Tuesday, July 20, 2004

 
Okay, my endless conference call has begun.  The lawyer leading the call is walking everyone through his markup of a 200-page document.  Which he sent to us earlier.  So it's on my desk.  Yet he's going to mention every comma he has a problem with, and why.  So this will be tedious.  Hence, your questions.  Do keep in mind this is for entertainment purposes only.  This is not advice.
 
Q. What is the GPA range needed to be seriously considered by a big firm? 
A. This answer isn't going to satisfy you.  Depends on your school.  Better school = more tolerant of a lower GPA.  Lesser school = you'd better be kicking ass.  Best case scenario = great school, great grades.  I know this isn't helping anyone, but it's the best I can do given the lack of details in the question.
 
Q. How many work hours does a new associate work to meet their billable hours? It seems that so much of what first years do is non-productive. How does that work?
A. If you're not billing enough hours, either (a) you're not trying hard enough to find work, (b) no one wants to work with you, or (c) it's a fluke, and we're aware, and no one's going to hold it against you.  If you're having legitimate trouble, so is everyone else.  If they aren't and you are, it's something you're doing wrong.  If you tell me about too many movies you've gone to see, I'm going to find you and give you more work.  Same thing if you tell me about the books you've been reading, the time you've been spending at the gym, or the long weekend you're planning.  Sorry.
 
Q. When's the last time you and anonymous wife expressed your love physically?
A. She's under my desk right now.  Oh, wait, that's not her.
 
Q. My sister is getting remarried.... My supervising partner has an oral argument[] for an important appellate case scheduled on the same day.... [W]hat excuse can I use to duck both the wedding and the hearing to go golfing?
A. Don't be stupid.  If your sister's already on her second wedding, there'll be more.
 
Q. [H]ow often is it that you come across a student who has a unique undergraduate degree ... (eg: physics, maths, engineering)? Do you find additional value in these types of applicants?
A. I come across them a lot.  Just not in my firm.  It's all in how you tell the story.  If you can convince me that your background will make you a better lawyer, then it's a plus.  If I think you're just making up a story, it's not a plus.  It's all in how you spin it.
 
Q. Do you hire students from top schools with average grades that didn't join journals?
A. Why didn't you join a journal?  Read your question.  Would you hire you?  No one at a top school who isn't basically failing would ever describe his grades as "average."
 
Q. Do you have to play golf to make it in this crazy world? If so, do you have to play it well? If so, how?
A. People like to win.  As long as you're not an embarrassment, you'll be fine.  Take a couple of lessons.  Buy some shiny clubs.  This should not be a concern.
 
Q. What was your law school experience like?
A. Better than my law firm experience.  Sorry to break it to you, but it's all downhill after graduation day.

Comments:
Pretty cool for a firm attorney, AL. Thanks for the info and the laughs. Not the OP of the GPA question, but a mid-lower Tier 1 that proclaims itself to have higher grading standards/hence somewhat lower GPA's (their 'mission statement' is to not accept/reward mediocre work). Top of the class is a few select 3.5, top 1/3 is around 3.0, high 2.8 or 2.9. Any thoughts?

What is the purpose of the endless conference call? Are such things necessary, helpful? Only the number of participants needed to get the job done or are there a lot of you out there flipping pages and manning web sites?

How about a day in the life of an associate/summer?
 
Would you go go law school and take a job with your firm if you had it to do over?
 
After making partner what does a lawyer have to work towards? Are bonuses the only motivation? Or is there a hierarchy governing the partners as well?
 
After making partner what does a lawyer have to work towards? Are bonuses the only motivation? Or is there a hierarchy governing the partners as well?
 
Have you ever considered starting your own firm? What were your thoughts on it?
 
Have you ever considered starting your own firm? What were your thoughts on it?
 
 
Day in the life of a summer:

07:15 - Wake up. Tell yourself that you're so great. You go to a big name university, you work at a big name law firm, and you're getting paid $10K per month to attend summer camp. Decide to sleep-in today.

08:00 - Scratch your balls and brush teeth. Simultaneously.

09:15 - Leisurely stroll in to work. Decide to buy a lemon muffin and then chat with the other summers for half an hour.

09:45 - Check email. Forward inane, lewd emails to the rest of the summers. Accidentally forward them to all associates and partners, as well.

10:00 - Bump in to a partner in the hallway. Immediately begin to suck-up.

10:05 - After being kicked to the dirt by the partner, bump in to a junior associate in the hallway. Ignore them because they aren't going to hire you. Briefly consider pushing them down a flight of stairs.

10:15 - Start calling other summers to ask about where they want to go for lunch. Ask if any of them know a partner who will take them to lunch and foot the bill.

10:30 - Decide to get some fresh air. Hit on the receptionist on the way out. Ensure that you say something which could land the firm in a sexual harassment suit.

10:50 - Get back to office and see what the lunch plans are. Make a paperclip chain 100-links long.

11:15 - Leave for lunch. Tell secretary that you need more paperclips. And a red, swingline stapler.

13:15 - Return from lunch. Check emails from several associates and partners asking if you can do some work. Cherry-pick the job which requires the least effort.

13:30 - Congregate at the water fountain with the other summers and brag about how all the partners and associates are giving you work to do. Puff-out chest as much as possible. Never let-on to just how small your penis really is.

14:00 - Log-in to Westlaw. Do key word searches for the next thirty minutes and feel thoroughly convinced that what you're doing is, indeed, legal research.

14:30 - Email findings to partner. Ignore spelling mistakes, typographical errors, any sense of logical flow, and formatting. Never cite which quotes are from which cases -- don't want to overwork and burn out early.

14:45 - Leave work early to play a little golf. Hey, you worked hard all day - you deserve to treat yourself every once in a while, tiger.
 
 
What are the chances for a UCLA/USC student with a 3.4 GPA?
 
*yawn* ... again.
 
Why don't you decide on a nominal level of 'comfort' and retire? Serious question. I'm intending to do so soon and wonder why others keep going until they're fifty? sixty? Maybe you're only like 29 or something, in which case, fine. But one gets to the point where there seems no point beating the crap out of yourself endlessly, especially when golf, surfing and gardening beckons. I keep seeing 48 years olds going to seed or having heart attacks. I would be interested in reading your comments.

theadvertisingagency.blogspot etc
 
1) What law school did you (or your web persona) go to?

2) How many law schools do you consider "good" schools? U.S. News top 3? Top 5? Top 15?

3) What happened with your summer-associate crush?
 
I didn't join a journal becaue I didn't want to. I heard it really sucks. And I guess I should describe my grades as 'good', but 'good' grades are the average at my school.

-Ava Rice (www.lawsloth.blogspot.com)
 


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