22 June 2006

The Inside Joke: Anonymous Lawyer

Book rating scale:

5: Touched by God - a work which makes Shakespeare look infantile
4: Amazing - Instantly began rereading it and quoting it to friends
3: Worth Every Penny - a solid, interesting read, inspiring some thought and discussion with people who share similar interests
2: I Paid For It So I Finished Reading It - Some interesting parts but if I lose the book I'm not buying another copy
1: Couldn't Force My Way Thru and Burnt the Book in order to send it to the Hell it deserves

I rate Anonymous Lawyer as a 3. It's too much of an inside joke for anyone outside of the law community to get it.

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If you've been reading blawgs for a while you probably read some of Anonymous Lawyer. When it first started people were insanely obsessed with it. It wasn't unusual to see several hundred comments per post (here's one with 550). It was the exact stereotype of what everyone in law school and with offices outside the downtown towers believes life in a large firm to be. There was a huge, ongoing, and rather heated argument about whether it was actually written by a biglaw partner or was a scam by a student, associate, or other.

I would go by every so often, but never really got into it too much - probably because there is about as much chance that I will be working at BigLaw as there is that I will serve on the federal supreme court. Then one day I noted that the author had been announced by a newspaper (can't remember which) as Jeremy Blachman, a law student.

Now comes the book. It follows the life of a partner at some generic BigLaw firm through his emails with family members and others as well as his posting on a blawg he has started. It's black humor basically laying out a life of slaving away for the firm, to the exclusion of all other things, in the battle to become the managing partner of the firm. The author derides the associates and summer associates. The author fights a battle with another partner to see who can so damage the other that he cannot become the managing partner. It is the embodiment of obsession as evil.

I'll admit, I chuckled at parts and thought it was worth reading. However, there's no way this book has a wide appeal. You can't really tell the stories in the book to someone who hasn't gone to law school - he won't get it. Thankfully, the book is an extremely easy and quick read; if it plodded just a little bit I'm not sure I would have finished it. It's a one note tune, but it's quick enough that you finish it before you realize you've grown tired of the note.

Anyway, Jeremy Blachman has an excellent personal blog which I recommend to everyone.

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