Saturday, February 4, 2012

So This New Jennifer Smith from the WSJ Asks To Meet

One of the rules of the tech hacks, social media gurus, and other weaklings that fall victim to my being "mean" on the internet, is that you don't engage me. Never, ever, ever, respond to anything I say to or about you. It's bad for business. When you're trying to create a (false) image on the internet, rule #1 is to ignore me.

So not too long ago some Jennifer Smith person started at the Wall Street Journal. Proving my point that the notion "we all know about who Adrian Dayton really is and you don't need to keep reminding us," Jennifer wrote a piece quoting Adrian as if anything he says matters to anyone. I of course told her, on twitter, that she was ugly, dressed funny, and wore combat boots.

So defying the rules of social media, when Jennifer found out we would be in New Orleans at the same time (her at the ABA, me, well, not at the ABA) she emailed me and asked to meet.

I know, you're thinking "why?"

Don't worry your little head about it.

So I took a stroll to her ABA hotel, figuring we'd sit at the bar while ABA types asked "what are you doing here" (not to her, to me). She wanted to get out of there. She had enough of 3 piece suits and 29 year old BigLaw associates and terms like "Tier 1," "bonus" and "partner."

Yeah, she wanted to go to a noisy bar with a defense lawyer from Florida that went to a school of which she never heard.

And she wanted to talk about the future of law.

Now don't get excited, it wasn't your future - you know, shorts, Starbucks, iPads, virtual clients with virtual problems, no more law offices, no more suits, no more advocacy. The term "Starbucks lawyer" did roll off her tongue as if it has been part of the dialect for years, causing me to call the waitress over for another round.

This Columbia Journalism grad and former Newsday reporter has a fascination with the profession, where it's been, and where it's going. She knows all about Dropbox if that makes you feel better. Doesn't interest her so much as does the issues of the difference between buying a document and hiring a lawyer. What's interesting about Jennifer, besides that she's a much better conversation then that Ashby Jones, is that she's interested. Lawyers know that many reporters are phoning it in, writing without passion or perspective about that which they observe. Lawyers know, they-re the reporters standing outside of court asking us "what just happened in there?"

Jennifer seems to know "what just happened," and she's interested to know what's now going to happen. It's not everyday a young reporter asks me "you have any good questions I should ask David Boies and Ted Olson tomorrow when I interview them?"

So if the phone rings or you see an email or errant tweet from Ms. Smith, respond. Intelligent conversation is hard to come by these days.

I walked Jennifer back to ABA central, scanned the lobby of suits and considered stepping in to the bar to see if any interesting conversation was going on.

"You should get out of here," she said.

Yeah. She knows me already.

Anonymous comments are welcome as long as they say something relevant and half-way intelligent and arent a vehicle for a coward to attack someone. I trust you understand. Located in Miami, Florida, Brian Tannebaum practices Bar Admission and Discipline and Criminal Defense. He is the author of I Got A Bar Complaint.Share/Save/Bookmark

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