In-House Counsel

In-House Counseling: Alone in a Crowd

woman at window.jpgEd. note: This post is written by Will Meyerhofer, a Biglaw attorney turned psychotherapist, whom we profiled. A former Sullivan & Cromwell associate, he holds degrees from Harvard, NYU Law, and The Hunter College School of Social Work. He blogs at The People’s Therapist.
Last week I did a first session with a typical client – a young lawyer worried about starting at a big firm.
I couldn’t do real psychotherapy with this guy. Some lawyers are like that – they don’t trust anyone enough to open up. It was more like an awkward coaching session. When I tried to explore his feelings, he cut me off and got down to business.
He was fine, he assured me. He’d already decided he was going to take the money. He just wanted some advice. Then he related bad experiences from the summer program, and asked for my take on big firm life.
I suggested ways to maintain emotional insulation from the worst aspects of a big firm. I also proposed that he do psychotherapy, and maybe group psychotherapy, for emotional support while he was there. This didn’t make much of an impression. His mind seemed elsewhere.
He mentioned wistfully that he “wanted to be a writer, but couldn’t make a decent living at it.” I waited for more, but he changed the subject.
Eventually he left my office, and I thought that’s that. I’d never hear from him again – another unhappy lawyer who’d contacted me in a moment of weakness, then retreated back to his cave, alone.
The next day I received an email that pretended to be a thank you, but was really a warning from this guy not to mention his story in my column. It was a curt, condescending note which ended like a law firm letter, with “best regards.” Only a lawyer could write a note like that to a therapist.


I’ve received a few of these threatening notes over the years. I consider them a by-product of working with lawyers.
I know what you’re thinking. Yes, I’m a therapist, and I charge people for my services. And of course I disguise identities in this column to preserve confidentiality. He has a right to send me any letter he wants, and to have his confidentiality preserved.
But there’s a larger issue here. Trust. And sharing. And honesty.
My column, and my work as a psychotherapist, are intended to help people. I work with plenty of patients – most of them non-lawyers – who open up to me and find relief.
It’s always tougher with lawyers. They hesitate to trust anyone. That makes things harder for me – but incalculably harder for them.
Big firm attorneys live in a closet. Inauthenticity is the rule at these firms – it pervades the culture. No one admits what they’re feeling because no one is supposed to trust anyone else. The result is isolation, which exacerbates every other toxic element of that life.
It’s a kind of macho code: Act like you’re doing fine. No matter what.
One of my patients said she broke down in tears last week in the bathroom stall at her firm, after a partner tore into her for some screw-up. She chose the bathroom because of her firm’s “open door policy.” She wasn’t allowed to close her office door for privacy.
I asked her how everyone else at her firm was holding up.
She shrugged.
“Fine, I guess.”
According to her, about two-thirds of the associates were fleeing after three years. I doubt they’re all doing fine.
Lawyers are good at hiding things. Especially how they feel.
Continue reading at The People’s Therapist.

79 comments
(hidden for your protection)

comments sponsored by

Show all comments

79 Responses to “In-House Counseling: Alone in a Crowd”

  1. guest says:

    Jackass for writing about patient’s experience when he specifically asked you not to.

  2. guest says:

    I could have been first but chose to read the entire article before posting. Good writing – I hope ATL keeps this guy.

  3. guest says:

    I can understand ignoring that patient’s request–it made for an excellent article! Keep up the fine work! NOT

  4. guest says:

