Wednesday Advice Column: Workaholic

Dear BigLaw:
I get to work around 8am and stay until 7pm or 8pm even if I have nothing to do. I go to all the firm events, the Fourth of July parties thrown by partners, and do all the non-billable work partners ask of me just to store up goodwill.

Will this face time help me in the long run when I go up for partner? I’d rather be home than at work, though I don’t know what I would do at home since I haven’t had a hobby since grade school, but this has got to pay off right?

-Workaholic
If this is your life, I recommend you seek help.

If this is your life, I recommend you seek help.

Dear Delusion-aholic:

I’m guessing your father isn’t a client or else you wouldn’t be worried about face time, mainly because the partners will make sure you have enough work so there is never a time you are just sitting around. And in the off chance you don’t have work, I’m sure there would be someone to take you out to lunch at Hooters, golf, dinner, a steak house, or anywhere else your little heart desires.

So you have a strike against you: you didn’t get the job because of your daddy (meaning, you probably had excellent grades and work ethic making you one of the few people who actually got to BigLaw on your own and who actually deserve to be in BigLaw–if the world was fair. But it’s not. So boohoo.) So, you slave away on billable and “non-billable” (shudder) work that partners give you so they can save the real billable work for aforementioned daddy’s boy or have free time to take aforementioned daddy’s boy to “lunch” (strip club) while you work on that partner’s 100 page marketing powerpoint for which you will get no credit. There’s no way of telling whether, in a few years of slaving away and putting in so much face time, what you did will make the other partners willing to share a slice of their big fat pie with you or if they will just kick you to the curb hoping that daddy’s boy will be able to bring in some clients through his daddy’s connections. And since you get no credit for the partner’s marketing efforts, potential clients will have no idea who you are. This doesn’t bode well for you on that roller coaster we call the partnership track. In fact, it means: Nope! You’re Still Fungible (and go home for godsakes. get a hobby, get laid, and get a life.)
Need advice? Send your questions to sbiglawal@gmail.com or post them in the comments.
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