Willkie Farr

Willkie Farr Out Behavior: Bizarre Emails From An Incoming Summer Associate

Willkie Farr Gallagher crazy email Above the Law blog.jpgLast June, the WSJ Law Blog wondered: Are law students emotional wrecks? Here is more evidence — and there’s already quite a lot in these pages — that the answer to the question is yes.
It started out innocently enough. A legal recruiting assistant at Willkie Farr & Gallagher sent out this email on Friday:

From: [Legal Recruiting Assistant]@willkie.com
Sent: 4/4/2008 9:44:44 AM
To: [2008 Summer Associates]
Subject: Re: Willkie T-Shirts

We hope that the final stretch of your year is going well and that you’re looking forward to joining us in a few weeks. Willkie t-shirts are being ordered for all of you, so we’ll need you to send your shirt size to us as soon as possible but no later than Friday, April 11 at noon. Please note that we will be placing the final order on that date and that if we do not have your size by then, we will order a large for you.

Because after we stuff you full of summer lunches, like foie gras-producing fowl, that’s all you will fit into.

Please reply to this message and provide your name and shirt size in the subject line. You can choose from the following standard men’s t-shirt sizes: small, medium, large, x-large, or xx-large. Example: “[Legal Recruiting Assistant], medium.”

Willkie hires some pretty smart summer associates — e.g., Jeremy Blachman, of Anonymous Lawyer fame — so we don’t know why Legal Recruiting Assistant felt the need to provide an example. Or maybe she just wanted to flaunt her status as a “medium”? (Then again, it’s not as prestigious as being a size zero.)

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions, and good luck with your upcoming exams. Thank you.
Legal Recruiting Assistant
Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP
787 7th Avenue
New York, NY 10019

And then things got…. weird. Read the two super-strange email messages that one member of the summer class sent in response, after the jump.

Here is the first such email. Please note that we have not included the sender’s name. Please don’t provide it in the comments. Thanks.

From: [redacted]
Date: Sat, Apr 5, 2008 at 1:32 AM
Subject: Re: Willkie T-Shirts
To: [Legal Recruiting Assistant]@willkie.com
Cc: [2008 Summer Associates]

I mean literally. Everyone just start getting up and walking. This is truly truly truly funny. Just hugging soldiers. They’ll understand. And they may have just innavartandly [sic] won the unexpected results of a collosal [sic] BS dare somehow gone wider made at some point Tuesday early afternoon as a result of attrocities [sic] in Sierra Leone that had a compelling historical name.

This is just it. It will never get easier.

Just kinda lucky.

I see no shooting around me. I’ll wait a little bit before I give thumbs up again.

I’m pretty sure the soldiers are quietly talking amongst themselves outside at the moment, and then quietly consulting through back channels with the Queen, the Vatican, I’m sure the Red Army might even be happy to be consulted. I’m not quite sure what happened there.

And I don’t even think I knew about half this s**t. I think a mind f**k oriented BS bet spread military units may have out of control, so it controlled internet access, and I was being BSed whiel [sic] BSIng and working really hard on a tough legal question involving scanning names of military units from across the early 20th century in virtually every major country. And somehow happened. I am talking to every major military inteligence [sic] unit in the world as we speak. And that was all because just tryin [sic] set up a collosal [sic] move in a side bet to goad on the Red Army against the British Empire in an unexpected way. Hey this is just true. It involved a subtle switch of the world World War 2 to the Great Patriotic War in 20 seconds to establish my credibility with the Red Army; well let’s just say, the American portion only even really began at I believe 6 this evening or so. I’m pretty sure it ends at 6, maybe later, I may have unfortunatly [sic] tried and be sneaky and steal the Red Army a march by giving them an extra 6 hours…

I really, really didn’t realize anything else was gonig [sic] on. Seriously. I’ve seriously been researching a researching a hellishly ciomplex [sic] matter for the Special Court for Sierra Leone involving pillage, cannon [sic] law, the Red army, the British Army, and the believe, definitely the Vatican. And it all came together, because BS dare was made just to try and get some military manuals quickly. Just tell me. Come on, time. Everyone else lived up. Well I have not heard from Her Majesty’s Army but the existence the book is confirmed without doubt. You guys all know what I mean exactly.

At this point, almost like who cares.

Okay, kid, then you’re getting a large.
(We think we may have missed a few “[sic]”s, but we tried our best, given the incoherence of the message.)
At first we thought that perhaps a spambot or virus had taken over the sender’s email account or computer. We know what that’s like, since it’s happened to us (and we apologize if you ever received any email from us that looked like this). But the references to “a tough legal question involving scanning names of military units from across the early 20th century” and “researching a hellishly ciomplex [sic] matter for the Special Court for Sierra Leone” sound a bit too specifically legal to be randomly generated by a spambot or virus.
Also note the 1:32 AM time stamp. The middle of the night is prime time for breakdowns. See, e.g., the crazy Stroock email.
But that’s not all. Two hours later, at the ungodly hour of 3:40 AM, the future Willkie summer associate [FN1] sent out this message:

From: [redacted]
Date: Sat, Apr 5, 2008 at 3:40 AM
Subject: Re: Willkie T-Shirts
To: [Legal Recruiting Assistant]@willkie.com
Cc: [2008 Summer Associates]








GO GO GO gGO [sic] GO


“In negotiation with Her Majesty”? If Queen Elizabeth II shows up at a Willkie summer event, that will be something even Skadden can’t top.
The second message from the SA, in ALL CAPS, sounds more like something that would be automatically generated by a virus or spambot. But one would think that the summer associate in question would have followed it up with an email to everyone explaining the situation. No such email has appeared, even though it’s now Monday, and the emails went out late on Friday night.
If you can shed more light on the situation, feel free to email us.
[FN1] Query whether the summer associate’s offer might be adversely affected by the sending of these odd messages.
Update: What exactly happened here remains unclear. But we’d like to take the opportunity to make two ATL public service announcements:

1. If you haven’t done so already, you should use antivirus software and a firewall to protect yourself against the many threats that are out there on the internet.

2. If you are a law student who is experiencing mental health issues, there are resources out there for you. As reported by Leigh Jones in the National Law Journal, last month “the American Bar Association Law Student Division [launched] a mental health initiative with the goal of helping law students who are battling depression and anxiety.”

Law schools are starting to pay more attention to the mental health of their students. If you need help, you should not hesitate to seek it out.

Further Update: As some commenters note, if you know where this individual goes to law school, the second line of the second email (the one in all caps) may constitute circumstantial evidence that the message is legitimate.
ABA Law Student Group Tackles Depression [National Law Journal]

(hidden for your protection)

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