Goodbye

Less demeaning than working in Biglaw?

Do little kids actually threaten to run away and join the circus anymore? Do people still go to the circus anymore? When I think of “circus,” I think of “vaguely mistreated animals and freakish humans objectified for the amusement of the masses.”

Or, if it’s “not that kind of circus,” then I think you are talking about homosexual, ambidextrous French people.

Either way, I’m not thinking of “fun for the whole family,” and I’m certainly not thinking of a place that people run to in order to be free and live beyond society’s rules and prohibitions.

But I’m no longer a Biglaw lawyer. If I was, maybe leaving my job to join the circus would be like living a dream…

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Many fine things can be said about Cleary Gottlieb. It’s prestigious (#8 in the latest Vault rankings). It’s profitable (#10 in the recently released Am Law 100 profit-per-partner rankings). It’s pleasant, known for a nice firm culture.

So what are the downsides of Cleary? Here’s one: the firm might be a bit… boring.

As you can see from our archives, we don’t write that much about Cleary. And when we do, it’s not always exciting stuff — e.g., Cravath-matching bonunses. Yawn.

Well, today we bring you some news about Cleary that might be at least slightly juicy: a mysterious partner departure, and possible stealth layoffs….

UPDATE (2:30 p.m.): Now with an important update, a statement from the partner in question.

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Over the years, we’ve seen some strange and surprising law firm departure memos. They come not just from associates but from partners as well. See, e.g., this famous (or infamous) Skadden partner’s departure memo.

Today we bring you another weird farewell message penned by a partner. It’s strange because it burns bridges in a big way, making all kinds of incendiary allegations against the Am Law 100 firm involved.

You’d think that a leading employment lawyer would show greater discretion on his way out the door. Well, think again….

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I really think this guy is just a troll, but it’s too soon to be funny.

Around here, we love crazy departure memos. Today, we have us a real whooper.

Unfortunately, some guy sent out a crazy, slightly unhinged “renunciation” of his U.S. citizenship to some of his law school classmates just this past Saturday, mere hours after Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, one of the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing, was finally captured. All of a sudden, a dude claiming that he’s going to go into the Florida wilderness and will return as a “revolutionary” sounds less “OMG, look at this crazy law graduate,” and more “Umm, is anybody taking a look at this crazy law graduate?”

I mean, we’re talking about a guy who apparently changed his name to “Augustus Invictus.” So we’re almost certainly talking about some kind of troll. A “too soon” troll, at least I hope….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Kind Of Unhinged Departure Memo That Would Have Been WAY Funnier Before The Marathon Attack”

Oh, I pity the prospective law student who thinks that getting into law school means that he’ll never have to work at Burger King again.

There’s a departure memo going around the internet today — a kid sent a mean (and mildly racist) memo to his colleagues as he ended his employment relationship with Burger King. The kid is going to law school and feels the confidence to end his resignation letter with: “So, consider our bridges burnt.”

Or “flame broiled,” as it were.

But if all he’s got lined up is law school admission, I hope he’s still on good terms with the people at Wendy’s or something….

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The Biglaw grind is not unlike being in Shawshank prison. It involves years of lockdown, with the occasional rooftop beer or comfortable library, interspersed with terrifying conversations that end with a partner saying, “Or am I being obtuse?”, and then locking you in solitary confinement.

After such an experience, everybody deserves a redemption.

Today’s excellent departure memo comes from a former comedian who decided to leave comedy to go into a top Biglaw job. That’s not a joke.

Now, he’d rather be at the bottom of an ocean….

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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….

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Yesterday, we brought you the story of Garrett Waltzer. The former Skadden partner sent around a thrilling departure memo explaining to his colleagues that he was leaving the firm to help the music career of his wife, R&B artist and near-reality show star TaQuita Thorns. If you missed yesterday’s story, I’ll wait here while you catch up.

Yeah, that happened.

So when I say former Skadden partner, boy do I mean “former.” Skadden has already removed his bio from their website. That firm doesn’t play.

But Waltzer is still talking. After yesterday’s story, he opened up a little bit about his personal life to Vivia Chen of The Careerist.

Oh, and I did I mention we’ve got a clip of TaQuita Thorns on her reality show?

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Ed. note: The following piece was authored by The Legal Tease, of Sweet Hot Justice fame. Check out her other musings from Sweet Hot Justice here.

Has your soul winced at all today? The kind of wince that feels like your junk has retreated deep into your abdomen in a way that makes you mostly nauseous… but also a little excited? No? Well, YOU’RE WELCOME, because here’s your chance. Actually, though, don’t thank me — thank a partner at one of Biglaw’s biggest and baddest firms, whose departure memo will leave track marks in your brain for at least the next three days.

Our partner, Garrett Waltzer, started off with the usual sentiments: After 24 years practicing at Skadden, in both Los Angeles and Palo Alto, he’s grateful for the professional opportunities, the terrific mentoring, the millions of dollars friendships he’s made, yada yada yada. Then he starts to tease us:

I have decided to start a new phase of my life. I do not plan to practice law.

Hm. OK. Well, Waltzer, what do you plan to do then? The answers await you after the jump, in what will likely heretofore be known as Chapter 1 of the Mid-Life Crisis Manual handed out to all new associates at Skadden and beyond….

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It’s time to announce the winner of November’s Lawyer of the Month competition. Our five contestants all made the news recently for their deeds of derring-do, be they on the bench on the bike path. As usual, one of them stole the show, both in your votes and in national media coverage.

From Above the Law, to the Huffington Post, to the New York Times, November’s winner rocked the legal profession and caused many to reevaluate their lives — and ultimately, their happiness. As it turns out, sometimes the wonderful world of Biglaw isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Who won the contest this time around?

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