Friday, July 02, 2004

 
I probably shouldn't be writing this. I know this is only one side of the story. A legitimate case can be made that all of this is wrong, or at least misleading (like Michael Moore's Farenheit 9/11?) and maybe I'll make that case later, but for now you get the cynic's side, or at least a stylized version of it. And maybe this is all in my head after years of doing this, and this is a gross distortion of reality. Because I don't think we actually try to trick people into coming here. We're not evil people. Most of us want to do good, we really do. But sometimes, when I sit down and think about it, it feels like we don't necessarily do all of our candidates a service. Aspiring law students: here's how it goes. We spend a lot of money to come to your schools and make it seem like the only jobs you can have are jobs with firms like ours. That's the first trick. We get you to completely ignore the rest of the universe of opportunities for people with law degrees. Public interest jobs, small firms, solo practice, jobs at companies, jobs in government or politics, jobs in the media, jobs overseas, jobs you create and mold yourselves based on your own interests and passions and gifts. Non-law jobs where the law degree can be useful. None of that. It's us or food stamps. That's how we want you to feel, because us versus anything besides food stamps, and we probably lose. But that's not enough. Because some of you will find those other jobs, or be turned off enough by a place like ours that you'll seek them out. For you, we need the second trick. Money. Sure, you can do that other job and earn $40,000 a year. Or you can come here and earn $125,000 (plus bonus) your first year out of law school. And we'll bump that up just enough every year after that to keep you here. But we're not worried about that yet. First we're just worried about getting you here. And that's a lot of money. A lot of money to pass up. Because no one's making you stay. But some of you are strong. You can pass up the money. You can ignore us. You can turn the other way. But we have a third trick. The summer program. You see, we recognize that there are some people who say they don't want to do this for a living, and they mean it, and we're not going to change their minds with some glossy brochures (although our glossy brochures are very nice -- we have some excellent marketing people). But for just a summer, how can you say no? We'll pay you an obscene amount of money, and we'll spend even more on making your summer FUN and EXCITING and TASTY. We just want to get you in the door. Because at least then we have a chance. To start you on that slide of compromises until you take the offer and join us, for more. So, okay, we've got you for the summer. You might think the fourth trick is to cover up the real deal, to hide the associates from you, and make you think it's always going to be FUN and EXCITING and TASTY. But we realize people can see through that. People will find the associates, and the associates will reveal that it's not always like the summer, and that they bill a lot of hours, and that they sometimes wonder if they've made the right choices. We can't hide that. Instead, we acknowledge it. And we pretend it's not a problem. Because for you, our summer class, life is different. It's FUN and EXCITING and TASTY. Not too much work, not too many hours, free meals, fun events, and a lot of new friends. Nice people, too. A lot of them. Because the fourth trick really is just a variation on the first trick. There are no other legitimate options. Look at all of your new friends. They're all going to work here after graduation -- shouldn't you? It can't be the wrong choice if all of your friends are going to do it. It can't be so bad if we make your summer so much fun. Yeah, you realize the associates don't have a life quite as good as the summers do -- but how bad can it be? They're still here, right? (Because the bonuses come in the winter, and so the 30% annual turnover doesn't happen while you're here; you don't see it). And the partners are friendly. And obviously you're going to take the offer, right? How can you say no and go back to school with all of that uncertainty? Everyone else is saying yes. Do you really think you're better than everyone else? But just in case, there's the fifth trick. Time. There's a reason we want you a year in advance -- one less year to find something you'd rather do. From September of 2L year, we've got you. Interviews right away, before anyone else will even consider hiring you for the summer, so we're not competing with anyone but our peers. And then right at the end of the summer, we'll give you an offer, but we'll make you decide before you can legitimately have a chance to find something else. You can't pass up all that security. You'll feel silly if you end up with something worse. Or nothing at all. Even though that won't happen. But you're law students. You're averse to risk. And it can't be that bad, can it? Even though you hear the stories. Even though you've been there all summer. It can't be as bad as they say. And then you get here. As an associate. And it's not that much fun. You hardly see your friends, because every time you make plans with them, you have to cancel. Not much time to pursue your outside interests, if you had any before, so they fade away too. Lots of money, no time to spend it -- so you buy a house, a car, some more possessions that require the big paychecks to keep coming. And no time to look for a new job either. So you can start to feel stuck. You're a lawyer now. You've defaulted into the decision. You've slid down the slippery slope of compromise. Oh, but it was so easy. So much money. And everyone else was doing it. And you didn't think about whether this was really what you wanted. Or maybe you did. And maybe you're happy here. Maybe this really was the right choice. For some people, it undeniably is. But not for everyone. And I think for the people for whom it's not the right choice, we sometimes trick them into thinking it might be. FUN and EXCITING and TASTY. Who could blame you? We're smart. We know what we're doing. Want to help recruit? Free trip, free meals. Convince some more people to come on board. You did it -- and you're still alive. Won't it make you feel better about your decision if you convince other people to make it too? Come on. Join up. It's great. FUN and EXCITING and TASTY. And for some people, it is. Some people love the work. Or at least don't dislike it more than they would dislike the work somewhere else. Sometimes it's worth it. The benefits -- the money -- are worth the hours and the feeling that maybe this is just a job, and not a calling. For generations, people had "just a job." They worked because they had to, and it didn't matter if the work was rewarding. But there are so many choices today. And so many jobs that can be rewarding. And especially for the very smart, very capable people we hire. If this isn't it, for them, I don't know that we're completely fair in making it so tempting for them to stay. I know everyone has free will. But we make it hard to say no. And maybe if you can't say no, you deserve what you get. Again, this is only one side of the story. There are people who love it here.

