Emmy Rossum Wants Equal Pay for "Shameless"

According The Hollywood Reporter, “Shameless” star Emmy Rossum is asking to be paid more per episode than co-star William H. Macy.

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Vanthoor takes Intercontinental GT Challenge title with Sepang win

Audi driver Laurens Vanthoor claimed the inaugural Intercontinental GT Challenge title after taking a second successive victory in the Sepang 12 Hours

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This Is Why Women Won't Be Allowed to Protest Donald Trump's Inauguration at the Lincoln Memorial

The upcoming Women’s March on Washington—scheduled to convene on January 21, 2017, the day after Donald Trump’s inauguration—just encountered a major obstacle.

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Doubling down on blogging for the little guys

My friend and legal blogging veteran, Carolyn Elefant, wrote this morning that when she started blogging fourteen years ago, she saw blogging as democratizing publishing and marketing for solos and small law firms.

When I started MyShingle and up until recently, I viewed the web and blogs and social media as a way to level the playing field; to give solos and small firms a voice that they didn’t have in trade publications like the ABA Journal or ALM Media and a competitive presence that they couldn’t otherwise afford with pricey advertising or exclusionary ratings systems.

I jumped on the blogging train a year later with my own blog, and then LexBlog.

No question, blogging has changed. What began as lawyers offering insight and commentary, has turned for many law firms into pseudo blogging for marketing, as Scott Greenfield, responding to Elefant’s post, called it.

…[T]hey’ve never been sure if they actually worked. Many paid mopes and dopes to create fake news for self-promotion, often at the expense of their integrity (not that anyone gave a damn, as long as it could potentially earn them a quick buck).

I’m still bullish on blogging. Like Carolyn did fourteen years, I see blogging as the great equalizer for the little guy.

Armed with a dream, time, passion and a few bucks, a solo or small firm lawyer can become recognized as a leading lawyer in a locale or a niche. They can make a difference in the lives of the people they serve, will get to serve and the family they’re trying to support.

I feed off what I see out there. Like this from Des Moines attorney, Rush Nigut, who’s been blogging for years, who can’t see why anyone would doubt the power of blogging. This from Facebook today.

I am surprised the value of blogging and other social media would still be questioned at this point. For me, it has been the foundation that has helped me build a terrific practice. So wondering whether it is beneficial is rather absurd in my experience.

This last week some of the team and I looked at product direction for the coming year. Were we going to move from Blueberry Fritter to Maple Bar (LexBlog product development named after products at Top Pot Donuts) sooner than we had planned?

Or do we move forward with Blueberry Fritter, which along with features large law will like, which will make LexBlog even more attractive to solos, small firms and law schools.

We went with Blueberry Fritter. And when I came in this morning after reading Elefant’s and Greeenfield’s comments, I told our CTO, Josh Lynch, who laid out the advantages of Fritter, that we’re doubling down on blogging — and blogging for solo and small firms.

Can law blogging still make a difference for lawyers and our legal profession? Greenfield’s a little skeptical.

Is there any point to it all? Has it changed anything? Well, sure, to some extent, but hardly to the extent one might have hoped when it was all shiny and new. On the other hand, the legal profession, and society in general, seems worse off now then it was 14 years ago, or ten years ago. Stupider. Struggling harder. Buried deeper and deeper in extreme and irrational views and confirmation bias.

I’m more optimistic. Maybe I have to be, I’m in the business. But the idea that the average lawyer, without going through an intermediary or paying a lot of money, can publish in engaging way to meet people and build a name for themselves makes all the sense in world.

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Martin Tomczyk, Alexander Sims get 2017 BMW IMSA SportsCar drives

Former DTM champion Martin Tomczyk and 2016 Spa 24 Hours winner Alexander Sims have joined BMW’s factory assault on the IMSA SportsCar Championship for next

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Kate Middleton Borrowed Princess Diana's Iconic Tiara for a New Royal Photo

For the annual Diplomatic Reception, Kate Middleton borrowed Princess Diana’s iconic tiara, which marked the fourth time she’s ever worn one in public.

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Are ‘the privileged’ biased against blogging and social media?

Most law firm leaders question the value of blogging and other social media by lawyers. What could be learned? What could such activity do for professional and business development?

At law schools, it’s worse. Deans and career development professionals dismiss social media out of hand. Most warn law students to stay away from blogging and social media for fear students will say something that will forever haunt them.

I thought these folks were just ignorant. They didn’t know what they were talking about. They never tried blogging and social media for professional, business and career development.

