BIGLAW WEBLOGS HIDE CONTRIBUTIONS OF ASSOCIATES . . . According to Carolyn Elefant at My Shingle, some weblogs by large law firms are being ghostwritten by associates for the partners. Who gets the credit for the writing? Not the associates, of course. Says Elefant in "Why Would You Blog At Biglaw?":
[W]hat's both troubling and sad is that smart, young attorneys would so willingly forego ownership of their writing and analytical work, one of the few things that gives us any currency in this profession, simply because the firm demands it. Yes, I may be a lowly solo in the eyes of biglaw, but at least I can say that not only is my name on the door of my firm, it's on my web posts as well, every one of them.
That's BigLaw for you. At the BigLaw firm where I worked for six years, I once wrote (and then rewrote and rewrote) a 52-page article for a partner who teased me endlessly about the warm place he was traveling to present the article once I'd finished with it. I didn't get to bill my writing time and I didn't get to put my name anywhere in the article--not even in one of those silly footnotes I could have written thanking myself for my help in writing the article.
Stranger still, I still like the lawyer I wrote the article for. Throughout my time at BigLaw, I rarely blamed the partners for the way they acted; it was part of the culture, and I bought into it every two weeks when I cashed my giant paycheck. But I didn't stick around, either. Neither will a lot of those associates who are ghostwriting BigLaw weblogs today.
I'm exaggerating a little about my article, by the way. The partner was very grateful for my help and effusive in his praise for my writing. But I still didn't get any credit. My reward was getting to work with him on some of his "important" cases. What a strange time that was.