Wednesday, February 28, 2007

I got home early from the office yesterday and happened to catch the last half of the new game show on Fox, "Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader?" I should watch more television, since it helps remind me why so many of my associates are idiots. If this is the standard people in the rest of the country are held to, then of course my associates are going to be idiots, because even two standard deviations above the IQ of someone who can succeed on this show is still going to be somewhere around 60. I don't know if my associates are smarter than fifth graders. Most of them certainly are not smarter than I was a fifth grader, or even as a preschooler, but that's probably not an appropriate standard to hold them to. It doesn't actually matter if they're smarter than a fifth grader, because most of the work we make them do is work a fifth grader could do pretty easily. And that's part of the problem. We've dumbed down our standards so much that expectations even at an elite law firm are frighteningly low. And so what does that say about the rest of the population, who are working at places not nearly as challenging as this? It says that they can be even dumber, perhaps unable to count to ten, or read street signs. Like the contestants on this game show, who somehow managed to dress themselves but still can't remember whether the United States is a country or a planet. Next we're just going to eliminate language altogether and have people grunt at each other to win a million dollars. Or a thousand pennies, because the contestants will be just as excited with that prize and it won't cost the network as much money. A thousand pennies! Imagine, all those pennies! And they're so shiny! Oooh, shiny pieces of metal. I mean wood. I mean paper. I mean food. Oh, I don't know, I'm too stupid to remember to breathe.

Meanwhile, I'm wading through resumes from 1Ls looking for the remaining three spots in our summer program and some of them have the nerve to send me LSAT score reports revealing they got less than 170. They should just be sterilized. Actually, all of them should be sterilized, no matter what they got on the LSAT. Anyone who takes the LSAT should be sterilized. Anyone who really thinks that being a lawyer is going to lead to happiness and fulfillment clearly has a screw loose and shouldn't be reproducing. They could put a chemical in the test booklets that would just make people's genitals shrivel up and fall off. Lawyers don't need them anyway. None of the associates have time to do anything with those parts except pleasure themselves in the law firm bathroom. (I saw you, Young Guy Badly Hiding Your Impending Baldness. I saw you.) And by the time you're a partner, whoever you're with is certainly no longer appealing. Anonymous Wife hasn't looked desirable to me ever since she spent my entire fifth-year-associate bonus on permanent eyeliner tattoos back in '93. There's nothing that's less of an aphrodisiac than someone spending money she didn't earn on permanent blue lines drawn into her eyelids. On bad days now she looks like one of those baseball players, with the eye block grease under their eyes to block reflections from the sun. This is what she spends money on when she isn't controlled. That's why I make her sign a new contingency agreement every year regarding the fate of my money for when the inevitable occurs and she cons a younger man into bed with her. I saw you, Young Guy Badly Hiding Your Impending Baldness. I saw the way she looked at you at the Christmas Party, and I saw you move that strand of hair over the top of your head and wink back at her. I have my eye on both of you. That's why you're getting transferred to Chicago. Your head's going to be cold, but you can buy a hat.

I wish we could get fifth graders in the office instead of law school graduates. Less ambition. More malleability. They'll do the work, I know they will. Damn these child labor laws. Damn these child labor laws to hell.

I wish I lived in the 1800s. No Internet to distract everyone, and everyone was a lot more lenient about the kinds of personal services you could pay children to do for you. I mean, I guess I kind of get decent service from everyone under me at the firm, but it would be so much better if they didn't think of themselves as adults.

I notice you don't post as often as you used to. Why is that Mr. Anonymous Lawyer? It's not like our economy is booming, and you are ultra busy hiring associates. Wait...are you busy firing associates and contributing to our nation's unemployment rate?! In any case, how come you haven't written anything about the Oscars??? Don't pretend like you didn't watch it. I hope some of your associates were able to streamline the video to their geekbox(aka computer) via your intranet.

On another note - I've wondered if you type your own posts or does your secretary take care of that? Kindly respond at your earliest convenience because inquiring minds need to know.


