Partner to BL1Y: Associates are 'Self-Absorbed Egotists'

Bitter Contributor Columns, Lawyer

[Ed. Note: The following is written by the same “38-year-old partner at a prestigious firm” who wrote “Partner to Associates: Stop Being ‘Entitled, Whiny Pussies,’” which we posted last Wednesday.  It is a response to “Associate to Partners: Shut Up About Us Being ‘Entitled’” by frequent Bitter Lawyer contributor BL1Y and posted last Friday.]

You really missed the point, BL1Y. 

By the way, what does that stupid moniker stand for anyway?  Based on your obvious bitterness and shocking lack of insight into the legal profession, I’m guessing “Bitter Lawyer 1st Year”?  If this rebuttal were a jury trial, the case would already be over. 

While I could simply scroll through your illogical response and point out all the obvious flaws, I’d prefer to simply reiterate the point I was trying to make previously—because you obviously missed it.  I’m tired of associates complaining about working too hard.  That’s it.  That’s my point.  It has nothing whatsoever to do with the recession… or student loans… or people working hard to earn their degrees.  Though I would have assumed that lawyers working in a recession with six-figure debt who worked so damn hard to get their JDs in the first place would actually be more motivated to work their asses off than ever before.  What I’m saying is: Not only was your response to my original piece irrelevant, it helps make my point. 

The biggest flaw in your response was ignoring the obvious reality of BigLaw and the crux of my rant, which was that BigLaw associates know exactly what they’re getting into.  The day they accept their job offers, they know they’re in for a long, grueling battle.  If they don’t, they’re delusional—especially given that partners do their best to exaggerate the potential workload throughout the recruiting process.  Again, we do this because we want hard workers, not complainers. 

So, if you know going into BigLaw that it’s going to be grueling, why complain when it becomes grueling?  It’s stupid and hypocritical.  If you marry a short, fat woman, don’t complain about her being short and fat six months after the wedding.  Worse yet, don’t suddenly long for her to be tall and thin. 

The thing that irks me the most is that this new crop of entitled associates thinks it can actually change the way BigLaw does business.  And rather than finding a new job with lesser demands and lesser hours, these morons spend their time (futilely) trying to change the institution itself.  These self-absorbed egotists hope to impose their lofty ideals onto the profession, rather than find a profession (or job within a profession) that matches their ideals.  At best, this smacks of entitlement.  At worst, it suggests a narcissistic disconnect from reality.

Furthermore, Mr. BL1Y, I feel the need to remind you that BigLaw doesn’t make implicit or explicit representations to prospective law students as to the stability, profitability or likability of their future career.  Students entering law school know, or certainly should know, that law is a business.  Sure, it’s a profession too.  But what the hell does that even mean?  Like all businesses, there are up cycles and down cycles… and really shitty cycles.  When times are good, it’s easier to find a job and easier to make more money.  Obviously, when times are bad, the opposite is true. 

Contrary to your erroneous and incongruous conclusion that I’m somehow trying to stick associates with the downside of my mismanagement, I am simply trying to find associates who are willing to work hard without bitching and moaning about it.  Even a bitter first-year associate knows the difference between a positive, productive attitude and a negative, unproductive attitude.

And, for the record, I don’t stumble over useless, whiny, entitled associates.  I kick them. 

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