Thursday, April 23, 2009

An e-mail from one of our offer-rescinded summer associates somehow made it through my spam filter and ended up in the pile of e-mail printouts my assistant prepares for each morning for me to read in the bathroom. The unemployed 3L wanted to draw my attention to a recent post on the Volokh Conspiracy and the discussion in an Above The Law post and its comments.

Apparently there's some rumblings that despite at-will employment, there might be a breach of contract claim if we never hire, as opposed to hiring and then immediately firing. Something about health insurance, as if an unemployed law student's health is actually worth any money to insure. What's the difference if he gets sick, it's not like he's adding anything to society. Anyway, I took the e-mail printout to the one guy left in our internal legal department, and he laughed and threw it in the trash.

Nonetheless, I thought it could provide for a little bit of fun this afternoon. So I called the unemployed 3L and told him I received his e-mail, had considered it carefully, and wanted to invite him down to the office to chat. Three hours later, after he bought a last-minute ticket to fly down from the Bay Area, hustled to the airport, and took a cab straight here, I sat him down on my office couch and handed him a key card and a stack of paperwork.

"You're hired," I said. He beamed. "We don't want to get sued, and I want to thank you for pointing out the error of our ways. You will make a fine associate here at the firm."

"Thank you, sir," he said.

"Wait, can I see your key card for a second?" He handed it over. "Thanks. You're fired."

"Excuse me?"

"At-will employment. We hired you, lived up to our employment agreement, no questions there... and now you're fired. And, by the way, if you'd like to pay $775 a month for our crappy health insurance plan, you're welcome to take those COBRA documents with you and file the paperwork."

"But you just hired me."

"And then we fired you." I reached into my pocket and pulled out a $50 bill. "Oh, here's your salary for the twenty seconds you were employed. I even threw in a bonus for a job well done. You billed as many hours in those twenty seconds as some of our associates have billed all month -- good for you."

"But I just paid six hundred dollars to fly here."

"Doesn't seem like a very smart thing to do in this economy...."


"Oh, I'm sorry. I have a client meeting. Gotta run."

Sometimes it's just too easy.

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U must have a very sad and lonely life in the office as well as at home. I doubt any one in the office like you or want to hang out with u. You sound angry at yourself and people around you. I do feel sad for you. Please get help before its too late, when u die people will have very little nice things to remembered or said about you but i am sure u don't care anyway......
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