Ask the Philadelphia Lawyer Anything

[Ed. Note: We love partnering with PhilaLawyer.  Because that’s when stuff really gets twisted.  We like his bite, his taste in women and his unfettered commitment to the dark side

He’s no stranger to Bitter Lawyer, having written some of our most popular pieces, and he manages to regularly entertain a fiercely loyal audience on his own blog where he freely divulges his insights and tales of debauchery in response to working in “the world’s worst profession.”

He’s always bitching about how busy he is, but we asked him to do us a favor anyway: Give people a chance to ask him an advice question—any question.  And we want to see where he runs with it.

Well, low and behold, he agreed to answer three.  So Bitter Lawyer is looking for the three best. 

Send you questions for PhilaLawyer to .  Put “Question for PL” in the subject line, and let us know what’s on your mind that only a vile guy like him may have the answer to.  Don’t worry, you’ll remain anonymous.

The three people who submit the questions he answers will win a copy of his best-selling book, Happy Hour Is for Amateurs: Work Sucks. Life Doesn’t Have To., courtesy of us.  And we may even throw in some Bitter Lawyer swag.  That’s a pretty sweetened pot.

Take it away, PhilaLawyer….]

Hello, I’m the Philadelphia Lawyer, and thanks to the terrible judgment of the great folks at Bitterlawyer, I’m here to offer advice.  Three columns over the next few weeks—an “Ask the Philadelphia Lawyer Anything” type of deal. 

Why me?

Why not?  “Life, liberty, the right to pen a self-help blog, if not a whole book, by the age of twenty nine…” It’s the new American Birthright. 

I’ve offered advice on Bitter Lawyer before…

Eight Billable Hour Scams

Five Steps to Being a Plaintiff Lawyer Machine

Seven Women You Sleep With in Law School

The way I see it, if we can’t share our insights to empower others, why have them at all? 

Do we really need more advice?

Of course not.  Mike Wallace has a brighter future than the legal industry; you needn’t know much more than that.  But what else are you going to do with all that time you’re padding into bills?  Read another twenty Wikipedia links on Kimodo Dragons, Spontaneous Human Combustion and the ‘86 Mets? 

What do you know?

Nothing, just like everybody else.  But somebody paid me to write a book (you might have seen a few associates hiding a copy here and there), which, I guess, means I’ve got something to say.  So nothing from me probably sounds a little bit better than nothing from the guy in the office next door reading about Vatican conspiracies and Hitler’s private limousine between penny stock trades.  Or maybe not (the Vatican stuff on Wikipedia is fascinating). 

But seriously, I’ve been writing about the field since 2005 and have worked in a number of divergent areas—from corporate crime through business litigation all the way to plaintiff’s work.  This provides me a rich tapestry of experience from which to draw.

So ask me anything you want to know.

“Should I screw the crazy paralegal on my floor?”

“Should I screw the crazy paralegal on the floor above mine?”

“I screwed the crazy paralegal on Nine, and now I have these sores and…”

You can even ask about the career.  I might answer those. 

The guys at Bitter Lawyer have a bunch of copies of my book, Happy Hour Is for Amateurs: Work Sucks. Life Doesn’t Have To..  Send them questions to .  We’ll pick three to respond to, and those readers will get free copies of the book.[1]

Because I Care,

The Philadelphia Lawyer


[1] If I only get two responses, we’ll flip a coin and one person will get two copies.  No worries—they make excellent gifts.  Perfect for teens.

The Philadelphia Lawyer lives outside Philadelphia with his family, including his non-lawyer wife.

Read other Bitter Lawyer posts by PhilaLawyer.

Check out other lists, tallies and scores to settle in Bitter by Numbers.

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  • Guano Dubango

    I would like to know how a relatively handsome man from Ghana with an LLM from Georgetown and a decent job in Manhattan can find an attractive law beauty interested in having a good time and potentially leading to marriage?  That handsome man is me, and so far, I have not been able to get a lasting relationship with a law beauty, though one night stands have occurred since I came to the USA.  How can I convince law beauties that I am more than a vehicle for sex?

  • Anon

    I would like to know how to get Guano, Alma, and BL1Y to stop posting unfunny, uninteresting comments to EVERY article on this website.  I’d also like to know how to get all three of them in a bag, then I’d like to know directions to the nearest river.  That’s three questions – now where are my books?

  • BL1Y

    (1) Get me a job that takes up so much time I can’t be bothered to post here; (2) lots of whiskey and a real big bag; (3) I-65 to the Tennessee River.

  • Craig

    I enjoy Philadelphia Lawyer’s work and really love his book, but, I don’t know why he doesn’t reveal his identity.  That would be my question if I cared enough to send it in.  What are the advantages for him staying relatively anonymous?  It makes me think there is something to hide there.

