Lawyers Hate Themselves

BREAKING NEWS: According to a recent survey, if given the choice, most Big Firm lawyers would prefer to date people devoid of intelligence or ambition rather than their hardworking, high-earning BigLaw contemporaries.

We here at Bitter Lawyer conduct a daily poll on the homepage to take our audience’s temperature on various topics close to the heart of the legal community.  It’s hardly scientific, but the results generally fall within a range we’d expect; however, yesterday’s poll got us thinking.





Bitter Lawyer inquires: Did those polled simply skim the question and quickly knee-jerk with an impulsive response, or is it true that only 21 percent of Bitter Lawyers find their own type erogenous? With almost 80 percent of the field keen on dating family bank accounts and people who smile for a living—with nary a hint of attraction to their Big Firm colleagues—theories abound as to why.

One possibility could be that those polled are simply bored with themselves and would prefer to socialize with people who have backgrounds different from their own. Another hypothesis could be old-fashioned common sense, given the fact that dating within one’s professional circle is often fraught with disaster.

But it could also be argued that the answers weren’t carefully thought out. It’s possible that many of those who responded never fully consider the implications of their choice. Namely, had 43 percent people even heard the term Trustifarian before yesterday?  While a boarding school flunky going by the “poser hippy” name Echo might sound sexy, when you’re having your face sketched in indigo ink onto the head of a bongo drum while chillaxing in a yurt somewhere west of Denver, is that the date you voted for?

Not to mention, not all socialites are created equal. While Paris Hilton may be the entitled lifestyle’s poster child (she’s not ready to date yet anyway), most party people aren’t that good looking. All the money and blond extensions in the world can’t really fix bad genetics. And why’s that?  Because most rich men (who they call “daddy”) are ugly.

And do we really need to discuss the reality of the word “unemployed,” much less it’s relation to, say, a model or an actor?

The most obvious reason, to Bitter Lawyer anyway, appears to be self-hate—a regular culprit in many ill-informed dating choices.

But does that mean lawyers hate themselves more than, well, anyone else?

Quite possibly, yes.

Consider this recent comment on from a poster identified by the handle 1L: “Wow. I keep getting surprised [by] the amount of hatred and negative energy that comments on this site generate.”

Comments like that may be the result of a never-ending BigLaw grind that appears to have some lawyers wishing they had never gone to law school.

“Law schools pull young altruists in with promise of the opportunity to be Erin Brockovich with a law degree, or an adept Matlock, quickly pulling a curtain in front of the $150,000 to $200,000 they will incur in debt by touting BigLaw salaries that can pay that kind of thing down in just a few years,” a reader going by Realist wrote in response to another article.  “Sure you can go to the P.D. or the D.A. in a few years! Sure you’ll have the experience necessary to do anything other than color code documents or carry lit bags to court! Just sign right here. In blood.”

With news of layoffs and evaporating bonuses, that kind self-loathing may likely grow in the coming year. But for those lucky enough to hang onto their high-paying jobs through the economic downturn, the temptation to sign in blood will only go up, provided that law firms don’t start favoring lawyer couples when its time to hand out partnerships.

So we turn it back over to you, Bitter men and women. Are you still content with your decision? Are the superficial trappings of sharing a smoke at Beatrice Inn, deep conversations with destitute sensitive types and shiny arm candy worthy of “dating” status? Or is that associate with the nice smile you ambivalently cruise by on your way to your coffin-like office maybe worth a second look?

  • Al Dickman

    Here’s my two cents about “dating”, noting of course that I am married.  Speaking personally, I selected to “date” the unemployed “model/actor”.  Why? Mainly because I work all day with lawyers, and while there is nothing per se wrong with lawyers, they are basically the same, and the last thing I want to do when I go home at night is to start in where I left off.  My wife is a real babe, who doesn’t really have a full-time career, and that’s fine by me.  She’s always there for support, and I love the babe, but if I weren’t happily married, I’d be out there “”dating” the model/actress (unemployed or not).  To me, someone hot and exciting is what dating (and mating) is all about.  No matter how smart lawyers are, if you are one, chances are you are going to get bored being with lawyers 24/7.  As for the first alternative–who cares about socialites!  I personally go purely for looks and excitement with my dates, and couldn’t care less if the woman was the third cousin to the Earl of Nottingham.  In my book, you can take that to bed with you, but it won’t get you excited.