Your Idol
i'd imagine you dictate all of your emails for your secretary to transcribe and then transfer on your behalf to email etc., correct?

anyway, super funny post today.
You need to watch the movie Idiocracy by Mike Judge. Bill the time to a client.
Speaking of dictating e-mails, has anyone else received an e-mail from an opposing counsel's secretary, purportedly from opposing counsel, with the closing line "dictated, but not read". Wtf?
A little bitter there. I would kill to be where you are right now. I know, what the hell am I talking about right? I don't know you, who you are, if you are bald or not, if you are even happy...maybe I don't.
But being a lawyer is a powerful thing. People look up to you, people hate you, and people want to be you. Your associates can't be as dumb as you make them out to be. I mean, in a few years they'll be where you are now. Two different people taking the same route will undoubtedly end up in the same position. Logic I tell you. Logic! Great post.
Glad you're back to posting. I was wondering what ever happened to this statement from 1/2/07: "In celebration of a brand new year, I'm planning to return to a 5-posts-per-week schedule. Your long blog-reading nightmare is finally over."
Hey Anonymous Lawyer! I checked out your book from the library today--awesome. Just plain awesome. I am a former legal aid lawyer who is now a teacher and, since Michigan pays its teachers very well, much better paid than most lawyers in this state (with much better hours). And, they have to call me "Dr". Tee hee.

Perfect, perfect book and website!!!! I am going to show it to my crazy ass students who are thinking about law school!

Patti, Ann Arbor, MI
Note to previous posters: Ass kissing the Anonymous Lawyer (AL) won't get you anywhere. Tier 4 sucking up can be heard from the next county. Think about it. As for the AL post count, it's like good wine - 1 great post is better than 4 suck posts. But, since they all suck lately, what's the difference? My 6-year-old next door neighbor writes better than the AL - less surplus words. Reading this blog happens right after going to the dentist and updating case history on Westlaw. -- [Dictated but not read]. Anonymous Poster (AP).
Should you have said, "Most of them certainly are not smarter than I was as a fifth grader... ?"
When I have to drop a deuce, I make sure to print out your latest post to make the time goes by a little quicker. I then proceed to bill that hour to my client. After that, I take a two hour lunch. Again, billed to my client. I probably put about 2-3 total hours of actual work into my 10 hours billed each day. This my friend, is what you call being smarter than a 5th grader.
Please, tell me why I am leaving my cushy engineering job to become a poor lawyer at a TTT law school? That's right, I am not smarter than a 5th grader.
It sort of depresses me that your blog attracts such acerbic readers. What kind of person would criticize your writing without first repairing her own? It's "'fewer' surplus words," not "less surplus words." Maybe you should leave comments disabled. I'd like to pretend that other AL readers are kind-hearted, forgiving and understanding.

Also, for those of us who love great satire, please don't let this character die off. Write another book.
I am all for child labor- they love to please and while they are still at this stage (I have a 7 yr old) mine cleans better than my old live-in nanny used to. And her pay- ahem allowance for vacuuming, putting away dishes and taking out the trash far out beat the live-in's wages ;)
The problem with this is blog is stupid readers.

First, who says things like "...[i]t sort of depresses me..."? Who gives a damn what depresses you? You obviously aren't qualified to work at 7-11, much less edit the posts of your superiors. Second, "[w]hat kind of person would criticize your writing without first repairing her own?" The kind of person that's more intelligent than you is exactly the person who's in a position to say your post is irrelevant and unnecessary. Third, "less surplus words" is rhetorically correct just as "fewer surplus words" is correct. Both are correct but you're too stupid to know that... The only problem with this blog is there's no IQ hurdle to prevent TTT morons from getting through the door. God forbid the morons should hear people say they're stupid... They might actually get the right idea about themselves. How did they get past the 5th grade?

FYI - there is no place for anyone who is kind-hearted, forgiving, or understanding in law. Those kind don't get past the first interview - they end up at TTTT schools and volunteer at a homeless shelter suing for Social Security benefits. Losers all.
"Most of them certainly are not smarter than [sic] when I was a fifth grader..." What is up with the spelling errors in this post? It seems the stupidity of your 1Ls is having some effect on your ability to proofread, i.e., to write competent memos, i.e., to be a half-decent lawyer.

Also, period after parentheticals. What is up with this post Anonymous Lawyer san!?
Living in the 1800's...shepardizing would be a big pain in the ass--ociates butt's
You consistently whine about how being a lawyer sucks, yet you continue to practice. You are a tool and an idiot.
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