Friday, November 18, 2005

Today is one of my favorite days of the year because I get to find out which of my first-year associates is retarded. The California Bar results are released this evening, and I'll be keeping a checklist of who comes and tells me he or she passed so that I know pretty quickly who the losers are. Usually there's at least one every year. I'm hoping this year's no different, because it brings tears of joy to my eyes to see the tears of angst in theirs. I love seeing those gears turning in their heads as it sinks in that they're not long for this place, and, even worse, that they have to do it all again in February. Studying for the bar exam the first time is torture enough for most of them; having to do it again is almost comically entertaining for anyone who gets to be around them. What's especially fun is the occasional student who takes two different state bar exams, wanting to keep his options open for the future, and fails both of them. You don't get much better than that.

It's true that I failed the bar my first time, but I was different. It was just a bad day for me. Extenuating circumstances. Doesn't mean I have any mercy for my associates who fail. Times are different now. More competition. The exam is easier now than it's ever been. More students from unaccredited law schools taking it. Besides, I don't need to prove myself anymore. I've already proven myself. Instead I can just bask in the glory of watching someone else suffer.

As 6:00 rolls around this evening, my associates will be itching to leave, so they can check the results in the privacy of their own homes. But I'm not going to let them. We're having an assignment bonanza at about 4:30. Lots of new assignments coming through the pipeline, even if I have to make some of them up. No one gets to look at his results at home. You do it here, in front of me, so I can watch the reaction. They could put this on pay-per-view. I'd pay at least a hundred bucks to see it.

Yesterday morning a few associates were telling me about a friend they know who failed New York. Even hearing these stories third-hand makes me giddy with joy. I wanted to take them to lunch just for letting me share in the experience.

This is almost as much fun as stomping on acorns.

No, it's more fun than that. It's almost as much fun as getting a pro bono case and finding out that someone accused of a crime and facing jail time is going to be depending on you to keep him free. What do I know about defending criminals? They have no chance. I don't know anyone at the firm who's gotten a criminal off too recently. I sure hope they've all been guilty. Show me a lease agreement, sure. But a murderer? They'd have better luck defending themselves. At least they know how to use a weapon.

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