Monday, July 19, 2004

I've got an endless conference call on the calendar tomorrow, so I figure I'll put out a call for questions and I'll try to answer as many as I can during the call.  Post them in the comments or e-mail them, I don't care which.  Please don't spoil this by being like the guy who keeps e-mailing me asking why I don't shoot myself.

I love your sadistic humor. I hope you don't mind if I link your blog to my blog which is . I especially liked the comment about "helping some more rich people" in one of latest comments. There was another one about being refreshed about being back from vacation and getting right back into the swing of things by hammering the summers unmercilessly. I almost wish I was a lawyer.
What is the GPA range needed to be seriously considered by a big firm? Thanks!
How many work hours does a new associate work to meet their billable hours? It seems that so much of what first years do is non-productive. How does that work?
When's the last time you and anonymous wife expressed your love physically?
My sister is getting remarried, after being divorced for five and a half years. Her first marriage was very rocky; the guy abused her emotionally and left her pregnant and with a $38,000 debt (she didn't find out about the debt for several months after the divorce, when creditors repossessed the Toyota). My family is skeptical of the groom, who does not earn even as much money as I do as a BIGLAW associate, but seems to be a good man. My sister is obviously hugely invested in this marriage, and I would mean the world to her if I attended.

My supervising partner has an oral arguments for an important appellate case scheduled on the same day as the wedding. I've just recently transferred to the appellate litigation department, which is a "cherry" post in my firm, and this is my first opportunity to argue besides him. My supervising partner is very demanding, and obviously expects personal sacrifices from his associates. This could be a make or break decision for me.

My question is what excuse can I use to duck both the wedding and the hearing to go golfing?
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Considering that the vast majority of law students at big-name universities are all the same (arts/business undergraduate, stuck-up, emotionally insecure, incompetent), how often is it that you come across a student who has a unique undergraduate degree relative to the rest of the summer applicants (eg: physics, maths, engineering)? Do you find additional value in these types of applicants?

Do you think Cis is sufficiently transparent about his physics/maths/engineering background, and do you think his question about "unique undergraduate degree relative to the rest of the summer applicants" and "additional value in these types of applicants" reflects an underlying insecurity?
Do you hire students from top schools with average grades that didn't join journals?

-Ava Rice (
Do you have to play golf to make it in this crazy world? If so, do you have to play it well? If so, how?
Note to 'investigative summer':
1. IF (big IF - see below) you were correct, do you think posting your theory instead of emailing AL is wise? It only embodies the one-up-man-ship that makes your type lousy and lonely people. And they are bigger than you, Summer, much bigger and better at the game.

2. Now to the IF: Good job biting at the bait. I have a 6 year old who loves Scooby Doo and could have done as much. Sure, go ahead and believe that a hiring partner, interested in maintaining his anonymity and position would feed you facts like M&Ms. There is just enough 'real' to make the blog interesting and informative, just enough outrageousness to offend, and enough combined edge and humanness that neither you nor any other reader will ever know for sure what is real and what is not. If it were otherwise, it wouldn't be ANONYMOUS. Get it? All you have done is demonstrated how much you like to display your dick-for-brains so that . . . what? Who is impressed?
3. Just remember, the law community, even in LA County is small enough that you are more likely to be outed than (east coast? Montana? Windy City?) AL. And you haven't served yourself well, my friend. Not at all.
Hey! I remember you from law school! We called you a 'gunner.' Loved to display your wisdom, loved to inflict it on the rest of us. Mocked by most, admired only by the weak-minded.
What was your law school experience like?
Note to Cis: You may not be aware of a trend over the last 3-4 years. Where a science/math/engineering background was once unusual and would stand out, the telecom bust and related economic factors have resulted in a much higher percentage of entering law students with this type of background. Also, for some reason, there has been a sizable increase in law students with military backgrounds. This means that coming out of law school now (or in the next few years), you are not as unique as you once were. That makes grades more important, and you will have to (1) market yourself as a well-rounded person WITH the experienced, skilled background and (2) search for a firm that specifically seeks out your skills. There are firms that almost exclusively require their associates have an engineering background - you need to find the right place to sell yourself. (3) Any job, anywhere, any field, will look at excellent writing and commication skills as a plus. Recall AL's stupid Summer, "just thought I'd paraphrase it so it sounded good for your side." Do not look to your background to make you stand out now - you have to do that on your own.
Do post about the importance of golf. Especially the level of play needed to be credible with clients/partners. What about women? Do they play? Are they expected/accepted? Do they, more than males, need to make sure their game is 'up to par'? I have a friend that is summering at a large firm and one of her observations is that golf is one of those outside activities prospective associates should (legitimately) have on their resume. Thoughts?
Hey, Scooby: The firm (and partners) you splashed all over the internet allows summers to split. AL's does not. Geez, man, I hope they're looking for you or making a friendly call to the firm you're interning for. Guess we know one bright guy who won't be getting the traditional 'gimmee' offer.
Did the investigative summer say who he (the summer) was?

How would it be traced to him?
Let's just say that the world of BIGLAW isn't necessarily all that big. You don't think these people communicate amoungst themselves? Of course they do, and while a partner or even a fairly recent associate may have a measure of privacy -- summers are center stage with the spotlight on, even when you think no one is watching/hearing/hearing about. It was a stupid stunt, and even if he gets an offer (like AL says, sometimes the offers are automatic just to keep the talent flowing), he'll be watched. It's easier to unload a first year (there's always a good reason -- first years make lots of mistakes) than to withold an offer. Really stupid career move, dude.
oh please.

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