Anonymous Lawyer - Jeremy Blachman Based on a real blog (still extant) by the no longer anonymous lawyer at a large firm, the novel is in the form of a series of emails and blog postings from the Hiring Partner to his niece, an aspiring lawyer, but not of the same ilk as her uncle.

Our partner despises Daylight Savings Time because instantly a full sixty minutes of billable hours are lost and no one bothers to make it up in the fall, instead, just sleeping in. He hates holidays, why should we celebrate Memorial Day when we could all be earning money and still wearing little flags in the lapels? He considers himself quite reasonable honoring Jewish associates by scheduling their meetings in between services or over the phone. And why would anyone want Easter off? Jesus would surely be better honored by increasing the client's bill.

There is a very funny scene in which the Chairman is suffering a heart attack while simultaneously sending an email about his attack and how to take over the case and not lose any billable hours. As Anonymous Lawyer says, this is the only time you want to have your secretary like you, as otherwise she might delay just a little in calling 911. Otherwise, secretaries are only there to bring in food. Immediately his blog gets email from lawyers all over the country insisting they know who he is because numerous firms had Chairmen who had suffered heart attacks or strokes that very day.

And the way to save money is to have the annual associate thank you luncheon on Yom Kippur (at the firm of course) and serve a roast pig.

A brilliant satire that most lawyers will want to read in a brown paper wrapper. My only complaint is the ending. Abrupt doesn't begin to describe it. The other issue I have is that the book highlights some very real issues in these law firms that need to be addressed. Clients are routinely screwed. And it's not funny in the long run.


Sample from a very recent entry to the blog:

"I've been following the news this morning about the Ropes & Gray associate accused of insider trading as part of an investigation into the Galleon Group hedge fund.

Ropes & Gray released a statement, saying in part: "We are deeply disappointed about this situation, which suggests an extreme breach of this person's duty of trust to our clients and to the firm."

Well, no kidding. It's damn well a breach of the duty of trust to the firm. If an associate here found out some insider information we could use to make a killing, they better not be keeping it to themselves. They ought to tell a partner, tell the whole executive committee, give us all a chance to get in on it. If we can't trust our associates to bring us valuable opportunities to increase our own personal wealth, what do we really need them around for? I've spent years digging through client paperwork looking for information that I could use to make better investment decisions. And for an associate-- not even a partner-- for an associate to be running with this, without making the opportunity available to his superiors.... Well, it was a pretty easy decision to fire him. And it should serve as a warning to everyone else at the firm-- you find a good deal, you bring it up the chain of command and let us all have a piece.

Hey, it's not like I don't tell my associates when I go to mortgage foreclosure auctions and try to feast on the corpses of evicted homeowners. They're welcome to come along and join the fun.

As long as their work is done.

And they carry my briefcase. I hate carrying my own briefcase."