Holiday Parties

For those that have clients and spend their days surrounded by real people, I have some advice about year-end planning. I don’t care if you do or do not do any of this stuff, I can only tell you that it’s what I do and have done for years. Obviously, if you are part of the (“man, I hope all these idiot consultants are right”) future of law, much of it won’t apply to you.

If you’ve made some money this year, meet with your accountant.

One of my recent posts here was about my relationship with my accountant. I hope you have one, and I hope you set a lunch or meeting in your office or coffee shop in the next two weeks to discuss year-end tax planning. Next spring is a bad time to learn that you could have done some things to save yourself having to pay Uncle Sam more money. (By the way, for those of you getting a refund, you have bigger problems.)

If you’re not desperate for cash and you have clients that owe you money, consider telling them to pay in January.

What lawyer does this? You Biglaw folks have to try and collect before year’s end, so that leaves us small guys to give early Christmas gifts to our clients by telling them, yes, you will have money for that flat-screen you can’t afford, just pay your bill by January 15. Trying to get money out of clients during the holidays (read: after Thanksgiving) just makes you the one that is crushing the client’s mellow. Plus, relevant to point one here, you’ll be able to decrease your income for 2012….

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Roland Davenport

There aren’t that many really good Santas.

Roland Davenport, a Michigan solo practitioner, commenting on the sad state of Santa Claus couture during the holiday season. Davenport, who attended what he calls “the Harvard of Santa Claus schools,” has been dressing up as Santa and performing at holiday parties for the past eight years.

Davenport’s real, white beard and $750 red suit are considered prestigious by the competition, and his Santa retainer reflects it.

I trust that after last week’s column, all my small-firm spinsters are well on their way to finding meaningful, romantic relationships with their co-workers (read: New Year’s Eve booty calls). After waking up at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, I realized that I forgot to suggest one guaranteed way to meet your small-firm suitor: the office party.

While Tannebaum may hate the office holiday party, I believe that it is one of the main — if not most important — reasons to work for a small firm. Or, for that matter, to be a law firm lawyer at all. Indeed, I may be drowning in debt come graduation, but at least I will be able to drink cheap boxed wine with a rainmaking partner once a year. It is worth the investment. (Take that, Wall Street Journal.)

As much I love me a holiday party, however, I do believe there are certain rules one must follow. I cannot promise that I observe these rules myself, but as the saying goes, those who cannot do, teach. And with that, here is a guide for how to behave at the office party….

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Just in case the giant ad bar at the top of the site wasn’t a good enough reminder about the Above the Law holiday party, I’m here to give you all of the details again. This shindig is being sponsored by our friends at Practical Law Company, and our fabulous event is going to be held tomorrow, November 30, at Bar 29. Bar 29 is located at 29th and 3rd, and the open bar will run from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Please RSVP below. I mean really, why wouldn’t you want to come? You’ll get to meet all of the ATL editors, including Lat (who I need to consult with about my shoes), Elie (who may or may not be wearing pants), and me (I’m still picking out my outfit). And trust me, we all know how to party.

Please let us know if you’ll be there. We’re going to have a great time, and we know you will, too!

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As we told you last week, the Above the Law holiday party is going to be held on November 30th at Bar 29. The bar is located at 29th and 3rd, and the open bar runs from 6:00-9:00 p.m. The party is sponsored by our friends at Practical Law Company — you might remember them from yesterday’s article about training alternatives for students who graduate from law school with few practical skills.

Please RSVP below. We’re trying to get a sense of our numbers. If it’s a smaller, more intimate gathering, I’ll show up in my usual blogging attire of a black robe and a badass medallion like Caiaphas. If there are a bunch of you coming, I’ll have to shave and put on a shirt or something.

Let us know if you are coming. It should be a fun time.

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In fairness, Mariah Carey does fill out a Santa suit better than I do.

Last night, we gave you a little recap of the ATL holiday party — if you will forgive the expression — that PLC and ELR Search sponsored. Wow. Some of you commenters are really mean, especially after Kash takes out a restraining order against you. Your clever use of ouchy words really did a number on us here at ATL. I had to use my orbital ass to block out the moon last night to keep Ami from turning into a werewolf. I thought everybody would be over it by morning, but when I came in Marin was using a size 4 sweater as a full sleeping bag and our CEO was selling off Breaking Media equipment on Ebay while screaming “No, not again, I’ll not be ruined the internet bubble a second time!”

Just kidding — we know you say these things out of love, the love the rest of polite society denies you because of your various deformities. Pitiful commenters of darkness, what kind of life have you now? God give me courage to show you, You are not alone.

In fairness, there was only one comment last night that really pissed me off. It was the first one: “If you attended this you are a LOSER and need to GET A LIFE.” Really buddy? Coming out for free drinks and free food on a random Wednesday, if you read a blog — a blog you yourself read so intently that you are FIRST to comment on it — makes you a “LOSER.” Really?

Whatever. Winners, a class of people I think “Guest” knows nothing about, should be able to come and hang out at the humble holiday party thrown by a blog they read if they want to.

And then they should also be able be wined and dined at a proper holiday party, thrown by their employers. And employer-sponsored holiday parties, especially when the employers are large law firms, should be so extravagant that “Guest” gets paid time-and-a-half to serve drinks while successfully breathing through his nose instead of his mouth.

Were they? Or was this yet another year of recession-affected law firm holiday parties?

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