Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Law students must be bolder this year than in the past. Or perhaps they're recognizing the job market is a bit looser generally than it has been in recent years, and taking advantage. After yesterday's e-mail from the 3L who wanted to know why he didn't get a callback, today I got an e-mail from someone who got a callback but no offer, wanting to know if it was how she looked. She said there's a reputation on campus that we're one of a few firms in the area that seem to actively prefer pretty people, all else being equal. I'm not sure she's wrong. There is a time, although it's not all that soon after someone starts, when associates will meet clients, and I'd rather clients not meet ugly attorneys. They're going to get ugly anyway after a few years without sleep and subsisting on fast food alternated with 3- and 4-course business lunches. But at least if they start out attractive, and I don't just mean the women, we don't collectively fall as far down that slope as we could. I think how our people look reflects on the firm. If they look bright and attractive and friendly, our clients will want to work with us. If they're short, fat, and homely, clients will look elsewhere. I could understand the concern if we were using "attractive" as a code word for something else, like "white," or "Christian," or "unencumbered by children," but I don't think we are. We're as diverse as our peers. But I wouldn't be hurt if someone accused us of having better-looking attorneys. Or at least more attractive paralegals and secretaries, because there's really no argument to cut against that. Besides, wouldn't you rather look at pretty people all else being equal, especially given the hours we're here?

Also, the LSAT discriminates against dumb people.
"We're as diverse as our peers."

Read: "We're not very diverse."
good stuff. so the applicants that look good who put their pics on their resumes get pushed to the top of the stack right?
You totally work at Latham, dude.
All things being equal, I would assume that you would want unattractive people at you firm. At least unattractive support staff.

That way you have less problems with sexual harassment and employee conflict.

Vote for Kerry, folks. Thanks.


I don't want to be president anymore. It was thrust on me by my daddy and I'm just not up to it. I want to go back to drinkin' and sleepin' in.

I second the post by a previous Anonymous poster: my guess is that AL either works at Latham or knows someone who does.
W. J. Cernius
If it's Latham, he made up that bit about associates' photos not appearing on the website. Although I wouldn't put it past AL to throw in the occasional red herring.
Go look- associates (at least junior ones) do not get photos at Latham.

I should know...
Cernium? HAHAHAHA. Why Cernius? If that is him, that's utterly hilarious.
Ah, so they don't. I stand corrected -- I was looking at the photographs of associates at another office.

Hmm -- unmasked, finally?
Of course, biglaw all sucks the same.

It wouldn't be hard to "adopt" a different firm, and then complain about your own. The same jerks (such as myself) are everywhere.
Assuming it's really L&W, what then makes you think it's Cernius? It could be any of the corp partners. Plus, Cernius seems too young for some reason to me. I imagine AL more in his late 50s or even early 60s.
If Cernius shuts down his site because of all this, I'm gonna be very upset.
Is it really L&W? AL once referred to their Lisbon office. I don't think L&W has one there.
I'm sure he's changing around stuff to obscure his identity. In that context (associate transferring to another office), there is no reason Lisbon couldn't be a proxy for any other overseas office they have (Paris, London, Milan, whatever). I'd be disappointed if he didn't obscure trivial things like that.
Notice the address of the Orange County office:
650 Town Center Drive
20th Floor
Costa Mesa, CA 92626-1925

Emphasis on the 20th Floor...
"...from readers who let me know that my fictional life was more entertaining when I didn't sound like I was inches away from the ledge of the building, staring out at my ocean view and threatening to jump into the sand from TWENTY STORIES UP." (emphasis added)

Also, AL mentions the "ocean" or his "ocean view" at least 4 other times. See, e.g.,

We know he's in California--he's admitted as much. See http://anonymouslawyer.blogspot.com/2004/03/i-think-one-of-my-colleagues-had-some.html. Accepting for the possibility of red herrings, we also know he's in the LA area, because he speaks of taking the summers to his colleague's house in PV. See http://anonymouslawyer.blogspot.com/2004/07/i-got-back-from-vacation-late-saturday.html.

1) He's at a big firm (as indicated by, inter alia, the size of his firm's summer class).
2) He's not in downtown LA, and probably not in Century City either (his office is on/overlooking the beach).
3) He's not in Santa Monica (no firm, to my knowledge, with a SM office big enough to support that size a summer class).

VERY good possibility AL is one of the corporate partners at LW in Costa Mesa.

