In tribute to March Madness, I decided to write a tournament piece. No, not about the NCAA tournament, but an entirely fictional one I came up with. I’ve already narrowed down my 64 competitors to a lean Sweet 16. And trust me, just like this year’s NCAA tourney, some worthy opponents of the original 64 were knocked out early by Cinderellas.
The remaining Sweet 16 will face off in a systematical competition between the best and worst people at BigLaw Firm USA to see how each would fare in my imaginary tournament. Don’t forget to cheer on your favorites.
Young, Cool Partner (1)
This overall number-one seed is my favorite. He’s the guy all male associates look up to. And he’s one all the female associates want to sleep with. He’s the future rainmaker. He usually has a pretty attractive wife and seems pretty happy with his life. In my firm, the one I simply call “YCP” is the guy who has always understood me as a person, appreciates my true debaucherous nature and has never held it against me. Because he’s just that cool. And since he’s always allowed me to be myself, he has the ability to reign me in and scold me when necessary. I like him so much I rarely even use my duplicitous nature on him like I do to all other partners. For that disarming ability, I commend him. In this matchup, he goes against the lowest of all firm life:
Typical First-Year Gunner (16)
You know the one—top of his class at Harvard, never shared outlines, pretends to know the difference between Chilean and Argentinean wine and thinks telling people he works 100-hour weeks is impressive. I’m pretty sure YCP would happily oblige and bury him in a sea of documents.
In the other Midwest region matchup, we have a much more even contest.
Dirty Old Man Partner (8)
Dirty Old-Man Partner (DOMP) is old school. He has a decanter of scotch in his office, talks shit about my generation’s work ethic, and is generally misogynistic and racist . . . but in a kind of amusing way. Basically, he’s me in 30 years, hopefully. He’ll be facing off against a familiar opponent:
Married Female Associate Who Cheats—But Only with Partners (9)
This married female associate is no stranger to infidelity—but not with associates. She wouldn’t lower herself or take the risk of getting caught unless it’s with powerful man who also has a lot to lose. She finds security in screwing while staring at the framed family photos on said partner’s credenza. The thrill of doing something elicit in an otherwise bland existence. Generally, the DOMP is her gentleman caller. But once he decides it’s time to cut the cord (or worse, she does), he seemingly always manages to find a way to ship her off to another firm. Somehow, it seems that nobody ever knows about that affair while it’s happening, but the second she leaves, the whispers start. (Translation: Gossipy HR Chick tells all.)
Therefore, in this bracket, the same thing happens. After two Viagra-fueled overtimes:
Hot HR Chick (2)
She is the number-two overall seed who is playing in the West bracket. Every firm has one of her—well, at least any firm worth its salt. If yours doesn’t, you need to call a recruiter immediately. This chick is usually friendly and flirty but not too flirty. (Or else she becomes the Slutty HR Chick, which is a different category altogether.) At my firm, she isn’t quite hot enough anymore. Maybe a few years and pounds ago. The last three years and uncounted calories catch up with her as she goes against:
Partner with No Concept of Work/Life Balance (15)
At my firm, this is the guy who is a real thorn in everyone’s side—Jin. I have managed to stay under his radar, but he has ruined at least a few of my colleagues’ personal plans on a variety of occasions. Jin’s mentality would normally not fly, but not even the sex appeal of a flirty HR chick can convince sex-deprived Jin to ease up on his rigid weekend work ethic. Not in his house!
Winner: Partner With No Concept of Work/Life Balance
The other West game is perhaps the most interesting. These two are often comrades at any good firm.
Wild and Crazy Male Associate (7)
The guy is often found bottom feeding after firm functions, doing bumps of blow together with his opponent in the bathroom and occasionally having drunken sex. WCMA will take out a group of Summer Associates or throw down his credit card for bottles out with co-workers, praying that leveraging his relationship with Hot HR Chick will bail him out. Example of a WCMA? Yours truly.
Mediocre, Morally Casual Female Associate (10)
The mediocre, morally casual chick is there to sexually heal any male associate who just broke up with his girlfriend by giving him an easy rebound. Or good for a lay on any occasion, really.
