The Volokh Conspiracy
Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent
For nearly two decades, David Lat has been a permanent fixture in our legal culture. First, with Underneath Their Robes, and later with Above the Law, David brought his keen eye to every aspect of the courts, lawyering, and pop culture. I started law school in 2006, and started reading Above the Law in 2007. I loved his posts on law school antics, law firm scandals, and legal developments. At the time, Big Law was booming. Then, in 2008, I was a summer associate. That was the dreadful period when everything fell apart. David's inside reporting became something of a bible. We would learn, almost in real time, which firms were conducting "stealth layoffs" or were slashing bonuses. Around the same time, David brought other voices to Above the Law. He even held a realty-show themed contest to pick a new editor.
Over the ensuing decade, regrettably, I read Above the Law less and less. New authors wrote about topics that deviated from ATL's core. (Present company included). In 2017, David stepped down as Above the Law managing editor. Things went downhill quickly. In recent years, I have found much of Above the Law not worth following. Indeed, there have been several critical pieces about me that I haven't even bothered to read. Not worth my time. What began as a nerdy, slightly right-of-center site, transformed into an exhausting, woke jeremiad. It made me sad to see this downfall, because I have spent so many years invested in the site.
But now, you can reclaim the glory days of Above the Law. Earlier this year, David launched a new Substack newsletter, Original Jurisdiction. David is the sole editor, and has complete control over the site. And he has brought back the magic of what made UTR and ATL great. There are posts, at least once a week, that break down the business of lawyering. But David also brings levity and nerdy stuff to make me chuckle. He is also breaking news, with his deep cadre of sources. You will learn things from David which you cannot find anywhere else.
Substack is a unique model. It allows authors to charge a modest sum to deliver content. In exchange, readers get a clean, ad-free experience. I just signed up for an annual plan of $50/year. Or you can pay $5 per month. I encourage you to subscribe today. It is important to support voices like David in the dwindling legal blogosphere.