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Legal Gossip Maven David Lat Dishes on Above the Law

Posted Feb 21, 2008 1:45 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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David Lat.
Photo by Ron Aira

Updated: Harvard. Yale. Wachtell. Federal prosecutor. Federal appeals court clerkship. All are part of David Lat's impressive resume.

Yet the 32-year-old is now prominent not in a traditional legal job but as the editor of one of the nation's most-talked-about legal blogs, Above the Law. A self-described legal tabloid, it "has developed into an addictive cult with hundreds of thousands of faithful readers spread across America," reports the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Halfway through today, for instance, Above the Law gives a rundown, with links, of recent news, from U.S. Supreme Court coverage to a politician's alleged affair, seeks reader input on desired part-time work policies and informs inquiring legal minds, in connection with a BigLaw firm's announcement of a prestigious new matter, that "working on this high-profile deal for the dynamic duo must be super-exciting, but not without its challenges," given the two partners involved. Plus, Lat dishes on another BigLaw firm's claimed policy that associates must agree to arbitrate employment disputes, profiles a judge and announces an associate pay raise at a national employment law firm.

Lat doesn't rule out a return to law practice at some point, he tells the Daily Inquirer.

However, he says in an interview last year with a writer for Real Lawyers Have Blogs that it would be difficult for him to write for Above the Law while practicing. His focus now, he says, is to further enhance his blog and make it more like a magazine, bringing in outside writers in order to do so.

"I do have some goals for the future, and we’re going to be doing this redesign, so I think there’s even more that we can do," he tells Real Lawyers Have Blogs. "But basically, I’m pretty happy with how things are now, and I’m quite content to keep on going."

In December, ABA Journal readers ranked Above the Law first among Blawg 100 contenders for Best Gossip Blog.

Updated at 5:15 p.m., Feb. 22, to change Lat's job title.


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