•  •  Dark Mode

Your Interests & Preferences

I am a...

law firm lawyer
in-house company lawyer
litigation lawyer
law student
aspiring student
other

Website Look & Feel

 •  •  Dark Mode
Blog Layout

Save preferences
1st September, 2010A total of 83 unique public votes are in. Most of them are Legal Poet's friends. Napster didn't join the PARTY so the votes are less. But for the bloggers the PARTY is about to begin because Legally Bindia doles the moolah...
Continue reading
I have always been thrilled by entrepreneurs. The first entrepreneur I came in ‘virtual’ contact with was Sachin Malhan who was our legal aptitude mentor at LST and used to teach through VSAT sessions. Seeing him in real life always evaded me....
Continue reading
New DelhiIn a recent study conducted by KuttaLaw Group, the researches have found that 98% of dogs owned by law firm partners are overweight and underworked. “For example Mr. Ahuja who is a partner at Ahuja & Sons law firm owns Mutt,...
Continue reading
The title of this blog has been taken from a blog by GABE ACEVEDO published on an American legal tabloid, Above the Law. In the blog, the columnist talks about how Indian LPOs have been marketing the growth and benefits of outsourcing in American...
Continue reading
“Next time, the eleven of us are on a corporate deal, or fighting it out in the court; we’ll know that you don’t win till the scoreboard says so”. Cricket in my college is a lesser religion. People worship soccer more...
Continue reading
Hmmm. The million dollar question. What is an LPO exactly?!!!!. No one know that, some tell that its an outsourcing of legal work from western countries, some call it as global law firm which does paralegal work apart from the litigation......
Continue reading
Scene: A hard-fought, electrifying, marathon litigation bout with drummers playing to the full volume to add to the drama.  The drummers stop when mediation begins. The litigators too are disappointed. And well, a request: When ‘tak da gidh da, tak da...
Continue reading
MumbaiTwo associates of Indi Law Firm, Karan Johari and Yogesh Yadav  have entered the Guiness book of world records. Karan now holds the record for drinking the largest number of coffee cups in one day, while Yogesh has himself in the...
Continue reading
It is a huge idea And we need someone to capture it all in a neat logo.   The IDIA (Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access to Legal Education) is a project which has taken off. We are receiving immense help and...
Continue reading
I started this blogging competition with a philosophical (attempted) post on law and life. I am ending the competition with some more on the same lines (just to make the exit a bit dramatic).   Note- Had three more posts lined...
Continue reading

It’s been exactly a month since my last post. 

In the meantime, I have worked on and closed three multi-million pound deals, forgotten several important family birthdays, missed social events and temporarily lost the ability to tell which day of the week it is.

While in itself this is not particularly shocking, it inevitably leads me to the question- are corporate lawyers happy with the way their lives are turning out?

I asked around and while most of our ilk basks in the glorious sunshine of the corporate life, the few that are disgruntled have certain complaints.

*********************************************************************

1. Ticket to Ride (Year: 1965; Album: Help!; Authors: Lennon with McCartney)

 Any journey to Dante’s Fourth Circle of Hell (Avarice and Prodigality) starts in law school where (without the services of Chris Nolan’s dream-inducing protagonist) the idea is planted in young, impressionable minds that picking up a corporate job is the ultimate mark of success in law school. The brightest, i.e., who land a job with Ramachand & Saunf are regarded with the sort of awe that was previously reserved for the dashing opening bat that knocked off a century in the first ten overs of the final house match. The mental picture painted is one of a room full of geniuses pulling ideas out of the proverbial hat to solve complex legal problems that would boggle the ordinary mind. Inevitably, one aspires to be the object of such reverence.

In most cases, however, what follows is disappointingly anti-climactic. As Folly Nariman points out in her entry Due Diligence and Dreaming Beyond It., the work can be desperately mind-numbing and after a while even the most enthusiastic worker is aware that he/she has been lured into and trapped in an Indonesian sweatshop. Upon identification of this fact, some quit pretty quickly and take up the fine arts. Others switch firms every couple of years hoping that they come across something that excites them. The rest grumble a bit about being sold a dummy pass, but decide to take one on the chin and continue on with the ride.

2. I’ll Keep You Satisfied (Year: 1963, Single; Authors: McCartney with Lennon)

Corporate lawyers are in a service industry wherein the retention of clients is a significant aspect. Fulfilling every little client whim and fancy is the corporate lawyer’s avowed goal and mission. If the lawyer doesn’t deliver to their exacting expectations, clients will simply up and go someplace else humming the Rolling Stones signature anthem. To guard against this, the corporate lawyer sleeps with one eye on his/her blinking red BlackBerry and when he/she buys a suit, he/she buys two jackets to go with it- one to leave on his/her office chair in the rare instances he/she goes home, just to make sure everyone knows he/she remains at their beck and call at all times.

