Sunday, October 29, 2006

I've kept silent for too long regarding my thoughts about Congressman Mark Foley. I'm normally eager to write about items in the news, but I thought this situation demanded at least a few weeks to reflect and make sure I didn't say anything that could come back to haunt me in the event I use the leadership experience I've gained at the law firm to move into politics and make a run for office later in life. Certainly the time I've spent convincing law students that this firm is the right choice would serve as terrific practice for convincing voters that I'm the right candidate, or convincing a country that this is the right war, regardless of the truth of either of those statements. And there'd be none of those two-week vacations at the ranch with President Anonymous Lawyer. The government would run more efficiently than ever before with the hours extended by a handful on each end of the day, and all vacation time completely eliminated. I'd also eliminate the Department of Education, since anyone who's bright enough to succeed in this world should be self-motivated enough to teach himself everything he needs to know.

But on to the subject I intended to write about. Mark Foley. People say some terrible things about law firms. They write some awful things about how we treat our paralegals, our support staff, our associates. They complain about the hours, and the make-work. About the stress, and the lack of ownership. We're accused of lots of terrible things. But we're never accused of *that* terrible thing. Well, except for my colleague at Cravath, who I guess was accused of exactly that terrible thing. But he's an exception. As far as the rest of us, or at least a strong majority of us, we may do some bad things, but we don't do *that*. Even if any of us wanted to, it would be difficult. With the hours people spend here, they don't really get enough sleep to look their best, or enough exercise to stay in shape. There's nothing appealing about a puffy-eyed, pale, soft-in-the-middle, tired young intern. So even if we were tempted, why bother? It's not worth it.

Before I wrote this post, I wanted to make sure I wasn't speaking inaccurately. So I went into the computer system and harvested all of the instant message conversations over the past three years at the firm. I had a few of my associates comb through them for anything questionable. I thought I'd reproduce a few of the exchanges the associates found:

LuvTax59: what r u wearing?
179LSAT: blue shirt, khaki pants
LuvTax59: me 2
179LSAT: yah, everyone is
LuvTax59: i have the latest tax code in my office. want it?
179LSAT: no thanx, it's online
LuvTax59: ok, no problem


1944SecAct: wish u were here
LawStud1989: why?
1944SecAct: i need to fax something and my secretary went home
LawStud1989: do u need help with the fax?
1944SecAct: i do, it is v. confusing
LawStud1989: ok, i will come by l8r
1944SecAct: what r u wearing?
LawStud1989: blue shirt, khaki pants


ILikeBoies: how long is it?
YoungScaliaFan: u already know
ILikeBoies: tell me again
YoungScaliaFan: why?
ILikeBoies: i just want to hear you say it again
YoungScaliaFan: it's really long
ILikeBoies: how long?
YoungScaliaFan: so long
ILikeBoies: give me a number
YoungScaliaFan: guess
ILikeBoies: 9 and a half
YoungScaliaFan: no, longer
ILikeBoies: longer?
YoungScaliaFan: much longer
ILikeBoies: how long?
YoungScaliaFan: the brief is 36 pages -- i can send it to you as a pdf
ILikeBoies: ok, that would be great. i'll go through it and send you back any changes i have. hopefully we can get it off by 5.
YoungScaliaFan: yeah, we can definitely get it off
ILikeBoies: i hope so

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