Comments:
I'm starting at a top 5 law school next year, and I've read a lot about the common perception that big firms are the only option. It seems though, that law students want to be sold as much as firms want to sell to them. I'm not sure why, maybe it's just greed, or maybe just that most people are in law school because it's the path of least resistance, so they really want their doubts to be eased. I'm no exception, by the way. Please tell the other side of the story soon before I think about it too much and actually have to make a decision for myself.
 
I attended and graduated from a top 100 law school (a not-so-subtle dig at the previous comment), and can report without fear of successful contradiction that what Anonymous Lawyer says is the absolute truth.
 
I went to one of the top 3 law schools, and I did not wind up doing the BigLaw thing. But it IS hard to ignore the undertow luring students into doing it, starting, as AL notes, in the beginning of the fall. Most people are doing it, the money is sooo appealing, especially doing "summer camp" for a summer to earn some tuition money, and it is definitely reassuring to have a job and post-graduation plans sewn up early on. I resisted going this route. When I graduated I didn't know what I was going to be doing. But I was lucky/rewarded for being patient, and I soon wound up in a job I really, really like, doing work I think is interesting and important. Sure, my pay sucks. But I'd rather work 45 hours a week, with a lot of responsibility and autonomy, and have a life beyond work. And that life is also FUN and EXCITING and TASTY. So, take heart: saying no is a reasonable, rewarding and realistic option!
 
I made the first comment, and wasn't bragging (anonymous bragging seems pointless), but understand that many students who go to good law schools which happen not to be favored by US News are not faced with the terrible burden of having hundreds of big firms recruiting on campus, and the process of getting a job offer from one is not as effortless.
 
In all of the places I worked in, there was always a mix of people - those who seemed to like the work, those who seemed to be pretending to like it, and of course those who hated it. The thing is that the ones who hate the job are always the loudest and they never seem to get tired of cornering other people and going off about all of their complaints. And then they stay at that same job for years and years just complaining and making other people's lives miserable as well at every opportunity.

That's the problem I see with putting too much stock in any one person's description of their job, be it big law or what have you. I think you're more than likely to be getting a very unbalanced story because one class of person is the most likely to speak out. So much depends on how each individual approaches life anyway.
 
