I’m a Ripped and Tan Lifeguard


QI just finished my first year in law school. Not the greatest law school but at least in the second tier and I’m doing ok. And I still have high hopes for landing a job, preferably with a big firm. This summer, however, knowing that the likelihood of finding a law-related job was crap, I stuck with a summer job I’ve had for a while. Lifeguarding. I got a job at a local pool and I have to say I’m happier for it. I’ve talked to other people in my class and they’re happy to have a law-related job but actually hating it already. The politics mostly, and the stress. I figure I had one summer left to stay ripped and tan so I’m not looking back. Or should I?


AI dunno. Do you want to look back? Maybe you should try lifeguarding for another ten or twenty years and then look back. That may scare you. Unless you want to be one of an elite number of well-known middle-aged lifeguards and beach bums, like Leroy “The Masochist” Smith or Michael Knight. Who were fictional. But at least that’s something to emulate if the thing you like is being ripped and tan and looking back later to see what the hell happened to your life.

Your use of the term “preferably” is fascinating, as if landing a job at a big firm is a simple matter of “preference.” It’s not. While it may be for a lucky few who graduate in the top ten percent of their classes at top tier schools, it’s certainly not a mere preference for those stuck in the middle or lower tiers and doing “ok.” It’s not like you can say, “Oh, today I think I’ll work at a big firm,” as if it were a type of donut, whether cake, glazed, or cruller.

Here’s my best advice: the sooner you realize that you are not a candidate for a big firm the better. If you were serious, you wouldn’t be ripping those abs and driving to the pool each morning in your 1989 Ford Probe. You’d be interning for free at a legal clinic. Or going to school over the summer. Or finding some relation, however tenuous, to a law-related job. You wouldn’t be playing Mr. Cool Guy anymore. Grow up. Work hard. Get ahead. But stop playing around with the notion that you’re “preferably” heading to a big firm. You aren’t.

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.

10 Comments

  1. Newport Law

    June 24, 2011 at 9:31 am

    Was in a similar situation myself; having been a lifegaurd (albeit at a beach) since I was eighteen, I stuck with the gig through law school and even the summer I took the bar. I had zero regrets with the tail I landed and times I had, but I also lucked out and landed an in-house gig which I was arguably under-qualified while I was waiting for my bar results. What you need to look at is whether you want to chase tail and have a good time for a couple more years or settle into the life of a lawyer. Placing your qualification for Big-Law aside: a legal job in which you spend your days flirting with bikini-clad ladies just doesn’t exist. Trust a brother in red-I would have found it by now if it did.

  2. You're Right and Wrong

    June 24, 2011 at 9:59 am

    While you’re absolutely right about the biglaw issue, you’re wrong as far as interning for free as opposed to taking one more summer. After my 1L year I was set up to clerk for a solo who contacted me right before summer was about to begin to inform me that he could not pay me. Needing to eat, I spent the summer as a kayak instructor (as I had done the year prior). To “make up” for this lack of a summer clerkship, I made sure to be employed in a legal setting from my 2L year forward, during both summer and the school year. I managed to have just as many clerking experiences as those who spent their first summer in law jobs, did something I love to do, and have a fantastic job in a great mid-size firm. I may be the exception to the rule, and I agree that this guy should be more serious about the market and his job prospects. But this is not the death blow to his career you make it out to be. So, enjoy your summer but be ready to get to work as soon as you get back this fall.

  3. Strenuous Objector

    June 24, 2011 at 10:00 am

    Why not encourage this loser to stay a lifeguard. Everyone needs a Matthew McConaughey in their lives and you can be that guy. You can be the guy everyone notices didn’t grow up but still has fun. Trust me; you’ll be happy with no future, a ripped body, and a dead end job. Yeah dead end job and no future are basically the same thing, but you need to realize that you’re doubly screwed because not only is being a life guard worthless when you want a law degree since it’s not bartending which is the only acceptable side job, but you don’t even sound sure about being a lawyer in the first place. Maybe this summer is when you realize some people aren’t cut out to be a lawyer and you just didn’t make the cut.

  4. Alan T.

    June 24, 2011 at 11:37 am

    Awesome indirect reference to Gary Busey and the surf movie “Big Wednesday.”

  5. Bill

    June 24, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    You should go for the lifeguard job. Who cares 10 years from now, but at least you will have a good chance at landing some hot babes on the beach, which you won’t have in the law library. If you doubt me, just look at the barkers now combing the halls of your local law library. How many beers will it take before you find any of these broads hump-worthy? I think the answer falls within the 6 to 7 range. Only problem is that after 7 beers, you may just as apt to barf as you are to be able to find where to direct your limp member. You won’t have that problem with a beach babe.

    • Evan

      June 24, 2011 at 3:35 pm

      Couldn’t agree more

  6. Evan

    June 24, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    18 years as an attorney, my advice? stay a lifeguard, quit law school. Your quality of life will be better and besides only a handful of lawyers make the pretty polly, the rest of us just pay the bills.

  7. Guano Dubango

    June 24, 2011 at 5:55 pm

    I would like to inquire how to become a lifeguard.

    If there are worthwhile women (or, as you say in this Country, “Righteous Babes”), please to sign me up right away!

    • Michelle Beth

      June 24, 2011 at 9:59 pm

      You have been posting your dumb fuck sad ass crap for much too long.

      I kind of feel sorry for you so I’d give you two pointers.

      #1 Learn how to eat pussy.

      #2 Click on this link http://tits.voyeurweb.com/show_pic.php?id=8292
      Say Ooh La La and jack yourself off.

      • Bill

        June 25, 2011 at 6:31 am

        This guy couldn’t attract a whore if he hung $100 bills out of his front zipper.

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