One of my dear friends is working her way out of law. Now, for most of my friends, this would not be surprising. But for this particular friend, I was completely staggered. She has the perfect personality for law. I don’t mean that as a slam. I mean that she is able to keep her cool in trying circumstances, doesn’t get overly ruffled by emotional or even mean outbursts, is very smart and very capable. But she’s had it.
Why now? Because she’s fed up with getting shit on, to be honest.
The way that law firms, particularly, let dysfunctional assholes ruin the workplace is unconscionable. I have seen it in law firm after law firm, firsthand, and heard about it even more. I cannot advise anyone unhappy in law to ignore this salient, widespread fact. It’s not just about finding a better fit, it’s about escaping the dysfunctional shit that is daily life in Biglaw, and often in Mediumlaw and Smallaw too.
In my friend’s case, she is tired of working for a blame-shifter who gets her to do great client development presentations, and then tells her she’s not invited to the meeting. Who can’t be bothered to answer her questions about a particular agreement, a type which she has rarely worked on, and then goes ballistic when it’s not perfect. You all know the type. There’s just not a personality cure for this kind of behavior, people. And the sad truth is that law firm leaders are about money, and then money, and then lip service about pro bono as long as it can make the firm some money via training their young lawyers without having to spend on training. Unless a partner is a huge lawsuit risk for gender or race discrimination (again, money), law firm leaders will put up with the pricks in their midst, so long as they have decent billables. Everyone knows it, and it hasn’t changed in decades. Don’t count on the current economic crisis to change that, when everyone is scared about–you guessed it–money.
And this particular soapbox is leading me somewhere. I’m done with trying not to be too offensive and abrasive about law firm and corporate misbehavior. (What, you couldn’t tell I was holding back?) I’m not marketing writing training to law firms any more. I don’t want to deal with all their dysfunction.
So hold on to your hats, dear readers. It’s going to get fun around here.