I'm a senior associate at a mid-sized "life-style" firm that really is a life-style firm. (I.e., no yelling, no hall monitors, livable hours, most people make partner, etc.) And most lawyers in my city will admit that my firm's reputation for taking life-style seriously is accurate. BUT for some reason most law students just don't care. I don't know why. Maybe they think we're lying. Maybe they think the additional $20K they'll get at X firm will make up for billing 2,700 per year. I just don't know, but it can be discouraging.
 
Does your lifestyle firm have the same kind of presence during on-campus recruiting that other firms do?
 
as a law student about to be faced with this same difficult decision, i can say that for myself i would rather be at a small firm or even open an office of my own right away, but student loan debt will probably prevent me from doing both. i will have about $40k in student loan debt when i get out and i would rather not spend the next 40 years paying it off.
 
To: "Lifestyle Firm" :

I understand that the top schools and top students are essentially funneled into BIGLAW, whether by choice, inducement, or perhaps lack of willpower. Also that the internal and peer pressure to 'be the best' vis a vis 'making the most' or getting a job from the 'right' firm is intense. So I can see where you might lose candidates who aim for the presige and who do not appreciate the value of your firm, but are the candidates that you do hire so ultimately disappointing that the frustration makes sense? If you hire candidate C that is only top 20% of her class at one of the Big 3 instead of netting a top 5%, or -- heaven forbid! -- take a chance on a top 50% from a Top 100 . . . what is the eventual outcome? Do you really lose so much in the long run? Certainly there will be some awesome movers and shakers in the elite . . . but also in the general law population. And aren't any of them just as likely to become slackers, difficult to work with, or burned out? I doubt that I will apply to any firm like yours or AL's simply because I know that the firms want the top ranked from the top rated and I will be coming from a lower Tier 1 and will probably only rank between 25-30%. The numbers simply aren't a match. Since I won't be expecting an offer from one of these firms, I have no unrealistic dashed hopes. But I do often wonder about the thought process that goes into the decisions that are made when I read posts like yours and ALs. The thing that struck me about your post was the word 'frustrating.' If your firm really does 'miss out'on employees who would contribute significantly more to your firm than the candidates you do hire, I guess the competition would be VERY frustrating. But is it accurate that your firm really does suffer from the loss? I wonder if you are losing that much in talent -- but more so, what exactly are you missing out on by not hiring the individuals who are unable, uninterested or unwilling to consider ALL the ramifications of their decisions? In your position (or AL's) I also would not be taking a chance on the bottom rung of any school's class & would avoid schools with legitimately poor reputations. However, I would have to question the judgement and decision-making ability of any candidate who simply 'went with the herd' without fully considering all of their options - what they have to offer and what they really want in return. Do you (and AL, and others in your position) go through this thought process and then consciously choose the schools and canditates you recruit, or are the firms also in the same type of herd mentality you despair of in the applicant pool?
 
The writing in AL's most recent entry is abhorrent. I never have seen such a collection of fragmented and incomplete sentences.

This surely looks like the writing of someone else; someone who never learned to write properly.
 
This is "Life-Style" speaking -- The situation my firm faces is even more skewed than the poster above imagines. We do visit a fair number of campuses (perhaps too many). We have NEVER had a top student apply from one of top 5-7 schools. We occasionally (say, once every ten years) get a 50-70th percentile student from one of those schools. (I in fact was the last hire from that pool.) About once a year we get a bottom-level student from a top school (and haven't hired any). "Dropping down" a bit, we get maybe 4-6 candidates each year who are middle-of-the-road performers at schools in the top 7-20. Then we get lots of candidates who are, say, 50-70th percentile students at non-top schools. And we get the occasional top student from a non-top, or even bottom, school. Now, we have had excellent performers come out of every one of these groups (except the bottom of the top), and we have had washouts come out of every one of these groups. On the whole, however, the elite students from schools at any level, when we can get them, seem to have the best track record here. Yet in most years either they don't apply at all, or they treat us as a "safety" and (after stringing us along for a while) wind up going to BIGLAW. Those are the students I would really like to see more of. But even at second, third, and fourth tier schools, I guess those students are in demand by BIGLAW. Do I think we're really missing out? I say yes, because we do have some positions (not a lot, but some) filled by people who really don't get it and are here basically because we chose to settle at the time. I believe that many of the "elites from the middle" are blinded by BIGLAW's reputation & $$$ (as AL indicates, they put on a good show), and unfortunately by the time they realize they may have made a mistake, they're so burnt out that they hate all law firms.
 
