Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Tucker Max on Being a Lawyer

This will be the first time in a while since I've had two consecutive legal posts. In case any readers are dying to go to law school, take a look at this link [NSFW due to coarse language] before you send off that Harvard Law application:

Here's the money paragraph:

It wasn't the firm that I hated; it was the very nature of the job. Being a lawyer SUCKS. When you are a lawyer, your job is to clean up the messes of others, to rubber stamp and make legal someone else's real work, to essentially be a paper custodian for the people who actually do important things. The people at Yahoo and Cisco and Network Solutions (all our clients) actually did something; what did I do? Stupid, mindless, and ultimately irrelevant bull----. I was a junior paper-monkey, and I hated every second of it.

Now, two clarifications:

1, The above doesn't apply if you open your own firm, but you still have to work for someone else first to learn the ropes. Also, if you open your own firm, you'll be successful based more so on your prowess as a businessperson than an attorney. But don't take that as a recommendation to go to business school. I hear the MBA courses impart even less real-life knowledge than law school, which is quite a feat.

2. There is a lot of interesting work in the practice of law, and Tucker Max based his ideas on an entry level associate's perspective. Eventually, as an associate learns more and is entrusted with more complex work, his or her legal tableau becomes more interesting. For example, I've learned a lot about different professions and cultures, and no other job would have provided me with the perspective and breadth of human knowledge I have today.

As for Tucker Max, here's what the NYT had to say about his sense of humor: "highly entertaining and thoroughly reprehensible." I will say no more, but ignore the post on law at your peril.

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