While serving a six-year sentence at a large, Midwestern law firm, there was a senior associate — let’s call him C. Romagnon — who later came to epitomize for me that attorney who no one can stand but who most partners want grinding on their files: at the office at all hours, always available to kiss partner ass, always available to chastise fellow associates, and completely unaware of the world outside his career and case files. Over the course of my time at the firm, he had many wise things to tell me. Here is a small sampling of his wisdom on varying subjects.
1. Health. While using the urinal next to me at the firm: “Your urine has too many bubbles. You need more protein.”
2. Dedication, Part I. “That attorney leaves the office by 7pm everyday. He’s a fucking loser.”
3. First Impressions. The day after C. Romagnon met my 70-something-year-old parents and gave them a “power handshake” whereby at the moment the shake appears to be finished and the parties loosen their grips, he catches the other person’s fingers, squeezes, and gives a few more pumps:
Me: “Why did you give my parents a power handshake that you learned from one of your self-help books?”
C. Romagnon: “Because I wanted to let them know you’re in good hands.”
Me: “How does a handshake accomplish that?”
C. Romagnon: “As your mentor, now they know that you’re learning to be a badass.”
Me: “You’re not my mentor.”
C. Romagnon: “Get the fuck out of my office.”
Me: “This is my office.”
C. Romagnon: “Don’t care. Get out.”
Me: “By the way, my dad thought you were hitting on him with your little handshake.”
C. Romagnon: “I could kick your old man’s ass!”
4. Dedication, Part II; My Wife, Part I. “You need to be more dedicated to the law, like me. Your wife will always be there when you get home at night.”
5. My Wife, Part II. “Your wife is smoking hot. I’d pound her.”
6. Practice of Law. “I don’t practice law. I live the law. Every single day is game day.”
7. Office Walls. “Why do you hang your diplomas on your walls? No one cares where you went to law school. Want to hang something on your walls? Hang opposing counsel’s balls.”
8. Dreams. “If you keep grinding hard, someday you’ll have what I have.”
9. Reality. “AHHHFUCKNHELL . . . !?!” Two years after he made partner, C. Romagnon had a massive heart attack and died.
Post image via Shutterstock.