Stealth Layoffs

One may be surprised to learn that BigLaw associates actually like stealth layoffs–especially if they aren’t laid off–for several reasons, most of wich involve the BigLaw associates over-inflated ego and ability to survive in an alternative universe.  First, stealth layoffs allow those who are laid off to suspend reality and pretend it hasn’t really happened.  I know I was laid off, and the partners know I was laid off, but if I can just keep it a secret I can pretend that I wasn’t laid off and come to work like nothing ever happened.  Sometimes this ploy works so well that a laid off attorney sticks around past the time they’re supposed to go–so long in fact that they end up keeping their job permanently and even making partner.  

 For those that aren’t laid off, stealth layoffs provide the opportunity to expose their soon to be former colleagues and tell the world how much they suck.  The BigLaw associate will tell the world that the laid off associate should have been fired long ago, that they only got a severance out of sympathy and that they don’t understand why the firm had them around so long.  The BigLaw associate will have so much information about the quality of the laidoff associate’s work that people will think they are a partner (which is something else BigLaw associates really like).  The stealth layoff also allows the BigLaw associate to assume that everyone who leaves the firm in the next 6 months to a year was asked to leave–even if they leave to do something that pays more and requires less hours of work.   This helps to inflate the  ego of the BigLaw associate because they convince themselves that everyone left because they couldn’t handle the work or perform at the high level required.  This further convinces the Biglaw associate that they are actually going to make partner and someday be rewarded for their work.  (See supra re: living in an alternative universe. )

And lastly, stealth layoffs give biglaw associates an opportunity to engage in their favorite activity of all time: gossiping and complaining about their jobs, especially on the internet (present company included).   It’s a sick combination of schadenfreude, narcissism and masochism.


The Man


Why do BigLaw Associates like The Man?  Why drink the koolaid? Why believe The Man when he tells you you have nothing to worry about in this market? The Man doesn’t give a shit about you, why else do you think they give you a 6 figure number to keep track of your billing, when you come and go, what documents you create or check out, etc.? What is this fucking unbased devotion to The Man you monkeys have? Do you even know who The Man is?

No, you don’t.

You think it’s the managing partner of the Firm? that fucker was so good at playing politics that he was elected but that also means he doesn’t have the balls to piss anyone off beause he knows once he does, there will be a coup and he will be toppled faster than we pulled down the statue of Saddam  Hussein in Fardus Square.

Do you think The Man is the partner that you work for and gave you great reviews? Fuck no.

When shit hits the fan, nobody’s going to stick their neck out for you because even the partners, especially in this market, are afraid shitless that they will also get the boot (e.g. Cadwalader’s coup) or will be deequitized. Or these partners have had affairs or some other sort of drama/scandal that they are no longer respected by their peers and just want to fly below the radar.

You see, nobody knows who The Man is.

Nobody knows who makes the calls, which partners will roll over and not speak up when their favorite associate gets put on the chopping block, nobody knows who even puts the associates on the chopping block. It might even be that fucking whore in attorney employment who isn’t even a lawyer but has her nose in everybody’s fucking business.

So, quit loving the Man. You don’t even know who he or she is. But one thing is certain, The  Man will fuck you over no matter how many times whored yourself out to him.

So, get off your knees and get some respect.

Giving (Figurative) Head

After having most of their creativity crushed by law school, and after being (figuratively) raped in the mouth, anus and ear by the bar exam, Biglaw associates like to continue the trend of (figuratively) demeaning self-flatuation by giving (figurative) head at their law firms. Like stripping and developing a nasty drug habit, law school and the bar exam are the gateway to a (figurative) lifetime on your knees. Some people clean up, get out and marry well. But others just end up giving blow jobs in the alley for drugs, or in the case of the Biglaw associate, an inflated salary and a future addled by actual drug addiction (and we’re not talking about a blowberry either).
The first day at [Insert name of big law firm here] is when you’ve officially (figuratively) swallowed. You (figuratively) assumed the position by going through the interview process and/or being a summer associate. Perhaps you (figuratively) dabbled in the blow jobs for money practice as a summer when you agreed that without corporations there would be no good in America, or by convincing yourself that you would donate a big portion of your inflated salary to charity. But on the first day when you sat through orientation, realized that the summer associate niceness was all bullshit, that you’d spend your life checking line spacing and commas, yet you still sat your ass there and took it–you (figuratively) swallowed for the first time and became a dirty biglaw whore. The first family function or other important event you miss due to work is when you’ve (figuratively) taken your index finger and run it along the figurative vein in the bottom of [Law firm]’s dick–base to head–until every last drop is down your throat. Each bonus is a (figurative) slap of their dick on your cheek. Cause you know you’re worth more, but you’ve convinced yourself that the firm is being good to you. You “figurative” fucking whore!  A blow job is still a job, but a job that requires you to take an occassional shot in the eye is not a job you want to keep.

Some like to think that taking a lower paying job for the government or a smaller law firm is better. They think they’re the high class “Pretty Woman” type whores who have been saved by Richard Gere. But you’re wrong. It’s the worst because they treat you like shit AND you don’t get paid. The splashback at the government is worse than at firms because your boss is some disgruntled underpaid asshole as opposed to the overpaid assholes biglaw associates work for. Working for the governmen is (figuratively) taking it in the ass . . . bareback: some people like it, more people hate it, only a select few “assholes” love it, but it’s basically just shitty for everyone.


PWLTCD: Undeserving Midlevels

Today, we like to talk about people we’d like to cut and cut deep and go to jail for: undeserving midlevels.

Yeah, there aren’t that many midlevels relatively because each year firms hire huge junior associate classes because they know that 1/3 of them drop out after finding out that biglaw isn’t all about teddy bears and pretty embroirdered pillow cases and hugs-o h my. No, they are full of assholes. Another 1/3 drops out to go inhouse at the beginning of their midlevel career for better hours to spend with their loved ones.

So congrats, you’ve stuckit through because you are probably one of those assholes and has no one who loves you.  Or maybe you’re too stupid to get a job anywhere else.  Wow. Good job.  Congratulations. 

The sad truth is many midlevels aren’t even the ones that are deserving of being in charge of juniors or delegating work to them.  They aren’t the ones who had the best pedigree. In their case the last
man standing isn’t the best man standing. Its just the schmuck.

Therefore, these midlevels refer to form rather than substance. They are the ones who yell at you for not being able to read their minds or their chicken scratching on how to format the exhibit titles or the section heads even though you slaved over the contract for days and made a brillant masterpiece. They can’t teach you anything because stupid people rarely can, so they revert to nitpicking about how you send out emails or file documents. They become controlling to exert their power that is undeservedly theirs.

Like the practice of law, theres really no winner in this competition.

Like the practice of law, there's really no winner in this competition.


And this is why we’d like to cut the undeserving midlevels deep.  We’d cut them deep where they
stand. We’d cut them deep while they are bitching about double spacing versus single spacing in the table of contents. We’d cut them and we’d like it.

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....