April 16, 2007

What Do You Love?

Posted in Office Hijinks at 10:55 pm by devilwearsbrooksbrothers

We lost another associate last week. She was our first in 2007 which is bad if we hope to break our record of 6 in 2006, but I digress.

I think the problem with this latest casualty was she had nothing to lose by leaving. She was young, rented a place and didn’t have any expensive hobbies or habits to keep her coming back. She had this job and that was it. When she could no longer take this job, she left. I know, because I was once like Dot-Your-Eye-With-A-Heart-Associate. But then I developed an expensive pocketbook obsession and it has been 40+ hour weeks for me since.

Now, if I were on the hiring committee, one of the first questions I would ask would be what their vices are and if this has caused them a significant amount of debt. After all, nobody will work as hard as a first year who has to repay a gambling debt or risk two broken knee caps.

It may be illegal or unethical to ask those sorts of questions, so maybe something along the line of what do you like to do in your free time should be asked. For instance, if a woman says she runs to relieve stress, well she can run anywhere, any time and as far as a hobby, it is a pretty cheap one. She could get a job delivering papers and still be able to afford to run. Now if she says she loves golf; well now there is a nice and expensive past-time. Plus you can use her to fill out client/partner foursomes.

Unfortunately they don’t ask me to interview candidates any more because I focus too much on each person’s hair and shoes. And well, I have a tendency to make faces, but never on purpose. Remember I have that affliction.

I think to make it in this business you have to have something you love to cling to and remember why you put up with everything you do. For about 1% of you, that one thing is the law and you don’t give the crap you endure a second thought. For the rest of you, you will need to look outside the office for the reason why you are here.

My favorite associate loves art and travel; both habits are expensive enough to keep him working. Although, they also take him away from his desk quite a bit which may keep him from making partner, a fact he doesn’t seem to mind. If you want to make partner, travel is not the addiction for you.

New Associate has a new wife and a new house and a new baby on the way. I imagine when he is at his wits’ end he pulls out the black and white ultrasound photo of his wife’s belly and remembers the mortgage payments and goes back to work. His is a love and work ethic that makes shareholders cry.

So next time you are sitting in the office, after almost everyone else has gone home, waiting for the partner to review the brief you wrote two weeks ago, that is due 4 hours from now, you can email your friends to remind them of the upcoming ski weekend in Vail. Or when you are entering time, and that feeling of dread washes over you as you realize all the better, nobler things you could be doing with your .1s and .2s, remember the Prada heels you have already picked out to purchase when you visit Florence next spring.

For me, whenever the urge comes on to have my mom fax my high school transcript that would prove once and for all that I am not mentally challenged (I took AP calculus for heaven’s sake), I roll my eyes and remember it will all make good blog fodder. Because the thing I love is writing and by writing I mean people telling me I am a wonderful writer.

And by wonderful I really just mean funny.



  1. Geri said,

    You are a wonderful writer!!! M

  2. Balsy Maguire said,

    Ditto what Geri said. Keep up the good work. Regards to all, including “my favorite associate” and New Associate.

    P.S. Can you (please, if possible) get me back on that e-mail list that sends me the YL section with your column? Thanks.

  3. Jamie said,

    It’s not often I semi-randomly come across a blog that makes me laugh, and is indeed this well written.

    The ultimate “I like your blog” compliment: I have added you to my RSS reader.

  4. Elise said,

    What about a 90k debt from law school? Shouldn’t that motivate one to keep a job?

  5. You would think. However, it has been my experience that this isn’t enough. Maybe the ones that walked away were independently wealthy and didn’t have student loans; maybe the job motivated them to go back to school and defer their debt. Maybe one could defer their debt until the time it is no longer their problem, but one for their estate.

  6. Lowly first-year said,

    *sigh* So true! Jewelry. My obsession is jewelry. Oh, and baseball season tickets…

    And of course you’re fabulous, I check the legal every morning just to see if you column has a new addition! And I’ve forwarded a couple of columns to my girlfriends. Keep writing!

  7. lawgeekguy said,

    you are funny – very funny – and ordinarily I would find a blatantly needy and manipulative ploy like your closing few grafs to be repulsive, but, oddly, I find myself compelled to comply and tell you that you are a marvelous writer, which is to say you are funny.

    but don’t quit your day job – it’s still giving you good material! and it gives you street cred.

  8. Caroline said,

    Marketing person in a big Philly law firm, here. I just wanted to say not only do I love your blog, but I share your affinity for handbags. Please tell me it is Marc Jacobs whom you adore, he is my latest obsession and I succumbed to the pressure last week and purchased a black Blake with gold hardware. Damn, my bag is gorg.

  9. Are you kidding me? I would cut anyone who said they didn’t love Marc. Unfortunately I don’t own any of his bags and now that my mom and my roommate have suspended my pocketbook buying privileges it looks like I never will. Sniff. Okay, eventually I will, just not in the foreseeable future.

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