Economics and the mid-life crisis have much in common: Both dwell on foregone opportunities

C'est la vie; c'est la guerre; c'est la pomme de terre . . . . . . . . . . . . . email: jpalmer at uwo dot ca

. . . . . . . . . . .Richard Posner should be awarded the next Nobel Prize in Economics . . . . . . . . . . . .

Monday, June 13, 2005

Anonymous Lawyer

It isn't as if we do not already have enough material out there to tell us what life is like in go-go law firms. John Grisham's The Firm or The King of Torts or The Partner do a great job. But the blog, Anonymous Lawyer, presents a wonderful fictional diary of a partner in a major law firm. The cynicism and humour make the entries really fun to read. These excerpts below do not do the site justice.

A recent entry intricately details the nuances and ramifications of summer associates' going to a strip club and submitting the bill to the firm for reimbursement.

From the previous week (about the influx of summer associates):

The two weeks before the summer program starts is always a whirlwind of activity. First, there's the matter of offices. If I had my druthers, I'd load up a conference room with a couple dozen desks and stick all of the summer associates in there for the summer. Every few hours, I'd send an associate in to explain an assignment, and, Survivor-style, the last one to complete the task would be eliminated. It would keep the summer associates on their toes and let them feel some of the pressure that the young associates do. One of the things we do very badly here is make the summer stressful enough.
And from the entry before that (about how "life coaches" are those who can't make it in the real world themselves):

I think it's very hard to work at a place like this and have integrity. The pressure to bill hours is too high. The pressure to cover up mistakes, to lie to clients, to create busy-work simply to enable more hours to be billed, the need to cut corners in order to maintain some semblance of control. But at least I know this. And I cling to the hope that this somehow makes me better than the people who don't. That somehow this means I would never take that final step, that one last step toward complete inhumanity. There's a check in the system. I know when I'm over the line. I do it anyway, but I know. On the other hand, maybe that makes me worse. But in either case, I don't need a life coach to tell me. And it's the ones who do need a life coach, for whom the life coach is really adding value, that I'm most frightened of. Because they'll do anything to get ahead, and won't even know just how evil they are.
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