Recently, controversial author and University of Michigan law school graduate Ann Coulter commented on her experience working as a lawyer early in her career. She worked at a major, highly-respected firm in New York and then a public-interest law firm. She hated both jobs, noting: “at a big law firm you are doing so much mindless work and so much suck-uppery.” (Emphasis added.)
Regardless of your personal feelings about Coulter, how many lawyers out there haven’t either shared her feelings or known a close friend or colleague that did … and … is there a connection between Coulter’s experience and the recent tale from our anonymous 3L?
The “suck-uppery” part aside – office politics is hardly something unique to the legal profession – how long has it been an accepted (expected?) condition that “mindless work” is one of the tradeoffs that comes with landing an associate position at large firm? These positions are among some of the most competitive, highly compensated entry level jobs in the country and sought after by students that include the top-of-the-class at our highest rated law schools. Coulter’s description may not be universally true, but it’s certainly not unique.
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