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Solo In Chicago

...empowering the Second City's entrepreneurial legal community

Thursday, February 21, 2008

BIG LAW Says: Blog is Not "Appropriate"

Did ya see some of the coverage about Skadden's "Hot Associate" contest on a blog, Skadden Insider. From "above:"

The Firm recognizes that blogs are prevalent in today's culture and that blogs about Skadden are to be expected. Nonetheless, we believe that the "contests" on one of these blogs is inappropriate and does not reflect our values and standards of behavior. Numerous attorneys at the Firm have expressed their concern and, in some cases, embarrassment at such contests. We urge the authors of the blog to consider both the privacy and feelings of the affected attorneys and to discontinue the contests.

Good luck puting the blog genie back in the bottle.


At 2:09 PM, Blogger Steve Imparl said...

Hi Peter,

I suppose there are at least a few different ways of looking at this news story, the blog, and the response of one of the lawyers at the firm. Here are some possibilities I've considered.

1. One could say that "big law" firms need to take themselves a lot less seriously and develop a sense of humor.

2. Another possibility is to agree with the lawyer's objection to the "hot associates" contest, even with the reservation that I am not sure what he might mean by the firm's "our values and standards of behavior."

3. Condemn all such contests as per se degrading to women and as a barrier of sex discrimination that persists at some law firms.

4. Feel compassion for the individuals who have suffered embarrassment as a result of this contest and the ensuing controversy over it.

5. Ask the bigger, and much more intractable, question about the culture of "big law" that gives rise to such blogs and such contests.

I agree with you that the blog genie is out of the bottle. At this point, it seems more appropriate for the firm to deal with the underlying causes of the issues rather than the symptoms that have surfaced.

Keep up the great blogging. I've added you to my blogroll, and have mentioned your recommendations for CLE. I'm also in Chicago.


At 8:22 AM, Blogger Peter said...

Thanks for the comment Steve...I think #1 may be it.


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