06/14/2017 10:24 PM
Choosing the right law firm

Training contract applications are stressful enough without the perpetual worry that you’ve chosen the ‘wrong’ firms to apply to. Perhaps you missed the law fair at your university or you only decided that you wanted to convert to law at the last minute. Or (admit it) you simply didn’t do enough research beforehand and have decided to send generic applications to a whole range of firms.

The short answer to ‘how to choose the right firm?’ is to research, research again and then research some more. The longer answer (which we’ll provide ‘cause we’re kind like that), is to choose firms to apply to based on various factors.

Areas of law & client base

The first port of call should be should be the area of law you want to specialise in. We get that this may be difficult to choose when you’ve only just finished the second year of your law degree but law firm open days, law fairs, vacation schemes and other work placements should have given you a rough idea.

The areas of law you can train in are most certainly going to be affected by the client base of a firm. For example, if commercial law and clients that are big businesses and household names take your fancy, City firms are ideal for you. Fancy global business and financial law? Check out international law firms. If you want to serve individuals and smaller businesses such as start-ups and specialise in family or private client law, regional firms may be the one for you.

Location, salary & lifestyle

Choosing the right firm will also be influenced by your location and salary preferences. For the big money training contracts, Magic Circle, City and US-based in London will be the front runners.

If you fancy undertaking an international secondment during your training contract, believe it or not, an international firm. Or perhaps you fancy training somewhere closer to home? A regional firm is for you.

If nobody had told you already, a career as a solicitor is hard work and no plain sailing. If you’re looking for a steady nine-to-five career, think again. Solicitors at City firms often have to work after-hours and the work-life balance is likely to be skewed in favour of work. If you’re at a regional firm, your hours may be more consistent and you could leave the office at a reasonable hour. However, you’re not going to be paid as much.

There’s advantages and disadvantages to both arguments and only you can decide the kind of lifestyle you’d like to lead.

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06/23/2017 10:00 AM
The Slants, The Redskins, and Free Speech for All Parties

This week’s Matal v. Tam (formerly Lee v. Tam) Supreme Court ruling serves as a reminder that free speech is a two-way street.  It also suggests the value of a sympathetic litigant, at least in terms of public response. Many rallied behind Simon Tam and his rock band, The Slants.  The band members, who are all... Continue Reading

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06/22/2017 10:38 AM
The Covfefe Kerfuffle and the Rush to Register Trending Terms

While many of us are working our way through the flood of thought-provoking analysis of Matal v. Tam, I’m taking a break with some lighter fare, namely, covfefe. In case you missed it, the viral non-word “covfefe” was born out of a supposedly meaninglessly typo (perhaps a misspelling of “coverage”) in one of President Trump’s early morning tweets (alternatively,... Continue Reading

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06/21/2017 09:00 AM
THE SLANTS Decision Affects More than a 2(a) and an (R)

In Monday’s decision in the newly minted Matal v. Tam case, the Supreme Court affirmed the Federal Circuit decision that the Trademark Office’s refusal to register THE SLANTS mark on disparagement grounds was unconstitutional.  Many were not surprised by this decision, foreshadowed in part by the transcript of the January oral argument where the justices... Continue Reading

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06/19/2017 11:47 AM
Section 2(a), a Happy-Talk Clause, Really?

We can be certain of one thing for sure, the Supreme Court’s decision today, striking down the disparagement clause of Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act will be analyzed for some time. The Court called the provision of the Lanham Act barring the federal registration of trademarks that consist of or comprise matter that may... Continue Reading

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06/15/2017 08:07 AM
The Missing Apple Trademarks

Far be it from me to criticize a company hoarding over $250 billion in cash reserves – but, hey Apple, why aren’t you filing trademark applications? Perhaps no company’s IP portfolio is of greater interest to the general public than Apple, Inc.’s colossus. (If you disagree, find me another website dedicated solely to one company’s... Continue Reading

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06/14/2017 09:00 AM
On Flag Day, What Flag Can You Protect?

Today is Flag Day, which commemorates the adoption of the Stars and Stripes as our national flag 240 years ago.  Although maybe more obscure than Fourth of July or Memorial Day since it is not a federal holiday, this has always been one of my favorite American holidays.  There’s just something nostalgic, reverent, and almost... Continue Reading

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06/13/2017 12:58 PM
Rapala’s Public Service Announcement?

