Wednesday, December 01, 2004

There have been some comments suggesting I ban comments. Here's why I'm not. In real life, I ban comments. People don't react honestly to what I have to say because they're scared of me. I could tell a law student at an interview that I was a pedophile and she would nod her head and smile. She might not take the offer, at least not if she has small children, but she would not talk back, by and large. I could tell an associate he deserves to die, and he'll nod his head and smile, and then go back to his office, bang his head against his desk, and go back to placing colored post-it tabs on a big stack of paper, promising himself he'll work harder so that next time, he can get the tiniest bit of praise from me. I could tell a client my time is worth a thousand dollars an hour, and he will nod his head and smile. No one comments. Anonymous Son barely even comments anymore. So this is the one place I can get honest feedback. What the comments here have told me, and those of you at fault know who you are, is that honest feedback is overrated, because a lot of what you have to say is junk. But that's not all it has told me. There have been a lot of insightful, perceptive, and even heartbreaking comments left on some of these posts. Fewer recently, but that's probably my fault for doing a worse job on here than anyone who reads and comments deserves. The comments have made writing this somewhat worthwhile for me, since people are too frightened to e-mail me their thoughts. I don't believe that human nature is by default good, but maybe the Internet can prove me wrong and the people who leave comments here can take it upon themselves to not leave the kinds of comments that will make other people wish there were no comments. Besides, to police a comments section would mean that some of my clients would not get the attention they deserve from me and the indentured servants who work under me.

"What the comments here have told me, and those of you at fault know who you are, is that honest feedback is overrated, because a lot of what you have to say is junk."

I've had a bad couple of weeks, one of the worst experiences you'd go through. But reading the sentence above was the first time I've laughed out loud during that time. Hats off, AL. Kudos.

PS. Like, OMG! This website is, like, a total sham, OMG. You aren't really a BIGLAW partner at all. After performing a detailed analysis of your references and word choice, we can scientifically conclude that you're really a border collie that lives adjacent a law school and likes to take dumps there. Bad dog! Bad dog! Your website ruined my life!
Does anyone else see this as a desperate ploy to garner more comments? I should try this, I love getting comments on my blogsite... Shrewd move again, Anonymous Lawyer

-Anonymous Commenter
visit for some of the sw33t3st p0rn on the intarweb
How come you are always right? It sounds like you need a good beating. Where and when should I meet you??
Anonymous Lawyer is an Anonymous Loser. To the poster above, give him a good beating, it is long overdue.
I'm glad AL isn't going to ban the comments. If you don't like the comments, then why not just ignore them? Don't even enter the comments screen. That way, comments are effectively banned for you. What's the point of lobbying AL to ban them for everyone? There's nothing useful gained by imposing your wishes on others who may not agree with them when you can just choose to ignore the comments altogether and get the same effect for yourself alone.

AL's post is interesting. I've often wondered if the partners are even frustrated by the lack of open, honest communications. It seems to me that even though it might be tiresome for them at times, partners prefer that people are afraid of them.
that why i like you AL. You always own up to your situation. Its unfortunate that more people dont accept responsibility for their actions. As far as people suggesting comments be ignored if they dont like them, thank you from us who cant see the obvious.
Hahahaha! This is hilarious. I wandered over here from Live Journal where somebody recced you. I'll be back.
you have the most awesome blog ever.
I used to be an associate just like that - would take endless abuse from the asshole partner I worked for. Just nod my head and smile. But unlike most other associates (such as those who work for AL), I got even. Wrote an extremely defamatory e-mail about the CEO of one of the firm's key clients, sent it to the firm's management committee, and made it appear highly likely the asshole partner had sent it. I then sent the CEO a copy of the e-mail as an "anonymous source" at the firm. Get it? The CEO thinks that asshole partner is bad-mouthing him, and asshole partner thinks that someone on the management committee is trying to stab him in the back. The result? A few weeks later the asshole partner announced his "resignation" in order to "pursue other interests". From what I hear, the "other interests" involve scratching out a living as a solo in some shithole office in the suburbs.

There's a moral to the story here AL. Can you figure out what it is?
Hey. I'm sorry about the comments the last couple nights. I was under the impression that this blog was purely fictional, and I was trying to play along. Apparently that's a point of dispute. Stupid me. I was out of line. I will try to refrain from posting juvenile material in the future. If this blog bears even a remote resemblance to the facts of your life, you have my sympathy, and I hope you can work out a way to be happier. Regardless, please keep writing. Thanks.
Early on, reading your blog was a real joy. It's not anymore. With all the pity you entreat from your readers, you've become in our eyes what you weren't before: a real anonymous lawyer. Another disenchanted, unhappy, middle-aged millionaire. Anonymous, commonplace, and boring. No one indulges a complaining, self-hating false egotist for long. Sure, it's good for a brief jolt of schadenfreude, but not interesting reading long term.

