Departure Memo of the Day: Leaving Is Its Own Reward

Saying goodbye, why is it sad, makes us remember the good times we’ve had.

We love Biglaw departure memos. It’s so much fun to take a glimpse into the mind of somebody who is on their way out of the Biglaw racket.

Sure, we like the epic ones. And we even like the quirky ones that hint at a future full of adventures.

One thing we don’t see a lot of are the unabashedly positive ones. That makes some sense. If you loved your Biglaw job that much, you wouldn’t leave. But there are people who unabashedly enjoyed their time in the trenches of Biglaw.

Today we have a guy who laid down a glowing rhetorical flourish as he exited stage right….

After reading this memo from a departing Milbank associate, I can only hope that he’s moving on to teach legal writing at a law school near you:

Dear Milbank family:

Though words will surely fail to capture the entire of a man’s thoughts and emotions at the moment he sheds an old skin and prepares for the adventure that awaits, he is resolute that they will offer some glimpse into his mind and heart, as he recounts the memories in vivid definition and as he considers the connections, like ribbons of great light, that fasten him to you.

He was proud to be a lawyer at Milbank – yet still wishing he could have given an even better part of himself than he did. For, as it is said, what one relinquishes of himself to someone, something, some cause, some organization – he will be rewarded with a bounty tenfold of that which he bestowed. He learned from such amazing mentors and guides during his time at Milbank – men and women whose constitutions was so well formed and whose direction rang so deep and so true – that if he and they had instead met in some dark and ancient land, eons ago, he would have still trusted their guidance as proper and would have followed their lead unwaveringly.

Are we being trolled here? Then again, I guess a Biglaw paycheck is a pretty large bounty:

He experienced cerebral challenges that fired synapses into areas of his mind that he had never known existed. He toiled, at times, to the point of exhaustion, arguing against his body’s desire to rest with a reasoning that there was some greater prosperity than for himself, some higher good that was being achieved through his work. He knew emotions of such searing power though this job: anger, like the blue coals under a blazing conflagration, elation, at accomplishing in mere hours what might take a lesser man days, and every other sentiment in between and under the sun. Until at last, and perhaps all along, his spirit swam in a cool equanimity – earned confidence, blessed serenity and a fresh breath of peace.

Maybe you are that man or that woman. Maybe some of what I have experienced here at Milbank is the same as what you have abided by – just seen through different eyes or encountered through different bodies.

But for sure, I am that man described above, made better each day from the influences that you have had upon me. If one million angels sang a chorus of praise from the peaks of the Himalayas, it might just begin to match the gratitude that I have for you all.

You may find me again in our futures, perhaps by chance, perhaps by destiny or perhaps by design – I welcome it all….

Having done the best that I could do, I bid you farewell.


“Love”? This guy signed his departure memo “love”?? Can I have some of that Milbank Kool-Aid?

I want to believe that this guy is giving Milbank the thinly veiled finger. “If one million angels sang a chorus of praise from the peaks of the Himalayas, it might just begin to match the gratitude that I have for you all.” Come on! That’s the “not burning bridges” way of saying, “To the last, I grapple with thee; From Hell’s heart, I stab at thee; For hate’s sake, I spit my last breath at thee.”

That’s got to be what he’s saying. Right?

I dunno, Biglaw experiences may vary. Maybe other Milbank associates can speak up and tell us that the firm really is this great.

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP [Above the Law Career Center Profile]

(hidden for your protection)

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