Jeremy's Weblog

I recently graduated from Harvard Law School. This is my weblog. It tries to be funny. E-mail me if you like it. For an index of what's lurking in the archives, sorted by category, click here.

Sunday, June 13, 2004

Monday is all-request day. E-mail me a question, an idea, a topic, anything, and you get a post. Free! Or I'll make some up.

In the meantime, you get an open letter to a law firm partner. I don't know where I'm going with this until I write it. First I wrote, "In the meantime, you get some unedited introspection," but I sat quietly for a few minutes and realized I don't have anything to say. So I'll force myself into a structure and see what comes out.

Dear Law Firm Partner,

Thank you for inviting me to sit in on your conference call, even though I probably looked pretty disappointed when I realized that sitting in on your conference call would mean that I would have to miss the summer associate dwarf tossing event. You'd be right to feel frustrated if my disappointment was evident. After all, it's not like sitting in on your conference call is doing you any favors. It's not for your benefit, it's for mine. I'm of very little value to you during that conference call, unless you have a cardiac event and need me to run for help. Besides that, perhaps I could take notes, but since I don't know what's important, my notes probably aren't going to be all that useful. I understand that you invited me to sit in on the call because you want me to learn. Which is the right thing for you to want, since besides the dwarf tossing and tomorrow's potato sack race, ostensibly I'm here this summer to learn as much as possible. Even if it's not that exciting. Thank you for handing me a copy of the tax code after you gave me the research assignment that came out of the conference call. Even though I probably looked pretty disappointed with the idea of having to actually open the tax code to do the research. You'd be right to feel frustrated if my disappointment was evident. After all, despite everyone's friendly tone and willingness to accommodate requests as unnecessary as wanting to miss work on Friday because the circus is in town, and I love the circus, I imagine it's a real pain to give an assignment to a summer associate, and then get back something completely useless. Not that completely useless work product isn't to be expected sometimes from someone who's never done this before -- but if there's a way to avoid it with some more effort or diligence on my part, I would think it's exasperating to discover that the time you spent explaining the assignment to me, the time you spent answering my basic, ill-thought-out questions, and the time you spent looking over my results, has all been for naught, and a regular associate is going to have to do the work anyway. And thank you for not screaming when I hung up on the client by accident when transferring the phone call. Using a telephone is hard, and you had every right to be upset at me for not reading the manual in advance and figuring out how to transfer a call, especially when I was told to read the manual and figure out how to transfer phone calls. Finally, thank you for not asking me to miss the pony rides last Wednesday because the assignment you had given me was relatively urgent. I would have missed the pony rides if you had asked me to, but I'm thankful you didn't force me to choose. I appreciated that, because I really didn't want to miss the pony rides. Also thank you for paying me.

Your friend,
Summer Associate