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« Success Stories: Jackie Benson and Dan Downey: Mixing Law and Competitive Ice Hockey | Main | New Daily Lawyer Cartoon »

Success Story: David Lat: Former Federal Prosecutor and Wachtell Lipton Associate Turned Celebrity Blogger

Abovethelaw Came across a very engaging profile on (see link at bottom)tracing the fascinating career trajectory of David Lat from Yale Law School to U.S. Supreme Court clerk applicant (and a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals clerkship) to associate at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz (billing 2,700 hours/year) to federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney's Office in Newark, N.J., and (simultaneously) anonymous publisher of Underneath Their Robes - a gossipy blog exploring the personal lives (including sartorial preferences) of well known jurists - to his current position as editor of Above the Law - a blog dishing up a "behind-the-scenes look at the world of law [that] . . . provides news and gossip about the profession’s most colorful personalities and powerful institutions, as well as original commentary on breaking legal developments."

For those familiar with the blogosphere, the anonymously penned Underneath Their Robes created quite a stir for 18 months with its "irreverent dishing about the personal idiosyncrasies" of judges ranging from Chief Justice William Rehnquist to Judge Alex Kozinski of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals (who endorsed the blog as demonstrating that jurists "know how to poke fun at [themselves]." At its height, the blog received 2,000 visitors a day. Lat did not reveal his identity though, and tried to throw would-be gumshoes off his trail by suggesting he was female.

Eventually, Lat "outed himself" by disclosing his identity to New Yorker staff writer Jeffrey Toobin. Though the U.S. Attorney's office says Lat was a "gifted lawyer" for whom a position remains open if he ever wants to return to law, Lat resigned from his job as a federal prosecutor and accepted an offer from blogger mogul Nick Denton to join Wonkette (a popular political blog) as co-editor. He was later recruited by Elizabeth Spiers, founding editor of, to run the niche legal blog, Above the Law.

Lat says the reaction of most lawyers upon hearing of his departure from law to become a full time blogger is: "congrats, good for you, I'm jealous."

Read the full article here.

We think Lat would make a compelling interview for our "Success Stories" category (we've already spoken with some other well-known lawyers-turned-bloggers, including Dennis Kennedy, Carol Elefant, Bruce MacEwen, and Ernie the Attorney). We'll ask Lat if he's willing.

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