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                             Inside Legal Blogs
                             [By Jeff]
                             As Sen. Ted Stevens pointed out, the Internet is little more than a series of tubes. Sometimes those tubes get clogged and
                             nothing can get through. Think of this column as the Liquid-Plumr that eats away at the content of the Internet, destroy-
                             ing everything in its path so that commerce can thrive. Every week, we take the latest news from our favorite law blogs and
                             chat boards and break it all down for you using harsh amino acids and a deadly cocktail of chemical agents.

The most talked about law blog issue of this         more concerned by the legal issues presented          satisfaction. According to MacEwen, people
week and last week has been the firing of            by broadcasting the private conversation              leave their firms for reasons relating to:
Denise Howell from Reed Smith. Howell was            between two powerful world leaders. One
                                                                                                           •    firm values and culture (58%)
behind the popular law blog Bag and Baggage.         word, in particular, stood out. Bush said he
                                                                                                           •    freedom and autonomy (56%)
In her final blog entry, she breaks the news         was “tired of this sh*t” in reference to the
                                                                                                           •    exciting challenges (5%)
that she’s out of a job and that she will be         acts of hostility between Israel and Hezbollah.
                                                                                                           •    a well-managed firm (50%)
spending more time with her family. She went         QuizLaw wonders what would happen if the
                                                                                                           •    career advancement and growth (39%)
out with dignity though, and her last blog post      newsworthy clip were to be played unedited
                                                                                                           •    respect for lifestyle (4%)
is bittersweet. The fallout on the blogosphere       on the nightly broadcast news. In light of
                                                                                                           •    job security (8%)
was immediate; and a few weeks later, it is          recent FCC changes, major fines can be levied
                                                                                                           •    acceptable pace and stress (%)
still going strong. Robert Ambrogi of Law.           for the mere utterance of a four-letter word.
com’s Blog Network kept a list of all the blogs      But if the President of the United States says
                                                                                                           So law firm values and culture—not long,
writing about Howell’s firing. Justin Patten         it, by definition, it is infallible. Jeff Jarvis of
                                                                                                           grueling hours or boring work—are apparently
of Human Law says that Howell, one of the            BuzzMachine notes that had the originally
                                                                                                           fueling the growing associate attrition rates.
founding mothers of law blogging, was just           proposed FCC bill gone through, Bush himself
too creative and cutting-edge to fit in with a       could have been hit with a fine for using the         Finally, we have news from the Envy Files.
big, scary law firm like Reed Smith. According       brown word.                                           Ana Marie Cox, formerly of the blog Wonkette,
to legend, it was Howell who coined the term                                                               has been named the new Washington Editor
“blawg.” While some questioned Reed Smith’s          In other news from the frontlines of the              of Time magazine’s website. This news comes
wisdom in letting her go, others wondered if         associate-salary war, Bruce MacEwen of the            to us from The Huffington Post. I guess she
her termination wasn’t evidence of economic          blog Adam Smith, Esq. has an analysis of              technically wasn’t a law blogger, but she was
hardship at the firm. Still others were happy        what is driving the “war for talent” and why          close enough to add to the growing list of law
to just celebrate Howell and her contribution        it’s worse now than ever before. MacEwen              bloggers who were able to turn their modest
to the blawgosphere. Ernie the Attorney even         identified a decade-old survey that claimed the       Internet celebrity into prestigious legit gigs
threw her an online baby shower. Howell has          retirement of the baby boomers would mean             with huge salaries. The announcement comes
remained quiet about her future prospects,           less eligible employees. He also points out that      on the heels of Anonymous Lawyer, Jeremy
but she says she will make sure whatever she         the free flow of information on the Internet          Blachman’s novel, which has garnered rave
does next will be something that satisfies her       makes it more likely that an associate would          reviews. Diehard fans of Blachman’s website
creatively.                                          jump ship as soon as he or she spies a better         may be upset to find that most of the content in
                                                     opportunity on the horizon. Some say a lack           the book comes directly from his blog.
Another highly blogged about news item               of flexibility and dull law firm lifestyles are
from last week has been the President and            leading attorneys to leave their firms by the         But the question on everyone’s lips is, what
Tony Blair’s secretly recorded conversation          droves, but MacEwen isn’t so sure. Turning            does this mean for me!? Could I get a gig as
captured at the G8 summit. While many                back to the old survey, he reveals that flexibility   some kind of pickle spokesperson or a job as
bloggers reveled in the unintentional humor          and lifestyle aren’t even in the top 0 on the        a fluffer on 60 Minutes? I’ve got the x-factor,
of the candid camera antics, others were             list of contributing factors to low levels of job     you know.


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