Douchebags

It’s like this except with no smiling and everyone secretly resenting each other.

We’re just deep enough into the school year for law students to feel out their fellows and pop the question about forming a study group. And most law students will join some study group reflexively because it’s “just what you do.” But study groups aren’t so much about responsible preparation as much as an excuse to summon a perverse Voltron of collective neuroses. You’re probably going to end up with the same grade you’d have gotten if you studied on your own, but now you have a handful of other, possibly otherwise reasonable wrecks bombarding you with all the fears and insecurities you weren’t even thinking about.

The Paper Chase provided the gold standard of awful study groups. Backstabbing, withholding study aids, and a weird fascination with the word “pimp.”

At least until now….

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Everyone knows that making law review is a major accomplishment in law school. When faced with a dismal job market, it’s a résumé line that may get your foot in the door. Being published on law review is an entirely different ball game. You’ll get offers everywhere you apply, and your grandma will be able to tell all of her friends you wrote part of a book. Everyone loves you and the world is good. Hooray!

Making and being published in a law journal outside of your law school’s flagship law review is still pretty cool. It’s still kind of a big deal, but not as big of a deal as this law student would have you think…

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How our original tipsters felt.

Yesterday we shared with you a controversial firm-wide email sent by a fairly senior partner at Kirkland & Ellis. After receiving too many “requests for information” that he viewed as a waste of his (and everyone else’s) valuable time, corporate partner Kenneth Morrison fired off a firm-wide response that made fun of three offending messages and offered guidance for future RFIs.

The K&E sources who shared Morrison’s message with us disapproved of it. They viewed it as a share partner essentially engaged in cyberbullying of junior colleagues, publicly humiliating them before the entire firm.

But some folks disagreed — including, for example, many commenters on yesterday’s story. And since then, we’ve heard directly from multiple people, both at Kirkland and outside of it, who support Ken Morrison’s email. Let’s hear what the members of #TeamMorrison have to say, shall we?

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When it comes to annoying emails, deletion is often the better part of valor. Some irritating emails, such as ones from opposing counsel or clients, might require a response. But if you receive an annoying email that does not require a response, don’t respond. Simply delete (or archive) the offending message.

There’s no need to be a hero. There’s no need to publicly call out the sender for being annoying. If you have a burning desire to complain, shoot the sender a private email.

But look, this is just my personal opinion. One equity partner at a super-elite law firm apparently disagrees. After receiving three annoying firm-wide emails, he sent a firm-wide response aimed at chastising and humiliating the senders. In the end, though, he may have humiliated himself most of all….

(Please note the UPDATES below; the partner in question has his defenders.)

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Cleary Gottlieb switched over from “summer casual” to all-year business casual between my summer and starting full-time, so I never experienced a mandatory business attire office. Some senior folks would kvetch about the falling standard of decorum, but I suspected those guys were really just annoyed that they’d built a truly impressive suit collection and sat idly by as their wife started letting the tailor needle her, and for what? Younger lawyers rejoiced because not having to blow out a suit collection amounted to a functional bonus. I never experienced the full-on business dress policy, but personally, I could never imagine wearing business attire every day if for no other reason than business attire isn’t really conducive to the 18-hour workday.

More than a decade into the business casual movement, there are still holdouts demanding a return to the formality of the good old days. The problem with all these irritated partners is it’s not really possible to preach business attire without looking like a tool….

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Getting placed on a law school admissions wait list can be traumatizing if you overthink it. The admissions officers thought you were good, but not quite good enough. They’re waiting to see if they’re desperate enough to allow a simpleton like you to become a member of the entering class. You could be in law school limbo for weeks, or even months.

Imagine how devastating it would be to receive a rejection letter after languishing on a wait list for what seemed like eons, hoping and praying that this would be the school to accept you. Imagine how vindictive you’d be if you were under the impression your application had been guaranteed special consideration. Imagine what it would be like to exact your revenge upon another cruel admissions dean, as you’ve done so masterfully in the past.

Keep reading if you want to see how to weasel your way from a rejection to an acceptance by making veiled threats of impending litigation….

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Orange is the new black.

For most people, sartorial elegance and automotive excellence equals legal expertise.

Stuart V. Goldberg, a criminal defense attorney who takes pride in his appearance by wearing Tom Ford suits and carrying Louis Vuitton briefcases. Goldberg also pays extra to park his Rolls Royce Phantom, Bentley, or Lamborghini across several parking spaces near the local courthouse.

(A picture of Goldberg’s silver Bentley, which features some incredibly gauche vanity plates that read “RNMAKER,” was presented without comment on our sister site, Dealbreaker, last summer.)

Law school rejection letters have been sent to even the best of us, and most are quick to pick up their bruised egos and call it a day. But there are others out there who are unable to move on with their lives. Their dreams have been crushed, and they want nothing more than to exact revenge against the admissions dean who destroyed their imagined future in the only way they know how: by pointing out the dean’s grammatical and typographical errors in the rejection letter itself, and in other academic works found online.

If you’re wondering what correspondence like that would look like, wonder no more, because we got our hands on it, and boy, is it entertaining…

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Social media is a blessing and a curse. On the plus side, it allows people to share news and easily keep in touch with friends and family. That’s good.

It also allows tools to broadcast their douchebaggery to an even larger audience at the speed of light. That’s bad.

And it allows someone else to create a fake profile and rip that tool anonymously. That’s very good for this site in particular. For instance, now we can debate and ask you to take a reader poll below….

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It says something about you to be labeled as the biggest jerk at Harvard Law School. The school runs on jerks the way Smurfs run on berries. To be universally recognized as the biggest jerk in your class requires an amazing commitment to inhumanity. Think about it: I’m a pretty big jerk, but was I the biggest jerk at HLS while I was there? Please. Kiwi Camara, come on down.

A GQ article by Jason Zengerle yesterday just lit up Ted Cruz over his history of being a giant a$$hole that nobody likes. Josh Marshall from Talking Points Memo, whose wife was at HLS with Cruz, added to the reporting, calling Cruz an “AASS,” which stands for “A$$hole, Arrogant, Super Smart.”

I think a quarter of the HLS class are decent humans who are just trying to get through law school with minimal stress and drama. These are the people who are out there in the world doing good stuff and when somebody says, “Did you know so-and-so went to Harvard?” you’re surprised because they’re such regular, well-adjusted people. A full 50% of the class are impressionable sorts who can access their inner jerk at a moment’s notice. They think they’re decent people with a “dark side,” but actually they’re jerks who don’t have the strength of personality to pull it off all the time. These are the future Biglaw partners of the world.

The last quarter of the class is actively in pursuit of being an AASS. This odious group might go into law or politics or media. They certainly interview with Skadden, but otherwise they don’t last long in Biglaw because they can’t spend 10 years with nobody listening to them. You never for a second do not know which law school they attended.

I think we all know which group I fall into, but my point is that this last group, tallest midgets all, should get its own award named after Ted Cruz…

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