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Jeremy Blachman: Author, Anonymous Lawyer


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Jeremy Blachman: Author, Anonymous Lawyer

  1. 1. LAWCROSSING THE LARGEST COLLECTION OF LEGAL JOBS ON EARTH LAW STAR 1. 800.973.1177 Jeremy Blachman: Author, Anonymous Lawyer [By Charisse Dengler] Jeremy Blachman, the brains behind the hit Blogspot blog Anonymous Lawyer , recently went a step further in documenting the exploits of his mysteriously anonymous main character. In his brand-new book, Anonymous Lawyer , Blachman elaborates on the life and times of Anonymous Lawyer, bringing in new characters and events while throwing in plenty of the sarcastic humor that has made his blog both wildly popular and endlessly entertaining.Blachman, who started his Anonymous experiences and by imagining “the harshest, was already fairly well-developed; and a lotLawyer blog after watching a variety of most wicked hiring partner” that he could. of the ideas were already there, even thoughparody blogs crop up on the Internet, started 90 percent of the material was new,” he said.out blogging about his law school experience “I thought about the kinds of stupid things Iunder his own name. However, once he did in my interviews—asking dumb questions “The biggest difference between blog andnoticed a shortage of blogs being written by about work-life balance, worrying about book is that the blog didn’t have a story,” hepartners in law firms, he decided to go where whether I was using the right knife to butter said. “There was no dramatic arc, no castno blawger had gone before. my bread at lunch, not knowing enough about of characters beyond Anonymous Lawyer, the firm—and what I could imagine was going no forward motion. So, I had to start from“I started the Anonymous Lawyer blog mostly through the partner’s mind,” he said. scratch and figure out what kinds of storieson a whim, just to see what would happen I could tell with this character, what his Once he started his summer associate motivations were, what goal could drive anif I tried to write funny entries from the position, he began to use his experiences at entire novel.”perspective of a hiring partner,” Blachman the firm for inspiration.said. “I expected the blog would last maybe Blachman finally decided he would build thea week and then I’d run out of things to say, “When the summer started, getting ideas plot around Anonymous Lawyer’s quest foror no one would be reading and I’d forget for entries was pretty easy. I would notice the position of chairman of his firm, and heabout it. But the readership built up fairly little things throughout the day and then began creating other characters (not foundquickly, and I found that I did have things exaggerate them or flip them around in the blog) and events that would help moveto say in the voice of this character, even to create posts. Oftentimes, emails or the plot toward that goal.though at the time the blog started, I hadn’t comments from readers have helped inspireworked at a firm at all and was basing it all entries. And now that the character is “I spent about four months revising andon the interviews and things I’d heard and pretty well-developed and his voice is fairly revising and revising—rewriting the endingmy imagination. But very quickly, before my consistent, I can develop a post out of pretty a few times until it felt right, swapping somesummer associate job even started, I had much anything in the news or things I hear characters out and putting new ones in,about 700 readers a day.” when talking to friends.” changing a bunch of the blog posts—until it felt like it was a satisfying book from start toThe main character in Blachman’s It was after an article about his Anonymous finish,” he said.Anonymous Lawyer blog is based on a Lawyer blog appeared in the New Yorkcombination of the attorneys he met while Times in December 2004 that Blachman In the book, Anonymous Lawyer, describedinterviewing for a job after his 2L year. was approached by publishers about a book by Publisher’s Weekly as “ill-humored” and deal. At first, he was a bit overwhelmed and “ill-tempered,” is a hiring partner at a large“I think I did 20 first-round interviews and nervous at the thought of turning the blog corporate firm in Los Angeles who starts athen seven or eight callbacks—so I’d met into a book. He said there were times when weblog to chronicle his frustrations with big-maybe 50 attorneys; and they all seemed sort he wasn’t sure the blog format would work firm life. Written as a collection of blog postsof the same,” he said. “There was definitely over the course of an entire book, but he kept and emails, the book has been described byone character I felt like I could create from at it. A mere eight months later, he turned in USA Today as “wickedly amusing” and byall of them together.” his final draft. Publisher’s Weekly as “side-achingly funny.”At first, Blachman got most of his ideas “I was building off of almost 60,000 words of Blachman first became interested infor the blog entries from his own interview source material on the blog. So the character pursuing a professional writing career whilePAGE continued on back
  2. 2. LAWCROSSING THE LARGEST COLLECTION OF LEGAL JOBS ON EARTH LAW STAR 1. 800.973.1177writing songs and sketches for Princeton’s blogging about his law school experience And maybe nothing will happen, but at leastTriangle Club as an undergraduate, and the and started writing for whatever projects he give yourself the chance for good fortune toTriangle Club was also where he met Robert could find, including the school’s a cappella strike.”Duke and Jay Kerr, whom he lists among his group and parody show.mentors. In his own life, Blachman is grateful for one “While most of my classmates were looking of his law professors, Elizabeth Warren. She“They taught me how to write—and especially for law firm jobs for the summer after encouraged him to do what he wanted andhow to rewrite—how to find a punch line; 1L year, I ended up splitting my summer not what was expected of to structure a piece of writing with a interning for a publishing company and a “She gave a talk to our section [during] 1Lbeginning, middle, and an end—and they political advertising firm,” he said. “So, my year about how the way to find passion inawakened in me a passion for writing that I goal was always to use the three years at law what you do for a living is to do it, to pursuenever knew I had,” he said. school to find a path to becoming a writer.” what you love, and hopefully find that you can make that intersect with a career,” he said.Upon graduation from Princeton, he got a job Blachman, who is 27 years old, graduated “[She] definitely inspired me to realize it’sworking for a software company and began from Harvard Law School in 2005 and okay to go to law school and then use the lawwriting on the side. However, after a while, currently lives in Brooklyn, NY, where he’s degree in whatever way would help me findBlachman became dissatisfied with the work, working on various writing projects, including the career I want to have, even if it’s not thefeeling like it wasn’t getting him any closer to another book. At this point in his life, he has traditional path.”his dreams; and that’s when he decided to go no intention of practicing law school. “If I need to practice law at some point down Anonymous Lawyer hit bookstore shelves the road, I will; but for now, I’m hoping to on July 25. For more information, visit“I figured that law school would buy continue to pursue writing opportunities,” Blachman’s blog atme—albeit at an expensive cost—three years he said. figure out how to be a writer and time towrite; but at the same time, I’d end up with a When asked if he had any advice for law ON THE NETdegree that had real value and would give me students, Blachman responded, “If youa pretty solid backup plan if the writing didn’t have passions, if there are things you wish Anonymous Lawyerwork out,” he said. you could pursue after law school, don’t necessarily be resigned to ending up at aBlachman admits that he went to law school firm because that’s what everyone does. Anonymous Law Firmto figure out how to be a writer, not a lawyer; Think about what you can be doing to pursue anonymouslawfirm.comand the first thing he did when he got there your passions while at law school, and takewas email the Harvard Lampoon and the steps to meet people who can help—to get Princeton Triangle Clublaw school newspaper. He went on to begin your product out there and to get noticed.