    I’m a 2L here at HLS and last week I was treated to the most ridiculous over-the-top presentation by a law firm I have ever seen in my year and a half here at HLS. Bingham came to give a presentation on what life is like as an associate in their corporate practice. When we walked into the room we were immersed into an atmosphere that can only be described as a 4 year olds birthday party. There was BM memorabilia spread all around including hats, pens, and signs. After being treated to an introduction by an over energetic rah-rah partner we were given a lesson by another partner on what corporate associates actually do. The partners were so kind as to explain to us terms that they must have assumed were unfamiliar to HLS students such as “corporation”, “venture capital”, and gasp…”IPO”. Students who were able to get the right answers were presented with a raffle ticket which would put them in contention to win BM and Harvard memorabilia at the programs conclusion. The nail in the coffin was a video that was supposed to show what it’s like to work on an M&A deal. This video was filmed with a home video camera and was not professional in any way. You could even hear the camera’s background noise throughout; I almost thought I was watching a snuff film or a drug deal going down on a police camera. I half expected Jigsaw to appear halfway through and ask us if we wanted to play a game. The acting was horrible while at the same time dead on accurate. You had your overweight, douchebag partners, your young, submissive, awkward female associates, and the absence of any minorities whatsoever. The “unscripted” conversations were filled with awkward silences and nervous body language. The “client” was clearly a member of the support staff, as she was too dumb and jolly to possibly be making the “$900 Million Dollar” acquisition they were attempting to describe; unless Bingham really thinks of their clients as dumb, jolly, uneducated middle aged women with hearing issues. As a female entering the legal profession I was particularly offended by the portrayal of the female client and female associates in the video as “ditzy” while the male associates were portrayed as all knowing and responsible for doing the “hard work” like figuring out problems and talking to clients. In my opinion if Bingham wants Harvard kids they should treat us as the adults we are rather than four year olds on the set of a children’s television program and use some of their millions of dollars in revenue to hire a production company to produce their video presentations from now on.

  5. guest says:

    i like these columns but agree with 1. story didn’t add much and violation of patient’s request was rude.

  6. guest says:

    YAY HARVARD!

  7. guest says:

    I’ll never have to deal with this bullshit.
    -Solo Secure

  8. guest says:

    With all due respect, the author of this column seems quite angry at law firms and law firm culture. It seems like this anger comes from his own experiences at his former firm in addition to his patients’ experiences. Perhaps he should attend psychotherapy too?

  9. guest says:

    i would rather the site remain broken than have something like this posted…

  10. guest says:

    There’s no crying in Law Firms! ………. Rule 1.

  11. guest says:

    Agree with 8. However, there is definitely lots of truth in what is said abt big law.

  12. guest says:

    End this worthless column.

  13. guest says:

    “It’s always tougher with lawyers. They hesitate to trust anyone. That makes things harder for me – but incalculably harder for them.”
    You’re certainly doing your part in building that trust, writing about him after he asked you not to.

  14. guest says:

    Do we really consider this such a violation of the request of the patient? It was not really a description of “his story.” A lawyer who won’t open up, is frustrated at work, and wanted to be a writer? That doesn’t exactly winnow the field.
    My biggest problem with the article is there is no real message to it. It simply states lawyers have serious trust issues. So, any advice? Should they rant and rave at the walls? Significant others? Was crying in the bathroom the suggestion?

  15. guest says:

    You, Will Meyerhofer, are a douche!

  16. guest says:

    Meyerhofer, you are very bitter for a therapist. Then again, you are not technically a therapist – you don’t have a Ph.D in psychology or an MD, right? So that’s okay, then.
    Anyway, you are a scumbag for discussing a patient in a column directed to the very industry in which he works. Scumbag. How are people POSSIBLY expected to trust you when the very next day you will exploit their trust for publicity on a gossip blog?
    Do you realize that many psychiatrists have stopped posting anonymous case studies w/o password protection, just to make sure that curious patients don’t google their shrinks and find more of what’s behind the curtain than they are meant to? Here, you do the opposite – you go live on a medium sure to be read by your patients.
    What a fucking disgrace.

  17. guest says:

    4
    Get over yourself
    you mentioned Harvard (or HLS) at least 5 times in your post
    you go to Harvard -we know – you’re special
    firms should be spending major dollars hiring movie stars to make videos in order to convince you to work at their firms
    Did you miss yesterday’s post? From a HLS 3rd year with no offers?? That is your reality sweetheat.
    I will make sure the next time my firm comes to HLS we will have made a “professional” film worthy of your valuable time. I am contacting Brad and Angelina right now to see what their schedules are. Hopefully James Cameron can direct.
    Also, we will have Mont Blanc pens and a professional haberdasher with us to measure your GIANT head for a hat

  18. guest says:

    You, Will Meyerhofer, are a douche!

  19. guest says:

    4
    Get over yourself
    you mentioned Harvard (or HLS) at least 5 times in your post
    you go to Harvard -we know – you’re special
    firms should be spending major dollars hiring movie stars to make videos in order to convince you to work at their firms
    Did you miss yesterday’s post? From a HLS 3rd year with no offers?? That is your reality sweetheat.
    I will make sure the next time my firm comes to HLS we will have made a “professional” film worthy of your valuable time. I am contacting Brad and Angelina right now to see what their schedules are. Hopefully James Cameron can direct.
    Also, we will have Mont Blanc pens and a professional haberdasher with us to measure your GIANT head for a hat

  20. guest says:

    Agree with 13 and others who pointed out that it’s not going to build trust if you talk about someone after he specifically asked you not to do so. Even obliquely.

