Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Slacker confessions

This article deals with Gen Y associates in law firms. Even though technically I am not in Gen Y but rather belong to the passe Generation X, I identified with much that was written. (Hell, it's not like I'm that far removed from Gen Y. I know who Usher is. Yeah, yeah...)

Aaaaaaanyhoo, the following paragraph caught my eye:

Generation Y associates often come from the nation's top schools and have other impressive credentials, McLean said, but what many do not have is unbridled ambition.

Unbridled ambition? I don't even have bridled ambition. In my pre-law profession (no, I am not a "straight-through"--not that there's anything wrong with that), I had no desire to be promoted or even take on a smidgen more responsibility. I want to go to work, do my job, come home and be with my family. And, occasionally, relax and have time by myself. And that is why I will never make partner. But the beauty of it is, I know myself enough to know that I don't want to make partner.

Oh, one other thing I noticed about the article: it defined Generation Y as those born in 1978 or later. I almost agree with that distinction. I would put the dividing line on May 25, 1977. My geek friends will recognize the date.

10 Comments:

Blogger Phantom Scribbler said...

Good for you, Angry Pregnant Lawyer. I know a couple of people who've made partner in their firms; without exception, their personal lives are either nonexistent or in shambles.

Will you blog post someday about what motivated you to change professions?

May the force be with you.

9:34 PM, March 02, 2005  
Blogger Angry Pregnant Lawyer said...

And lo, the geek revelations have begun!

Will definitely consider blogging about the career change, thanks for the suggestion.

10:00 PM, March 02, 2005  
Blogger Blonde Justice said...

Ha ha, the boyfriend was very amused when I said to him, "Is this intergenerational relationship too much for you?"

10:40 PM, March 02, 2005  
Anonymous GL said...

I see a big disconnect between the hours those managaging partners put in when they started their legal careers and the hours they expect from new associates. Twenty-five years ago, there was no such thing as a lap-top, or a blackberry, or even an expedient method of doing legal research. If those partners did indeed put in more time (and I strongly suspect they did not), then they were not so tethered to the office as to feel like the firm owned their every waking moment.

Thus, "slacker" is a misnomer.

An aside -- when one of my friends learned in her review that she was well on her way to making partner, she left the office and cried. And quit shortly thereafter.

9:33 AM, March 03, 2005  
Blogger corndog said...

Ambition is usually just an excuse to be an asshole.

12:26 PM, March 03, 2005  
Blogger Angry Pregnant Lawyer said...

BJ (unfortunate initials, no?), are you robbing the cradle or is he?

AWESOME anecdote, GL. Had me smiling knowingly. And very true about the latest tech innovations--even when I'm not at the office, I often have my laptop open to my work Outlook, just in case...

Corndog, I'm taking out the "usually" and making that my sig file.

1:46 PM, March 03, 2005  
Blogger Blonde Justice said...

He is. But I'm only one and a half years younger. But a whole generation.

6:19 PM, March 05, 2005  
Blogger the lawmom said...

You may know from Scrivener's blog that I work at what would nicely be called a "biglaw" firm. I started with next to no ambition for anything. This was a place to start that allowed for options when I leave. It was a job that paid well and allows my husband a job that he loves, is passionate about and is really really good at. The first couple of years I thought there was absolutely no way for me, a mother of two, to make partner in a place like this and I really didn't want that. Most partners around here are men with kids and a stay-at-home spouse and the comparatively few women partners for the most part do not have kids. Lately, I've decided I'm actually more ambitious than I realized and am trying to figure out a way to stay on a partner track without being an absent wife and mother. I'm not sure it is possible. I may get to a point that I say (or the firm says) I can't do what they require to make partner. But, near the end of last year I went on a few interviews for in-house positions and left feeling like I'm not done here at my firm. At this point, what I'm finding difficult is embracing my ambition and not feeling like it makes me a lousy mother and wife.

9:21 AM, March 08, 2005  
Blogger Angry Pregnant Lawyer said...

Does your firm have a reduced hours policy? I know some firms do have part-time partners (usually on a 60-80% schedule), but I think most of them went part-time after making partner, so that really doesn't help you much, does it?

9:41 AM, March 08, 2005  
Blogger the lawmom said...

Our firm does have a part-time policy, but it is something like a 1700 billable hour a year requirement with a $25K-$30K pay cut. I don't think you can do it and stay on partner-tract (even an elongated tract). I have a number of friends on a part-time schedule. All of them have lawyer or investment banker husbands whose hours are crazy-bad and they really couldn't function without someone having a reduced schedule. Most of them complain at least a little that since they went to reduced hours they have much crappier work and it is really hard to stick to the schedule. I'm really interested in the ways that law firms try to deal with part-time policies, but I don't think it is really an option for me. I did go on an interview with a firm in LA during law school where I interviewed with a very successful female attorney that was a partner in a very good firm that had been part-time from day 1, but she is the only example of being able to do that that I have ever come across.

10:56 AM, March 08, 2005  

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