3. A Hard Days Night (Year: 1964; Album: A Hard Day’s Night; Author: Lennon)

As a direct offshoot of my point above, it is a well known fact hours can be pretty bad at law firms leaving lawyers little time for anything else. As a result, law firms see some of the highest attrition rates across the board. In India, it is rumoured that a huge factor contributing to this is the conscious understaffing of law offices to boost profitability, the operating logic being the abundance of eager law graduates waiting and willing to step into the shoes of those who refuse to bear the donkey-load any longer. Each time, however, the fact being conveniently ignored is that the investment made by the firm in training these people is lost when they leave, thus exacerbating the understaffing issue and a pretty vicious cycle ensues. While conditions in the UK are slightly better, the billable hour centric law firm model ensures that associates keep their nose to the grindstone. From bonuses to appraisals to redundancies, it all comes down to the number of hours recorded.

Since the corporate lawyer bathes, brushes, eats, sleeps, prays and parties at the office itself, I am severely tempted to ask the question why they end up working a job they abhor to pay the rent for that fancy apartment they don’t even get to live in.

4. With A Little Help From My Friends (Year: 1967; Album: Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band; Authors: Lennon and McCartney)

Any law firm worth its salt has a highly charged, competitive atmosphere. It’s what you get when you put a set of very bright, ambitious and politically astute people in an enclosed environment. A law firm isn’t a place for the lily-livered. The soft underbellies are identified early and slaughtered mercilessly. While Darwin’s survival of the “fittest” theory doesn’t quite fit the bill here (See Volenti "Non Fit" Injuria), Mario Puzo’s advice on chilling more with your enemies than your friends is practised widely. For example, since being slightly paranoid makes better lawyers, newbies are advised to be wary of each other, as a verbal slip during a night out drinking could make all the difference at the next round of promotions. Often, it does and life lessons of distrust are learnt.

5. When I’m Sixty-Four (Year: 1967; Album: Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band; Author: Lennon)

A lot of corporate lawyers are now concerned about how they will feel when they take a look back at their lives. Ironically, it’s this maniacal self-obsession that makes them such great lawyers in the first place. Their main worry, of course, is that they won’t have too much in their biographies which will be rated PG-13. Few corporate lawyers (for no fault of theirs I might add) have had time for things like justice, making a difference and helping the disadvantaged. Bill Gates (who ranked 8th as a “Hero of our Times”) and his humanitarian philanthropy, therefore, is now turning out to be a dangerous influence on corporate lawyers. 

Also, there are only so many pages over which one can stretch hostile takeover negotiations, irrespective of how brilliantly they may have been carried on.

6. Can’t Buy Me Love (Year: 1964; Album: A Hard Day’s Night; Author: McCartney)

The natural retort any semi-intelligent reader would have is why all the complaining when the corporate lawyer is paid so handsomely. Some would call it being hypocritical since the corporate lawyer was under no obligation to sell his/her soul. Undoubtedly, the argument has its merits, but as any self-respecting life guru will tell you a hefty bank balance will get you a titillating lap-dance but the nice lady won’t be waiting up to listen to you whine when you get home after a bad day.

******************************************************************* 

Admittedly, I probably fall on the more whiny side of things so my vision might be slightly skewed. But my limited survey tells me that I’m not alone.

Happiness, they sang, is a warm gun.

Continue reading
  Justice is expensive and rightly for the rich. The modern Indian system with the high price of vegetables and poverty stretching, naxal clouds are spreading in the poorer parts of the nation. The Red corridor, ie the term given to...
Continue reading
Parents who practice the dictum, 'spare the rod and spoil the child', had better watch out. The government is planning a legislation that will make meting out corporal punishment to a child an offence not just for educational institutions and care...
Continue reading
INJUSTICE IN JUSTICEChapter-III Part I containing chapters I and II is here.   It wasn’t a lot of work. Vijay had to take a parcel from Paharganj and drop it at Chandni Chowk twice every week. He would be paid six...
Continue reading
Injustice in JusticeChapter I “I was never like this” were the words of the twenty year old boy Vijaynath. He could speak no more although a lot was expected to be said. He had been sentenced to 7 years of imprisonment...
Continue reading
BangaloreFollowing LegallyIndia’s hard hitting analysis of how associates were depressed, suppressed and sex starved, BigKick, a law firm based in Bangalore has promised staff Black Berries, Eye Pads and an Acu-Pressure Assisting Loo as a part of its ‘Happy HR’ measures. “Our black berries...
Continue reading
exorcism
“Exorcism of Emily Rose”, a horror classic is based on the true story of Anneliese Michel, a 17 year old girl in Germany who was exorcised by her parents and two priests.  She suffered from schizophrenia which could be treated by...
Continue reading
My cow Gulabo like every other cow in my village has a tendency to chew her grass for long; really long. I read in my grade five science book that the cows can recall some of the chewed grass from their...
Continue reading
New Delhi In a recent judgment passed by the Honourable Supreme Court of India, a 5 judge bench declared ‘The Right to have Nimbu Paani in summers and Hot Jalebis in winters’ a fundamental right. The SC passed this judgment in...
Continue reading

Latest comments