Sorry for my delay in reporting Rapala’s annual billboard campaign, which began about a month ago, right around the fishing opener, more on my delay later. As you can see, it reads more like a tongue-in-cheek public service announcement than past billboards, playing on the serious problem of texting while driving. Anglers probably handle their... Continue Reading

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06/12/2017 01:23 PM
Acceptable Identification of Goods/Services

Beef jerky is one of my favorite snacks, so while strolling through the Minneapolis skyway, I captured the above floor-to-ceiling advertisement to tell another trademark story. It’s been a while since we’ve written about the importance of brand owners not only thinking hard about their brand names, but also devoting thought and care to the... Continue Reading

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06/08/2017 11:30 AM
An Update on the M22 Road Sign Dispute

A brief update on my post last year regarding the “M22” road sign trademark lawsuit, Michigan v. M22 LLC, No. 1:16-cv-01084 (W.D. Mich.) As a quick refresher, Michigan State Highway M-22 is a popular, scenic route that borders Lake Michigan along the Leelanau Peninsula. Along this route, there are numerous “M22” route marker signs. The Michigan company M22 sells... Continue Reading

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05/31/2017 12:24 PM
What Do You Think Of Having ® On Your Store Sign

I traveled to Barcelona last week to attend the International Trademark Association (“INTA”) Annual meeting. I arrived at the Barcelona Airport the requisite three hours before your international flight.  During my long stay at the Barcelona airport I saw three store signs with ® on them.  They included the following signs:    Although many stores... Continue Reading

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06/21/2017 04:29 PM
Free Speech Triumphant Or Free Speech In Retreat?
The First Amendment had a pretty good week. In Matal v. Tam the United States Supreme Court unanimously held that a federal law prohibiting "disparaging" trademarks violated the First Amendment. Though the eight voting justices broke into two groups of four taking slightly different paths, their language was equally blunt. From Justice Alito: The Patent […]
06/19/2017 11:26 AM
The Power To Generate Crimes Rather Than Merely Investigate Them
I've got a piece up at NRO about about how nobody — even Trump-haters like me — should be comfortable with federal prosecutors' broad power to catch people not for underlying misconduct, but for reactions to the investigation.
06/17/2017 01:56 PM
Free Speech, The Goose, And The Gander
Last night a popular alt-right troll disrupted a controversial modern production of Julius Caesar staged with a Trumplike figure in the lead role. Some people are incensed at this production and arguing that it depicts and encourages the assassination of Trump himself, and that fury has built to the point that random theaters with "Shakespeare" […]
06/08/2017 09:46 AM
Free Speech Tropes In The LA Times
The LA Times ran my column about cliches and slogans that obscure the free speech debate. Kudos to the Times for making me sound like even more of a choad with the headline.
06/01/2017 02:25 PM
I write letters
On occasion.
05/24/2017 12:45 PM
About Clark Being "Purged" From Popehat
You may recall that we had a co-blogger named Clark. Clark left us at the end of 2015. Since then, Clark has stood by, approvingly, while others have asserted that he was kicked out/expelled/purged from the blog. Recently, he said so himself: Clark's being deceitful. I've put up with it for some time, but for […]
05/22/2017 02:00 PM
The Dubious "Anthony Weiner's Accuser Was Actually Over 16" Story, And Why I'm Very Skeptical
Friday I wrote about Anthony Weiner's federal plea to transferring obscene material to a person under 16, and offered some comments on how it was unusual and notable. Since then, a site called "Who What Why" has published a story claiming that the minor in the case was 17, not 15, and that she initiated […]
05/19/2017 01:39 PM
Lawsplainer: The Remarkable Anthony Weiner Guilty Plea
Oh Ken . . . . What. I have . . . . [giggles uncontrollably] Oh Lord save me. I have a question about WEINERS. Is there any hope I can get a foil who's not twelve? Don't be an old grouch. Can you explain Anthony Weiner's guilty plea? Ugh. Why? It's tawdry. People are […]
05/15/2017 01:18 PM
Randazza: Public Masturbation as Protected Speech?
By Marc J Randazza The Oregonian reports, delightfully, Man arrested after 'masturbating vigorously' in public because he 'hates Portland'. So would his rationale change this from just a run-of the mill date with Palmela Handerson into protected activity? It just might. After all, nudity can be so ennobled, so why not evicting the testicular squatters? […]
05/09/2017 07:41 AM
Randazza: 400,000 Reasons to be a Good Little Pet
By Marc Randazza Barry (Obama, that is) is cashing in now. He's going to rake in $400,000 to give a speech to Cantor Fitzgerald, a Wall Street investment bank. Some on the Left are flipping out that it cuts against everything Obama was supposed to stand for. The Right is screaming about it as well. […]