Many big firms today take pride from employing well-rounded associates who can fit in at the opera just as easily as at the theatre. But outside of the traditional activities of a highly-paid professional, what are good hobbies for big firm associates? What should they do to burn off the extra half-hour at the end of the week? Competitive eating and reality television show appearances are now passe. Luckily, at Big Legal Brain Analytics, we’ve studied the hobbying habits of law firm associates and have compiled the top five acceptable hobbies for big firm associates.
Lawyering. You don’t actually do a lot of lawyering as a lawyer in a big firm, so hobbying as a lawyer is often a great way to get some genuine practice experience. Most hobbying lawyers hang out and meet clients at coffee shops, so scope out a local Starbuck’s for your hobbying headquarters. While you may think you are moonlighting, it’s technically not moonlighting if you hobby as a lawyer during regular business hours. Even if you do not get any real clients, it’s acceptable to say that you are heading out “to do some lawyering,” or, if pressed about your work at a cocktail party, to exclaim loudly that “yeah, I have to get off a will to one of my hobbying clients next week—that and a quick uncontested divorce.”
Lexting. Lexting is a new hobby where lawyers deliver substantive legal advice via text message. It’s an offshoot of lawyering but appeals to those who want to be a bit more digital with their advice. While it is generally frowned upon by traditional large firm partners, more progressive law firms are recognizing that it’s a healthy and safe alternative to sexting. Unfortunately, however, lexting often devolves into sexting after only a few snippets of advice, so be careful when trading texts about even most mundane matters, such as an ERISA plan administration dispute.
Amateur Scrapbooking. We’re not quite sure what qualifies amateur scrapbooking as amateur. But it’s a great hobby to pursue for big firm associates. It resonates with staff and you have a near endless supply of glue and colored paper at the office. Plus, if you plan ahead, it can be done during down times on a document review assignment or even while waiting for a court hearing to be called. Just make sure you visit a local Michael’s craft store to purchase a decent supply of portable scrapbooking supplies that can fit in your Birkin bag.
Co-Parenting. While parenting is the simple act of being a parent to a child, co-parenting is actually doing some of the work. Co-parenting is now one of the fastest growing hobbies among big firm associates, with a fifty-three percent increase in co-parenting being reported as a hobby between 2007 and 2010. Why? We’re not quite sure, other than displaced attorneys in a downward spiraling market led to no choice for some lawyers to help out around the house. Instead of watching reruns of the Apprentice all day, “getting in some awesome co-parenting” became a common phrase passed around New York in the fall of 2009. It has since stuck.
Shrimping. I was surprised by the inclusion of shrimping as a hobby, given that the BLB analytics team did a thorough job of diversifying its research methodology. While we had expected to see shrimping prevalent in the northwest and southeast regions, it actually pulled strong numbers from associates in the midwest and northeast. We can only assume that, as deep sea fishing became more expensive and time consuming, a more immediate and satisfying hobby such as shrimping took its place. Otherwise, it’s really an anomaly for us.