Dear Life-Style firm member,
what market do you serve? Is there a way to contact you or your recruiting company since I am interested in a mid-size firm that may not pay as much as the "big" ones but have a life. I'm on the east coast, attend a top 100 and likely in the top 1/3. Thanks.
 
This is "Life-Style" again, responding to the person who inquired about contacting my firm. I'm in a mid-sized east-coast city. Given what I've dislcosed above, I'd rather not say more than this publicly. If you're willing to post your contact info, I will email you privately. But I don't know if it's a good idea for you to do that.
 
Please email me at lifestylefirm at hotmail. this is a temporary one and will not be used after your initial contact.
 
looks like we have a love connection! thats all our time for today folks, goodbye everybody....we'll see you next time on the Anonymous Lawyer Dating Game!!!
 
 
> I'm starting at a top 5 law school next year,
> and I've read a lot about the common
> perception that big firms are the only option.
 
Is it any different for medical school? MBA programs? Even undergraduate programs? There are millions of high school students who are convinced that if they can't get into an Ivy League school for their undergraduate degree, their life will be over. These people, plus others, then fall into the mindset that if they can't get into a top-ranked graduate/professional school for their secondary degrees, their life will be over. It's unfortunate that few people have the confidence to believe that personal work ethics, intelligence, and motivation are more important (in the long-run) than where they got their degrees.
 
There was a recent study done (and I can't remember who did it (I'm very sorry)) which compared students who went to Ivy League universities with students who were granted admissions, but chose not to attend the brand-name institutions. At the 10 and 20 year mark, there was no noticeable difference in the incomes of the two groups. Conclusion? The school doesn't matter; the individual matters.
 
Granted, income != satisfaction, but feel free to generalize the conclusion.
 
 
Lifestyle:

You mentioned that your firm pays $20K less than the sweatshop type firms in your market in exchange for a much lower time committment. If you don't mind, what is the first year salary at your firm?

Thanks.
 
Lifestyle Firm:

I hope this we're not intruding on you now or anything like that, emailing you out of the blue and stuff. Sorry if we are. But what you've said that there really are lifestyle firms out there is really surprising to us. If you don't mind, could I please also ask you a question: when you were looking for a job out of law school, how did you find out about "lifestyle firms" anyhow and not get dragged into the whole big law firm thing? Or mabye it's better to ask, how did you find your specific lifestyle firm and how can others find these lifestyle firms like like yours? Lead us into freedom please!

By the way if you'd prefer private correspondence, I've also set up an email address. But it's at Yahoo rather than Hotmail: lifestylefirm@yahoo.com I believe I speak for most of us when I say how much this would mean to us. thanks again for your honest post, Lifestyle.
 
Life-Style:

You’re playing the same game that the students you’re recruiting are.

You’re in the position of actually judging students at the firm, so if you really notice a difference in someone who is at a school rank 7-10 vs. 5-7, if you really notice a difference in a person from the 10-30th percentile of a top 5 school rather than 50-70th percentile of a top 5 school, then touche.

I get a kick out of someone complaining people are overlooking them for prestige or an extra 20k, not looking more broadly at what you have to offer, then casually classifying people that strictly based on numbers. Come on, when you’re hiring students do you really think you put more of an emphasis on intangibles than they do?

Toss out an acceptance to someone ranked lower at a good school who has those intangibles. Toss out an acceptance to someone at a lower ranked school. Hesitant? Try it. You can always hire other students. The firm can always get rid of ones that fail.

The students who are passing you up can’t as easily go back and remake their decisions. They can’t remake the networking connections that would at more prestigious firms. If they decide they made a may mistake it’s a lot easier to lateral to a less national/prestigious firm than it would be the other way around. Speaking as someone in the position, trust me, it’s something that goes through my mind constantly. I actually agree with you. I think a lot of them are making a mistake. But I think it’s the same game. If I ever got a real feeling that firms cared more about extracurricular achievements on my resume or my personal goals in an interview, compared to 1L grades and school prestige, I’d more readily hear complaints about recruits looking less extensively to what else firms have to offer.
 
