Tuesday, April 14, 2009

 
Like a lot of firms, we've been trying to find a way to push the start date of our incoming class of new associates, since there isn't a great deal of work to go around, and the last thing we need is more people roaming the halls, making idle conversation. A bored associate isn't just a drain on the firm's financials, he's also a potential rabble-rouser and troublemaker. It's one thing to have a hundred miserable associates slaving away at their desks, feeling like they're alone in the world, their work doesn't matter, and they're wasting their lives. It's quite another thing when they have the time and freedom to wander the halls and discover they aren't so alone, and everyone else feels exactly the same way. It's never helpful to the firm for associates to have a chance to talk to each other. They start comparing notes and realizing whatever they're obsessing about isn't just in their own heads (yes, we really do hire someone to secretly follow them every time they go to the bathroom, and make sure they're not using more toilet paper than the designated allotment). And they go from merely paranoid to actually almost ready to do something about it. Of course, no associate ever really ends up putting up a fight over anything we do, but the realization that they should, and that we are in fact just as bad as they sometimes fear we might be, is not good for morale and does not lead to added productivity.

Thus, in order to avoid having idle feet roaming the halls, we're encouraging incoming associates to find public interest jobs, in exchange for significantly more money than the people currently in those jobs earn. The tremendous side benefit (and I don't know why we didn't come up with this plan sooner -- give credit to the economy for forcing us to come up with even more diabolical ways to ruin the world) is that our overqualified-but-now-super-cheap labor can displace the idiots who couldn't get a firm job and were forced to go into public interest to begin with, and leave them on the streets where they belong (and where most of them are probably thrilled to be living, so that they can better understand the kinds of people they're so desperate to "help"). Finally, students from third-tier law schools won't have the crutch of a public interest job to help them forget they got rejected by firms like us. Finally, there won't be a place for "lawyers" who are ruining the reputation of the profession by passing up good money in order to change the world and help those too lazy to help themselves. And, finally, we won't have to make up stories about our associates doing pro bono work -- because they actually will be.

Of course, even better is that once the economy turns around and we collect all of our people back from Lawyers For The Dumb, or wherever else they're going to be working, those organizations that were short-sighted enough to take our people and save themselves a little money now will have no one left and will be forced to close their doors. What will they do over at Legal Aid when they realize that all of their lawyers are actually discarded law firm associates, who, after a week of fighting for the government's very last paper clip, will realize just how good life is at a law firm and will vow to come back to us the very first chance they get -- and there's no one left to work there? We displace the public interest lawyers, then we pull our guys back and leave them with nothing. It'll take years for them to rebuild all the lost expertise, all that institutional knowledge -- okay, it'll actually take a week and a half, since no one's ever doing anything over there anyway. But still, that's a week and a half that they're gone, vanquished, missing from the legal landscape as they ought to be.

Now excuse me while I go participate in a deposition regarding a class action lawsuit filed by fifty law students who claim we offered them a spot in our summer program, but, magically, we have no record of their existence.

Comments:
Fifty law students in a deposition!
 
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?