Wednesday, May 29, 2013

"He Made Partner"

I'm at my bar.

This is my bar.  The bar I do not have the deed to, but I still none the less own.

And sitting beside me are two men.  One young, one old, both lawyers.  The younger one "just made partner."

The older one is bestowing his wisdom upon the younger, and it is good wisdom.

"Don't forget family."

"Your wife is the most important thing in your life."

"Your childrens' baseball games are more important than late night meetings at the firm."

I admire the older lawyer and respect him.  May even ask for his card later tonight to have a legal resource I respect and trust.

But what i can't get over is what the old man is asking of the young man.  He is still telling the kid that there will be times that he will have to subvert his family for the "firm."

That there will be times he has to stick around late.  That the family will have to come second.  That he may have to compromise his morals to supplicate office politics and power struggles.  It is an old man who has sold his soul to a particular path and is now badgering the young, new partner into a life that he may not really want.

Money is a currency people.  No doubt about that. Money is a currrency.

But the most important currency is happiness, and the source of your happiness isn't the office.  It's your wife/husband/children/friends.

This young victim is literally 2.5 feet from me.


Jacob Ian Stalk said...

"the most important currency is happiness..."

No. The most important currency is joy. This is expressed in most people by the feeling that one has done the right thing. Whether or not we understand fully what the "right thing" is or isn't, the joy when we get it right thing is both unmistakeable and sublime.

Brendan said...

Making partner for a lawyer is like getting a death sentence. It's not like partners work less than non-partners, and on top of that they have to navigate the constant high-grade politics of law firms, all with other highly intelligent, verbally and argumentationally acute, ruthlessly ambitious self-serving jack asses. It's a death sentence.

And I'm a lawyer (but not working for a law firm -- ditched that rap after 6 years when I saw where it was heading).

Unknown said...

The word I immediately thought read this was indoctrination. Sounds like the older lawyer meant well, but gave out completely misguided advice. If the younger lawyer is going to get married, then he better have the proper income to do it and the time or else there is no point.

Hamilton said...

The thing is...screw both of these assholes, they are lawyers. Hopefully they drink themselves to an early death.

Hamilton said...

Thing is...screw both of these assholes. They are both lawyers and hopefully they will drink themselves into an early grave.

Anonymous said...

Sounded to me more like someone was being set up for eventual divorce.

Anonymous said...

All of this has happened before, and all of this will happen again. They are building up treasures, as it says in a particular rusty old book, where moths and dust collect and thieves can break in and steal.

Anonymous said...

By a seeming fate, commonly called necessity, they are employed, as it says in an old book, laying up treasures which moth and rust will corrupt and thieves break through and steal. It is a fool's life, as they will find when they get to the end of it, if not before.

Anonymous said...

Well crap I keep submitting comments twice because it doesn't show up immediately.

dannyfrom504 said...


you tell 'um, i'll hold the crowd back. this weekend i drunk heavily from what's most important in my life: family, food, drink, and laughter.

even in death.....the death of my Paw-Paw was a blast.

James Wolfe said...

Yeah and when his wife divorces him 10 years from now she'll get half of all those years of his life he gave up to be a partner. He'd be happier selling shoes.

Anonymous said...

Four decades ago I graduated from an Ivy League university when the most favored careers were law and medicine. For a while, I felt like a failure for being interested in business. My guess is that, years later, many of my classmates have had satisfactory but not happy careers. So your comment that lawyers sacrifice a great deal to "make it" is I think valid. Glenn Reynolds of instapundit has chronicled the current dismal state of the legal job market at great length.

red pill lawyer said...

The key for any young lawyer is to develop your own client base. Then you control your destiny better. That was the best advice I received almost 20 years ago.

Anonymous said...

What Brendan said, except it's not necessarily a death sentence. It is, however, golden handcuffs.

Making partner is ostensibly the pinnacle of professional achievement. More money. Respect and adulation among peers. Obsequious bootlicking from associates.

Not so much. If you have a wife and family, you just allowed the pressure on you by orders of magnitude to continue earning and performing at that level. Your family wants and NEEDS that income; and if you can't provide it, her hypergamy will kick into high gear pronto. You'll question seriously whether she stays with you only because of your earning power. And you're earning more working for your firm than anywhere else.

It takes longer to make partner now. And partnership doesn't necessarily mean more autonomy or decisionmaking capability; as your more senior partners still control the business relationships and give the orders.


Eric S. Mueller said...

It's amazing to me the capacity people have to parrot. I'm sure that's exactly what the old lawyer was told. I also wonder why people put up with it.

I work in IT, although I'm more on the policy and strategy side of things now. It pays pretty well. I generally don't have to give up my evenings and weekends for it. I don't have to comprimise my morals for it. I don't have to subvert my soul for politics. It's a pretty good life.

Why do people choose careers like law where they know they'll have to do this?

Anonymous said...

All of the people I know who don't have much money are not very happy. It is difficult to be happy when you are sweating the grocery bill or can't afford full cable or must continue to drive an unsafe vehicle.

Sure, there are happy moments, but when daddy lies down at night he doesn't drift off easily. He thinks about how he is going to pay for everything his family needs and simply cannot have because the dough ain't there.

If the young many doesn't want late meetings and all that other crap that goes with being a liar er I mean lawyer, he can opt for another career that he can have more control over.

it's all about choices we make, not traps we fall into. If you have fallen into a trap, make a better choice.

Anonymous said...

You want your lawyer to be an asshole - just one who is doing so for your benefit. One of my friends, he would be my lawyer if he were in my state, came up with a way in a case to basically prolong it forever due to a loop-hole the other party opened up. This was an "exam" from his professor, when asked if he would have moral issues (the case was a woman with no kin, dying while suing the company that basically caused her condition).

He, my friend, said, "My job is to represent my client to the best of my abilities, so what I want doesn't really matter. If it is in my client's best interest I will do it."

He got the highest grade, and has used that ethos in real life. It may not be moral, but if he is being paid for his skill, he makes sure his client is getting his best. That is what I would want from a lawyer... He is now the senior partner at his law firm.

Anonymous said...

Lawyers are all scumbags. So it's good to know they live in hell with that profession, because they deserve nothing better.

My lawyer was a good guy, but I told him to f-off years ago when I realized what a low life group he was a part of.

If they aren't trying to start shit between people they aren't happy. It's all about them and their wallet!!

Anonymous said...

No one will have "I wish I had spent more time at the office" on his tombstone.

Anonymous said...

Given that I have no wife, children nor friends, I will happily work and make tons of money.

FUCK the family, nothing good ever came from it anyways. All enemies !!!

Miolnir said...

Rarely comment.
In younger days, good friend says he can double salary with a position in Ohio.
I say "What's in Ohio?"
He says "Twice my pay."
I say "What else is in Ohio?"
He says "What do you mean?"
"If you doubling your salary means your wife can live at the top in that area of Ohio, you are fine. If doubling your salary means you'll be high middle class only, you'll be single soon."

He declined. No family there, within 15 hours by car, and not enough $ to fly often enough. Oh, and it would have been mid to high middle class. Not even enough for the Mint Juleps for her at the CC.