These two types are both super important, and no firm should be without either of them. In my humble and completely unbiased opinion, WCMA squeaks by because of his intangible, value-added ability to show clients a good time at a Thai massage parlor.
In the East, we have the number-three overall seed.
Cool, Younger Associate (3)
He is socially adept and a solid worker, but he’s not a kiss-ass and doesn’t take things too seriously. At my firm, that guy is Marcus. He shrewdly latched onto the cool midlevel (me!) and followed his (my!) lead. True, he is his own man: better dressed, more emotional (translation: he has emotions) and a harder worker, but at the end of the day, he is my protégé. And for that I salute him. He easily blows out:
Females Who Cry at Work (14)
I’m talking any female—attorney, paralegal, secretary, cleaning lady, or cafeteria worker. As I recently stated, these people should be shunned and sent off to some anti-crying seminar. I’m sure when they find out they lost in my imaginary pool, they will even cry about it!
Winner: Cool, Younger Associate
In the other East matchup, we have:
Hot Female Summer (6)
HFS could have gotten a higher ranking, but lets face it, she’s only there for the summer. Not to mention, if she’s really that hot, she usually has a boyfriend—or worse, a fiancée. But there’s nothing more enjoyable on a hot summer day than a US Open firm outing where you get to see her in a nice, tight, white polo. Actually, there is: If she’s daring enough to layout in her bikini or go swimming at a firm pool outing.
Senior Associate Who Suddenly Becomes a Dick When He’s Up for Partner (11)
I would have ranked him lower, but he usually is a pretty cool guy up until that point. You can’t lump him in with a partner like Jin, who lives in the office. Even though he always billed pretty heavy hours, he was still cool with you and didn’t try to boss you around. But once he finds out he’s up for partner, he tries to make a show of having a commanding presence. Sneaking out together to get wasted while you’re on a deal is no longer an option.
When faced with HFS, even a senior associate up for partner loosens up a bit and forgets to act like a dick.
In the South, we have a few rare breeds.
Secretary Who Is Both Competent and Covers Your Ass (4)
Even if she isn’t at all competent, if she still at least covers your ass, she’s easily a number four overall seed. Nancy, for all the shit I give her, is actually in the top 10% of secretaries. The fact that nobody has ever noticed that I have done multiple closings from the privacy of my bedroom is a testament to her covert skills.
Her matchup is against one of the most loathsome types of male attorneys:
Slovenly Associate Who Always Talks About Sports (13)
If he finds out you like the Mets, he will never let a conversation go by without talking about their starting rotation holes. For some reason, he always manages to have stains on his shirt. And bad breath. Note to this guy: grown male attorneys—even ones who like sports—don’t want to engage you every single day about sports unless they’re in your fantasy league. We just don’t. If that hurts anyone’s feelings, then you should know that you ARE this guy and consider making some alterations to your small talk.
Unfortunately, upsets happen. Otherwise they wouldn’t call it March Madness. Despite all of his shortcomings, the sports mental patient is usually a pretty competent lawyer. And while competing against a secretary (yes, I still call them secretaries because it makes me feel superior about my station in life), however useful, is a grinder of a matchup, she’s still a lowly secretary. He can muster enough brain capacity, even with all his moronic sports chatter, to be somewhat of an asset to the firm. Therefore, he defeats the Iona graduate. It’s just science, folks.
Winner: Slovenly Associate Who Always Talks About Sports
The final Sweet Sixteen matchup features an anomaly and one type you could a throw a stick down any firm hallway and hit three of.
Competent, Young Paralegal (5)
The Competent, Young Paralegal is usually straight out of college, sometimes headed to law school. This paralegal can be counted on for pretty much anything. Their desire to lock up a job at your firm five years before they get their JD makes them blind to the indentured servitude you sometimes put them through. CYP is up against:
Chip-on-Her-Shoulder Female Partner (12)
I think I have discussed her ad nauseum, so I will just say this is the biggest blowout of the whole tournament. Goodbye, biatch.
Winner: Competent, Young Paralegal
Here’s your handy bracket below. Stay tuned for the Final Four matchups next week. Outcomes will be determined after extensive empirical research I conduct this week at my firm.