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Question on job offers

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Re: Question on job offers
« Reply #40 on: October 12, 2009, 05:28:12 PM »
jesus.  i know 2L is boring, but don't you all have other *&^% you can do?


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Re: Question on job offers
« Reply #41 on: October 12, 2009, 05:31:49 PM »
jesus.  i know 2L is boring, but don't you all have other poo you can do?

Yes, and I am intentionally avoiding it  :P

Re: Question on job offers
« Reply #42 on: October 12, 2009, 05:41:55 PM »
I do need to read it again in more depth. But the basic idea is thusly:

You can get even people who are harmed by the system to adopt beliefs that prop up the system (despite explicit self-denigration, even) if you make it seem like the system is being threatened. E.g.: if you read an essay about how Canada is in the doldrums, and then you look at data about the rate of women CEOs in Canada (read: crazy disproportionately low, just like everywhere else), you will adopt statements about women being not suited for business because of whatever personal characteristics more readily than if you had read a paragraph on how Canada is hot *&^% and everyone wants to move there. Even if you yourself are a woman.

Step 1: Threaten the system.
Biglaw's business model, and indeed, the American white-collar economy, seems increasingly unworkable in its old forms. Common wisdom is that something BIG is going to have to shift. And soon. (Oh *&^%.)
Step 2: Present injustice in the system.
Biglaw treats young lawyers like *&^%. It used to just treat them like *&^% once they got there; now, due to ITE, this treatment is extending backwards into the hiring process, not to mention the summer associate experience.
Step 3: Watch actors within the system attempt to justify it, including to the extent of self-denigration, as well as denigration of those who maintain that the system has injustices.
"I feel bad for law firm partners."
"Why would I deserve anything more than [a rather discourteous] lack of e-mail correspondence?"
"Where do you get off challenging me and my decisions; also, you are being condescending[/rude/judgmental/ridiculous/etc. Choose your own favorite term of denigration!] in ways x, y, and z."
Step 4:
Step 5:

Not to, uh, unfairly reduce anyone's comments in the thread. I do need to read it much more closely. So if you don't think I'm fairly characterizing your arguments or comments, please don't think I thought I was. I will modify/follow up later, if possible.


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Re: Question on job offers
« Reply #43 on: October 12, 2009, 05:55:36 PM »
random's going to be five times as mad because you implied that Canada is sucky, too  :D

Re: Question on job offers
« Reply #44 on: October 12, 2009, 05:56:19 PM »
this is getting unnecessarily complicated.

in general, people do what they feel like so long as no one has the power to stop them from doing so.

simple, right?


Always so wise.  Why didn't you show up sooner so that we wouldn't have to write these essays/arguments?  :(


Re: Question on job offers
« Reply #45 on: October 12, 2009, 06:02:02 PM »
As long as I don't have to move in with my parents, I'm happy.

That said, I agree with Dash's characterization.  To use a similar example, I'm always amazed to the extent that Israelis (and Arabs who live in the West Bank/Gaza) will go to defend their leaders, even when they're obviously corrupt and moronic.  When Arafat was threatened by Israel in his compound, suddenly he became a hero.  Ten years ago, he was a huge crook who stole lots of $ from his own people.  Similarly, Israelis loved Sharon.

* end soapbox.

But I don't think that we're defending BigLaw because it's threatened.  I think we're defending it because we feel threatened that we won't pay back our loans, and essentially need it. 


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Re: Question on job offers
« Reply #46 on: October 12, 2009, 08:06:40 PM »
Aside from my facetious post about everyone refusing to stick it to the man, I can't really see how I'm being condescending towards you unless you are really taking what I'm arguing completely personally.  Of course I think it's legitimate to have different views on economics and ideology, and moreover, what is and isn't going to benefit you personally.  And your particular decision-making process here is perfectly reasonable.  Sure, this discussion started out with you saying that for you, recruiting behavior and maybe even working conditions were not your priority.  I pointed out some reasons why I thought that it might not be in most associates' interest to think that way, including yourself, but when it became clear that this didn't apply to your specific situation for the reasons you've outlined I thought I was clear that I had moved on to a more general point. 

