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One Way to Raise Your Facebook Profile

A hot topic in legal marketing circles is whether social-networking site Facebook is a worthwhile tool for legal professionals. Say what you will, Facebook is doing wonders for raising the profile of Theodore W. Ullyot, ever since it was revealed this week that the Kirkland & Ellis partner will join the Internet upstart next month as its general counsel. After the Los Angeles Times Technology blog reported the news yesterday, the story quickly made the rounds of the legal blogosphere, where it was picked up by, among others, the Wall Street Journal's Law Blog, CNET's blog the social, Above the Law and Legal Pad.

For Facebook, the hire is a step out of adolescence. Elliot Schrage, Facebook's VP of communications (himself a lawyer), told the L.A. Times, "He has an extraordinary combination of private legal practice and public sector experience. So many of the legal issues we face touch on both of those arenas. He is equally comfortable helping us expand internationally as he is in helping us navigate complicated legal issues we may face in Washington. Ted's arrival really demonstrates we're a little more grown-up."

A little more grown-up and a little more politically astute. As Schrage acknowledges, Ullyot "has extremely strong connections with the Republican party, and we think that's a good thing." Dan Slater at the Law Blog sums up Ullyot's Republican creds:

The 41 year-old Ullyot (Harvard, U. of Chicago law) began his legal career clerking for Justice Scalia and the Fourth Circuit's J. Michael Luttig (who is now Boeing's senior vice president and GC) before being recruited by Kenneth Starr to K&E. He then went to work for another K&E alum, AOL general counsel Paul Cappuccio, who's now the GC of Time Warner. Ullyot later became senior vice president and general counsel for AOL Time Warner Europe.

After stints in the White House and the DOJ, he joined Eddie Lampert's ESL Investments. In May, Ullyot returned to K&E as a partner, focusing on appellate litigation, administrative law and antitrust law.

Greater political balance at Facebook may well be in order, it turns out. At Legal Pad, Zusha Elinson goes digging through records to find that Ullyot would be the first Facebook employee this election cycle to donate to a Republican presidential candidate.

Some Facebook users are not too happy about the hire. A group has already been created with the name, Demand that Facebook General Counsel Ullyot Resign. The group's description complains that "Ullyot helped to write the infamous 'torture memo' that justified criminal practices on behalf of the Bush administration" and that he was associated "with some of the most dangerous and illegal scandals of the Bush administration." As for Ullyot's Facebook profile, I could not find that he has one.

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on September 30, 2008 at 02:07 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)


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