Thursday, June 28, 2012

Boring guests

The best lawyers to go have drinks with or invite to a dinner party are employment lawyers from the big firms.  They have the best stories because people are crazy.  Employees are crazy.  And sometimes, employers are crazy.  Firm lawyers can tell these great stories about employees who try to run over customers in the parking lot or employers who want to sue an employee for misrepresentation because she happens to be pregnant and didn’t tell him during the interview process (both hilarious stories I’ve heard from colleagues). 

The most boring lawyers?  Easy, that’s us, the in house lawyers.  We can’t talk about anything fun.  Firm lawyers can take out all identifying information so their stories are just from “a client” from years ago, with no way of telling which one.  In house lawyers only have one client.  Unless you’ve hopped around a lot, you may have only had 2-3 “clients” in the last decade.  It’s not hard to figure out who you’re talking about and therefore you just can’t talk.  Telling stories out of school would often result in a breach of confidentiality if not privilege, and is the height of unprofessionalism.  Not that we’re not tempted, but it’s just not worth it.

The real victim in all of this confidentiality stuff is really the spouse.  The thing my husband hates most about my job (besides the hours and the fact that I dream about work more than I dream about him…) is the fact that I have no good answers to “how was your day?” when I come home from work.  Sometimes we’ll talk about office politics and who pissed who off or who really shined in a meeting, but let’s face it – it’s all really just gossip and fluff.  I can’t tell him what’s really got me all wound up (or even what’s in those dreams) until it becomes public knowledge, if ever.  We’ve been together long enough that he just accepts it, but I know that secretly, he sometimes wishes I was an employment lawyer from a big firm so that I could keep him entertained over dinner.  

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