Ok, enough procrastination...back to source coordinating.
Oops, sorry, 7:56 here. Before I get lambasted by the grammer police, allow me to amend my post, supra. Strike "accepting" and replace with "excepting." Mea culpa.
My vote:
10:10, you are way off. The others are correct. AL is obviously in his 40s, not late 50s or 60s. Please try to pay attention, you no psychology analysis ability having jerk. Al obviously graduated from college in the early 80s and law school in the mid to late 80s--it is those lost soul generation attorneys who have the a**hole loser attitudes. Pay attention.

This lw.com Bill Curneius or whoever they are saying fits the profile. Check out the 80s hair and then read his posts and pay attention. He is obviously a younger person because he does say some accurate things sometimes. Guys in their 60s are just totally clueless. Young partners in their 40s are angry, as they should be. They got screwed out of the old ways and are too old to enjoy the new ways new associates today get to enjoy--in other words, they're stuck in the middle of a changing profession and they got the worst of all worlds--they worked their *ss off to get to the end of the rainbow, partnership, only to learn they don't get to be the once and future king like they partners in the 80s were when they were coming up.
I don't know, this Cary Hyden guys fits the bill too. 2 very possible contenders.
You idiots have it all wrong. AL is not a partner and, I am betting, isn't even a man. This is caricature. AL is most likely a 4th or 5th year associate and a woman. I'll go futher and say that it is more likely that AL is actually some partner's secretary than a partner of the demographic any of you have described.
First off, I’d like to say I’m not totally convinced that Latham is the right firm. While they do have a reputation for having hot attorneys, many associates have biographies, and the associate AL mentioned complained of not having a picture OR a biography as the partners do. I have seen some firms that, indeed, list only the school where associates graduated from and no more (as Latham does do for _some_ associates). You may not want to completely rule out Century City as on the top floors of the firm towers there you can see the ocean.

If AL’s posts are to be believed, he cannot be Cernius because Cernius went to Hastings and AL said on 9/23 that his firm had already interviewed at his alma mater. Latham did not go to Hastings until 9/30, see http://www.lw.com/recruiting/InterviewSchedule.asp?section=4.

It is highly unlikely he is Hyden as Hyden is a tried and true Texan (went to school in Dallas and Austin) and there is no way in hell he would be the kind of Dodgers fan that AL is. Especially since he is working in OC, if were a total transplant, he would route for the Angels, not the Dodgers. If we think AL is at Latham in Costa Mesa, he is most likely Scott Shean, who went to UCLA undergrad (Dodgers fan), UCLA is not a top school (as AL mentioned he is not from a top school) and Latham interviewed at UCLA on 9/10.
Step back and ask yourself what partner making a fine six figure salary with half a brain is going to risk being caught exposing various little secrets of this anaonymous firm? My guess is AL is a current or former associate at an LA or LA area firm. Probably even on the 20th floor. He knows too much about such a view to not be. Perhaps from visiting the office of the partner he reports to. Everyone is buying this sham hook, line & sinker. Nevertheless, for entertainment value this stuff is priceless.
I think AL is probably a partner at some firm, who graduated from law school sometime between the mid-80's and early 90's. However, many readers take his comments too literally; believing they are solid leads to his actual identity.

AL probably just listens to stories of colleagues and subordinates at his firm, AND AT OTHER FIRMS, and fictionalizes them into events that occurred at his own firm, or that happened to him.

To me, except where clearly tongue-in-cheek, many of AL's stories have the ring of truth. However, should AL's identity become known (inevitably he will be "outed" if he keeps this up), he doesn't want to be sued. In order to make it virtually impossible to , so he makes it clear that these stories are "fiction."
AL is full of it.

What Biglaw partner is both a litigator ("I went on my last vacation (preplanned for 6 months) even though--thanks to an unexpected deadline extension--we were in the middle of writing a summary judgment opposition.") and a transactional lawyer ("I'm swamped with a deal closing this week, but to address some of the concerns in the comments on the last post:" - "We're hammering out some last-minute parts of a deal")?
10:10 here to 9:30AM. Chill out man, it was just a question. No need to get so wound up about it and start calling everyone and their mother a jerk. HTH.
I posted 2:14 -

I meant to use this quote as an example of AL claiming to do litigation work: "Busy day. Client meeting, motion for summary judgment to write, Indian takeout to order. So many choices." The above reference to the oppositon to summary judgment is from a poster on the board - not AL.
10:26 am, thanks for the great analysis! Much appreciated. And you're probably right.

