Wednesday Advice Column: Castrati

Dear BigLaw:
I’ve been reading your blog for a couple of weeks now and I just don’t understand why you seem to be so angry and bitter about law firms. Working at a law firm has been the most rewarding experience of my life. I have never felt more valued or more worthwhile as a human being than I have these last couple of years at the firm. I’m only a junior associate so I have been asked to perform a lot of menial tasks but I realize it’s just because I’m young and training. My firm has given me the opportunity to be in the room while some of the best lawyers of our generation negotiate settlements. I have drafted deposition outlines and cross-examination outlines that were used by some amazing partners. I’ve been in the back of the court room during the arguments of dispositive motions in cases that make the national news. I’ve also been third chair in a trial that made the national news. I can’t imagine working anywhere else or doing anything else, and I don’t mind sacrificing whatever it takes to be a part of this. The people I work for are the best teachers I have ever had. I’ve learned to develop a work ethic and how to put work first above all else. I’ve learned that every single detail matters–from whether deposition transcripts are paperclipped, stapled or put in a binder, to what kind of highlighters the partner has in their brief case. My work is really important and our clients pay a lot of money for our services so they expect absolute perfection at every turn. It’s my job to make sure we give them their money’s worth and that the partners are prepared in every way. I have faith that when I’m seasoned and senior enough I’ll get my chance at the spotlight.
So BigLaw, what are you complaining about? Why don’t you adore your firm? I’m betting you’re one of those people that does bad work and knows you’ll be fired soon, so you’re complaining about the firm preemptively. Show some loyalty. Some of the best legal minds in the country thought you were worthy of joining their practice.
With undying firm loyalty,
Dear Castrati:
Do you sing soprano? Do you miss your balls? You are a part of a faction of associates we here at BigLaw refer to as the castrati: associates who have bought into the firm’s assessment that they aren’t worthy of real legal work and are content being glorified paralegals for a few years. It’s almost as if you were born and bred to become a BigLaw associate. Like a castrated bull, you don’t even try to get any (and by any we mean sex–with other humans or possibly with sheep–as well as quality work). And like the castrati of the opera, you feel it is an honor and privilege to have your balls cut off so that you can serve a very limited purpose. Here at Biglaw we think you are just sad. You are the 10th year associate who doesn’t understand why they’ve been deferred again. You are the 8th year associate doing document review who thinks it’s special because you’re also “managing” the other castrati that can’t be trusted to speak in public. Unfortunately, firms only keep associates around for so long. It’s up or out. So when you get asked to leave after 10 years of service, you will leave with a tear in your eye…because nobody is throwing you a going away party. Junior associates will make fun of you and some will even laugh in your face as you carry your box and plant out the door.
I’d like to offer you some advice, but since you’ve already gone forward with the procedure I’m afraid you’re hopeless. Keep brainwashing yourself and embracing your fungibility.
P.S. We would nominate you for PWLTCD but somebody already beat us to it.
Ill let you figure out what thats for....

I'll let you figure out what that's for....

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2 Responses

  1. I wonder if castrati have to worry about camel toe?

  2. Your blog is interesting!

    Keep up the good work!

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