Shameless Self-Promotion

Given the fact that we’re writing this blog, this post is definitely a situation of the proverbial pot calling the kettle black…or at least of the pot acknowledging that both it and the kettle are black. Either way, we feel it is a good time to talk about a Biglaw Associate’s favorite thing–self-promotion. We read a lot of blogs, both for content and because we’ll be laid off soon and have given up on billing hours (why oh why did we work so hard the last quarter of 2008 only to be betrayed this way???). There is one common thread amongst the commentors–they LOVE to talk about how they are better than the author of the blog and the other commentors on the blog (that they are reading and commenting on), and they also LOVE to regurgitate details of their resume in the posts. They either believe that their resume is a reason for their superiority, or they’re just jackasses who need to talk about themselves whenever possible. Both the former and the later can be true.

How did this love of self begin? Many blame the moxy of Generation Y (or whatever the hell they’re calling junior associates these days) on 80’s and 90’s style parenting that encouraged every child to believe they are special and that their shit is golden. We however think that the Biglaw’s self promotion stems from a situation that is exactly the opposite–somewhere in childhood they were told they weren’t good enough and now they must spend every waking moment proving to the world (even anonymously through blog comments) that they are good enough. The Biglaw associate is the kid who looked forward to those mandatory guidance counselor sessions in high school, not because they needed guidance, but because they needed an adult to give a shit about what they had to say. And then, just like now, usually that adult doesn’t really give a shit, they’re just paid to pretend. High school self-promotion reached it’s penacle at the moment which many a student dreads but which the Biglaw associate adored–the personal statement. Ask any Biglaw associate and they will tell you that they are so fucking awesome that it took them weeks to edit down their personal statement. How could their bounty be contained in a mere few pages of double spaced text?

How college played out for the typical Biglaw associate largely depends on what type of school they went to, and if they were able to fit into some fringe group on campus that would recognize their awesomeness. In college many Biglaw associates were in student government, did volunteer work that somehow got them noteriety, or they were emo slackers who nobody understood. Eventually they saw an opportunity to promote themselves once again without much work. Unlike Med School, which requires interviews, actual knowledge of something useful, and that you think about it in advance and take prerequisites, law school only requires the LSAT, an essay, and a GPA. And in the recent past there was also a potential future of a job with a big salary and “perks” that the future biglaw associate could brag about at reunions.

The economic woes of our recent past has left the self-loving Biglaw associate with limited options. If the biglaw associate hasn’t been fired yet, they can’t really brag about their job because everyone just assumes they’ll be fired next week so that their firm doesn’t have to share headlines with Pilsbury or Latham. So both the fired and the un-fired Biglaw associate are left with one venue…the legal blog. The fired associate can talk about how awesome they are and how their firm is now TTT since they won’t be there anymore. The still employed associate can say the fired associate was never cut out for the BigLaw in the first place and that’s why they were fired. Everybody can be happy because the blog gives them the opportunity to anonymously promote themselves and saves them the embarassment/ridicule of doing it publicly.

…Wait a minute…did we self-promoting biglaw associates just write an entire blog about self-promotion that actually promotes our blog? See! The behavior cannot be unlearned.

We just cant seem to get past the passion for your work and taking the initiative parts...

We just can't seem to get past the passion for your work and taking the initiative parts...

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