Thursday, September 30, 2004

I ate dinner with an associate tonight, over a stack of documents we're wading through, and the firm's website somehow came up in conversation. He said there's a whole bunch of associates who are upset that only partners have their pictures and biographies on the site, and associates only get their name and schools attended. "It shows you guys only care about the partners and associates," he said. Well, who does he think pays his salary? Why do the associates think they have the right to be featured on the website? They're lucky we put their names on there at all. The firm is not just run by the partners; it IS the partners. We're the partners OF THE FIRM. I hate how petty associates can be. They want their photos on the website? 30% of them leave every year. If we put their photos on the site we'll need a full-time administrator just to fix the site every time one of them is gone. They're not invested in this place; why should we invest energy into making them as much of a part of the firm as the partners are? Everything bothers associates. How many hours they work, how much responsibility they're getting, how much their bonuses will be. They should feel fortunate they have a secure job at a good firm where they make a lot of money and barely have to think. This is the reward for being smart and well-educated and suffering through law school. Why can't they appreciate that and stop complaining? What are they doing studying the website anyway? Who even looks at the website? Who cares? My photo on there hasn't been updated in years anyway. I don't even own that suit anymore. It frustrates me because here I am, in the office at 8:30 at night, working, tired, wanting to go home and have Anonymous Wife make me some dinner, and I'm stuck here listening to people complain about photos on the website. Photos on the website. Who cares? Everything is such a big deal around here. Just relax and do your work.

Working at 8:30 at night (and presumably beyond that) and you want the associate to realx? How can you say they are not "invested" in the firm with hours like that...and billing them? You're right though, complaiining about pictures on a web site is petty.
AL, tsk, tsk... I thought you were more forward thinking than this! Who looks at the website? I'll tell you: law students. So sexy it up man! Give the associates bios and nice pictures. It will help you suck more law students into your evil clutches so you can use them up before you discard their souless husks... sheesh. Here's an associate tell you they'd like the firm to do something *that is practically free* to the firm, will increase your firm's ability to hire new chumps, and you're grousing about it? Shit, it's not like he asked you to buy all the associates time share jets. You're losing it, man.
Aww, that's so sweet 5:29, you think 8:30 p.m. is late for the associate to be working. That's NOTHING. For $125k plus bonus, when you're allowed to show up at 10:00 a.m., associates SHOULD be there at 8:30 p.m. I also agree with the second comment, but only if your associates are attractive.
Where did you come up with this "allowed to show up at 10:00 a.m." nonsense? If that were actually true I would certainly agree with you. But it's not, so I don't. Furthermore, $125K in cities like NY, LA, etc. ain't much.
I don't care where you live, ~$140+ (base + bonus) is a LOT of money for a 25-year-old. Sure, with real estate prices the way they are in LA, you'll be renting for a few years until you can even afford to buy a condo. But still, you're making out better than 99.999% of your age group.
Just post their pictures you cheap ####.
I-bankers have a well-deserved reputation for cocaine use. Quinn Emanuel is known for a having a crackhead lawyer who works part time as a bike messenger.

Is there a lot of drug use in big firm lawyers? What do they use?
As a web person I can say, it would probably take about 30 seconds to exchange one associate's picture/bio/name for another's if he/she left - no need for a full time admin person even if you have 100s of associates. As a law student, I can say, well maybe 30% of them wouldn't leave if you actually listened to their griping out stuff like this. Yes, it might be petty, but it's an easy enough request to respond to and doing so might show you care.
They already give them business cards, and the only thing an associate who isn't a seventh year or higher uses them for is

(1) picking his teeth
(2) giving to friends/family in order to show off that they get cards

Associates (speaking from my own, current experience) are little more than overpaid paralegals for many of our early years. The partners continue to pay us so much because everyone else is doing it and because, once in a long while, an associate actually makes a decent lawyer, usually at least half a decade out from law school.
So I did office work at a Biglaw firm in NYC, and noticed that all the newer partners came not only from outside the firm, but from the public sector. From what I hear, public sector people get real training and real responsibility quickly. Is the only real attraction of Biglaw for law school grads immediate wealth? No wonder people quit so much.
"As a law student, I can say, well maybe 30% of them wouldn't leave if you actually listened to their griping out stuff like this. Yes, it might be petty, but it's an easy enough request to respond to and doing so might show you care."

You may be in for a rude shock if and when you start work at a corporate law firm. People leave these firms because they are very bright (or at least relatively bright) and they get sick of doing hours and hours of menial, soul-destroying paper work. It is the lucky, highly talented and the dedicated (ie, those that push-thoguht) that actually get to do real legal work.
"They should feel fortunate they have a secure job at a good firm where they make a lot of money and barely have to think."

Most people talented enough to go to a top 20 law school WANT to think. To not think is death. Let them think and they'll be extremely happy.
30% turnover, eh? Amazing, it screams bad management (a law firm trademark).

But unless I'm sleeping with someone I won't be whining that they don't "care" enough about me. I want my employer to show it "cares" in the only way that counts: the paycheck. If all you offer me is a bigger role in your website, who gives a damn?

Besides, the associate gets to work side-by-side with a partner, something a lot of people don't. If you are there side-by-side with him late at night, establish yourself as an achiever and not a whiner. What a wasted opportunity.

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