At conferences throughout the year, I’m often pigeonholed by attendees, who look at my name and ask me this question: “Who the fuck are you?” After I explain who I am and I buy a few rounds of drinks, people start talking to me. After a few more drinks, I tell them why my advice for solo attorneys should be followed by all BigLaw associates.
At absolutely no charge, here’s my liquor-free version of why BigLaw should listen to me, now.
Trickle Up: It’s the New Trickle Down. Since at least Moses, the general pattern in law practice is that BigLaw leads, all the other flunkies follow. Thus, when large law firms bought a Xerox 914 in the late 1960’s, small town lawyers across the country followed suit, including me. I had a Xerox 914 and a Xerox 685 Star and they bankrupted me. I’m still paying installments on them. That was so totally wrong. So in 1978 I pledged to unleash small-firm advice on BigLaw until I brought BigLaw to its knees. With this blog post and a new column, I’m about there. Trickle up? More like turn on the fire hose, baby, because here it comes.
I Don’t Care. Honestly, I don’t care what you think. I have forty years of experience as a real lawyer and was one of the first attorneys in the world to lick an entire roll of stamps in order to get class action notices out the door. I’ve been milking that ever since, to greater and greater renown. I don’t need you. Let me say that again. I don’t need you. I did fine with OCI in nineteen seventy fucking three. Just motherfucking dandy fine. Yeah.
Inside Every BigLaw Associate is a MicroLawyer Wanting to Get Out. BigLaw associates long for the day when dog drool on their suits is acceptably cool. It’s as simple as that. And a few other things. Like, BigLaw attorneys want to fire clients, take their shoes off and trim their toenails on their own desks, install an office bar, send a fax, even have an office vending machine offering Pabst Blue Ribbon and pretzel sticks—for a quarter. No BigLaw associate can do that—and they know it. And they cry about it under their desks.
The Technology. When most BigLaw associates look wistfully out of their sixtieth floor office windows and ponder their future solo boutique practices, they think “I could be configuring my blog’s RSS feed right now.” Indeed, solo trends now dominate BigLaw management. Or should. My predictions? Skadden Arps will be using Dropbox for its file management within a year. White & Case will be backing stuff up with Mozy, if they aren’t already. Latham? It will go under because it failed to recognize the efficiencies of using YouSendit.com. Plus they are about to adopt TypePad for their new site, not WordPress. It’s that simple. As I like to say: BigLaw, meet Shpoonkle.
There. It had to be said. And just by saying it here today, there is a shift in the profession. And, better yet, I’ll be back with more advice for you BigLaw schmucks later on. I say, bring it on.
Originally published in 2011.