How long will the legal community have to suffer through the collective whining of delusional, over-entitled douchebags? Seems the good kids over at Stanford Law School’s Building a Better Legal Profession, the self-proclaimed “national grassroots movement” that demands Big Firms cut billable hour requirements to improve associates’ lifestyles are at it again.
This time, at least, the Stanford kids weren’t directly responsible for the whining, but somewhat more terrifyingly, their very existence was cited to support a cause they hold near and dear: flex time in the workplace—the topic of a roundtable discussion recently held in the New York offices of Davis Polk & Wardwell.
Panelists at the roundtable emphasized that “now, more than ever, law firms must begin offering more flexible work schedules to its [sic] lawyers,” advocating that Big Firms “completely overhaul their promotion structures, create multiple paths to partnership, and do away with the billable hour as a measurement of achievement.”
Among those voicing their opinions was Bryan Townsend, a 3L summer associate at Davis Polk. “These issues apply to anybody,” Townsend explained deftly, noting that he came to watch the panel because “work-life balance will figure into his choice of employers.”
The panel still failed to address the bigger question: Why the hell are these jackass law students who’ve never worked a day in their lives as real lawyers demanding anything? How long are we going to deal with this incessant whining from people who have no idea what they’re talking about—and worse yet, have never even billed an honest hour? Who cares what they want or what they think?
And for those actual Big Firm lawyers out there still ringing the bell for working fewer hours while still being considered for partnership track: Good luck. You might as well just walk up and down the hallways in a clown suit. You have just as good a chance of making equity partner that way. (And if you don’t think so, just call all those lawyers who made equity partner at Big Firms who didn’t bill a ton of hours. When you get one on the phone, give us a call.)
No one’s saying that working in a Big Firm is a dream, but no one’s forcing you to work in one, either. If you don’t like working round the clock, don’t do it. If you don’t like getting hit, don’t play pro football.
Just remember, when the fundamental revenue driver of a profession is billing hours, you can be sure of one thing: Law firms will always try to increase hours, not decrease them.
But keep living the dream. And by all means, keep having meetings to talk about something that will never change—sounds like a good use of the time you’re so afraid to bill.