In real life, A3G is a thirty-year-old Newark-based assistant U.S. attorney named David Lat. “The blog really reflects two aspects of my personality,” he said over lunch recently. “I am very interested in serious legal issues as well as in fun and frivolous and gossipy issues. I can go from the Harvard Law Review to Us Weekly very quickly.” Lat, who has a boyish face, lives in Manhattan and commutes to New Jersey, and he writes his blog entries in his spare time. Like A3G, he graduated from Harvard College and Yale Law School, and he worked briefly at a big New York law firm. Although his current job as a prosecutor has required him to pare back his life style, he says, “I still hoard toiletries from luxury hotels all over the world.” Lat interviewed for a Supreme Court clerkship, with Justice Antonin Scalia, but he didn’t get it.
“Yale treats certain judges like celebrities,” he said. “And I’ve always had a certain status anxiety about not having clerked on the Supreme Court.” (A3G often refers to Supreme Court clerks as “the Elect.”) “My interest in celebrity has kind of metastasized from the judges to the clerks,” he added.
Lat is proud that some of his catchphrases have slipped into wider circulation—“litigatrix,” “judicial diva,” and “bench-slap” (for disputes among judges). Although he intended to remain anonymous, the success of the blog made coming clean irresistible. “I felt frustrated that I was putting a lot of time into this and was unable to get any credit for it,” Lat said. “But eventually these things have a way of coming out anyway. I only hope that the judges I appear in front of don’t read it.”
Ooh! Exciting! Can't say more now. I'm off to teach a class and then run over to Café Monmartre to do an American Constitution Society panel discussion on Judge Alito. More later!