Web week

The Lawyer‘s Web Week is a weekly commentary on legal activity on the web. This includes an overview of the best of the week’s blogs. If you want to direct us to useful links, email webweek@thelawyer.com.

Secretarial skills
Invariably in The Lawyer’s ‘Work-Life Quiz’ (see page 29), the answer to our question “Where’s the best place to go if you want to find out what’s really going on in the office?” is often the secretary.

These doyennes of the workplace now have their very own blawg in the form of PT-LawMom, found at ptlaw mom.blog spot.com.

We love the opening lines, quoting from Mark Herrmann’s book The Curmudgeon’s Guide to Practising Law: “I’ve seen associates come and I’ve seen associates go. I’ve been a legal secretary longer than you’ve been alive. I know you think you are smarter than me and that there’s nothing I can teach you. Get over it.”

The blawg’s author, an American legal secretary, has some useful dos and don’ts of her own: “DON’T: Forget that your secretary has access to your email. She can read through your emails and calendar items, remind you of pending issues, etc. However, when last night’s girlfriend sends an ode to your naked body, it becomes a bit embarrassing. Also a bad idea to talk negatively about your secretary or others with others via work email….”

Partnership perk-up
If there was a theme to last week it was most definitely promotions. At the last count there were 162 new entrants to partners’ dining rooms at Allen & Overy (A&O), CMS Cameron McKenna, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Linklaters, Lovells, Pinsent Masons and Skadden (that’s in addition to the ones announced by Herbert Smith, Slaughter and May and Eversheds the week before). As Lawyer News Daily on 4 April (www.thelawyer.com) had it: “Forget the prospect of Easter eggs and hot cross buns. A&O, along with magic circle rivals Freshfields and Linklaters, has revealed a bumper-sized package of new partners. No doubt Clifford Chance associates will be holding out for champagne and caviar as they lick their lips in anticipation of their own promotions round coming up.”

Alternative careers
And for those associates who were overlooked, we imagine you might be asking some soul-searching questions, namely: should you really be a lawyer? How serendipitous, then, that we stumbled upon a website dealing with just that theme (shouldyoureally.blogs.com/shouldyoureallybealawyer/).

It dispels the myth that all lawyers are humourless drones: “For all the would-be lawyers who wind up pursuing comedy instead of entering law school (Jon Stewart and Jason and Randy Sklar to name but a few), some make it all the way through law school before realising that comedy is their true calling.”

Just imagine, had Slaughters’ Nigel Boardman not got all his breaks, rather than acting on mega-deals he could be presenting Deal or no Deal? right now.

Testing, testing
And for those aspiring to be the next Boardman who are not yet in law, Lovells has a handy ‘Critical Thinking’ test online to determine just how good you might be. It’s found at graduates.lovells.com/next step/interactivetests.shtml.

It tests skills such as deduction, speedy comprehension and interpretation. The interpretation part states: “Assume that everything in the paragraph is true. Judge whether or not each of the proposed conclusions logically follows beyond a reasonable doubt from the information given in the paragraph.”

The paragraph reads: “In 1970, 60.4% of adults (people 25 years of age and older) had completed 11 years or less of schooling, while 4.6% had completed three or more years of university. In 1990, 40.0% of adults had completed 11 years or less of schooling, while 7.1% had completed three or more years of university.”

So does the conclusion “In 1970, most adults had not entered the sixth form” logically follow that statement? Yes it does. For the rest, you’re on your own.

At The Lawyer’s first sitting we scored a healthy 71 per cent. Should we give up the day job? Over to you Lovells.