Controversial FilAm blogger releases much-talked about courtroom novel

NEW YORK – In the legal world, Filipino-American David Lat is akin to a real-life “Gossip Girl.”

And just like the hit teen drama TV series — the mysterious “Gossip Girl” turned out to be a man – Penn Badgely’s character, Dan Humphrey.

Lat, a Harvard College magna cum laude and Yale Law School graduate became the so-called “Queen” of legal gossip in 2004 through his blog “Underneath Their Robes.”

“It was a gossip blog about Federal Judges,” Lat, the son of two Filipino doctors said, “I couldn’t really use my name so I pretended to be a woman who was obsessed with a Federal judiciary.”

His alter-ego was named “Article III Groupie” or A3G being a “fan-girl” to legal celebrities and judicial superstars – the subjects of his gossip blogs.

The blog became widely popular for its pieces on “Judicial Divas” and “Superhotties of the Federal Judiciary.”

He related, “It was like a beauty contest for Federal Judges and what put it on the map was when this Federal Judge in California Alex Kozinski decided to nominate himself as a judicial hottie. He said, “The male part of the competition got more attention than the female part.”

Lat was then working as an Assistant US Attorney for New Jersey under Chris Christie’s term.

“Article II Groupie’s” identity was revealed in New Yorker Magazine in 2005.

Some said Lat should have been fired but Christie gave him another chance.

The “Queen” of legal gossip was dethroned and the blog was shutdown… but not for long.

In 2006, Lat came out with a new blog called “Above The Law” but this time — no pen names, just “David Lat”- a journalist and the managing editor. The blog provided insights at the world of law.

Above the Law is known for its biggest scoop in 2012 — the implosion Dewey and LeBoeuf – a prestigious law firm that employed 1,300 attorneys in 12 countries.

Lat was named also as one of the 20 biggest legal stars on twitter – His twitter feed was recognized as a “treasure trove of law firm gossip, employment trends, stupid law student antics, and pretty much anything else concerning the legal industry.”

His writing has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, New York magazine among others.

Last December the 39-year-old Fil-Am lawyer, author and legal commentator published his first novel called “Supreme Ambitions” — where he deliberately made the main character a Flipina American.

“It’s kind of like a powerful woman, the Judge, who has this young acolyte who sort of like working under her, I kind of compared it to “Devil Wears Parada” but for the Law,” he said.

A New York times review said that, “For an elite niche, consisting largely of Federal Judges and their clerks, “Supreme Ambitions” has become the most buzzed about novel of the year.”

And unlike his initial foray into writing, David Lat’s full name is now proudly displayed on his work.

 

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