Sunday, August 06, 2006

I'm starting to put together the agenda for the new associate orientation next month, and I'm not entirely sure what to do. Last year we showed the Passion of the Christ DVD, just to remind associates that things could be a lot worse for them than they are at the firm, and that they should all count their blessings, even if we make them work a hundred hours a week. But with the recent Mel Gibson nonsense, I'm not sure if I should leave the movie in the schedule, or swap it out for The Woodsman, Kevin Bacon's film about a pedophile. Makes a similar point. Yes, you work hard at the firm, and, no, you won't have time for your family, but at least, for the most part, no one at the firm wants to do anything bad to children (besides letting companies fire their parents, take away their health insurance, poison the water they drink, and give them asbestos-related illnesses... but those are all indirect, so we ignore them). So count your blessings.

It's all the same point, we just want to plant the idea in the associates' minds that they have it pretty good, all things considered. The other movie I was considering is The Sixth Sense. But then I realized if you walk around the halls carefully enough, you will in fact eventually see dead people. So the point doesn't really hold.

But back to Mel Gibson. Yes, what he said was reprehensible, of course. Not every Jewish person is evil, just the ones who work at this firm or any firm, and that applies to just about everyone here, not just the Jewish people, and it has nothing to do with their religion. But people say a lot of terrible things all the time and we don't hold it against them. There are some horribly sexist, racist, morally reprehensible lawyers here, and as long as they keep bringing in clients who pay us lots of money, it doesn't matter what they say, sober or drunk. We have clients who say awful things about all kinds of people. Whatever, we're not the upstanding citizen police, we're not going to judge our clients even if they abuse their elderly parents and steal change from the cups that the blind homeless people are holding out for donations on the street. It's not our job.

Mel Gibson is an idiot. But if he came here looking for a defense attorney, I'd be first in line to volunteer all of our Jewish associates to spend their Saturdays in the office working on his case. That's just the way it works.

I'm going to stick with Passion of the Christ next month for the incoming associates. But I'm going to balance it by also making everyone read Elie Wiesel's "Night." I think the experience of being an associate here holds up well next to Wiesel's story, I really do. They could do a lot worse than being here for a few years. A lot worse.

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