  21. guest says:

    Any bets on how many times 4 posts her “I went to Harvard” rambling drivel?

  22. guest says:

    Meyerhofer, if it’s so important for you to share your patients’ experiences in a blog, you should get their permission to do so. You are violating the spirit of therapist-patient confidentiality, even if you don’t reveal any patient or law firm names. Maybe your lawyer patients would trust you more if you respected their wishes for privacy.

  23. guest says:

    GIANT douche. Look, buddy, if you can’t respect a patient’s request that you not capitalize on his confidences or your observations about him in your sideline writing gig, even on a no-names basis, then you should not be holding yourself out as a therapist. Flagrantly violating a direct request like that is outrageous and unethical. You sure as hell don’t help with anyone’s “trust issues” by blogging about a therapy session when you were specifically asked not to.
    Plus, I’m sorry your experience at a big firm was so unpleasant for you but you really need to let it go, get some perspective, and realize that people and situations differ and that your brief stint does not give you a great window into how every lawyer feels and what their lives will be like. I’ve been at a big firm for more than a decade now and have never seen the kind of environment you describe. Sure the stress and workload are awful and overwhelming sometimes, but that’s the flip side of the fact that the work is hard and important–and thus fulfilling in its unique way. And my colleagues are wonderful most of the time–just people like you (well, maybe nicer than you) that have made different choices. There are huge downsides to this life but you don’t do your “patients” or readers any favors by being so one-dimensional about it.

  24. guest says:

    17– If you feel that threatened by someone who goes to Harvard, it goes without saying that your law school is a dump.

  25. guest says:

    17– If you feel that threatened by someone who goes to Harvard, it goes without saying that your law school is a dump.

  26. guest says:

    This is an awful column. I even miss what’s-her-face that posted those terrible oversharing articles and that ppl thought was really Lat. Roxanna was good – where is she?

  27. guest says:

    23 FTW

  28. guest says:

    I am struck how Will refers to the folks he counsels as ‘patients’ . He is not a physician. The individuals he counsels are clients. If my accountant refered to me as his patient I would think it odd, and believe me, I need a lot of ‘counseling’ when it comes to my taxes.
    Does Will thinks of his clients as ‘sick’, and is that why he uses the word ‘patient’. I find the use of that word somewhat condensending, considering the milieu in which he finds himself.

  29. guest says:

    will, your columns are very unprofessional. i respect psychologists but these read almost like rants. perhaps on some level you are trying to warn prospective law firm associates and also to comfort those who feel trapped at their current jobs, but your tone does not serve that purpose.
    yes indeed, many law students don’t know what they’re getting into and many more associates are eager to leave. nonetheless, the reality of the situation is that we have debts to pay off and there are so few jobs available right now. most of us recognize how compromised we are and because of the level of debt/family pressure/desire to succeed/etc., and we are trying our best to manage our situations. unless you have practical advice to offer instead of just bitter and accusatory near-screeds, please stop. if those who want to seek help (who, by the way, you recognize have problems trusting people to begin with) realize that this is what their therapist is thinking inside, they will never reach out.

  30. guest says:

    Lawyers are, as a whole, a pretty unhappy group of people. Might certain someones (e.g., 23 and 26) projecting a little bit?

  31. guest says:

    God this site sucks now. HTTP 500 Internal Server breakdowns and all.

  32. guest says:

    I disagree. I worked at biglaw for nine years, and the pressure and culture was nearly unbearable. I had stomach problems, insomnia, panic attacks and serious bouts of depression. It wasn’t until I left biglaw and became an in-house lawyer that I finally felt like myself again. While the training and “prestige” of biglaw are great, the price is too high for many attorneys. I think people are afraid to talk about it with others, for fear that they will appear weak or are the only ones who feel this way.

  33. guest says:

    #4 said “In my opinion if Bingham wants Harvard kids they should treat us as the adults.”
    And in my opinion, if law students want to be treated as adults, they should stop referring to themselves as “kids.”

