UPDATE (May 30): Law student responds via YouTube, and shows off his very impressive office.

A law student in Massachusetts is looking for a job. He found a listing on Craigslist to work as a paralegal for a bankruptcy attorney. He applied, got an interview, and got an offer (kind of). But then he got into a spat with the attorney via email, preserved for posterity by The Docket.

The law student interviewed on Monday. On Tuesday, the female attorney sent him a rather candid email:

I have to confess, I am on the fence about offering you a position. This is a thought I had…tell me your thoughts.

The thought was that she would have the law student do a few freelance projects for a month, and if those went well, she would offer him a full-time position. He responded:

I can do any type of Motion, and research. I do not think a 30 day trial period is necessary. I would prefer bring me on full time to show you my capabilities.

That’s really not the right time for a grammatical typo, my law school friend.

In response, the lawyer laid out exactly why she had reservations about him, and wished him “best of luck in [his] job search.” That just made him crankier…

The lawyer wrote:

Well, as you will be a colleague of mine in the very near future, I will be totally honest.

Since her sign off on this email — “Best of luck in your job search.” — indicates she has no plans to hire him, we assume she means “colleague” in the sense that he will be a fellow lawyer in the near future.

The things that caused me pause are:

1. I have checked the rules and with two other attys, your use of “by its attorney” in your pleadings was incorrect. It should be used when you are referencing a company, for an individual, it would be his or her attorney.

2. The nice to meet you email you sent me appeared to be cut and pasted as you wrote, “it was nice to meet you yesterday”. You sent it the same day we met.

3. If you recall, when we first spoke over email, I asked if you would not mind assisting me for five minutes to give me some input on the girl that answered the phone. Turns out the wrong girl answered the phone. When I told you of this, although I hadn’t asked…I would have expected a go
getter to call back and be able to get me the answer I was looking for. A big issue I have here is that people only do what I tell them and nothing more. That was what you did too…and I thought you would have been different…as you will be a colleague soon.

This lawyer scores with her second point, but loses ground with her crazy third point. On that point, the law student responded:

I did not know that I needed to call back numerous times to get on the phone to try to sabotage her employment. However, I will call her tomorrow to let her know about our communications, and what you wanted me to do.

At this juncture, it would likely have been best just to archive the conversation and move on. But the lawyer decided to respond again. Those in small law offices take note:

Wow. Gotta love it when gut feelings are correct. I knew that despite you looking good on paper, there was something I couldn’t put my finger on…

All of my employees are secret shopped all the time. When you have your own office, you will understand that making sure your employees are putting the best face forward for your clients is your top priority. Feel free to have any conversation with her you would like. Everyone in my office is aware of all of my policies and procedures. When you have your own office, you will find that everyone is (for the most part) capable of doing what you tell them. What is very hard to find is someone that thinks outside of the box and can accomplish tasks without you drawing the line of how to get there.

The law student was also incapable of hitting “Archive” on this conversation. They continued going back and forth, with the law student unleashing a torrent of insults. Here are the notable ones:

  • You must be related to Antonin Scalia, because he seems to know it all too.
  • When you said “Wow. Gotta love it when gut feelings are correct. I knew that despite you looking good on paper, there was something I couldn’t put my finger on.” This statement is contradictory, you criticize my “By Its Attorney”, but then say I look good on paper. Make up your mind!
  • If your [sic] not happy with your secretary, then deal with it one on one with her. Why would you think that I or anyone else would want to get involved with your internal affairs. What next? Do you want me to kiss your feet her Royal Highness?
  • It’s amazing that the Ma Bar lets women practice law. Shouldn’t you be home cleaning and raising children? As for your practice, its just Bankruptcy. It’s not difficult, and many Petitioners file pro bono and get discharges.

Female and bankruptcy lawyers, watch out for this one.

A job application gone very, very awry [The Docket]


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