Monday, November 02, 2009

This one time, at law school...

...I met David Lat. And it was awesome.

I mentioned this some time ago, but then the fury of law school rained down upon my head, and I lost track of the post. Anyway, here's how it went down:

I had to be in Northern California for Family Wedding Shenanigans (Am emotionally scarred. We're not talking about it), and heard through the grapevine that David Lat was going to be speaking at King Law school (UC Davis). I love very few things more than sneaking off when I'm not supposed to, to go to events I'm not invited to, so I dragged my trusty cousin/partner in crime off to Davis for the day, and crashed his event.

Because I'm a groupie, that's why. Don't worry, I left my signs at home, and I didn't throw anything on the podium. This time.

First things first: the event was remarkably easy to crash. Keep this in mind, Northern Californians who are looking for something to do. This is not Notre Dame, where strangers get campus-wide alerts- this is California. Random law school age creepos can come and go as they please. An added bonus: they served In N Out. Glory be! Keep this in mind if you are homeless, hungry, or a chronic mooch. Being all 3, I chowed down on the most amazing cheeseburger ever.

But back to the story: Lat spoke for around an hour, which you can see video of here, on King Hall's website. If you're looking for me, I'm the really, really attractive one, right there. See? Yes, the hottest one in the room. That one. Totally.

Lat talked about his professional career, and his development into a full-time legal blogger (I was not aware, for example, that David Lat was the original voice of Underneath Their Robes). He also talked about general management issues with AboveTheLaw, and the role he sees that site playing both now and in the future.

It was interesting to hear his take legal blogging, especially given the mark he's made on the legal blogging world. Though he didn't bring it up, it's clear to me as a young legal blogger that Lat, and AboveTheLaw, have made an indelible impression on legal blogging and the legal world as a whole. AboveTheLaw, in the grand scheme of things, is still a baby site, so it's exciting to chat with the brain behind the blog- there's still very much a feel of "that could be me some day!" I didn't agree with everything he had to say, but the whole talk had a very collegial feel- it was really a fun conversation.

I identified with a lot of what he said about his blogging experience: the draw towards writing as a creative, informal medium, the need to create and network, the appeal of anonymity, etc. As a regular reader of AboveTheLaw, I found him surprisingly sweet and charming- downright boyish, actually. He appeared, at least, to be off the cuff and comfortable (though there was an awkwardly hilarious moment when he realized halfway into a "town bicycle" joke that this might not be the proper time or place).

Disclaimer: I would maybe like to grow up to be David Lat. Maybe a lot.

Basically, I was awed and charmed and entirely inspired. Cute, right? I'm like a kid on Christmas morning at these kinds of events. I'd bail on legal practice in a heartbeat, if I knew I could put the ramen on the table just chattering away to an appreciative audience. Regrettably, I am no David Lat (though we are both channeling a sort of geeky-chic that seems to work out alright), but it was quite an honor to meet the man behind ATL. All in all, a wonderful afternoon, and I'm sorry I didn't get you a juicier summary earlier.

But this story wouldn't be complete without a Nobody touch, now would it? When Lat's talk was concluded, I determined that I had to come up and speak with him. Remember what it was like when you were a geeky 6th grader, and the high school quarterback was just so cool? Yeah. That's about what I was like. Or, more appropriately, remember the crazy admiration you showered on your 1L professors? Ok, like that.

Anyway, I waited to talk to Lat. I hadn't actually determined what I was going to say, but by God, I was not about to come all this way and not shake the man's hand. So I waited. And waited. And the students in line asked "thought provoking questions" about "how AboveTheLaw could promote social justice." And I waited. And finally, as he was walking out the door, I grabbed him by the arm.

Me: Hi, I'm Nobody, and I just, like. Um. I don't go to school here, I came from somewhere else, but I have this blog and I just want you to know that I just think what you've done is awesome, and I really look up to you, and I have this blog. Well, I mean, it's a law student blog. And your talk was awesome.
D. Lat: That's great! Send us a link, we'll be glad to send traffic your way!
Me: Oh wow. Yeah. I will. Thank you. (ohmygodohmygod David Lat might read my blog oh my god...I have got to start editing as I write). I just wanted you to know, I was so excited to see you today. Because I think what you've done with your career is so neat, and when I heard you were here...
Me: I mean, you're like, my Nina Totenberg!

Yeah. Nina Totenberg. That's where I went. Despite this total aberration, he was gracious. I was awkward. So David, if you're reading: thanks. And you're not my Nina Totenberg, you're my Will Shortz. Which, believe me, is even better.

Le sigh, Internet. Just wait till I meet Sandra Day O'Connor.


idwsj said...

That's incredible! David Lat is a great speaker.

Eliza said...

You are just adorable!

All rights reserved to my snotty and generally self-deprecating writing. And if your comments bother me, I'll delete them. That's right, pumpkin.
...How dreary—to be—Somebody!
How public—like a Frog—
To tell one's name—the livelong June—
To an admiring Bog!
-- Emily Dickinson