  34. guest says:

    I disagree. I worked at biglaw for nine years, and the pressure and culture was nearly unbearable. I had stomach problems, insomnia, panic attacks and serious bouts of depression. It wasn’t until I left biglaw and became an in-house lawyer that I finally felt like myself again. While the training and “prestige” of biglaw are great, the price is too high for many attorneys. I think people are afraid to talk about it with others, for fear that they will appear weak or are the only ones who feel this way.

  35. guest says:

    24/25
    I don’t feel “threatened” by HLS students in the least. Especially since I have been out of my “dump” of a law school (T-1) for quie some time and am involved in hiring at my firm, which looks out for the “I WENT TO HLS, (or any T-14) therefore I am super special and you better treat me like the special person my mom says I am” students.
    The level of arrogance/ignorance in Generation Y never fails to amaze/amuse me
    SECURE GEN X

  36. guest says:

    ATL should have posted Will Meyerhofer’s entire column. Mr. Meyerhofer didn’t disclose this particular patient’s story because it is a story common to many of his patients that are lawyers.
    “I’ll probably receive a letter this week from someone complaining I wrote a column about him. You’re so vain. You probably think this column is about you.
    But this column IS about you: all of you. All of you, my fellow lawyers. I listen to unhappy lawyers all week long. Then I receive stern messages commanding me not to tell anyone else what’s going on out there.”

  37. guest says:

    As a recovering lawyer (no longer practicing) who has done a lot of therapy, I think Meyerhofer has some helpful observations about law firm life. But it is totally inappropriate for him to violate the express wishes of his patients who ask for complete confidentiality. He can still write effectively in generalities without talking about what a specific patient said to him in a therapy session. Meyerhofer goes even further, mocking those lawyers who send him “do not blog about me” emails. A therapist is supposed to be sensitive to the patient’s feelings, not ridicule them.

  38. guest says:

    Lawyers are, as a whole, a pretty unhappy group of people. Might certain someones (e.g., 23 and 26) projecting a little bit?

  39. guest says:

    24/25
    I don’t feel “threatened” by HLS students in the least. Especially since I have been out of my “dump” of a law school (T-1) for quie some time and am involved in hiring at my firm, which looks out for the “I WENT TO HLS, (or any T-14) therefore I am super special and you better treat me like the special person my mom says I am” students.
    The level of arrogance/ignorance in Generation Y never fails to amaze/amuse me
    SECURE GEN X

  40. guest says:

    Will,
    I’m going to help you out by teaching you a basics about therapy:
    –Patients can’t handle interpretations. If your sessions resemble “coaching sessions,” then you are doing it wrong.
    –Good therapists work through treatment destructive resistances. If your patient leaves, then you failed.
    –CHECK YOU COUNTERTRANSFERENCE.
    –Your post indicates a need to gratify yourself, not help your patient. You’re sort of like the overbearing parent who drives her kid to be a miserable hot-shot lawyer so she can feel smug. CHECK YOU MALPRACTICE INSURANCE.
    No need to thank me. Also, I’m reporting your confidentiality violations to the state.
    Signed,
    A real therapist

  41. Partner Emeritus says:

    The People’s Therapist? Who appointed this hack with that title? Was it Commissar Obama? If Obamacare proposes to pay for services that are rendered by this hack aka “The People’s Therapist,” then we are already a third world nation.
    This author is not a professional as he disregards his own patient’s requests. The best advice I can give this hack and his patients is: Grow a pair and stop complaining. The old guard had it worse.

  42. guest says:

    Will,
    Your undeservedly outsized sense of self-regard has blined you entirely to a simple fact evident from reading anything you’ve written on this website: you are unequivocally an awful human being. What is comical is that you will read this, process it through the powerful tools of discernment you learned by getting graduate degree in nonsense coupled with your innate ability to know what is morally correct and think, no, I am a good person who helps others. But you’re as wrong as your mommy and daddy were when they told you how wonderful and special and better you were than all the other little boys and girls. You are a self absorbed and unethical con artist using this website as an adjunct to a crass money-making venture dressed up as some sort of service to the world you are in fact completely ill-suited and unqualified to perform. Go die in a fire.
    Love,
    Mom

  43. guest says:

    Thanks 40. As someone who enjoyed a wonderful relationship with a real therapist for 7 years (and became for that a much better, happier person), I very much appreciate you calling this guy out for being a fucking hack. Your comments are dead-on.

