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May 12, 2009

Are there any more out there like you, sir?

I don't get this tension between doing your job and enjoying your life. Geez!, if you don't enjoy practicing law, find another line of work. Life's too short to spend 2,000 hours a year doing something you don't enjoy.

When people thank me for doing my job, I often reply, "I live to serve." The usual response is a chuckle. But I really mean it--serving others is a lawyer's job. Any lawyer who doesn't understand that needs to find another line of work.

Raymond Ward, Lawyer and Renaissance Man, New Orleans, May 11, 2009

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The Rainman

Posted by Holden Oliver (Kitzb├╝hel Desk) at May 12, 2009 11:27 PM

Comments

Raymond's argument uses a change of subject to obscure the actual matter at hand.

Most attorneys love serving clients. That has nothing to do with disliking a business structure that chains you to your desk for 2000 BILLABLE (not total) hours a year.

Just because you love serving clients doesn't mean you have to let partners take your quality of life just to prop up their Profits-Per-Partner.

Posted by: George Jameson at May 12, 2009 08:19 PM

the longest river in the world is de Nile...

Posted by: j at May 13, 2009 08:27 AM

What a stupid post. If every lawyer practiced what you preach, you would find yourself in a world of shit where there weren't enough lawyers. Same goes for every other profession. So shut the fuck up with your internet advice and save it for your close friends and family.

Posted by: John Galt at May 13, 2009 10:38 AM

This post forces me to recall the Plato's allegory of the cave.

-Your opinion of reality conflicts with my own, you are absurd and I must destroy you.

There are clubs in Chelsea where you can fulfill your desire for subservience without working too many hours to be a good citizen or parent. If you think you can be either working 60+ hours a week you are lying to yourself.

Keep killing yourself at the office. You'll have plenty of cash to pay a therapist to listen about the time your toddler heard a loud noise and ran past you and your wife into the arms of the nanny.

Posted by: Patrick Bateman at May 14, 2009 07:50 PM

How unfortunate that our youth are so angry that Peter Pan doesn't really exist. I want to sweep young Galt and Bateman in my arms, hold them close to my chest, and sing them a song to soothe their heavy hearts.

It's okay, young bucks. No need to use such harsh language to vent your frustration that your childish dreams of entitlement to a world crafted to suit your every desire doesn't exist. Whatever wrongs you suffered in childhood that created the pain you still endure will pass when you grow up.

It's not a perfect world out there, but when you find a place that suits you, and accept the harsh reality that there are responsibilities that go along with the wonderful joys to which you feel entitled, you will find peace.

Go now, children, and find the right place for yourselves. Unfortunately, that place will not be the law.

Posted by: shg at May 15, 2009 11:43 AM

Sad. But militant organized mediocrity IS entertaining. The New Turd Brigades. An entire generation that refuses to acknowledge that there are those with the spirit, organization, planning skills, energy and smarts to have it all. "You work hard and produce--so you must be evil."

Fifty years from now, will inventors, writers and achievers be cast out as unclean and forced underground? Bless Ray Ward and his "evil" happy legions of doers and drivers. Sign us up.

And hey--it's hard to get a nanny that good. Where can we find one?

Posted by: Dan Hull at May 16, 2009 08:04 PM

Dan, with respect, your idea of "hav[ing] it all" is a Potemkin village.

You aren't evil, just misguided. You are using a laptop as a shovel. You can dig a great hole with a laptop, if you work hard enough at it. But we could have so much more. Right now, my generation's Hemingway/Lincoln/Aristotle is writing a memo to file that no-one will read. He doses himself with anti-depressants to keep moving forward though the bankers boxes filled with documents to meet some illusory deadline.

I am going in to the office today. Not because I am dedicated to my employers or the practice of law, but because I owe. I owe, and I can free myself from debt slavery though the sacrifice of this time. These years of my life.

It is not "will I or will I not" work hard. Because I will and do. The question I as is more fundamental: "is this how we should organize our lives and our profession?" I answer a resounding NO.

It'll be a little sad when your children attend their nanny's bedside when she is ill, and send you an email to your blackberry when you are in the same position. But hey, that is the price you pay to "have it all."

Posted by: Patrick Bateman at May 17, 2009 12:00 PM

Great comments, Patrick. Again, shed your anonymity, get your own blog, confront your employer, and fight your good fight.

But service professions require sacrifices. Big ones. And clients are important. That's your mantra for work. I do think that a lot of us--rather than water down and dumb down the law--should never have chosen a demanding profession. Tough business. Big sacrifices.

And To Everyone (excluding Patrick because I expect him to "come around" and want to rule the world along with other self-respecting Alpha males): If you want to be super-daddy/mommy, work for the government, get a nine-to-five job, teach or open a fruit stand. Try maybe to open your own business (good luck). But don't go to law or medical school. Please. You may not live that well, but your family can feel morally superior while it eats macaroni and cheese every night. Trade-offs, folks.

Posted by: Dan Hull at May 17, 2009 01:57 PM

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