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Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Why I probably couldn't be at a big law firm and write this blog

This is way off topic.

It's with sadness and empathy that I read Professor Jacobson's post about Paul Mirengoff's departure from the blogosphere (Hat Tip: Memeorandum). Sadness because Paul has been one of the most intelligent and articulate pro-Israel voices out there. And empathy because I know that if I were still in the big law firm world - yes, even here in Israel - I would have to be much more anonymous than is currently the case if I wished to continue writing this blog.

The beginning of the end of my last big law firm position was when a senior partner at my firm got into my car one night in February 1998, to make a conference call to the US on my car's speaker phone while the firm was having a function at a local restaurant. The partner saw a sticker with the wayfarer's prayer (the prayer is pictured above) on my car's glove compartment, with a logo indicating that it had come from Arutz Sheva (which was then a radio station, but is now Israel National News and is limited to broadcasting on the web - a story I have discussed several times). Arutz Sheva was known as the 'settlers' radio station.' He looked at me in horror and said "those are the people who incited to murder Rabin." And I responded, "no, they weren't. There was no incitement to murder him." My relationship with this partner was never the same, and I was gone from the firm within the next year.

The fact is that the big law firm world - in Israel, the US and probably elsewhere - is full of political correctness. People like William Jacobson (whose picture reminds me very much of someone by the same last name with whom I worked at a big firm in New York) and Glenn Reynolds can write what they do because they are in academia at schools that aren't know for extreme liberalism. Unfortunately, people in big law firms don't always have that freedom.

Best of luck Paul. And if you decide to distribute your opinions privately, please put me on your mailing list. I won't use your name unless you want me to use it.

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At 12:09 PM, Blogger The Caped Crusader said...

The mob mentality displayed by your former colleague is reminiscent of what Jonah Goldberg wrote about. I'll leave you to google his name for the title of that very good book...


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