I Hate Gunners


QA lot of kids from high school who thought they were “cool” ended up getting fat and stuck in dead-end jobs. That makes me wonder, what happens to gunners when they grow up?  Do they ever make partner?  Or do they just curl up into a ball of douchebaggery and die?

AFirst off, I love the anger. It practically pops off the page. Nice.

As for your question. Do gunners ever make partner? Sure, some do. But remember, all gunners aren’t created equal. Some of those who “gun” have no bullets. They can gun all day and never hit the target. Others shoot from the hip far too often and ultimately miss the mark. And, yes, others are simply douchebags. But like I said, some do end up making partner.

The real question is: Does one have to gun to make partner? In other words, can you become a partner without being an ingratiating, overly-enthusiastic asshole as a junior associate? To me, the answer is yes. You have to work hard, be smart and excel relative to your peers, but you don’t have to gun. At least overtly. The most effective gunners out there—the gunners most likely to make partner—are the ones nobody really knows are gunning in the first place. That is, the stealth gunner.

Anyway, why do you hate gunners so much? Do they threaten you?  Make you feel lazy and inadequate by comparison? Or do you just detest all the ass-kissing and gung-ho legal BS? Or are you a pacifist, anti-NRA lefty who just hates the word?

I say, “Don’t hate the gunner, hate the game!”

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.

7 Comments

  1. EX-ASSOCIATE

    October 14, 2008 at 6:26 am

    “Momma said gunners were just a part of life [and law school]…” I couldn’t stand them personally, but it was amusing to make fun of them during class.

  2. Anon

    October 14, 2008 at 9:06 am

    I hate gunners.  They need to get a life. So, I decided to take a stand one day. Said gunner raised his hand repeatedly throughout class. The entire class was obviously pissed off. So, after said gunner finished one of his many questions, I raised my hand and said the following:
    “With all due respect, and I think I speak for the entire class, your questions offer minimal insight and consume class time. And we’re paying for this class time.”
    Said gunner turned red.
    Prof said: “He’s welcome to ask questions, but I agree that some of your questions are better left for office hours.”
    Hot chick next to me smiled. Said gunner never asked a question again.

  3. Anonymous

    October 14, 2008 at 2:11 pm

    As an ex-gunner, I am doing well.  Thank god all of that paid off.  And how silly for others to be jealous.  Wimps!

  4. Ali

    October 15, 2008 at 11:13 am

    I, too, despise gunners. 2 of the worst gunners from my LS class are now not even employed in the legal profession. Wish I would have had enough courage to call one out like Anon. To survive, all of us “normal” law students just acted like children & made up funny names for these losers & rolled our eyes at them. Childish, yes, but somehow it made us all feel better.

  5. the emailer

    October 18, 2008 at 10:49 am

    Haha!  I agree that all gunners are not created equal.  The one that prompted the angry email was of the “no bullets” genre who speaks up multiple times per class with absolutely nothing of substance to add.  And no, they don’t make me feel inadequate.  I just don’t like douchebags

  6. Wilhelm

    October 24, 2008 at 12:29 am

    Can you define Gunner please? With examples

  7. Jaime

    November 18, 2008 at 6:07 pm

    One good thing about having gunners in the class is you will always know you aren’t the biggest A-hole in the room.  See, gunners serve a purpose.

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