I Associate with the Dweebs


QI’m a second year associate at a mid-size Manhattan firm. I’m not concerned about the work part of the job. I get plenty of it and, surprisingly, most of it is interesting. But whenever I’m out with my colleagues I look around and notice how many of them are dweebs. All they do is talk about work. Most of that talk is about what a partner did or did not do, or what so-and-so wore the other day. Any sense of humor is wasted on how many typos someone found in a memorandum of law. Har har. I’m thinking of just not hanging out anymore after work with these guys but wondering what harm it would do in the long run.


ALet’s see. Hang out with the Erkels or put your nose to the grind and churn the work out? You’ve hoisted a false choice on yourself. It’s neither. Buck up, hang out with the Molly Ringwalds from time to time and also get your work done. Besides, if your dweeby “friends” haven’t already noticed (and I’m sure they have), you probably aren’t the most engaged person at happy hour anyway.

Ask yourself this: who DO you want to hang out with? The brainiacs? The ultra fitness marathoners? The semi-professional scrapbookers? If you’re looking to hang with the rock stars, there are no law firm associate rock stars, just associates who think they dress like rock stars. Like any institution, law firms are no different than high school detention in the “Breakfast Club.” Your challenge is to be comfortable within that crowd. Get drunk at happy hour with the somewhat unhinged but deeply misunderstood John Bender? Play in the law firm softball league with the Jock, otherwise known as Emilio? Try to keep up with fashionista and Ivy League grad Claire Standish? Or giggle in the corner with Brian, talking about Allison’s misapplication of 11th Amendment law? It’s all there, even down to the law firm’s managing partner, principal Richard Vernon, telling you and others not to “mess with the horns.”

Just hang. At the end of the day you’ll all be getting high out back and talking about how your father never really understood you. That’s what we all do.

(photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/butterbits/510492360/)

Ex-Bitter is a former big firm lawyer who now doles out advice to anyone who asks. Got a question? Email it to advice@bitterlawyer.com. Or read more Advice from an Ex-Bitter.

6 Comments

  1. Strenuous Objector

    July 15, 2011 at 7:30 am

    It’s “don’t mess with the bull you’ll get the horns”. I’d also say that dweebs are toxic for anyone, even dweebs themselves, but like the zombies of law school, they are beyond anyone’s help.

  2. Ex-Bitter

    July 15, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    Good catch. Though I like the idea of a managing partner thinking he’s connecting with the youngsters by misquoting a teen angst movie.

  3. Strenuous Objector

    July 15, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    That’s a good point, I can just hear the partner saying something like “Now you kids with your loud music and your Dan Fogelberg, your Zima, hula hoops and Pac-Man video games” when he walks in and sees people on their iPhones and Blackberries.

  4. Ellen

    July 16, 2011 at 11:22 pm

    The manageing partner at my firm always LOVE that I find things he missed. I think I do alot for the firm. Just yesterday, I helped him form a sole proprietoership for a lawyer.

  5. Juris Depravis

    July 18, 2011 at 9:18 am

    Dweeb.

  6. MagicCircleJerk

    July 18, 2011 at 7:42 pm

    Hey dipshit, did you go to law school? Was it in the t50? Did you see your classmates? caveat emptor punk

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>