Q) I’m a first-year law student and just have a general question. A lot of kids from high school who thought they were “cool” ended up getting fat and stuck in dead-end jobs. That makes me wonder, what happens to gunners when they grow up? Do they ever make partner? Or do they just curl up into a ball of douchebaggery and die?
A) First off, I love the anger. It practically pops off the page. Nice.
As for your question— Do gunners ever make partner? Sure, some do. But remember, all gunners aren’t created equal. Some of those who “gun” have no bullets. They can gun all day and never hit the target. Others shoot from the hip far too often and ultimately miss the mark. And, yes, others are simply douchebags. But like I said, some do end up making partner.
The real question is: Does one have to gun to make partner? In other words, can you become a partner without being an ingratiating, overly-enthusiastic asshole as a junior associate? To me, the answer is yes. You have to work hard, be smart and excel relative to your peers, but you don’t have to gun. At least overtly. The most effective gunners out there—the gunners most likely to make partner—are the ones nobody really knows are gunning in the first place. That is, the stealth gunner.
Anyway, why do you hate gunners so much? Do they threaten you? Make you feel lazy and inadequate by comparison? Or do you just detest all the ass-kissing and gung-ho legal BS? Or are you a pacifist, anti-NRA lefty who just hates the word?
I say, “Don’t hate the gunner, hate the game!”