In the same vein, I feel like maybe you've taken offense to my general use of the term false consciousness, which certainly wasn't directed to your situation specifically anyway so I've consistently found your anger sort of confusing.  It was more prompted by a) Wally's bleeding heart assessment of the misery of being a partner, and b) the  idea that generally firms' treatment of associates is all of a sudden not objectionable once we find any economic justification, and that this is actually good for associates as a group

And I feel like I've been arguing the latter point with you this whole time when you've really been thinking about your personal situation and were not necessarily saying that in the first place (or even now, since you've disagreed with my characterization of your view as pure capitalism)?  Because yes, the way you describe your situation in the second to last post, general operation of firms + corporations that way does align quite neatly with your particular interests and career goals.  You have to admit, though, that your situation is unique, to the point that it's really not universalizable.  It doesn't really have much bearing on whether economic concerns morally justify firm behavior in general, or whether firms/partners' authority or importance is unchallengeable.  It simply explains why you specifically are in support of the way things are -- because it's to your benefit, which also coincides with your ideology (of course this also can be see as benefit).  Conversely, a critique of the validity of the system in general doesn't mean that you're wrong in supporting it or don't understand your own situation. 

As for the inefficiency that the billable hour system promotes, that wasn't addressing the point that less ideal working conditions can be more efficient.  It was pointing out that purely capitalistic systems don't consider efficiency an inherently valuable end goal -- profit occupies that position, and efficiency often, but not always, serves that.  So the fact that capitalism is more efficient (or productive) than other economic systems is a function of the fact that they're usually related to profit.  So in some contexts, capitalism wouldn't be more efficient or productive than other economic systems -- it would be more of whatever is more profitable in that context.  The point of that whole discussion was that it seemed to me that you were endorsing capitalism for reasons that aren't within its central tenets.  But this point is sort of moot if you aren't endorsing pure capitalism, I suppose.

And yeah, we do disagree about whether the system could be as efficient with less cost to the human participants.  Or at least that the efficiency loss would be minimal.  So to me, justifying the human cost by pointing to what I see as a small(er) loss of efficiency, even if some individual actors benefit and not all of those actors are in management . . . I don't know, this just leaves me nonplussed, and it's this idea that's really ruffled my feathers.

I don't know, I suppose that maybe you see my incredulousness about this as condescending not to you, necessarily, but to associates/law students as a group.  To that I don't really have an answer except that you're probably right, because I think most people are idiots and make bad choices.  But I don't think these things about you, least of all in this context, so I feel bad that I've offended you.


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Re: Question on job offers
« Reply #47 on: October 13, 2009, 07:57:41 AM »

Iím certainly not saying your not entitled to being treated as a human being, or that what the firms are doing is in anyway best practices. Iím only saying that its to be expected, and to insist otherwise either is not understanding how things work or wanting your cake and eating too. Are there firms out there who put their employees first AND pay top dollar for the talent. Sure, a few, but not many. OCI being what it is, that the employer picks you rather than the other way around means most folks wonít end up at those firms. As with any large organization human dignity often goes at the expense of profits (see Walmart). Its not any different at a huge law firm than any other large organization driving to maximize income. If you want to get paid top dollar right out of school than something has to give, and many times that is employees personal autonomy.

Iím not saying you canít find a firm that pays you a lot and cares about treating its employees well. They are out there, but what I am saying is that most large firms donít. Your part of the machine that is the firm that is producing the product that is legal advice. Your not, at this point, valued for your individuality or unqiness. You have not developed the skills or reputation to demand that yet right out of law school, you are like everyone else just a cog in the vast machine at this point.

Youíre giving up some of your personal wants and desires for a job that is at the top of the pay scale from the profession. Some sacrifice is going to be necessary, often that sacrifice is people giving up a lot of their personal autonomy for the betterment of the firm. Itís a choice you have to make, if youíre willing to be a cog in the machine for a lot of money or work someplace else where youíre more valued for your individuality for the beginning. 

Its not much different than any large orgizanation, the individual is lost to the totality of the system. Itís the hive mind rather than the individual that makes the whole thing work when youíre talking about 1000+ employees in one corporate hierarchy. That system does not reward indivudlaity at the none management level, hence people are treated more as a means of production than as an individual with wants, desires, and goals outside those of the orgization. They call it firm culture for a reason, because you either buy into and meld or standout. Its not just law firms, all large organizations tend o develop this way. It becomes impersonal, and to outsiders cold, becuase it has to be, you can't form interpersonal relations with 1000 plus pople who tunrover at the rate people do in any large orgization.


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Re: Question on job offers
« Reply #48 on: October 13, 2009, 06:48:13 PM »

Re: Question on job offers
« Reply #49 on: October 20, 2009, 12:34:24 PM »
I think my thread got hijacked a bit. I got the job BTW.