overtook them. So congratulations to Above the Law’s newest Couple of the Month:
Happy Monday, everybody. We’re guessing you’re still recovering from the weekend; so are we. (We had a bit too much red wine last night, and we fear we’re coming down with a minor cold.)
Anyway, before we plunge into matters of “substance,” a quick administrative announcement. The polls in our October 2006 Couple of the Month contest will close tomorrow at 3 p.m. — on Election Day, fittingly enough.
(ATL’s mitzvah for the day: We remind you that, regardless of your party affiliation, you should vote tomorrow. We think democracy is swell.)
If you haven’t done so already, check out the Couple of the Month competition and cast your vote, by clicking here. As you’ll see, we have now secured photographs for all five couples — including this photo of Katherine Dowling and Marc Axelbaum. Fantastic!
Yesterday we declared the final winning couple in Legal Eagle Wedding Watch for October 2006. So you know what that means: time for you to vote on which couple deserves to be crowned Above the Law’s October 2006 Couple of the Month.
If you need to refresh your memory about these different couples, our prior write-ups — with scores, links to their original NYT wedding announcements, and photos (in some cases) — appear after the jump.
But if you’re ready to cast your ballot, perhaps because you’re a friend of one these couples, here’s the poll:
On the heels of the robust lawyer wedding market over October 21-22, last weekend delivered another bumper crop of attorney nuptials. We picked three couples to write about, per our standard procedure. But there were many others that would have been equally suitable for review.
Three of the wedding announcements that we almost wrote about illustrate an interesting trend: mentioning past employment positions. Typically this is done only if the former post is a big deal — e.g., a Supreme Court clerkship, an ambassadorship, etc. But in three announcements — Lucy Fowler and Travis Glasson, Liora Powers and Steven Spiess, and Robyn Sorid and Joshua Ufberg — past jobs of the bride were mentioned, despite not being exceptionally notable.
(Fowler, Powers, and Sorid were, respectively, former associates at Foley Hoag, Schulte Roth & Zabel, and Paul Weiss. These are all prestigious gigs; but none is on the level of a SCOTUS clerkship or an ambassadorship.)
Sorry for the digression; on to the business at hand. Here are the couples in contention this week:
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.
Please note that Evan Jowers and Robert Kinney are still in Hong Kong and will stay FOR THE REMAINDER OF THIS WEEK. We still have a handful of available slots for meetings with our Asia Chronicles fans. If we have not been in touch lately, reach out and let us know when we could meet! There is no need for an agenda at all. Most of our in-person meetings on these trips are with folks who understand that improving a legal practice through lateral hiring is an information-driven process that takes time to handle correctly.
Regarding trends in lateral US associate hiring in Hong Kong, we of course keep much of what we know off of this blog. Based on placement revenue, though, Kinney is having one of our most successful years ever in Asia. We are helping a number of our law firm clients with M&A, fund formation, cap markets, project finance, FCPA and disputes openings. These are very specific needs in many cases, so a conversation with us before jumping in may be helpful. As always, we like to be sure to get the maximum number of interviews per submission, using a well-informed, highly targeted, and selective approach, taking into account short, medium and long-term career aims.
Making a well informed decision during a job search is easier said than done – the information we provide comes from 10 years of being the market leader in US attorney placements at the top tier firms in Asia. There is no substitute for having known a hiring partner since he/she was an associate or for having helped a partner grow his or her practice from zip to zooming, and this is happily where we stand today – with years of background information on just about every relevant person in all the markets we serve, and most especially in Hong Kong/China/Greater Asia. So get in touch and get a download from us this week if we can fit it in, or soon in any case!
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.
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.