Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Bitch, bitch, bitch

ALL RIGHT, I know I used to complain a lot about being a lawyer.  And I know I claim to have the beef to back it all up.

But now I'm beginning to think that I have laid the mystery on too thick, and am starting to sound like a liar, or worse, a tease.

So I have to decided to relate one of my tales of woe.

One of my more important jobs back at Firm (keep in mind, I said "more important") was to collect news articles on our high-profile client every morning and email them out to the team.  (Given that this is more important than what I usually do, I think you can surmise how most of my days were spent.)  I did this for a few months, ever since the old press clips person jumped ship to a different job.

One day, an actual development occurred.  Kind of a big deal one, too.  One of the head partners on the case emailed everyone about it that night.  And the next day, the news was filled with details of this development.

I sorted through these articles, picked the best one (Honestly, who wants to read 8 articles recounting the same information?)  (Better question - who wants to pay for a team of dozens of lawyers to read 8 articles recounting the same information?)  (Don't ask that last question, the entire law firm system breaks down) and emailed out the press clips.

Less than an hour goes by.  A senior associate on the case forwards me an angry email from Big Deal Partner Guy who can't believe that I am so dumb to have missed 7 other articles.

I quickly respond and tell them I have the articles, I can send them out right away.  Senior Associate tells me not to worry about it, he will take care of it.

Now, you may be thinking, "OK, that's not that terrible."

That's not the end of the story.

Thinking that I had learned my lesson, I meekly sent out the press clips the next day with literally every news story on our client, the case, and any tangential players packed into one email.

Five minutes go by.  The senior associate emails me, asking me to visit him in his office.

With an "Oh shit" chorus ringing in my head, I go knock on the senior associate's door.  He asks me in, and then informs me that going forward, I need to get (1) get all the information possible into the press clips and (2) rank the articles in the email according to the prestige of the publication.

Pretty sure I blinked.  "Excuse me?"

"Yeah, yeah, yeah," the senior associate says impatiently.  "Like, The Wall Street Journal first, then The New York Times, then (other newspapers I will decline to mention), and wire service last, followed by any reputable blogs."

I pause.  "What if another article is better?" I ask, thinking, Surely there are no stupid questions, otherwise why would I have gotten that motivational Post-It Pad during training?

But the Post-Its lied.  Senior Associate looks at me like he is wondering if I had a hearing disability.  "The Wall Street Journal goes first," he repeats.

Then, softening up (because Senior Associate actually is a pretty nice guy, and I'm sure he just thought he was doing me a favor by shielding me from the wrath of Big Deal Partner), Senior Associate tells me that, in the future, I am to email him the press clips first, he will evaluate them, and then he will send them out to the team if they are acceptable.

Just in case I ever forget again that The Wall Street Journal goes first.


  1. That could be score one against law school and plus one for an MPP/Public Policy PhD.

    That said, there are very few jobs that don't incur that level of stupidity. However, at least where I am now I can direct all of my righteous indignation at the Utah State Legislature and federal agencies who are more than deserving of the wrath that is my bitching.

  2. Actually, Fox News goes first. Silly Senior Associate.