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An estimated 3-minute read

Law firm partners: The strange breed

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I was quite amused to note some of the comments received from a handful of legal professionals to my earlier post "law firms need to learn from Anna Hazare". What really amused me were the comments (and believe me some were hilarious) made by certain partners which appeared to me as justifications towards their uncanny and ruthless day to day actions. At the same time I quite appreciate that they came out in the public domain with their views. But I have to admit that what was really entertaining was to note that these “partners” at some point did actually openly admit their sloth at the workplace.

Some may mistaken my articles or my views as anti- law firm or anti partner. Well I am not exactly against law firms or the partners running them. I hold the highest respect for some of the so called “old school law firms” and the partners running them. They are of a different breed and mettle.

What however deeply sadden me are the newer generation law firms and their partners. I have had close associations with quite a few of them and their work culture and ethics are highly questionable. Their style of functioning is shrouded with mystery and sometimes their day to day management is incomprehensible. The problem starts when the firm starts having to many young lawyers as partners at the top. What is required is a perfect balance between the old and the new. Getting that balance is sadly what the law firms miss these days.

The so called “dudes” who become partners at a young age these days (and we all know to what extent strings are pulled to get to the top but that’s a different story and may be some another time) believe in one motto “work hard...party harder”. Majority of them don’t read case papers / transaction documents and heavily rely on their junior team members to bail them out. It’s like the Government of Indian bailing out Air India every time it’s in a mess. When the deal is struck or the case is won then they have to brag about it in front of everyone especially in those parties with a glass of expensive scotch or wine (or Facebook or twitter for that matter... luckily NDTV or Doordarshan is spared).

The unfortunate part is that they take an enormous amount of India’s wealth home for all their inactivity. Not only are they the ones to climb up the hierarchy faster than a space ship ascending on a moon mission, they subject their juniors to tremendous mental agony and humiliation for simple errors. They are on the prowl for constant female attention and their professional achievements are reported on Facebook faster than the PTI delivering news to the general public. Their smart phones are constantly stuck with them and they will have to check it with a serious face every 5 minutes. Their life is governed by Blackberry’s. Sometimes its funny to watch this strange breed checking their Blackberry’s with a serious face even if they are reading a promotional e-mail as if the e-mail was an important one. I have even noticed some of these partners lecturing on multi tasking. They are superb multi taskers too. They can check their Blackberry (BBM messenger to be precise) and talk on another line deciding the venue of an evening of wastage with their fellow wasters (or should I say the company of drunkard partners).

An expensive car, expensive clothes, company of women, foreign tours...these guys want everything. Not to forget their skills in office politics and their roles as master manipulators when it comes to supremacy within the office.

I shall try to dissect them more in the coming days.

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