Monday, September 27, 2004

Only the young ones take the stairs. You get to be important, it's the elevator every time. Can't waste energy on the stairs. Besides, it's a status symbol. I see you on the stairs, I know you're not important. I see you take the elevator to go down one flight, I know your time and energy matter, and you can't be wasting it on the staircase, sharing space with the people delivering mail, or the first-year associates still trying to wean themselves off the daily trip to the gym they no longer have the time for, or the inclination to bother with. When you're not meeting new people, who needs to look good anyway? At about four months in, most new associates have lost their youthful glow. They're pale, and puffy from lack of sleep. Their skin starts to react from the harsh lighting and lack of natural sunlight and weather, and the stress. The consistent and neverending stress. Their bodies start to adjust to the greasy takeout and they begin to get a little soft in the middle. Not fat, at least not too many of them. Fat is sloppy. But soft. Soft is good. If you're too fit we know you're thinking about other things besides the lease agreement. Not a good reputation to have. No client wants to see you order a salad at the steakhouse.

Boy, makes you want to just run out and become a lawyer, huh?
Whether this entire blog is fake or not, the words in this post are dead-on accurate.

One cannot put in the hours expected at a large firm and stay in shape--not for very long and certainly not for 8-10 years. I'm counting billable hours and nonbillable, expected hours such as community events, attending social events, etc. As an associate who makes time (i.e., *takes* time for myself) to continue to hit the gym and stay in shape while working reasonable hours (I have the same body and the same waist size I've had since age 18), I am a victim of de facto discrimination. Not that I blame the firm; it is about making money and devoting one's entire life to the practice of law, and it has that right. I work the bare minimum hours required to survive (billables--and I don't do enough of the nonbillable practice development/politics stuff), for now, but I get the feeling I'll not make partner (many of my friends are the same-a group of us work reasonable hours and make time to hit the gym, jog, whatever).

The only associates "on track," it seems to me, are at least 40 pounds overweight, and some (the real superduper stars) are complete blobs who are 100 pounds overweight from working 18 hours a day (total hours, not saying all are billable) and never exercising, as are 90% of the partners and all of the "star" partners not worried about getting canned at any moment.
This is obviously wrong. I know pleanty of biglaw lawyers, aside from myself, who are very, very fit. I know several who are in fact highly competitive in endurance sports, which take a lot of time to remain competitive in.

Not staying in shape just means you don't really know how to stay in shape without "extra" time to do it. It's that simple.
Figured I might get a response like that. Actually, I agree with you, and much has been written about that subject. Big firm lawyers are often (not to stereotype and say all, but often) "type A" personalities who are over-driven to succeed and be the best at everything. I'm not saying there is anything wrong with that. I'm one of them. I'm a long distance runner; not overly competitive anymore but in darn good shape compared to the average person way past his college days. There is a rather large subset of big firm lawyers (and lawyers in general) who are ex athletes, some are current athletes, including long distance ones, and there is always going to be this subset of big firm attorneys who are literally obsessive-compulsive (I'm not sure if a mental health professional would necessarily officially diagnose them, but I'm saying they are basically OCD) personalities who are super-driven and they get up at 4:30 and run 20 miles every day while still being successful lawyers.

I still say those are in the minority and, at least at my firm, I notice that most of the in-charge partners are fat and have a double chin and they also seemed to expand by 40 pounds in the year after assuming [fill in the blank] important post such as firm's managing partner or a particular office's head partner, etc.
still a stupid law student, but, wouldn't some clients want a lawyer who is fit? Doesn't being overweight indicate that the person has no self-control, and wouldn't corporate clients want someone totally in control to be on their case? just a thought...
Re: Anonymous @ 1:52 PM --

Looking good is always a positive trait (unless you're dealing with ugly people who are resentful). If these fat-@$$ partners can't spend the 15 minutes that it takes to stretch, run a mile, and then stretch again, then it's because they have no self-control, not because they don't have the time.
That is exactly right! The student is right and the reply is right and the earlier comments were right. I agree with all the comments so far. This is a good one so far.

Exactly. It literally takes--not to sound like the infomercial for Body by Jake--15 or 20 or really only 10 minutes a day to avoid being fat. Literally. Just running one mile or lifting weights a little bit, 4 days a week, is all it takes.

It is not the practice of law that is the culprit. The fatasses would have been fat no matter what profession or career path they chose. They simply eat too much and never exercise, and they didn't as kids or in college either. That's one thing I constantly have to remind myself of. Practice what I preach.

