How to Feed a Lawyer (and Other Irreverent Observations from the Legal Underground)

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I suggest reading the archives. The sniping remains constant throughout. I wonder what made these people think that sharing there personal dislike of associates was a good idea?


Maybe it's a blawg that answers the question--Can lawyers be entertaining? Elle de Jurists might be the next Belle de Jour. If lawyers can be whores, perhaps they can blog for our entertainment, too. The question remains, is Evan pimping for that blawg?

Nick Morgan

Wow, impressive find! I'm awfully tempted to link to it, but I'll hold off. Let's just hope that "Ray," author of the post you quoted, is a psuedonym, or else his much berated associate will be getting funny looks in the office.


Whoa...i also understand the temptation to link it, but shall refrain. That's messed up. Good find, Evan.

So Cal Lawyer

Wow. I thought I was harsh to associates when I say: "Did you read this before gave it to me?" or "Is English your first language?" But that site takes the cake.


It seems that most of those who commented here agree there's too much "tough love" going on at the firm in question. I'm glad to find that my perspective's not out of whack.

One the other hand, the second comment about whores and pimping needs further clarification. Belle de Jour is a weblog billed as the "Diary of a London Call Girl." But how that's relevant to my post, I'm not sure . . . Someone please explain.


I don't even think it's tough "love." It's obvious from these partners' comments that they have little respect for their associates, and think they're above them in every way. It's classic God complex, and it's all over the place when it comes to biglaw.

If I had the misfortune to end up as an associate at this place, I'd do what all of its associates are probably doing right now: use it only for as long as absolutely necessary, and leave as soon as I got the opportunity. I would stay only for the purposes of saving money and putting the firm's name on my resume to get the next job I REALLY always wanted to have.

Basically, I would have no sense of loyalty whatsoever to this firm. The instant a better offer came my way, I'd take it.


In attempted explanation,

I believe the second commentator felt that the blog was a bit too vindictive and brusque to be real. Thus, it must be some sort of parody blog, which portrays people's worst fears of law firm life. In other words, it is a sham. Since it is a sham, and you are linking to it, then you must be involved in the joke. (I.E. "pimping"). I would assume that the Belle du jour blog is a well known sham (though it appears to serve some purpose as an outlet for eurotrash erotica), hence the comparison.


Whomever: Thanks for the explanation, which makes sense. Actually, though, if you read it, you'll see that it's not all so "brusque" as the passage I quoted. And the two partners who post to it write pretty well too. If it's a hoax, it's awfully elaborate. As for me being involved in it, I'm not (and I haven't linked to it either).


I think that it is that brusque, though maybe in a passive aggressive way. The writing is fine, but come on.... Here are some other tidbits

"Day 3993. Yesterday I actually heard someone say, "Why do I have to bother looking at the law?" What a strange thing for a lawyer to say. How much stranger is it that I did not fire him on the spot?"

"Thinking about it, one of the reasons we have never made the same mistake with an associate twice is the endless variety of associates that are out there. Each has a fatal personality flaw; typically it is exactly that flaw that we focus on and base our hiring decision on. This one places family life above all; we decide that he will be highly motivated and are surprised when his mornings are consumed with pediatric appointments and school plays. Another is single, but spends her time searching for the person that will make her life complete, rather than billing. One is smart-- and second guesses everything we try to tell her. Another is hard working, but lacks the confidence in his own judgment to do anything without first being reassured repeatedly that it is what needs to be done. "

"I tried to explain this to her: "Mr. Personality thought the pace around here was killing when he came over from in-house-- and God knows nobody here works as hard as they could." The hint was lost on her, however, and now she has gone to lunch. I suppose we should be thankful for small favors-- Mr. Personality went to lunch a lot too, but he used to come back drunk. She'll be sober, and as productive as she ever is."

Life is just a bowl of cherries around there.


My observation, for what it's worth, is that the subject blog might just be creative writing. Not a hoax, but just legal fiction, a parody of all law firms, loosely based on life inside a hypothetical law firm. As much truth as fiction, for those who've been there, seen that. Along the lines of the British comedy "The Office" or "Six Feet Under" but in the form of a blog, like "Belle de Jour" a journal of a London call girl. Belle de Jour is anonymous. She might be real a real call girl. She tells good hooker stories. She might just be a writer. Surprise--she's written her way into a book deal already.

