There are two levels to this one. First, there's the fun marketing angle. You can read about why Evan Schaeffer, author of Notes from the (Legal) Underground thinks that the Anonymous Lawyer should be encouraged to write a book — and that a bunch of bloggers who link to him should help (as if I had any such influence!) . It's an interesting way to try to find someone a publisher.
But let's get to the merits. Should the increasingly cranky Anonymous Lawyer write a book? I don't think so. I think he should get more sleep.
These days, I'm much less sure. Consider just the most recent few posts, quoted out of context here for ease of summary:
- …it was good pie. My mother made it, despite her quickly-approaching dementia. She doesn't understand why I have to work so hard. No matter how many times I explain it, she doesn't understand. So now I just tell her it'll pay for the assisted living facility she's inching closer and closer to each year and she shuts up.
- The one Thanksgiving table I wish I could be at is where a certain one of our first-year associates will be. The bar results came out last week, and she did not pass. Imagine having to explain that to your family. Like all of our peer firms, without a backbone, we give associates a second chance to do what they should have done the first time before we terminate them. I don't think we should. I think if you can't pass the bar on the first try you shouldn't even be allowed to take it again. You should be banned from the profession for life. It is frightening to think that you can spend millions of dollars on legal services and potentially find yourself working with someone who didn't pass the bar on the first try. Pathetic. …
… if you failed the bar, it's not like you aren't going to screw something else up eventually, so the fresh start doesn't last very soon. And, pretty soon, you're working for the government. Where everyone failed the bar.
- It's understood that there are going to be female associates who are prepared to do whatever it takes to make partner, and will find the guys with the vulnerable marriages and make their move. It's part of how the industry works. But to flip it around, it seems more vulgar. He's a very good-looking young man (I think he had his teeth bleached) and can surely have his pick of women, yet he chooses the shrew down the hall.
- We had a little party in my practice area today at lunchtime, to celebrate Thanksgiving. What a waste.
- To the people who sent me resumes via e-mail: Thanks. I'll save them for when we're looking for paralegals.
The blog used to have a lot of hard truth about firm life. It still has some, but it's being drowned out by a tone of bleakness and resentment seasoned with some unnecessary meanness. Schaeffer calls this a “wry” style, but I think the author needs a vacation. Add book-writing to his chores and he'll crack.
Of course if the whole thing is actually fictional, then what the heck. But I don't think 350 pages of near-misogyny and vague self-loathing will sell. Most people won't identify with a well-paid lawyer's self-pity