But reading a piece in Inside Higher Education by college professor and writer, John Warner (@biblioracle), got me wondering if the privileged status of those in large law and academia wasn’t the reason for their shortsightedness.

Professor Warner took on Georgetown Professor Cal Newport, who had written in the New York Times two weeks ago, that professionals and students should quit social media before it hurts their career. Newport, who’s never had a social media account in his life sees social media use as the enemy of “deep thinking” which in turn hinders professional development.

Newport sees professional success as hard, but not complicated.

The foundation to achievement and fulfillment, almost without exception, requires that you hone a useful craft and then apply it to things that people care about. This is a philosophy perhaps best summarized by the advice Steve Martin used to give aspiring entertainers: ‘Be so good they can’t ignore you.’ If you do that, the rest will work itself out, regardless of the size of your Instagram following.”

Warner knows this is sheer fantasy. Sure, we should all strive to be be good, but we’re not all on a level playing field. Some of us need social media and blogging to make a name for ourselves.

Take two of Warner’s favorite scholars and professors, Tressie McMillian Cottom and Roxane Gay.

As women of color, history shows us they likely need to be better than “good” in order to receive the recognition that Prof. Newport believes will come if you do what the meritocracy asks. These women had every reason to believe that their being good would indeed be ignored.

And so each in their own way used social media not to tweet memes or fart around, but to advocate for recognition of their (and others’) “goodness.” In addition to their distinguished scholarly and professional work they utilized the tool of social media to become public voices. They made space for themselves that otherwise might not have been available.

It worked. Not only do Professors Cottom and Gay now frequently publish in prestige outlets like The Atlantic or the New York Times, but they also have established platforms independent of those outlets where they may be heard. Prof. Cottom’s essay “Finding Hope in a Loveless Place,” for my money the most profound work of commentary in the wake of the recent election, became a viral read after being posted on her own blog.

Look at those who have achieved so much through blogging and social media on the law.

Allison Rowe, who as a young lawyer spoke at the Kentucky Derby to international breeders, just one year after chasing her dream to do equine law. A dream begun with a blog. Would the next firm to hire Rowe have given her the opportunity to do equine law but for her Equine Law Blog?

Staci Riordan, who put the name on fashion law as a young lawyer at a more traditional law firm, Fox Rothschild, via her Fashion Law Blog and the use of Facebook long before most of us ever discovered the social network.

Think Rush Nigut, a “Triple-A city” lawyer in Des Moines, would be recognized by the Wall Street Journal as one of the nation’s leading franchise law attorneys without blogging. Being so good no one could ignore him was hardly going to get Nigut on the national stage.

Warner’s right.

The source of Prof. Newport’s narrow gaze is the same flaw we see in all self-help books, a singular focus on the success stories. His oeuvre: How to Win at College, How to Become a Straight A Student, How to Be a High School Superstar are all targeted to the relatively privileged, those who are competing from the already rarefied air, for example, those for whom the advice not to take so many A.P. courses may apply because their high schools actually offer A.P. courses.

Prof. Newport peddles a fantasy, a lie, one that resonates with a narrow slice of the professional class and all but erases the experiences of those who have been traditionally marginalized.

Is it possible that those leading large law firms come from a narrow slice of this professional class? The best colleges, premier law schools, clerkships and onto law firms in high rises with huge starting salaries. Senior partnerships generating a seven figure salary.

Law school deans and tenured professors with strong academic pedigrees may have shared some of the same privileges.

No question these folks worked hard to get where they are, but they may have had an edge over the less privileged or disadvantaged. Women and minorities certainly hold less senior management positions in large law than white men.

Many studying to be lawyers were simply not as smart from an IQ standpoint. Many had to work to put themselves through college and law school, permitting less time for studying. Others raised a family and worked full time during law school.

Sure, many lawyers overcame the unequal playing field. So much so that they could not be ignored. But many lawyers have not and will not without the advantages presented by blogging and social media.

It’s important that the privileged appreciate what they were given and realize the opportunity social media and blogging provide the less fortunate.

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Hunter-Reay and Rahal enter 2017 Daytona 24 Hours with Acura

IndyCar drivers Ryan Hunter-Reay and Graham Rahal will race with the factory Acura team in next month’s Daytona 24 Hours

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*Bachelor* Wine Is Now a Thing, and It Actually Looks Delicious

Attention, “Bachelor” Nation: There is now a “Bachelor”-inspired wine to make those Monday night rose ceremonies a little easier.

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Max Chilton re-signs with Chip Ganassi Racing IndyCar team for 2017

Chip Ganassi Racing has confirmed Max Chilton will be part of its four-driver IndyCar line-up in 2017

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