Five Reasons Being a Lawyer is Great Now


Bitter Lawyer is back at it with Bitter Numbers, and we go positive with our five reasons being a lawyer is great. Now, at least.

1You don’t have to work that hard. No, firms haven’t become kinder and gentler—or more sensitive to associates’ “lifestyle” concerns.  (Sorry, Stanford Lifestyle Geeks, this ain’t about you!) They just don’t have any goddamn work for you, so there’s nothing to do.  Of course, the bad news is that bonuses will be way down.  Or non-existent.  But, then again, some of you won’t even be around to get your shitty bonuses.

2You don’t have to stress out about picking practice area or legal specialty. There’s no need to worry about whether you should focus on mergers, corporate finance or banking.  It just doesn’t matter.  You’ll be forced to do whatever work the firm brings in the door whether or not you like it—or even understand it.

3You don’t have to fend off all those pesky headhunters. Now that the world is crumbling, you won’t be forced to take all those annoying search-firm phone calls and entertain all those enticing lateral job offers. Thank God. Life’s so much easier when you don’t have options.

4You don’t have to resent your rich investment banker friends anymore. With Wall Street all but dead, you won’t have to waste all that time whining about your “kind of dumb” friend from college who sells bonds at Lehman Bros and makes five times what you make. And he only works 40 hours a week.  And the hardest part of his job is sending crass emails to clients—and taking them to steak joints and strip clubs.  Also, you won’t have to spend all that time strategizing among your peers about “how to become” an investment banker some day.  Because you won’t.

5You actually love the job you used to hate. You’ve seen your friends get laid off, the value of your stock portfolio get cut in half and your short-term career prospects all but disappear, but the good news: You finally realize that being an employed Bitter Lawyer is a hell of a lot better than being an unemployed Bitter Lawyer.  Some call it “perspective.”

Check out other lists, tallies and scores to settle in Bitter by Numbers.

Bitter Staff is a collection of current and former editors, contributors, and various other lawyers who have written for Bitter Lawyer over the years. Posts include interviews, contests, and other general lawyerly and bitter content.

6 Comments

  1. Al Dickman

    October 27, 2008 at 2:51 am

    #5 is key.  You have a skill (if youre a member of the bar) that will serve you well, even if you leave the firm you are working with.  In these days of mass layoffs, the legal credential will always be with you (as long as you pay your bar dues), so you’re more than a glorified used car sales man.  Being a lawyer (even a bankruptcy lawyer) will also attract more attention than being a bond salesman.  I know, I have been both.

  2. Do-Gooder

    October 28, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    6. Lots of time to do billable pro bono work too!

  3. Mike

    November 3, 2008 at 11:37 am

    This really hits home for me. Great insight.

  4. Bitterer

    November 10, 2008 at 5:38 pm

    This post fails.  Being a lawyer sucks.  That is all.

  5. Lady Justice

    November 12, 2008 at 7:10 pm

    I’m a real estate attorney…………real great!!

  6. tmboy

    December 20, 2008 at 12:34 am

    I’m an UNEMPLOYED real estate lawyer….  Being a lawyer bites.

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