Biglaw

Departure Memo From Middle Earth Burns The Bridge of Khazad-dûm

Seems like this bridge was fundamentally unsafe to begin with.

Around these parts, we love a good departure memo. But usually they come from people who have spent some time in Biglaw. It generally takes some time for a person to burn into a full-fledged flame-out.

But today we’ve got a guy from New Zealand who managed to start, quit, and burn his career bridges in about four weeks. Impressive.

It’s not a mean note, it’s just… not lawyerly in any way. I’m not sure even elvish magic could reforge this guy’s career….

You know your departure memo is about to go off the rails when you open with lines from Julius Caesar. The “former” associate — we’ll call him Radagast — worked at the firm of Chapman Tripp. He didn’t like it so much:

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears; I come to bury the law, not to praise it… You all did love law once, not without cause: what cause withholds you then to mourn for it?

My journey has been fleeting. It has been fleeting but eye-opening.

My drive is to create and innovate. I cannot follow this passion here.

I wish you all the best in living your passions and I leave you with a limerick:

A young clerk was fed up with the law.
So he packed up and went for the door.
Said his colleagues to him,
“This decision is dim!”
He replied: “You just wait what’s in store!”

Note, this guy was at the firm for four weeks.

Obviously, I have nothing against a person who realizes that a law firm job is not for him. It’s the “create and innovate” line that feels ridiculous. Well, that and the limerick. It’s less Green Dragon and more Tom Bombadil.

But the weirdness doesn’t end there. Here was his out of office reply:

I have grown wings and flown the coop.

For an overview on my ideology, please see: http://grindspaces.com/#ism

Go ahead, click on the link. It contains such witticisms as “more balls, less chains” and “you used to have a job, but we won’t hold that against you.”

Later, our guy sent a more formal “resignation letter.”

Hi team,

I tendered my resignation with Bruce this morning.

It may come as a bit of a shock, me only being four weeks in.

It has nothing at all to do with the team and people with whom I have been working. It is primarily to do with where I want to be in two to five years’ time.

My plan this year is to head over to an innovation hub (most likely Berlin, but potentially the San Fran Bay Area, NYC or London) to drive projects and innovate in the technology sector. Between now and then I have plenty of projects in New Zealand to keep me occupied.

I wish you all the best and I’ll be sure to call when I’m ready to expand to New Zealand.

Kind regards

Going from New Zealand to Germany really has to be like going from the Shire to Mordor. But hey, “innovation hub” sounds like a buzzword!

I’d just caution that sometimes “new” isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. There’s something to be said for a fine chair in a simple law office lodged in a hole in the ground.

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