  44. guest says:

    “You are a self absorbed and unethical con artist using this website as an adjunct to a crass money-making venture dressed up as some sort of service to the world you are in fact completely ill-suited and unqualified to perform. Go die in a fire.”
    QFT

  45. guest says:

    I don’t think that post violates anyone’s privacy…all identifying issues have been removed. Physicians frequently discuss cases in this manner without obtaining consent. I also think that this is a valuable column and well worth keeping on the site.
    As to some of the nastier and and more biting sarcasm and cynicism in the comments: if anything this shows just how insightful and relevant Meyerhoffer’s critique of the legal community is. The snark merely proves his point.

  46. guest says:

    A potential new lawyer comes to you about advice about how to deal with a stressful work environment he’s entering, and your advice is for him to continue talking to you (at $200 an hour.)
    I suppose lawyers are among the last people qualified to call someone out for saying that the solution to your problems is to give me more money, but really?

  47. guest says:

    I bet next he gets a degree to be an analyst in addition to his therapist training, making him the world’s first ever analrapist.
    Then he’d be totally qualified to work with lawyers.

  48. guest says:

    This is fake. Just like Roxana’s posts and my time entries.

  49. guest says:

    This is why people hate therapists.

  50. guest says:

    49 – Bad therapists and good therapists out there. Just like bad lawyers and good lawyers.

  51. guest says:

    I am relieved at 40’s comment, even if he or she doesn’t act on it. I am definitely NOT a therapist but I can’t imagine that any decent professional would so blatantly violate a patient’s trust by writing a column about them (that they will likely read, no less!) after that patient specifically requested you not do so. So what if the patient remains anonymous to readers of a blog–what about the patient, reading this column? If it isn’t an ethical violation, surely it’s bad practice and a sign you’re not actually in this for them, but for yourself.

  52. guest says:

    krist you whinny little shits, get overyourselves.
    no name was used. wtf? confidentiality intact – the rest is all just BS and inference.
    and i’ve about had it with PE. you sir, are a total douchebag. yea, i get the bit, you profess to be the PE but are probably something else. this is proven as your comments reak of insecurity and hint at the desire for privilege and the trappings about which you obviously can just speculate. I do have advice for you, though: if you stop jerking off, you might gain some self esteem and eventually act like less of a twat.
    lawfirms, particularly biglaws, are toilents. full stop. everyone knows that going in, yet complain when they arrive and have confirmation hit them in the face. blogs such as these consist in large part of bilge that is really group venting/whinning. so, in fact kiddies, you are all seeking a form of psychotherapy – albeit informal and anonymous.
    if you were all so smart and elite, you sure as hell would NOT be lawyers. THAT is all.

  53. guest says:

    51 – how does the troll bait taste

  54. guest says:

    I’m a real therapist turned lawyer. This article was a real violation of professional ethics, which for a therapist are quite different from confidentiality or privilege for an attorney. This guy has now sent a signal to all of his clients that he may or may not choose to honor their requests for privacy. More importantly, this is a really judgmental approach to not only this client, but other lawyers struggling with emotions vs. logic, practicality vs. risk, and most importantly, TRUST! Great way to get lawyer clients to open up to this guy is to break trust himself. Terrible, terrible move. I would not send anyone to this guy.

  55. guest says:

    I’m a real therapist turned lawyer. This article was a real violation of professional ethics, which for a therapist are quite different from confidentiality or privilege for an attorney. This guy has now sent a signal to all of his clients that he may or may not choose to honor their requests for privacy. More importantly, this is a really judgmental approach to not only this client, but other lawyers struggling with emotions vs. logic, practicality vs. risk, and most importantly, TRUST! Great way to get lawyer clients to open up to this guy is to break trust himself. Terrible, terrible move. I would not send anyone to this guy.

  56. guest says:

    This guy isnt a real psychologist or psychiatrist, hes just a social worker. He doesn’t have a phd, md or even a psyd. The articles should be titled: “bitter lawyer turned social-worker pretends to be a psychologist”

  57. guest says:

    What the heck is wrong with this website. Lately it does not connect about 80% of the time.

