This story is dedicated to all you associates who earn three times more than me and complain about your lives. A little perspective is always refreshing.
I am the only associate in a small family law firm. The senior partner of the firm has been practicing for 30+ years, yet somehow has managed to avoid both learning the law and trying complicated cases. (That’s my job apparently.) On top of that, he’s an egomaniacal sociopath. Among his favorite things to do is to question the intelligence of his staff (myself included) in front of clients, other lawyers, judges, etc. He seizes on any opportunity to say or do something degrading to the people who work for him. It’s no coincidence that the turnover rate at my firm is high.
Today, I set up a meeting, complete with videographer, for our client and her husband-to-be to execute a prenuptial agreement. (The partner loves to showboat for clients, except in court when there’s a chance he’ll be exposed for the fool that he is.) The partner wanted me in on this meeting so I could witness his astounding brilliance and then notarize the prenups. Naturally, the clients were running late so the meeting did not start on time. While waiting, I decided to leave my office to go to the restroom.
I wasn’t gone two minutes when I hear the door to the restroom swing open and the distinct sound of the partner’s loafers clicking on the tile floor. (The partner has an unmistakable gait, and this is not the first time he has stormed into the restroom looking for me. And bear in mind that the restroom on my floor is public, so there are other people using the facility as all of this is transpiring.) The partner bellows, “Are you in here?!?!” I mumble, “Uh, yeah.” He continues, “Well the videographer is here and so are the clients. We’re all waiting on YOU! Hurry up!” I respond, “Okay.” He then says he is going to tell the clients that I am “finishing up a meeting.” That’s when someone else in the restroom who’s witnessed all of this chuckles and says, “Tell them he’s taking an appointment.” The partner retorts, “Yeah, it’s the biggest one HE’LL have all day.”
So here I sit, underpaid, underappreciated and underwhelmed. I’m sending out my resume next week. Maybe the next lawyer job will come with enough money to make the inevitable abuse tolerable. Or maybe I’ll go into teaching.
Report your tales of Associate Abuse. Email them to email@example.com