Monday, September 18, 2006

Welcome to the Legal Profession

Alan Childress, Mike Frisch and I are delighted to be editing this blog whose general subject matter will be the profession and, in particular, its complex relationship with the academy.  This post is a placeholder to get us up and formatted, but we will start churning out posts in mid-October.

I know just enough to be dangerous, which is why we have the other two distinguished editors.  Alan (S. Alan to his friends and "hey you" to his very close friends), in addition to his Harvard law degree, has a Ph.D. in Jurisprudence and Social Policy from the University of California at Berkeley, which gives us official cross-disciplinary bona fides.  Alan has been on the Tulane faculty since 1988, and is visiting this year at George Washington.  (Louisiana was not big enough for the two of us.)  His major claim to fame is that his brother Mark is a best selling novelist (One Mississippi).  According to Alan, whenever you find an obnoxious suck up in one of Mark's stories, Alan was the model.

Alan has taught "The Legal Profession" at Tulane since 1990, and "Comparative Legal Professions" since 2002, and our readers will be the beneficiaries of his expertise in both areas.   

Mike is currently Ethics Counsel to the Georgetown University Law Center and previously served as Senior Assistant Bar Counsel to the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. He teaches American Legal Profession, Ethics and Professional Identity, and Professional Responsibility at Georgetown.  Mike is a Georgetown lifer, having also gotten his law degree there.

My qualifications are limited to a wry sense of humor, being one of the 70% of the population who can roll his tongue up but not down, and a sponge-like memory for useless trivia.  I was a partner in a large law firm based on Detroit whose present advertising epigram ("A Law Firm Unlike Any Other") will be the trigger for some musings on law firm ad epigrams at some point in the future, so I'm familiar first hand with the issues of associate-dom, partner-dom, and the somewhat uncomfortable activity known as "client development" (in short, the phenomenon in which every other human being is classified in one's mind based on the likelihood of becoming a fee paying client).  I've also been the senior vice president and general counsel of a large public company, so I've been a buyer of services (and became the target of others' client development), as well as the manager of an in-house staff.

On the theory that it's better to over-deliver than over-promise, I won't list here the incredible features, links, commentary, guest bloggers, and other delights you will find here, but stay tuned.

- Jeff Lipshaw

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