What right do we former lawyers have to be bitter and unhappy? I mean, when at least half of attorneys surveyed say they would not choose law again, obviously nothing is wrong with the structure and culture of the profession. It’s—‘DOH!— our bad personal choice to go to law school that is to blame.
Even when those 500 lawyers finished talking about the email, it still left an emotional mark on those who already were unhappy about the firm and the profession. Emails like Morrison’s are a trigger. They set off waves of unrest and dissatisfaction, if not outright plunges into depression and anxiety. Focus gets lost, and it’s hard to regain. So you have a bunch of lawyers who are not thinking well or clearly. They may end up doing substandard work, which means that other people have to review work and catch mistakes (cha-ching!) that they wouldn’t have had to do otherwise. And the distracted lawyer has to fix stuff (more cha-ching!). Plus it makes it hard for many of them to even drag themselves to the office the next day, or get to work at all, if the experiences of me and my clients is any indicator.
In case you haven’t already spend a boatload of billables reading, analyzing and gossiping about Sidley partner David B. Johnson’s
Most attorneys, even ones not overtly wrapped up in status, harbor deep fears of lack. More specifically, they fear if they change careers, they will lack money, and that lack of money will mean suffering and maybe death. Or at least social death, which feels similar but you do keep breathing.