The Above the Law blog is to the legal community what “Page Six” is to The New York Post. Essentially, Above the Law is a daily gossip page of the legal community, often reporting on corporate faux pas, law school face-palms and basically any other public action by attorneys or judges that might result in humiliation.
Although applicable to a general readership, the blog’s humor and subject matter are geared toward the legal community, both J.D. candidates and practicing attorneys. Much like Aesop’s Fables, the blog’s hilarious anecdotes often have important underlying messages for attorneys and law students, such as appropriate attire for corporate (“Big Law”) work and how a supervising attorney might tactfully “ad-dress” a new hire’s fashion disasters (hint: do not take photos of the atrocious attire and post to Facebook).
Additionally, Above the Law posts information keyed loosely to firm size (Big Law, Small Law Firms, Law School and In-Housel Counsel) that may prove useful to those seeking to find or improve employment. One of the blog’s most popular sections is recent news surrounding Big Law, including mergers, attorney migrations and opportunities for vertical movement within the firm. This section informs hopeful prospects about which Big Law firms will be hiring and which are committed to their associates’ internal advancement.
Aside from comedic relief, the blog also offers more “hard” resources, such as job listings (which are not limited solely to legal or law related jobs), law school and firm rankings, and directories. Additionally, the blog posts a daily “Non-Sequiturs” section, which compiles a snapshot of headlines from and links to other legal and political websites.
From Above the Law’s landing page, a reader can narrow a topic by firm size or other criteria, and receive updates or follow the blog via email subscription, RSS feed, Twitter or Facebook. I prefer to scroll through the blog’s pages and read the latest daily headlines. All of the posts include internal links to outside information, such as a judge-bashing-email an attorney accidently sent to the judge in question, or a third party source the author used for research. Usually the in-text links to external sites send you to background information, but in some cases these links will send you directly to a case or firm’s website.
Above the Law also includes metadata tags at the bottom of every post, which allow you to conduct a key word search, such as “SBA funds MPRE” were you searching for the post about the Student Bar Association executive members from a law school who allegedly embezzled SBA funds to pay the registration fee for their Multistate Professional Responsibility Examinations (MPRE).
Don’t forget to peruse the comments after checking out an article or to add your own comment if you feel so inclined. Commenting is anonymous, provided you don’t choose your own name as a username. The frequency of the comments to the blog varies in relation to a post’s topic and absurdity, and while they occasionally add some substance to the posts, the comments generally build upon the blog’s tongue-in-cheek and facetious humor. Nonetheless, the variety and subject matter of the comments give readers an additional understanding about how legal and political issues are received by the public and legal community.
Take Above the Law for what it is – light reading with a comedic spin. But, don’t discount the substance of the blog because it chooses to deliver legal and political news with a grin. There is useful information to be gained here, such as law firm etiquette, law school fails and successes, tips on client retention, and ethical guidelines for any stage of your career (I’m talking to you “Judge Shirtless McCree”). Plus, why not take a break and laugh a little?
~ Lianna Rossman, L’14 ~
Class Advisor – Cory M. Lenz, Esq.