Saturday, September 30, 2006

Google Suggest Beta

Google Suggest Beta is a search tool I have mentioned before on this blog. It is a replacement for your standard Google homepage, the only difference being that as you type your search terms, Google provides a real-time list of suggestions along with a result total for each listing.

Interestingly, if I type "www," the first suggestion Google offers is actually "" which is pretty odd considering that this is Google's service.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

5 Myths Debunked

  1. Meg White is identified as Jack White's TD Ameritrade consultant
  2. Toyota's new RAV4--now only inches shorter than the Hummer H3--is recalled when researchers discover a Toyota Tercel lodged inside its engine compartment
  3. Duracell's strong market performance is traced back to allegations that the Energizer Bunny used performance-enhancing drugs
  4. Thaksin Shinawatra, Thailand's former-Prime Minister, failed to return home to address civil unrest because Thai International Airlines refused to transfer his "Super-Saver" fare
  5. A significant decrease in viruses reported on the latest Windows Vista release candidate is a result of Microsft's campaign to keep its customers safe by "disabling the internet"

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Sunset from the Balcony

Rule for the New Fall Lineup

All 1-hour dramas must have at least one song by The Fray in it.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Day Casebeer Madrid & Batchelder

It's official. I've accepted an offer as an Associate with an intellectual property litigation boutique in Cupertino, CA called Day Casebeer Madrid & Batchelder ("DCMB").

The only sad part about this process is having to say no to another firm that I also enjoyed working at named Morrison & Foerster. I was lucky enough to be in the position where I had two great choices. So for anyone thinking about interviewing at MoFo, I'd encourage it and add that there is a reason it is consistently ranked one of the best companies to work for in the United States. I don't think a comparison of the two would be very fruitful, especially because they are different types of practices.

Just a few remarks and general thoughts on DCMB:

I worked at DCMB the summer after my first year of law school and also returned for a short stint during this past summer. I worked very hard, but loved the work, the people, and the general demeanor of the firm. People know how to joke around, but get down to business at the same time, which is a surprisingly difficult balance to achieve. My own motto for practicing:
Take your work seriously, but leave yourself out of it!
DCMB bucks the trend in several ways. It is what I would aptly describe as fiercely independent. It does not spend on unnecessary things like outrageous lunches every day and super-fancy outings every night, but manages to schedule plenty of great events for its summer class. I think if you are working there for a summer, it is made clear--and I cannot agree more--that the reason someone should join a firm should not be based on the fact that he/she is going to be taken out to dinner. This matter-of-fact-ness is something I respect a lot.

DCMB is much smaller than most full-service law firms. DCMB has approximately 30 attorneys right now. The Firm specializes in IP litigation, handling high-stakes patent cases for clients including QUALCOMM and Amgen, among others. I think one of the things that sets DCMB apart from other firms is that it combines long-term attorney/client relationships with a willingness to turn down cases that are not of ultimate strategic importance to the client. I think in reality, most large IP firms will take almost all of the cases they can get, dropping only those cases in which there is a conflict of interest. The reasoning behind this is that with a large enough firm, you can always staff a large case or just hire new people in case you need more help.

At first it seemed to me that a lack of bandwith might hurt DCMB's long-term viability, but the Firm's size has, in fact, had the opposite effect. The Firm is in a great position to pick and choose the cases it wants, avoiding the problem of expanding too fast by taking on to many attorneys. It also avoids the--often underrated--problem of conflicting yourself out of the market by taking a few too many cases. DCMB is small, though it is small by choice, which is admirable especially because boutiques are very hard to come by these days. This, of course, doesn't rule out the possiblity that the Firm will expand as time goes on, but it will expand on its own terms.

The final thing I will mention that drew me to the working environment has to do with a quasi-intangible quality of the litigators training and working at DCMB. The only way I can describe it is that I am surrounded by people who take the time to appreciate the art of litigation--that is--encourage a style of advocacy that does not shy away from nuanced arguments and creativity.

People ask me if I'm psyched now that I've chosen a firm to work with. The answer is, I'm not quite sure. Apart from having to make a tough decision and turn down another great firm, the reality is that I won't start working full time until a whole year from now, which means it is difficult to get excited for something so far in advance.

This brings me to another topic, the BAR Trip. I'll post some thoughts on this in a few days.

Saturday, September 09, 2006