More vitriol, less vulnerability. Shit or get off the pot.
Dear 2.51pm, couldn't agree with you more there.
and 9.28pm, you're so sweet.
AL, I have to agree with 9.55pm a little. Lately you seem to have lost a little of your magic. When I re-read your earlier posts, I still find them entertaining and sometimes can't help smiling to myself, but not so for some of your more recent posts. So get your act together again!

By the way, news about your interest in a book version of the blog are all over the blogging community. Work on it and god bless!

I hope you have plans for loyal readers of this blog to get a personally autographed copy of the book...
So, as a soon-to-be first year associate, my question is: if I do kick ass work for you but refuse to suck up, will it be enough to avoid getting shit on randomly by a partner like you? Will it be enough to make you consider me, if not a rising star, at least someone above the shitty masses, and thus someone worth looking out for?
The comments are 40% why this website is so damn funny. 60% is obviously AL himself. Whenever I open up the website, I always read the post, then scroll down to the comments and read those as well.

AL is usually his hilarious self, and the comments just add to that. Usually there's someone bitching about how AL is not a real lawyer/partner, and there's someone else replying in kind, and then a whole discussion on the merits of AL's post, usually ending with someone threatening to kick someone else's ass. It's quite appealing to watch.

I dont normally comment on AL's posts, but since this is a comment about commenting, I have to disagree with AL. It seems that EVERYONE has something to comment on nowadays, especially with blog and blawg usage hitting an all-time high. Even I've submitted to the blogging fray, as you can see below. Thus, commenting is not dead. Perhaps rude and derisive commenting is, as AL bemoans, but where would the fun be, if AL couldnt make comments like that?

~JF (
I think too many tree-huggers are posting messages.
I wonder if Anonymous Wife has stopped commenting also?
Spend some time with your son.
Ambiguity has never been my thing, so I can't tell if you're being genuine or not, Oddball.
You want the truth? You can't handle the truth!

Back in the day, when this used to be a fun read, you told us about money and power and your $3000 set of Callaway golf clubs. Then you broke down and cried like a bitch about how you wanted to re-evaluate your life. Your wife was going to leave you and your kid was screwed in the head.

If we wanted to read a bunch of whiny blather, we'd have a bunch of first year associates write us memos on why they think their life sucks.

AND then you had the nerve to (temporarily) post a message about turning your blog into a book. That in itself wasn't a bad idea, but then you made a ridiculous offer to help you that wans't worth taking.

Want some advice? Get your shit together. You are (supposedly) a lawyer. Stop being personal and start sniping associates again.
Check out the Anonymous Solo blog at
What's a comment?
A punctuation mark which denotes a pause. One step below a full stop.
alright, i dont know why this hasnt come up, but it has to be said, what about anonymous wife? are readers not asking out of respect or what? i want to know, where is she, what is she doing, are you working it out, is the remodelling of the kitchen on hold? i admit im not an avid reader, but i check the blog every week or so, did i miss something? are you just trying to avoid her? it seems she is mostly on your mind considering the tone of the posts lately. i have to admit that i am very interested in the way, and more importantly the how, it turns out, so that i may try to avoid that pitfall.
So, as a soon-to-be first year associate, my question is: if I do kick ass work for you but refuse to suck up, will it be enough to avoid getting shit on randomly by a partner like you? Will it be enough to make you consider me, if not a rising star, at least someone above the shitty masses, and thus someone worth looking out for?The short answer is "no."

Everyone who is hired is expected to do work slightly better than the best quality. In order to be a rising star you need rain making skill.

It used to be that "lawyer's lawyers" were the sine non of a law firm. Around the 80s, firms discovered if they layed off a slacker with good client relationships and kept the guy with renown skills, the clients followed the guy they liked. All the superior lawyers without clients got axed then.

Given that 90% of all associates are going to not make partner, and that at least 50% of them are doing better than average work, good work can't save you. It doesn't save a partner and it doesn't save an associate who appears to have even more arrogance than normal.

Sorry if I've used harsh framing (even if my word choice is a little toned down), but you need to see the issue in those terms.

Failing to kiss up is seen as rudeness or arrogance. Doing excellent work is believed to be the norm one should expect. Being in the top 10% of the associate group is the threshold for partnership, not a standout position (as it was, maybe 40 years ago).

Things they don't teach in law school.

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