  58. guest says:

    I posted this on his blog, but am reposting here in case it doesn’t make it through the mod queue:
    I really think it is inappropriate for you to share the story of someone who specifically told you not to. My therapist would never do that. I am open with people about going to see a therapist, particularly because I think it encourages other people who need help to realize it is okay to get it, that someone who they view (well, probably, since these are my friends) as pretty with it is willing to get help.
    But what details to share and with whom about my therapy is up to me. She did ask, and I did give her, permission to share something I had told her in session as long as she anonymized it.
    Since trust is so important, you should earn that trust by respecting peoples’ confidence. If your patients aren’t opening up to you, maybe it is because you aren’t giving them enough time, and are jumping in too soon with recommendations. Actually, how the hell do I know, I haven’t been in session with you. But all the same, you really shouldn’t break confidence, particularly when people ask you not to. It would be another thing to broadly talk about lawyers being obsessed with confidentiality, and not opening up, and pretending everything is fine, but when you personalize the posting down to the signature line (yeah, we all use that, but some person/people reading your blog will probably feel the shock of recognition/betrayal), it at least creates the impression that you are violating confidentiality. Which may harm your practice. And it should.

  59. guest says:

    I was really into your first few columns, Will. But I can’t quite understand why you would so blatantly abuse the confidence your patient showed in you by publishing this against his wishes…even if the specific details are changed.
    While I agree that inauthenticity and a lack of trust plague the profession, the alternative extreme in which you, as a therapist, force a patient’s private struggles onto a public blog against his wishes seems even more harmful. I really am shocked you would do that, since you could have made your point without pissing your client off.
    I really wanted to believe you had the right perspective on the unhealthy law firm lifestyle. But after reading this last post, it seems that you lack the very trust needed to be a lawyer…or a therapist.

  60. guest says:

    I don’t even believe the story. This guy’s write-ups are all the same. He wrote the exact same story regarding another associate a few weeks back. Lame.

  61. guest says:

    WAAAAA!!! I have to work at a new firm and my Mommy hasn’t sewn my name in all my HLS swag – that’s Harvard Law School for you too dumb to acknowledge me. All the other kids will try to steal it from me, thereby depriving me of my ability to show everyone where I came from. Even worse, if my name isn’t in on all my HLS swag, someone else may doubt my special place in the sun, right where my Mommy has always told me that I should be. I may even have to go cry it out in the bathroom because without my HLS swag, they may mistake me for a common person and not one deserving of all the love and attention my Mommy told me I should get. Even worse, that bathroom may be one used by the commoners I work with, even (gasp) support staff. My HLS swag should entitle me to have a private bathroom to cry about the persecution I may face at my new job due to my innate superiority over everyone as proven by my LSAT score, a test that proves who really is the best of all humanity. WAAAAA!
    WAAAA! ATL’s server won’t post this fast enough and therefore some lowlife attorney who didn’t go to HLS will keep me from telling the world about issues that matter to me.WAAAA!
    WAAA! The guy from duplicaiton dared to make eye contact with me. Nobody publically flogged him. WAAA!
    WAAAA! Did I mention that I went to HLS? WAAAA!

  62. guest says:

    “Sure the stress and workload are awful and overwhelming sometimes, but that’s the flip side of the fact that the work is hard and important–and thus fulfilling in its unique way. ”
    I don’t think this work is “hard [or] important at all.” Seems to be just a lot of paper pushing.

  63. guest says:

    32 – that describes my experience to a T.
    40 — good for you. Even if Meyerhofer didn’t divulge the patient’s name, etc., the patient DID ask Meyerhofer not to use his story, and Meyerhofer went ahead and used his story anyway. Bad move.
    and 61 — that is freakin’ HILARIOUS!!

  64. guest says:

    62 – Do you “represent victims”?

  65. guest says:

    4: paragraphs, pls, thx.

  66. David Saint Hubbins says:

    At my firm, the open door policy extends to include bathroom stall doors.

  67. guest says:

    The therapist should not have posted the story in his column even if technically he did not violate any confidences. Even if the note was rude and condescending he should have respected the wishes of his patient and not discussed it. It seems like his patient’s trust issues were fully justified here. Bottom line – law firm life sucks…this guy’s column illuminates nothing.

  68. guest says:

    4: paragraphs, pls, thx.