Who is "us"?
 
Lifestyle:

You’re playing the same game that the students you’re recruiting are.

You’re in the position of actually judging students at the firm, so if you really notice a difference in someone at a school rank 7-10 vs. 5-7, if you really notice a difference in a person from the 10-30th percentile of a top 5 school rather than 50-70th percentile of a top 5 school, then touche.

I get a kick out of complaining some people are overlooking a firm for prestige or an extra 20k, not looking more broadly at what the firm has to offer, then casually classifying people that strictly based on numbers.

When you’re hiring students do you really think you put more of an emphasis on intangibles than they do? Toss out an acceptance to someone ranked lower at a good school who has those intangibles. Toss out an acceptance to someone at a lower ranked school. You might as well try it. You can always hire other students. The firm can always get rid of ones that fail.

The students who are passing a firm up can’t as easily go back and remake their decisions. They can’t remake the networking connections they would at the more prestigious firms. If they decide they've made a mistake, it’s a lot easier to lateral to a less prestigious/national firm than it would be the other way around. I actually agree with you. I think a lot are making a mistake. But I think it’s the same game. If I ever got a real feeling that firms cared more about extracurricular achievements on my resume or my personal goals in an interview, compared to 1L grades and school prestige, I’d more readily hear complaints about recruits looking less extensively to what else firms have to offer.
 
This is Life-Style again -- I'll try to cover all the issues people have raised. First, our starting salary is now $100K (plus some nice perks), but it may be raised soon because other firms in town have recently raised theirs. Second, I'm sorry to say that I don't have any tips on how to find life-style firms. I found this firm entirely by accident. Someone a year ahead of me at my school had summered here and placed a very positive review in the firm's file in the career development office. Plus this firm was the first one to interview me and to make me an offer. I had a great time here during my one-L summer; I disliked the firm I tried out during my two-L summer; other people in town had good things to say about this firm; here I am. If you don't get the chance to summer at such a place, then it would probably be very hard to sniff out a real life-style firm. Talking to lawyers in the market (especially senior associates, who seem to be the most plugged-in) would probably be the best bet. Finally, regarding students judging us the same as we judge them, that is certainly true as far as it goes. We are trying to find among students the characteristics we value -- basically, good analytical and verbal (especially writing) skills. And students are trying to find among firms the characteristics students value. My point was just that it's discouraging to me that more students don't seem to value life-style characteristics. Perhaps, as the latest poster suggested, students do value those characteristics, but they feel it's too risky to pass up an offer from a prestigious sweatshop.
 
It did not appear that Lifestyle was not willing to take a chance on a less-than-top school or student. His post stated that they get "lots of candidates who are, say, 50-70th percentile students at non-top schools" among others, and also that they "have had excellent performers come out of every one of these groups (except the bottom of the top)." He also addressed my initial question which was how the different rankings really perform. It doesn't seem as though Lifestyle is entirely numbers-driven, only that he has noticed some correlation. That seems fair. As a middle-of-the-pack person (for now), I'm still pondering a post from a few weeks ago about an unhappy candidate who wondered why hard workers with average grades weren't 'given a chance to show what they could do' and someone replied that it was because they were 'hard workers for only average grades'. Makes me think.
 