Some days as I leave work at 8:40 knowing the gym closes at 9, I want to say "screw it" re the workout that day, but then I remember 15 minutes is all it takes--doing anything is better than nothing. The fatasses are just that way, again. They never exercised.

Back to the student: you're right there too. There are clients (in-house counsel, midsize company owners, etc.) who themselves are in shape and appreciate those with similar interests. I recently had dinner with a client who is a 50-something badass who works out and eats right, and actually we ate with co-counsel, who is a slob, and it was obvious the client liked me better and has sent us other business.

So there is a whole subset of lawyers and business people who stay in shape and work out; the same people you see at the gym at your law school/university.

The reason I say I also agree with the first or second commenter who said basically it is tough to be in shape and on track for partnership, is that that is also fairly true and sometimes it IS difficult just to get the 15 minutes, if you consider driving time, changing clothes, shower, spending time with wife and family, etc. There are stretches of time when I'm expected to literally live in a hotel and work 20 hours a day, like in the movies, and during those times I could not keep up with my exercise routine.

Those fatasses who don't care about their physical health and don't mind sitting in a chair 18 hours a day do indeed have an advantage, just as they did in law school.
Anonymous 2:58 P.M.

To bad I’m not in the same firm as you. You seem forever destined for laterals and the glorious title of “associate”. If I was in the same firm I would laugh my way to partner while you sit in your cubical bitching about fat people. Here is a piece of free advice (well not really someone is being billed) stop running of at the mouth about fat people and your stellar stupid workout routine, and BILL someone for some WORK. NEWSFLASH---Maybe that’s how your firms fat partners, became partners. The partner maybe fat, but he or she can drop the weight, but you’ll still be in your cubical bitching about how easy it is to stay in shape.
I think fat lawyers are awesome. Thin is passe. Fat is the new thin.
Yeeeeaaaa booooooy! Fat is the new thin. Fat Albert likes that. And I like that. Supah size lawyers, that's what I'm talkin about!
6:11, you are pathetic. And learn how to spell "too" before you make partner, 'kay?

Also, I'm not in a cubicle. I'm in a sweet corner office with a view more beautiful than your fatass can imagine. And I don't have to work to stay here. I already put in my time and now I come in around 10:30, unshaven, wearing an untucked shirt, and do as I please, and the partners all know I'm the man and don't give me grief, kind of like the guy in Fight Club.
Also learn to spell "off" and generally how to use a comma, retard. You are a pathetic and actually I bet you're a 14 year old just joking around, now that I think about it.
Many people in the Biglaw firms around here are health nuts, and spend entirely TOO MUCH time exercising. Some forego lunch daily to do so, and eat their "soy and cow brain" bars, or whatever godforsaken health food they have, in their offices. I know lawyers in other Biglaw firms around the country who exercise regulary. I reached an agreement on a key component of a deal once with a lawyer who has using his elliptical machine at the time, and it was after 1:00 a.m.

I've only read a few of these entries, and this one, coupled with the one about a Camry not being an appropriate lawyer car, gives me pause (I know several lawyers who make 400K to 500K, or more, (I guess with respect to some I only suspect that they make that, I do not know) who drive Camrys, Accords, old Volvos, etc.).

AL - From reading the albeit limited number of entries that I have, I submit that you work, have worked or know someone who does or has worked, in a law firm, perhaps even at Biglaw. However, I do not believe that you are a partner at Biglaw.
If you make 400K a year and drive a camry you're an idiot. For an extra 3% of your yearly income you could drive a safer, prettier, faster, and more comfortable car. Lease payments on a nice new Lexus ES 330 run as low as $300 a month, not spending that little money on a product that you will spend 5-8 hours a week of your life in, 250+ hours a year, makes no sense.
And I've driven Camrys before, it is a dreary, soul-killing experience. You put your foot down on the pedal and instead of "vroom" you get an wheeze, like a flabby old asthmatic trying to run up a hill.

They are good cars for teachers and college students, but driving one as a lawyer says to your colleagues either "I have a serious coke problem eating up all my wages" or "I'm saving every penny I earn here so I can quit as soon as my loans are paid."
Fight Club guy huh? Do your Mommy and Daddy know you’re out playing lawyer? You are the same short sleeve dress shirt wearing gas station cappuccino drinking idiot who hopes to one day be anything of worth. I bet you have a nice belt buckle collection too huh? The only reason you are coming in at 10:30 unshaven is to take out the trash. The only beautiful view you get is while cleaning the office. So keep your working class ass in your working class law school, and when you get out maybe then you can run with the big dogs of Biglaw. ‘Kay Junior?

