Advice for the Lawlame, Ann Israel, Biglaw,

Advice for the Lawlame: An Amusing Anecdote

letter writing.jpgThis actually isn’t a new installment of our Advice for the Lawlame column (although one is in the works). Rather, it’s a funny email we received from a reader who shares our fascination with’s Advice for the Lawlorn column. Here it is:

Love the “Advice for the Lawlame” column. My friends and I have been reading “Advice for the Lawlorn” with a sort of amused contempt for a year. After a while, we grew tired of the formulaic cluelessness of the posts and the answers, so we challeged each other to get our fake submissions answered.

I won, with the below entry. Note how spectacularly lame the “author” of the submission was — not only did he spend his law school career neglecting academics for drinks and rugby, but his team wasn’t any good! Ann was almost on to me, but the voices of her better and more credulous angels won out.

I’ll stay anon because I’m a partner at a big NY firm. Not to worry. No client was billed while I was teasing Ann.

Our reader’s “winning” submission — and Ann Israel’s response — after the jump.

Here’s what our mischievous reader sent to Ann:

Dear Ann:

rugby.jpgI graduated from a “top 10” law school a few years back in the bottom quartile of my class. I feel my grades did not reflect my abiliites, particularly because I had been committing an enormous amount of time to my rugby club, which was on the verge of breaking into the top levels of our club league. Also, rugby not only requires an intense amount of time on the field, but inevitably after most practices and all games, the lads hit the bars for all night benders. But I was younger then…

At any rate, I had a hard time getting a job out of law school, but happily ended up in the Manhattan office of one of the best New Jersey firms. Recently I was laid off, ostensibly for “performance” reasons but, I think, it’s because much of the work in my field has dried up.

I thought this might be a “lemons into lemonade” moment, so I concentrated my new job search on firms with better reputations than the one at which I’d been practicing. Of the few firms that gave me interviews, all had issues about my grades, which I found odd because that was three years ago and the circumstances had completely changed. Indeed, I explained my unique circumstances, but never got that offer.

The question is: should I give up on the “better” firms — the AmLaw 200 firms — and concentrate on the lower tiers? Are my job opportunities decreasing the longer I’m unemployed?

Stuck In A Scrum

Ann Israel’s painfully earnest reply appears here. The whole thing is worth reading, but here’s the money quote:

Your transcript will stay with you forever. I suggest that you come up with a much better commentary than your valiant struggle for your rugby club and your all-night partying with the boys after each rugby match. Do you really think this is a valid excuse for your poor grades and one that is going to sit well with a law firm partner in an interview?

Earlier: Advice for the Lawlame (scroll down)

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