The subject blog is based on some kind of law firm reality, because it rings true to many in the profession. It just might be entertainment for lawyers and those following the profession. To be successful, such a blog has to be controversial yet appear to be real. Successfully done, such entertainment blogs have to get going "below the radar" and it's early days yet for this one. But it seems to have attracted a lot of attention here early on--if not the basis for a cult readership. Like Belle de Jour, it's well written. I think the writer of this blawg understands the blog fiction genre. I think the writer understands law firms and the profession. You can't make this shit up. I wouldn't be surprised to see this blawg push all the law firm hot buttons as it evolves.

Actually, I'm quite surprised so many seem to be taking it so seriously. Maybe because it really looks authentic to those who are closest to the subject matter. If that's true, kudos to the writer(s). Funny how everyone seems to be dying to link to it. When that happens--and it will--it will ride high on Blogdex. It might even get Instalaunched. Rather than castigate Elle and Ray for being horendous lawyers, I'd rather think they're great writers who are making the point that lawyers can, indeed, be entertaining. Wasn't that Evan's question?

My comment about pimping was a friendly poke at Evan, suggesting that he might be crafty enough to pull this off himself, having one on all of us, whilst promoting his fictional blog. As a writer, I think he's capable of it. Probably not. Maybe so. If so, he's cleverly feigning ignorance. We better go read his disclaimer again.

Then again, I could be wrong.


If anyone is having difficulty locating the subject blog, copy and paste the following quoted text from the blawg into Google:

But if you are going to by god be a lawyer, rewrite this brief-- and get your fucking hours up. Jesus, nobody makes any money if you are going home with the bankers, and I'm spending all my goddamn time re-doing your work. Stop acting like a china teacup, and start acting like a lawyer. Or else I'm going to have to start yelling, and none of us wants that.


Nic: I appreciate your comments. I didn't fully understand your first entry.

Again, it's not me, but I'm flattered you think I'm the author. I also understand that there is no good way for me convince you otherwise. For one thing, I'm automatically suspect since I "discovered" the blog, although it's easy to explain how I did. Again, though, this doesn't refute your comments. (At least I'm out in the open, but you're anonymous. Maybe you're the blog's author, hoping for a book deal. Knowing something about book deals myself, I think they are a lot harder to come by than you suggest. There's something about obnoxious lawyers that's just not quite so appealing as high class British hookers.)

Kevin Heller

That last comment is right on point. Even though Evan says "(and I haven't linked to it either)" by quoting that passage of text in an unadulterated form you might as well have linked to it. I mean that's how I found it even before reading the comment.


Here's my point about not linking. As I said in the post, "We can’t eavesdrop if they know we’re listening." Now maybe I'm confused, but how can the blog's authors get back to my blog if everyone searched the way I suggested--with the title of the blog plus the world "blog"? If the blog's authors have a referrer log of some sort, they might notice an increase in traffic, but they'd see it coming from Google or other search engine. Anyone who searched for the blog as I suggested would not leave a trail back to this blog.

Now let's suppose that people are searching using the text I quoted. Following the link from the referrer log, the blog's authors would see the Google search using the text I quoted. If they then ran the search themselves, this blog might also turn up in the search. Then they're onto me. That's why I suggested searching as I did. It would cover the tracks.

Am I wrong about the search scenario? (We can debate about whether "covering my tracks" was necessary at all. I really didn't anticipate that this post would get the attention it apparently has, and I didn't anticipate that anyone would want to link to the blog in question. But if it's all a hoax as some have suggested, then the blog authors wouldn't reveal themselves anyway, but would keep on posting as if we weren't watching. Time will tell.)


You could have created a redirecting link via Google by putting the following string in front of the target URL, using a linked word or phrase like "these lawyers" that didn't identify the name of the target blog:


All traffic to the target would appear in its referral logs, if any, to have come directly to their site via Google.

T P B,  Esq.

I read the site today, having been slow on the uptake. You know, it's rare that I've wanted to start a fight with a person that I've never met.

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