  • Sam Clemens

    “I enjoy Philadelphia Lawyer’s work and really love his book, but, I don’t know why he doesn’t reveal his identity.”

  • Craig

    After reading your link Sam, I still don’t see a real good reason for him not to reveal his identity.  I’m not saying that there is not a reason.  I just can’t figure one out other than there is something to hide.  I just don’t see the fear of ostracism and ridicule as a good reason in this situation, but maybe that is it.

  • BL1Y

    Craig, keeping his identity hidden protects his Google footprint, which can be pretty important for an attorney.  It wouldn’t be great to have a client Google you and find your notes on overbilling clients, or going to a hearing doped up.

  • Craig

    BL1Y, I was unaware that Philadelphia lawyer was still practicing law.  If he is still practicing, then I can see it, but I thought he was now putting all his efforts into writing full time.  Maybe I am mistaken.  I know there could still be possible consequences for things he did in the past, even if he is no longer practicing, but I still can’t see how that is enough of a deterrent to staying anonymous.

  • Peaz

    3L here, devoted reader of Philalawyer.  My question is this:
    You are on record almost everywhere as stating that you generally regard the practice of law as a “scam” in a variety of ways (billable hours scam, licensed leveraging scam, partner pyramid scheme, etc.).  Your opinions almost always reflect back on the “big law” perspective.  Do you think these opinions ring true outside of big law? Does your experience show that you would find equal ridiculousness in the local general practice firms, boutique firms, PI firms, government offices, criminal defense firms, etc.?  Does the cynicism cover the whole legal world, or just the circus of big law?

  • Having your cake and eating it too . . .

    What if you are a 1L that accepted a non-paid internship with a judge, but now has an offer for a paid position?  Do you bail and risk your reputation? I need the money, but don’t want to get a bad reputation.  Anybody have any advice?

  • Aunt Ooona

    I agree my son Guano is boring people here witha da same annoying request dat some woman she notice him and sleep with him. Guano, maybe ifa you tell people that you save a homeless whale or aska for advice on type of date to take a woman to, you mighta get responses you can follow up. But justa whining getta you nowhere. And people from Fez calla me and say “Guano he makka a fool of himself on Bitter Lawyer.” I have to sigh and tell them he jus don know how to get a girl. Smarten up Guano!  An like I say, you stop asking about Alma. She is to a marriage like sand to da inside of a V-8.  Now I hav questions for Philadelphia lawyer: what is besta way for man in law office to make pass at woman in same office while at the office?  Is it ever OK to sneaka in a partner’s office after hours to open deska drawer to see whata partner makes? In dis economy, is it ethical for a woman associate to have an affair with married partner to makea sure she no get fired? (I meana is her job justify an affair even if it would nota do so in good economy?).

  • PseudoPartner

    Why does Aunt Ooona “sound” Italian?

  • Alma Federer

    I have no answer for “Anon”.  He bashes me here even before I post.  He also bashes BL1Y, who is much more regular than me, and he bashes Guano, an African man who is no worse than any other loser on this site.  My guess is that “Anon” is just another faceless weasel, possibly with a law degree that has not paid off for him (and I know it must be a loser with some limp XY chromosome), who is very jealous of me, at least, because women like me scare him or are otherwise out of his league.  But all I am is a girl trying to make it in this male-dominated legal environment, and I am unwilling to compromise my principles or scrupules just to keep losers like “Anon” placated.  I will not play “dumb” in a bar for people like “Anon” nor will I provide any kind of sexual entertainment to male losers.  There are a few women who read this website that agree with me and are very proud that I do not hide behind a name like “Anon”.  Both men and women who know me respect me and the fact that I have very high moral standards.  Just because I am both smart and beautiful gives no reason for faceless wimps like “Anon” to bash me.  Stand up and be at least 1/2 of a man, “Anon”.  If you ever expect to have a relationship with anyone, you can’t be a snivveling loser all of your life.  And fooey on you.  I will never be interested in a fake that hides behind this kind of veneer.  At least losers like BL1Y and Guano are consistently forthright in their approach to the law.

  • Aunt Ooona

    Pseudo Partner: Becausa I come from Fez, graduate from University in Barcelona but a I spend mos my time in Italia since then.  I typa the way I speak.

  • Anonymous

    Dude, Guano comes from Ghana.  His Aunt Ooona lives there with him.  So I hardly think she’s Italian.  More likely she’s the dark African equivalent of Roseanne Barr.

  • Alejandro

    Fuck, Marry, Kill: CPA, MBA, JD

  • Magic Circle Jerk

    What should I have for lunch?

  • Justin

    Do you believe positive law and libertarianism are contradictory?

  • Jeromy

    Would you happen to have any insights on the politics that go into judges getting appointed? Is it just as bad as regular politicians or am I just being my usual cynical self?