the lawyer writer

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Friday, February 25, 2005

Crown Whore

To the surprise of no one who knows me, I have realized I am a crown-whore. (Mother--it's not what you think, and I told you not to read this blog!) Tiara's, crowns, hell, anything sparkly on my head--I'm there. Last night, at the Little Gray Book Lectures, a crown was given to the Queen of President's Day. This is precisely the kind of thing I look down upon, until the Queen decided she had to leave early and for some reason (I must have that "give me crown" kind of face) she gave me her crown. I pooh-poohed until it was on my head, and after that the world became my royal court. If they had crowns in law firms I'd still be there. They did give me a coffee mug and a glass paper weight at various points. I assume that these were to build moral, but I think a crown would have worked much better.

At the firm I was at, I knew I was very much a small cog in a large and complicated and very boring machine. From the very beginning, I knew I was extremely replaceable, and there were things that people were saying that I should have taken as warning signs. Like that five day training session which explained nothing about how to spot a "key document." (Which, coincidentally, is what I spent the next two years trying to figure out). Or the partner who advised junior associates to become the "go-to" associates when it comes to the minutae in documents. "You want to be able to find any piece of paper before the partner even thinks about it." Um....okay. That's worth the three years of law school. Or the fact that secretaries were considered their own little universe that no one seemed to care about. What do we ask secretaries to do? What if they say "That's not my job?" What if you know you can do it faster--do you still have to give it to them so the other associates don't gossip about how you can't delegate? And what about all those so-called senior associates who pretended that they knew EXACTLY what those bizarre financial papers meant--but wouldn't tell me? (presumably so I could have the thrill of discovery myself?)

Ah, the firm. All this would have been solved with a nice tiara. With a tiara, the secretary would do what I asked, whatever it was, and the partner would be forced to get his own documents. Or maybe I would have done it, but I would have felt better about it. I would have felt, sigh, special.

1 Comments:

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2:20 AM  

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