We need more laughs in the legal profession, believe me. Lawyers take themselves way too seriously – and I’m putting that very politely.
Evan Schaeffer of The Legal Underground is working to correct this with a long-running series of “advice” letters: advice to young lawyers, advice to federal judges, advices to partners, and so on. If you’ve worked in a large law firm (typically his target), you realize he has a talent for this. If you haven’t you probably can’t believe this stuff (admittedly, a lot of it is over the top). However, there is at least a germ of truth to all of this.
Example from “Advice to Young Lawyer #24”, dated January 7, 2005:
Dear Mr. Schaeffer:
I’m in a terrible bind. There’s a partner in our 1,127-attorney firm named Mr. B who everyone is scared of, including me. Unfortunately, I got assigned to his practice group yesterday. Even though I’m a fourth-year associate, Mr. B apparently wanted to break me in easy. He called me on the phone, said his secretary had a document for me to copy, and told me to come to his office. When I did, he was on the phone again. He held up his right hand with all his fingers extended and mouthed, “This many.” So far, so good. I made five copies. But later in the day, he called me into his office again. He wasn’t on the phone anymore. He held up his right hand and extended his fingers again. Then he started screaming. “Look!” he yelled. “Tell me what you see!” A chill ran down my spine when I counted only four fingers.
As it turns out, Mr. B is missing the pinky on his right hand. As a result, I really screwed up. Continue reading …
Here’s a link to a collection of all the “advice” letters, and here’s a link to an earlier posting of some of his stuff (“17 types of lawyers”) on this blog.
I think Evan may the be the Garrison Keillor of the legal profession, or more to the point, our Hunter S. Thompson.