Just when you thought it was safe to wallow safely in your time-honored right to be miserable at work, some over-earnest hick lawyer goes and screws it up again.
This time, the thanks is owed to the recent clueless ramblings of Stephen Ellis, a partner at Tucker, Ellis & West, a Cleveland law firm with less people working in its entire office than certain Big Firms have working in their mailrooms. In an article adapted from a commencement speech he recently gave at an Ohio law school, Mr. Ellis offers his local-yokel take on the “secret to happiness and success in a lawyer’s life” with “seven simple suggestions.”
The highlights of these simple, yet deeply insightful, suggestions:
“Be enthusiastic about your clients’ matters”;
“Don’t be obnoxious. Do a good job on the law, facts, and strategy, but don’t make it personal”;
“Get ‘outside’ yourself and participate in community events”;
“Believe in your brain”; and, our own personal favorite,
While we heartily appreciate Mr. Ellis’s efforts to keep us happy and successful, we can’t help but point out that when you’re a lawyer at a nice little Midwestern firm that no one outside of Ohio has ever heard of, you need to realize that your advice may not have the same sway to a junior associate at, say, Skadden or Cravath. Sorry, but your idea of success and happiness may be a few acres off from theirs.
But thanks for the tips, though. We’ll be sure to keep them in mind when we’re on our fourth all-nighter in a row on an $8 billion merger for a client that we’ve never even met.
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