Secretaries

There is nothing the biglaw associate likes more than being served.  That is why biglaw associates love secretaries.  Now the average biglaw associate has nothing substantive to give a secretary to do–they sit at the computer all day so they type everything on their own, nobody likes them enough to ever call them so there’s no need to have someone answer the phone, and they aren’t important enough to coordinate the work of others.  So the secretary is purely there to show the rest of the world just how important the biglaw associate is.  You will often hear a biglaw associate reference their secretary in the following contexts:

  • You’re at a doctor’s office and the person in line in front of you needs to schedule a follow up appointment.  If this person is a biglaw associate they will say, “I don’t maintain my own calendar.  Could you give my secretary a call and set something up?” Note: The biglaw associate maintains their own calendar on their blowberry, but they’ve got to find a way to let you know they are more important than you.
  • You have the misfortune of being friends with a biglaw associate, and you yourself are not an attorney.  For some reason you would like to go on vacation with the biglaw associate.  When planning the trip biglaw associates explains, “I just don’t have the time or energy to make my own travel arrangements anymore.  Make sure you CC my secretary with your schedule so we can make this thing happen.”
  • The biglaw associate presses print and expects papers to magically appear on their desk, collated and stapled.  Unfortunately, the Biglaw associate is not at the office.

These are just a few brief examples.  The longer the attorney is in practice the more “dependent” on the secretary they will become.  The more “important” they are they more they need their secretary to do.  The secretaries buy into this as well–if the named partner can’t live without them then they have the ultimate job security.  So as the chosen few associates evolve into the biglaw partner you will see them have their secretaries pay their bills, babysit their children, meet movers, and in the very rare Pretty Woman scenario have an affair with their attorney and get him to divorce his starter wife so they can become a trophy.  This only works if the secretary is young, incompetent and has huge breast implants.

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6 Responses

  1. Another hilarious post. Biglaw attys are very similar to big10 consultants.

  2. Secretaries are a great self-image boost on a bad day at the office.

  3. Now obviously, you work corporate. It’s critical to have a secretary in litigation – especially if you are new and too stupid to know how to serve process. There are a whole host of things that I don’t know how to do, and hope never to learn, thanks to my wonderful secretary. May she never retire.

    And because she’s worth more than I am due to her deep litigation experience, I wouldn’t dream of asking her to screen my calls or get me coffee. I screen my own, and I bring her coffee. I would never ask her to make appointments for me, or any of that nonsense (but she does coordinate my travel, book my hotels, etc.). Best part of my day? I can make eye contact with her out the door to my office over her desk. That means that, unless I close the door, she hears all my phone calls. When something stupid happens, I can just lock eyes with her, shake or nod my head, and she starts drafting the letter to opposing counsel or the court, or gets on the phone to the florist to get my butt out of whatever crack it is in with whomever, or starts running the bates program to e-stamp the documents. I LOVE my secretary. Now if I just had a wife, everything in my life would be AWESOME. Oh crap. I am the wife. Scrap that.

  4. Dude[tte], it’s been WEEKS! Where are you???

  5. Did you retire or something?

  6. No more posts? Please come back!

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