Also, learn when and when not to use “a”. Just because spell check did not catch your mistake does not mean it is correct.
Perhaps lawyers are bigger showoffs than their business clients are. I once called on the owner of a small company, and caught him running a carpet sweeper over his office floor. He said that he wanted his office to look clean, and if he cleaned the floor then he knew that it was done right. At the time he was earning about five times as much as the highest-paid lawyer at his law firm. He also dressed modestly, drove a clean old car, and had lived in the same house for 25 years.
He also exercised regularly, watched his weight, didn't smoke, and barely drank.
Hey 1:20pm,

The period goes inside the quotation mark, douchebag.
Did this man ever have any fun?
Oh, Anonymous Lawyer. It's hardly worth responding to you, but tell me this: If your theory is that only important senior attorneys take the elevator to go down one floor, why is it that (at my firm, anyway), I only see obnoxious secretaries exhibit that behavior?
Re: Anonymous @ 12:43 PM --

>If you make 400K a year and drive a camry you're an
>idiot. For an extra 3% of your yearly income you could
>drive a safer, prettier, faster, and more comfortable
>car. Lease payments on a nice new Lexus ES 330...

Do you even realize that the ES 330 is based on the exact same platform as the Camry? The differences between the 330 and Camry are mostly cosmetic, and are wholly irrelevant in terms of safety. I guess you're one of those people who just *had* to have a Lexus and ends up with a supersized Camry rather than something that's actually worth a price premium.
And yet one indication that AL is a phony, Everyone knows that taking the stairs one flight up or down is faster and so those that do realize and want to show that time is money do take the stairs. Only the secretaries and clerks use the elevator. Wake up people, AL flips hamburgers somewhere.

AL Outer
1:20 PM, you really are a moron, seriously. I didn't use spell checker. Catching "too" vs. "to" and "off" vs. "of" is not a matter of a typo or spell checker. Seriously. I don't have time to give you all the examples or explain, and I realize this is just an anonymous post board and not your true work product, but even so your posts and the nature of your mistakes make it obvious that you really are a terrible writer. Nobody with any education types "to" instead of "too" and needs to rely on spell checker to catch it--the smart readers here understand my point, although I realize you don't. It is not a "typo" kind of mistake--it is a mistake similar to all the morons who type "your" when they mean "you're," a contraction meaning "you are." You don't get that either, I know. Another example is "its" vs. "it's," where the normal apostrophe rule is reversed: "it's" means "it is" and "its" shows possession. You don't follow me. I've lost you now. I realize that, but I'm writing for the other readers. I have never accidentally typed "to" when I meant "too" in anything I've ever written, ever, starting in kindergarden, regardless of the context. Usually biglaw lawyers are at least good writers. You are either a rare exception who snuck in or you are not truly a biglaw associate. Seriously. All the readers here agree with me and I don't have time to give you further details. Period outside comma is one example I also noted but didn't include in my prior comment. And although I can't prove it to you, I really am in a corner office with a beautiful view at a major biglaw firm. Your naive, arrogant original comment belongs on with the other neurotic mental health cases. Even if you are joking regarding everything you've written here, it is still the case that your writing reveals your true stupidity; i.e., even joking around or pounding out a quick e-mail or blog comment, any reasonably educated person would not type "to" for "too" as the first word of the entire comment. Also, if one can use spell checker while leaving a comment on this blog, I don't know how to do it.
Damn fatboy, you *are* annoying. I went back and checked my comment. You proved my point. As I suspected, my accidental insertion of "a" about which you commented was indeed an obvious typo, contrary to your "too," "of," lack of apostrophes when writing about ownership, and repeated placement of commas outside the quotes. Seriously, anyone who does any writing knows what I'm talking about. That "a" was accidentally left in there after I was originally going to type "a moron" or something like that but then changed it--those types of typos are common. Your "to" shows ignorance and was not a typo or spell checker type of mistake. Okay, I'm finished with this one.
2:35 & 2:45

Here in the real world, as everyone already knows, anyone who makes himself out as someone who is big and powerful is anything but. Let me guess you were the frat guy who nailed all the chicks in college too huh? In reality, you never ever got women. Just so busy you can’t explain it to me, but you have the time for not one but two rambling posts? You are simply a piece of shit. Nice try on the “obvious typo” argument. Oh, wait had better not get the fight club guy upset. He may come out of his make believe corner office and get really upset. You probably haven’t made it out of law school yet. Hurry up and make your contracts class at Oklahoma City law before you are marked absent.

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