Life-Style here -- I endorse the immediately preceding poster's explanation of what I was trying to say. On the issue of being a hard worker with average grades at a non-top school (which I realize was not addressed particularly to me): That is the ugly side of legal education. Non-top law schools encourage young people to spend $50K-$100K while knowing that only the top 10 in each class will really stand a good chance of getting jobs in the $100K range. The rest struggle to find law-related jobs that pay about what white-collar workers with BAs make. Of course, if you totally love law, then that's not necessarily a problem. But it is a problem if you've chosen law from a variety of paths that, aside from potential economic returns, were all about equally appealing. And it's even more of a problem if, prior to law school, you've been subjected to what appears to have become the standard US educational treatment, i.e., no teacher has the stones to be honest with you about your performance; you just get a smiley face and moved on. In any event, working hard for average grades could (it seems to me) mean several things. The most negative assessment, and the one I would be least willing to accept, is that one just doesn't have the aptitude to rise any higher. But there are other, more optimistic, assessments -- it may mean that one simply has not yet harnessed one's efforts in the right way, or that, even if one does not have the aptitude now, one will have the aptitude five years from now, after some further maturing and life lessons. I applaud the poster's thoughtfulness. The hardest thing in the world is to be realistic about our own abilities; most of us oscillate between over- and underestimating our abilities. Certainly, there are important roles for average law-school performers in the profession. They're just not the best-paying roles.
 
Exactly what I am beginning to realize, Lifestyle. It disturbed me even while I accepted the (now dubious) benefit of an A paper that I knew to be total crap – and this from a college that prided itself on its rigor. In my last semester of undergrad, I came across a professor who would easily hand out D's and F's to consistently "A" students -- and he was 100% right in doing so. He also gave plenty of detailed feedback, which led to frequent complaints to the admin that he 'bled red ink all over their papers.' Unfortunately, at that point, my GPA couldn't take the hit if I were going to have a shot at law school. If only I had taken his courses early on! Now I have ended up at a law school with similarly high demands - quite unprepared. I appreciate your observation that “it may mean that one simply has not yet harnessed one's efforts in the right way.” Assuming that I or others like me can get it together in time, do solid employers look at a steadily rising trend in grades from B’s and C’s to A’s and A-’s or is the ‘first semester/year is all that counts’ mantra true? Thank you for all that you have added to the discussion.
 
This is one of the really irritating things about law students. They never get tired of singing this same old song about their true potential versus what they have to show for themselves...and all that. Come on. Does anybody else really care? Maybe its true that many people who go into the field are just the types who spend their whole lives believing they were destined for greatness if it weren't for that one test they had to take or if they hadn't fallen into the trap of working in a certain place. If only everything had gone perfectly oh how the world would have benefitted from their brilliance...
 
Ben, you said you would prefer a mid-size firm, but did not want to spend 40 years paying off a $40K debt. I know my rough figures do not take into account the acrrued interest, but why would you need a $120K job instead of $100K job? Worst case scenario, highest possible tax bracket, you take home ONLY $60K your first couple of years. A lot of people get by just fine on far less -- my plan with even more debt is to stay "student-budgeted" for the short term and just knock out the loans. Why "enjoy" a higher standard of living (you won't have time to live, anyway, at most firms) and drag the debt around with you? Why not funnel all income outside of living expenses into paying it down or off and THEN enjoy the earnings?
 
Life-Style here -- On the issue of whether the first-semester / first-year grades are all that count as far as solid firms are concerned: For traditional hiring purposes (interview in fall of 2L year, work for firm during 2L summer, get offer in fall of 3L year), the first year grades are all that count. But you knew that already. My firm, however, and a lot of other solid firms also hire a fair amount of 3Ls and judicial clerks. For example, in every year that I've been with my firm, we've hired about as many people who didn't summer with us as people who did. For those hires, second- and third-year grades mean a lot, and an upward trend can certainly make up for an average first year. (And, by the same token, a significant downward trend will cause a person to be passed over.) Speaking just for my firm, the basic things we look for in 3Ls from non-top-10 schools are good grades (taking into account improvements, as discussed above), work on either a law review or moot court, and a decent writing sample. (And of course the person mustn't blow the interviews.) For a judicial clerk, grades almost don't matter, if the person clerked in one of the higher courts in our jurisdiction and was liked by his/her judge. Two of our best associates went to bottom-tier schools and were interviewed & given offers while they were judicial clerks.
 
Me again

“This is one of the really irritating things about law students. They never get tired of singing this same old song about their true potential versus what they have to show for themselves...and all that.”

Yeah. That’s irritating . . .

Feel free to show me where I did it.

