Plus: Why are New York's streets constantly covered in garbage?
To the 2L: take the job at your firm and make yourself available for writing opportunities. Firms love pumping out memos on new cases and regulations; make it known to the assigning partner that you want to help write them. That’ll give you practice with writing and build up your online resume too. (And give you a shot at paying off your loans.)
Also ask the firm if they would mind if you maintain a blog or use your LinkedIn as a place to riff on legal developments. You’d be surprised, they may see it as positive marketing for them (if you have smart things to say). E.g., there’s an associate at O’Melveny who maintains an extremely popular TikTok account with her husband, talking about the law in laymen’s terms; they haven’t told her to stop.
You can try to find a legal field that isn’t being discussed anywhere yet can be fun to think about in the right hands (Tax? Bankruptcy? Fund formation? I’m already boring myself). But anyway I don’t think the existence of Matt Levine excludes all other writers on matters of corporate and securities law. You just have to write in your own voice and deliver your own take. I’m quite capable of reading Professor Ann Lipton’s blog even after I’ve read Matt’s column. Anyways I think your area of interest, white collar investigations, makes for quite fertile ground. One Bloomberg columnist can’t cover all of it.
For the lawyer who wants to be a journalist, I would suggest trying to get things published sooner rather than later. I went to law school with Jess Bravin, who covers the Supreme Court for the WSJ and this was always his path -- but he was a reporter before he started law school and then he did all kinds of interesting things while a student that helped him make connections (e.g he was a student Regent on the UC Board of Regents and appointed to some Berkeley Commissions).
As I recall, Futurama's New New York dealt with the trash problem in the simple, logical, and obvious way: firing it into the sun.
Second time you've made this mistake. Levine was not an M&A lawyer at Goldman. He was an investment banker at Goldman, working in that firm's equity derivatives desk.
(He was an M&A lawyer at Wachtell)
Isn't this specifically the stuff you are NOT supposed to say in a horror movie?
"Sanitation Commissioner Jessica Tisch, who was joined by Mayor Eric Adams at a news conference this week, made the announcement that she said “rats are absolutely going to hate,” changing the time garbage bags can be piled curbside to 8 p.m. from 4 p.m. Residents can take out their trash by 6 p.m. if the bags are placed in sealed containers, under the new rules. Garbage must still be placed at the curb by midnight.
“The rats don’t run this city,” the commissioner said. “We do.”
I agree with your point about Tokyo, it’s what I always think of when I hear the container chorus.
Key difference though is that practice is to limit time the garbage is outside; residents don’t put out garbage until morning, and pickup is soon after.
Not great if you enjoy wine and the recycling pickup is early morning weekend, but it works.
"...Ken White, is obviously a practicing attorney who is doing some journalism..."
My first reaction was "Ken White isn't a journalist" quickly flowed by "Wait, what's the actual definition of journalist?" which then led to Google which provided this definition: "a person who writes for newspapers, magazines, or news websites or prepares news to be broadcast."
Soooo broad and unhelpful - by that definition, self-described opinion writers are journalists. (I realize an actual dictionary might give more definitive definitions but I'm on the couch with a glass of wine so I'm going with google.)
So, Josh, what makes someone a journalist? What differentiates a journalist from a pundit or opinion writer?
I would generally discourage anyone from going to law school that doesn't want to practice law. It is a very cost-intensive path and the practice of law is very stressful. It takes multiple years of practice just to get used to the stress and being able to enjoy it. If you are already looking for the way out the door before you even start, it will be very difficult to make it the 5-10 years you want to practice before transitioning.
I teach undergrad classes here in Medill at Northwestern and that’s usually my advice to students as well. Find some niche that you find really fascinating (my classes are on data privacy, which is a good topic for that). Go all in on that subject matter and worst case, you can end up working for a company that needs an SME in the area you picked. Data privacy stuff is good for this (at least I think) because there’s always armies of consulting firms out there hiring people that understand this world.
I'm curious how other old American cities (e.g. Boston, which had a greater population than NYC until sometime around 1760, or Philadelphia, which was briefly the largest city by population in what would later become the United States) managed to avoid NYC's built environment trap re garbage collection. I assume the lockin happened much later, perhaps late 19th C, long after NYC became #1, when broad industrialization in the production of consumer goods produced a huge increase in the volume of trash per city resident (e.g. mass production of bottles and finished clothing => loss of economic justification for recycling them).
2L - clerk if you can, preferably for a judge with an active, diverse, writing-intensive caseload. You'll get exposure to all kinds of cases, an understanding of courtroom dynamics, and more substantive writing experience than firms allow associates for years.