This Week: The Jeremy Blachman Edition, in Which Your Editor Takes Time Out to Say Congratulations to Jeremy Blachman
"Who is the Anonymous Lawyer?" Professor Bainbridge once asked. Today, all the questions are answered in Sara Rimer's article in the New York Times: "Revealing the Soul of a Soulless Lawyer." The Anonymous Lawyer is Jeremy Blachman, who reveals how it all started in the article:
"I wanted to see if I could post as a hiring partner and be believable," he said . . . "I thought it would last for a week."
"I was just writing satire," he added. "The stories I'm telling, to me, feel so outlandish. In a way I've been disappointed that I've been able to pull it off. I've painted a picture based on a few months of observation and the worst things I saw, heard about or could imagine about law firms, and experienced lawyers are chiming in, saying, `This is exactly what it feels like.' "
Jeremy Blachman, of course, is the author of Jeremy's Weblog, who also writes at De Novo and Crescat Sententia. As I once wrote about Jeremy's writing on Jeremy's Weblog: "[H]e's one of the hardest-working bloggers in the blogosphere, cares about his audience, and writes in a genuine, friendly tone that makes you want to like him."
Now we know there's another side to Jeremy--not only can he write comedy, but he can write black comedy. You could say that Anonymous Lawyer is to big-firm life what Desperate Housewives is to the suburbs. And Jeremy's satiric send-up of big-firm life works. As I wrote in my August post "deconstructing" Anonymous Lawyer, "Although the Anonymous Lawyer makes frequent use of irony, he never engages in outright comedy. Instead, he carefully walks the line between gentle satire and full-blown burlesque, leaving his readers to wonder how much of what he writes is real and how much isn’t."
The Times article mentions Jeremy's ambition: to turn Anonymous Lawyer into a book. It's an idea I've written about here. The responses to this idea from around the blogosphere, some of which are collected in this post, might give Jeremy some ideas about how to proceed.
I'm interested to see what's going to happen. I'm also interested to see whether any real lawyers complain that it's wrong for a "mere" law student to lampoon them. As I once wrote, "No lawyer really wants to believe he could be so transparent and easy to dissect by an outsider."
Of course, it's not easy to do what Jeremy has done; if he's succeeded, it's because he's one hell of a kick-ass writer. I think he is. Now that the buzz has moved from the blogosphere to the mainstream media, let's see what it does for his writing career.
Update: There's been plenty of reaction to the Times article from around the blogosphere, which is being ably catalogued by Chris at Law Dork.
[Below the Fold: Most of my prior posts about the Anonymous Lawyer, collected in one place.]