  • Big Law First Year

    I think I’d hate dating another lawyer.  Trying to get your schedules to match up would be a pain, and there’d be constant jealousy with the other’s time off or billable hours.
    But on the other hand, I’ve been dating a non-lawyer and it’s a bit annoying that she thinks I make a lot more money than I do (especially considering taxes and loan payments).  So, she thinks I can afford fancy dinners every night and don’t ever take the subway.  She’s also probably not too happy that I’m a few years younger, do jack shit at work and make twice her income.

  • Anonymous

    I wouldn’t date another lawyer. Too much of the same. But I’d prefer to date someone of equal intelligence and drive. Maybe a software engineer or ad exec. That’s what’s worked for me so far.

  • M

    Strange findings, considering so many lawyers I know are married to or dating other lawyers. Maybe they just can’ t help it. Or maybe they want someone who understands the schedule/stress

  • Pacific Reporter

    You’re surprised that people visiting a site called “Bitter Lawyer” hate themselves? What the fuck is wrong with you?

  • Dickman Fan


  • Del Vermo

    Hot and stupid, there is no other way to go.

  • A Voice of Sanity

    <i>… the $150,000 to $200,000 they will incur in debt by touting BigLaw salaries …</i>
    If you can’t get in to a law school which guarantees you a place at ‘Big Law’, aren’t you better off to go to the cheapest law school you can find as long as you can sit the exams? Why bother with mid level schools?

  • Alex Hump

    Dickman’s on the mark again. One additional point– I can’t imagine the “pillow talk” I’d have with a lawyer, assuming I could find one cute enough for me.  Talking about “Motions in limine” –NOT exciting.  Carrying out other kinds of bedtime motions– much more so.

  • Anonymous

    I was shocked to see the compensation data on unemployed actors.  HAHA.

  • MidLaw First Year

    I think that lawyers get married to other lawyers because they’re the only ones that understand each other.  Why would a hot actress put up with your shit when she can have other rich assholes?  My theory is that unless you were married and your spouse was with you before and during law school, you’re going to have a hard time finding someone that can put up with you and your schedule.  I was married about 7 years before law school and my wife understands my schedule because she saw how hard law school was to get here.  She understand so much that she’s about to finish up law school herself, so we will see how this works out…

  • BL1Y

    I’ve actually found non-law girls to be pretty accepting of the busy life style.  You just have to know how to manage.  Let them know as soon as you can if plans will be delayed or canceled.  Don’t check your blackberry at midnight right after having sex (wait for her to fall asleep and then be sneaky).  Girls who work in bars or restaurants (aka: models and actresses) are used to crazy hours and can sympathize.  But, their schedules aren’t likely to mesh well with yours.
    Also, don’t tell your boyfriend/girlfriend you’re staying late just in case a partner might call and need you.  If they need you after the close of business hours, they’ve given you a blackberry for a reason.  Not only is it rude to your significant other, it shows them that you’re a wimp and afraid of your boss.  You don’t see other service industry workers staying late just in case someone needs them.  Don’t be such a [pansy].
    As for why lawyers hate other lawyers but still marry them, I think it’s a product of who’s available.  Many lawyers don’t get out much, and when they do, they lack the tact needed to make the most of being smart and earning a lawyer salary.

  • HJK

    I may no want to date a big firm lawyer, but that doesn’t mean I’m looking for someone oh so different from me (I value intelligence, as I’m sure many other lawyers do).  But, seriously, your three options hardly captured very many types of people.  Either big firm, or air-headed bimbo?  Really?

  • BL1Y

    HJK: Nothing about the model/actress choice implied that they were air heads.  I know several unemployed model/actresses (well, employed, but not in their desired field) who are very intelligent.  Most have degrees from good schools and at least one has a master’s.
    I agree the choices were too narrow to gauge who people actually want to date, but it does tell us something about their priorities.  But what’s the point? Most people are bad at identifying what they’re really attracted to.  They usually just say what they want to find attractive, or what they think their friends want to hear.

  • 2L – too much debt to quit

    Why would I ever want to date a lawyer after seeing all the douchebags that go to law school…and from what I hear after law school it only gets worse.

  • BL1Y

    They don’t get worse, you just have to spend more of your time around lawyers and have less choice about who they’ll be.

  • HA!

    I like how the guys comment about wanting to date hot women. I know lots of people dating and married to lawyers and to non-lawyers. It works either way. And FYI gents, most male attorneys aren’t much to look at and the personalities of baked potatoes.  What hot woman would want to date a short, balding chubby, self-centered attorney who thinks he is much smarter than he is? Good luck with that, take what you can get!

  • RogerCroft

    Few lawyers work on their own account; the usual situation is that a lawyer is acting for someone else. The classic model is that the lawyer merely offers expertise in the law and advocacy which lay people do not have themselves.