Even more irritating is avoiding an argument and just building a straw man to attack.

Never said what I have to show for myself reflects full potential. That would be snobbery; not a complaint. I argued that the criteria law students use to pick firms and the criteria law firms use to pick students is a similar game. They check out a few key statistics to the detriment of other factors. If anyone on this thread wants to argue the merits of factors, go ahead. If you want to argue that law firms take more intangible factors into account and students, in contrast, are more narrowly focused on their side of the process...I disagree.

I’ve probably come across as more belligerent than necessary. Lifestyle, your intentions are good. I wish you the best of luck.

If anyone needs a straw man, I’m happy to build it myself.

At the same time, I envy your idealism though. It’s probably cruel to try and change someone into a cynical bastard like myself. Also, despite my efforts of looking into the preciseness and accurate reflection of law school grading, I have yet to prove some method of darts is involved. I’ll be upfront and keep it simple – I will note you have more faith than me.
 
Um, you spelled Fahrenheit wrong.
 
Christ.

I have never seen such a long post in one goddam paragraph. You are totally a lawyer.

In my business we write crap too. But in short grabs. Like this! See! It's much easier to read!

So why don't you?

(And why don't these goddam comments enable URLs? I can't get a handle on any of your commenters. Yes, I know they can show one's blogger profile. But what if I don't want to reveal my eighteen other blogs? Huh?)

theadvertisingagency.blogspot
 
For the last twenty years I have been a trial lawyer with State Attorney’s office. For the past three years I have been a supervisor in the county court division. Because we are the government, and locking up criminals is sexy, we get lawyers from schools like Florida, Duke and Harvard; schools fairly high on AL’s tier system.

Lawyers fresh out of law school are useless. The “better” the school, the less useful they are. We had a girl from Yale who was so wrapped up in something she called “critical legal studies,” she could not speak to a jury. Her judge was convinced the State Attorney was after her job; she could not believe an ivy league school could turn out such a loser. She thought the boss ordered the yalie to lose every case so an opponent could point out the judge’s bad statistics in an election.

Speaking of losers, is there anything more useless than a lawyer who isn’t in the bar. They can’t go to court, they can’t sign pleadings and their legal research has to be double checked. Two, even three years out of school and they still can’t do much of anything, so you know a recent grad is worthless. How can a baby lawyer possibly be worth more than ten or twelve thousand a year?
 
"Florida, Duke and Harvard!" Yeah, right. The state too stupid to count ballots. Like they have a law school.
 
To Lifestyle Firm:

I would appreciate it if you would contact me regarding your firm as well. I am about to start law school at a top 20 program and I'm interested in settling in a mid-sized city on the east coast.

My (anonymous) email address is lawyertobe9@yahoo.com
 
Life-style, please contact me too! I'm a big loser who wants to live on the east coast and kiss ass for a living!!! My anonymous email is scumbag454@hotmail.com. Thank you very much and you are wonderful!
 
it is this post by AL that has made me look at new opportunities for graduate school. I was once fairly hardcore about law, but seeing the under-the-table nonsense that happense at law firms, I'm pursuing studies of the free market.

still a good blog, though...
 
Life-Style: Smith, Moore (formerly Smith Helms Mullis & Moore)?
 
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AAL--(Another Anonymous Lawyer)

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"BILLING REQUIREMENTS"

SEE: " THE EFFECTS OF BILLABLE HOUR REQUIREMENTS ON ASSOCIATE SATISFACTION AND LAW FIRM CULTURE", by Professor Susan Saab Fortney, of Texas Tech Law School, as reported in the 2001 Texas Bar Journal.

To a BIG FIRM Associate, what this boils down to is the daily TIME SHEET he has to fill out at the end of each day. OnE young Associate in a different major law firm was noted for making entries in his time sheet like "LOOKING OUT WINDOW --- 15 MINUTES".

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The firm just "ate" the wrongfully entered time, as I am sure we ate other fanciful entries every year.

The Associate was never penalized for his fanciful time sheets. He got his yearly raise and stayed on the partnership "fast track" of my firm.
 
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