To add to your points, I also believe someone once mentioned on this weblog that one of AL's initials start with the letter "S." If true, that would make Shean the most likely candidate in the Costa Mesa office--again like you said, if AL even is in L&W's Costa Mesa office, which might not be the case at all.
If we assume that AL is not misleading or obfuscating who he is with red herrings and so forth (a big assumption), then the relevant facts as they stand are:

1. AL is male.
2. AL is a partner
3. In corporate.
4. AL works in an LA area office, possibly Orange County.
5. AL's office overlooks the beach.
6. AL did not graduate from a top 10 school.
7. AL has broad shoulders and is fairly attractive for a man his age.
8. At least one of AL's initials start with the letter s.
9. AL is older, but not too old.
10. AL is a Dodgers' fan.
11. AL's firm has an office in London.

Other facts?
after all of this we can pretty much expect that AL, if he hadn't been doing so before, will now almost definitely start trying to intentionally mislead us. thanks alot guys.
2:52pm: Oh, no! We might never get a chance to uncover the identity of the person providing our entertainment! That would be tragic! What would actually really be bad is if he just stopped posting altogether.
I think its clear that AL has been posting misleading information and is generally full of it. No attorney in a large international firm does litigation AND M&A or transactional real estate work (I say this b/c I don't know what AL means when he says he is closing a "deal"). Anyone with any large firm experience knows this. I do most M&A work, and if I told my colleagues I needed to write a "motion for summary judgment", as AL claimed, there is no possible way that they would believe me. It just doesn't happen.
One thing's for certain. Here it is Thursday night (EST) and AL has yet to post his commentary for Wendesday. Hope we haven't scared him off. This blog is too good to disappear.
I have experience creating an interesting anonymous internet persona, much like AL. What I did to maintain anonymity while still entertaining my audience and being as interesting and truthful as possible was

1. Change meaningless details around. Maybe he doesn't have an ocean view, but another nice view, perhaps of mountains or a golf course. And of course you can change London with Lisbon and without detracting from the basic truth of the story. He probably goes golfing on Tuesdays, not Wednesdays as another example.

2. I would tell true stories that happened to other people as if they happened to me, or I would say things that could have happened and almost did, but didn't for some random reason. The story about the pencil tycoon could have been from a buddy at another firm.

3. I would mention things that happened in previous years as if they just happened.

I assume AL is using all of the above tricks to maintain his anonymity while still accurately describing the life of a typically hiring partner at a big SoCal firm. I believe that AL is exactly who he says he is and love his blog.

In other words, your lame attempts at guessing his identity are wasted. You don't get to AL's position by being stupid.
This blog is insightful, yes, but helpful? Not necessarily. The blog is merely there to voice his justifications of not only making decisions from horrid biases, but his scandalous prejudices against the slightest annoyances. From declaring only losers take the stairs to the statement that a 3L's flaw is that they are simply a 3L. People, don't you see that AL is truly an individual with many issues? He's depressed, hostile, yet at the same time he's indifferent. When AL gains the ability to care about the people around him, then, he will have succeeded, and this blog will no longer be necessary. I can only hope that AL comes to his senses. And I also hope no one sends out copies of his blogs to various individuals at his law firm. Let it go.
its not Latham. I was a summer associate there this summer, and the entire summer associate class was gone in Scottsdale, AZ for Latham academy while he supposedly had a lot of his talks with summers. He could have changed the dates though.
Hey 6:42 p.m. - isn't that what 11:30 a.m. just said, in not-so-many words?
If these comments kill the blog, I'm going to be so very pissed.
If I were AL, I'd be laughing at this whole thing right about now. But I'd still hold off on posting for a few days...make people sweat a bit. "Is he abandoning the blog?!" Etc. Come on, if he were really panicked--if we'd REALLY hit the nail on the head and identified him--he wouldn't just abandon the blog, he'd delete the whole thing.
No he would'nt, because that would utterly confirm his identuty. If that is who AL is, hes in a sticky spot right now.
what i don't understand is who gives a rat's ass about AL's identity? is he going to give you a job? is he going to say, well done super sleuth, now make me a sandwich?

for all you losers out there trying to guess who AL is, why don't you just get a life, and enjoy what he has to say? obviously he's a miserable fuck, and good for him. that's the price he pays for being in the position that he is in now.

that said, as several posters before noted, if someone does indeed figure out who AL is, then surely he will stop posting. after all, he is able to post whatever is on his mind because he won't be outed and incriminated. for those jerkoffs who think it's such a great game to figure out who he is, again, find something else better to do.

i'm a law student and enjoy reading what he has to say. regardless of whether it's truth, fabrication, or half-truth, it's entertaining. and when i read people's comments about how he must be this, or that guy, it just wastes the page.
AL does not exist
I think I met this guy last week.
If all anyone can do is complai about "big law," then why in god's name go looking for jobs in big law. There are plenty of other things out there for lawyers (even the Harvard-educated ones) to do.

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