Tuesday, May 02, 2006

WSJ article: weighing the cost of making partner at the big law firm

In today’s Wall Street Journal, there’s a snippet about lawyers weighing the cost of making partner versus quality of life. Because the Boomers are retiring and the recent legal grads don’t feel like putting in the hours at the big law firm in hopes of making partner, there’s a double whammy to their billable hours. Up and coming lawyers are comparing a life outside the office to the hours they’ll grind in hopes of being selected for partner.

In a way, it’s a good thing that lawyers don’t suffer that private-industry ailment while serving in the State of California. There’s a reason why guys like Tony Mischel and Robert Jones appear to be fourth-string quarterbacks by those heavy hitters who work at markedly distinct law firms like Latham & Watkins, Girardi & Keese, and Greenberg Traurig. In any event, no one needs to worry about Tony Mischel or Robert Jones making the Super Lawyers list…they're much too busy trying to fire civil servants with permanent status than accomplish anything of substantive value to the People of California.

I recently went to a CalPERS seminar where they gave the participants a hypothetical choice: drive a new MBZ or retire a year early. Not one person raised their hand when asked who selected the MBZ. Work pays the bills, so if your overhead is low, that's one less thing to stress. W. C. Fields once said that work is something so horrible, that you must be paid money to do it..


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