Oh my, I can’t believe a major legal publisher is selling cheap-looking plaques for hilariously useless achievements. Actually, I can totally believe it.

I’ve never bought into the idea that lawyers need “credibility trophies.” Lawyers who festoon their offices with scores of plaques come across as desperate. Lots of plaques commemorate dubious achievements, and any colleague or client given a few minutes to examine the decoration will discover this and wonder, “Why did he/she hang this?” But sadly, much of the profession ascribes to the “plaques for plaques’ sake” mentality.

If an office must be adorned with memorabilia of legal achievement, frame the law school diploma, bar admission certificate(s), and any major achievements like being president of the bar association or something. These provide all the indicia of achievement a lawyer needs.

And nothing says “plaques for plaques’ sake” like a redundant plaque. Like a plaque that says, “If you didn’t notice the diploma on the other wall, this certifies that he REALLY did go to Harvard.”

But these plaques exist, and we’ve got pictures…

Lexis and Martindale offer a series of “Anniversary” plaques to commemorate the anniversary of being admitted to the bar. Except… there are already nice certificates to convey that lawyers are admitted. So these plaques just let casual observers know that five years have passed since the CLEARLY DATED admissions certificate.

Here’s an example of a ten-year anniversary plaque that Lexis is hawking (identity of the recipient blanked out; click to enlarge):

The oath that just fades away is a nice touch. It’s like the plaque was trying to say something and even it got bored with itself.

Plaque: I do solemnly swear… You know what? Screw it. No one’s even reading this anyway. I’m just going to fade out and hope no one notices.

Lexis and Martindale also offer plaques for later anniversaries. I kind of get the 45-year plaque since the original bar admission certificate has probably faded “Dead Sea Scroll”-style by now, but anything less is just toolish.

But the anniversary series doesn’t hold a candle to their other decorative offering: Your Martindale Profile. On a plaque! Again, I’ve blacked out obvious identifying information (click to enlarge):

Don’t trust the framed Columbia diploma. You didn’t graduate from Columbia until Martindale-Hubbell says you graduated from Columbia!

Seriously, don’t be that guy.

Oh, and if you are going to be that guy, here’s where you can go to get your plaque.


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