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Career Alternatives for Law Firm Associates:
Howard has the news about the previously pseudonymous blogger behind Opinionistas, an amusing blog about law firm life. It turns out that the blog was written by law firm associate Melissa Lafsky, who has quit her firm job and is going to be a writer fulltime.

  When you combine this news with past reports about Jeremy Blachman and David Lat, I think you begin to see a new career path emerge for unhappy lawyers who are also good writers. If you don't want to practice law, start an anonymous blog on the side. Work on the blog until it develops a big following, and then go public; you can then use the fame from your blog to arrange a book deal or another job as a writer and leave the law behind. It can't work for many people, of course, but it does seem to be working for some.
Douglas (mail):
Does it work for law professors, and will Juan Non-Volokh be the test case?
1.17.2006 4:30pm
Cornellian (mail):
Ironically, those capable of doing this are probably also the most capable of writing in clear, direct English, a skill sorely lacking at many law firms.
1.17.2006 4:38pm
Guest111111 (mail):
She's cute!
1.17.2006 4:39pm
Nobody Special:
Awww, man, Littler Mendelson?

I was hoping for something like Cravath, not some labor law firm.
1.17.2006 5:29pm
blackdog:
Swell, more incentives for bloggers... 99.7% of whom are hoping for a book deal, and 99.8% of whom write the most (take your pick) mundane/incoherent/uninformed/borderline-lunatic drivel. And for lawyer or law school bloggers, add in a dose of the superiority in one's beliefs and tendency to argue ad infinitum that attaches to those who attend or graduate from legal institutions (present blog excepted, of course; but it's a rarity). Can't wait to see more of them.

As far as I can tell, the contribution of most blogs is merely to gum up a Google search by occupying the first 40 spots on the results list.
1.17.2006 5:29pm
publius (mail) (www):
sounds like a plan. where do i sign up? :)
1.17.2006 5:37pm
Nicole Black (mail) (www):
For anyone who's in the slightest bit curious about the real person behind Opinionista, here's her bio (cached from the firm's web siteā€”it's since been removed from their main site): Bio
1.17.2006 6:49pm
Billy Budd:
Wow, J.D. in 2004? From her blog it sounded like she had been practicing for 3-5 years. It sure didn't take her long to hate firm life ...
1.17.2006 7:59pm
H. Tuttle:
Somewhat ironically I made the reverse commute -- from journalist and writer to lawyer. In my view 50% of people at law school shouldn't be there to begin with, and then 50% of those who do go on to practice law likely shouldn't have. As someone who successfully made a living as a fulltime freelance writer for a number of years, I can attest it is extremely difficult unless you are (a) very lucky, (b) produce very clean copy very quickly, and (c) are constantly networking and pitching. Good luck to her. I predict in a few years, if not sooner, she experience yet another career epiphany. The world is awash with eager, clever scribblers.
1.17.2006 8:19pm
Crank (mail) (www):
I guess if you're not anonymous you can't do that; I've been blogging and writing on the web for as long as Blachman, Lafsky and Lat combined and I'm still working for a living.

From my sporadic exposure to her blog, it sounded like either she's a very imaginative writer or her firm was a place of breathtaking cruelty. Law firm life has its downsides, to be sure, but she just kept writing about things I couldn't imagine happening at my firm.
1.19.2006 9:11pm