  69. guest says:

    Dear ATL Editors,
    It is clear from the comments to this and many other posts that your readership is comprised of unsophisticated, rude and misguided individuals. I question the mental health of your readers and wonder whether you, the editors of this site, bear any responsibility for their words. At the very least, I think that you might do more to encourage your readers to develop a sense of professionalism, decorum and respect for themselves. I appreciate the work you editors are doing, but I am troubled by the fact that your work is so closely followed by, and therefore attracts, such malcontents. Alternatively, I think that your site would benefit from closing comments altogether. I know that I am not supposed to read the comments if I don’t like them, but every time you post something interesting, I am compelled to see what people think about the post. However, when I review the comments following such a post, I am almost always let down. The one or two posts that are insightful are so hard to reach because of all of the garbage posted above and below. It has come to the point where I often wish to refer an article on this site to a colleague, but I do not do so because I am embarrassed at how the comments will reflect upon me as the referring individual. So, ATL, consider closing the comments in order to open up your market share to more intelligent people.
    And for all of you law students posting about how wrong it was for this post to disclose generalized facts about a patient, I would like to give you a lesson for free. You see, when you work at a law firm, you will need to become familiar with a procedure called “redacting.” Lawyers and members of the professions often do this to protect the identity and confidences of a client thereby enabling them to communicate general facts and patterns to interested parties or the public.
    -Concerned Lawyer

  70. guest says:

    Whiny bastrds who go see guys like this to complain about life in BigLaw are either (1) completely naieve for not realizing what they were getting into for the high salary they are making or (2) weak. Pussies them all, much like this guy, and they deserve each other.
    Respect to him for capitalizing on these dumb, weak, self-entitled bastards though.

  71. guest says:

    69 – you’ve obviously never been to a therapist, otherwise you would recognize what Meyerhofer did was a breach of the patient-therapist relationship…and those of us who do aren’t law students

  72. guest says:

    66 FTW.

  73. guest says:

    69-
    I don’t think you fully grasp the issue at hand. This isn’t about the patient remaining anonymous to others. It’s about the therapist maintaining a trusting relationship with the client he is trying to help. Posting the story has irrevocably broken that trust. The client will now, at best, go elsewhere. At worst, he will never trust another therapist again. In other words the Therapist has failed his client in a most spectacular fashion.

  74. guest says:

    Why Iawyers do not trust therapists:
    Lawyers seek help, financial, medical, or emotional, expecting the professional they hire to identify the problem and propose a series of alternative solutions to rectify the situation and return to an ex ante state of affairs.
    Therapists look at “patients” like science projects and rubix cubes. They don’t really listen; they don’t offer solutions; all they offer is endless sessions exploring your childhood feelings and other B.S. so they can give you some made up psycho babble “label.”
    I don’t want to pay someone hundreds and hour just to talk and have them keep asking “how do you feel?” It doesn’t take a PhD to figure out why lawyers are pissed off, depressed, paranoid, and anxious.
    Attorneys want to know how to get through a day at court without puking during recess and how to go to sleep at night without downing a bottle of jack. Instead, you tell us we secretly want to bang our mothers.
    Therapists are a friggen joke, frauds, and serve no useful purpose.

  75. guest says:

    74,
    Maybe try CBT or a more solutions-oriented therapy. My therapist is big on working out strategies to deal with whatever negative state of affairs I am facing. Yeah, she asks the “how do you feel” questions, but it is to make sure I’m not so caught up in everyone else’s feelings that I forget to think about how everything negative is impacting me, and as a result, what actions I want to take.

  76. guest says:

    75: 74 doesn’t want to see a therapist. You weren’t listening.
    74: Please keep it up. You are doing a good job of expressing yourself.

  77. guest says:

    76,
    My point was that the problems 74 is pointing to are not inimical to all threapy. I am guessing 74 went to a therapist was unhappy; and based on his/her complaint, I am suggesting that other sorts of therapy might be more satisfying.
    -75

  78. guest says:

    This post was supposed to be an invitation to start an open and honest discussion of what makes lawyers unhappy. Enough people have mentioned the confidentiality thing. Now let’s get to the heart of the issue…

  79. guest says:

    Hi Will.
    I noticed you copied my post (#40) to your blog, the People’s Therapist.
    I did not post to your blog. I’d like you to delete my post from your blog. Thank you.
    –Someone who truly cares about suffering lawyers

Leave a Reply

Our Sites

  • Above the Law
  • How Appealing
  • ATL Redline
  • Breaking Defense
  • Breaking Energy
  • Breaking Gov
  • Dealbreaker
  • Fashonista
  •