Monday, March 4, 2013

Getting the Hell out of Dodge

Hey guys! Been some time since I've last blogged but there's been quite a few developments in my life. I was at a boutique personal injury firm for 2 years where I must say I had a good experience. My boss and the staff were cool, the hours reasonable and the pay was decent. Unfortunately financial issues at the firm forced me to seek employment elsewhere.

 In December of 2012 I got a new job with a small firm with a wider practice area. I lasted an entire 7 weeks. My new boss was the quintiessential micromanaging narcissist lunatic lawyer. I noticed by the fourth week that something was seriously wrong with him. I got a call from defense counsel on a case and she stated to me "I never want to speak to that man ever again" (that man being my boss). I go to tell boss what she had to say about him and he fucking lost his head yelling "SIT DOWN" while in his office. Right then and there my body froze, my mind focusing on him like a red hot lazer. SIT DOWN. I thought to myself, what the fuck is this, kindergarden? SIT DOWN?! So, I sat, looking at him like I was ready to tell him to go fuck himself. He starts screaming at me "don't you ever talk to me like that again, if you want to keep working here, you will show me the respect! Don't you know that this is a top notch plaintiff's firm?" Ok. So the guy had a few million dollar cases in the past decade. He was middle average for the industry. I knew plenty of other plaintiff attorneys with far higher settlements and verdicts that WERE NOT lunatics. At that moment I realized that my time at this new office would be limited.

As the weeks went on more of his abusive personality came to fruition as my "grace period" was over. For example by the sixth week I was working late on Friday as he usually kept us late. Normally he would leave by 6:30 to 7:00 p.m. on weekday evenings but on Fridays he made sure to stay extra late. I personally believe he did this to fuck up our weekend because he himself had no life. That particular Friday he came in at 11:30 am so I knew it would be a long one. At 8:00 p.m. I tell him and his other associate (whom he treated like dogshit) goodnight and to have a good weekend. He gives me this look "leaving so soon? I guess you have a life." Monday morning he calls me in his office and berates me for leaving before him. Straight up tells me "I resent you leaving before me." At this point I realized that this asshole didn't want employees he wanted slaves. He was going to grind us for every penny he paid us. Sixty plus hour weeks plus one day on the weekend was not worth the money. I have too many friends making six figures that didn't work nearly as hard as I did. Throw in the constant ridicule, abuse, putdowns and critisism and I simply had enough.

My last week there he started throwing assignment after assignment on me. I literally had work for three people. It was too much. I started to get anxiety which I had never felt before. Oddly enough it would hit during my lunch hour (which frankly was an issue for him while the other associate would take his lunch break at 3:00 pm hurriedly while eating in his office). It was a Tuesday around 11:00 am. He threw numerous assignments at me which needed to be done ASAP (my ASAP list was growing rapidly at this point) and when he asked if the ASAP assignments we done to which I responded "Ï'm working on it" he rolled his eyes at me. At that point I said fuck this shit. I took my lunch, came back, wrote him a resignation email and bailed. Never looked back, didn't answer the three phone calls from the office. 6 weeks later I still feel tremendous relief from leaving that god awful hell hole. Thankfully I saved enough money and with part time employment I have more than enough to get by. I'd rather duke it out looking for work than deal with that shit. We only have one life, and without health we have nothing.

 The last week I was there my heart was pounding hard keeping me up late at night. I began questioning whether my "legal career" was worth my health being jeapordized. It wasn't and will never be. In life we have our dignity and only our dignity. I refuse to let any son of a bitch take my dignity away from me. Apparently personality types such as my prior employer are very common in the legal field. I have heard plenty of horror stories from defense associates how their bosses yell and scream at them, how they get abused by narcissist micromanagers. Obviously asshole employers exist in all fields but law is notorious for evil bastards like these. It's safe to assume that the glut of unemployed lawyers adds to this feeling bosses can treat their associates like scum. After all he would constantly reference the "thousands of unemployed attorneys." Ugh disgusting. At this point the question for me is whether I go back into the legal field or do I bail and do something else in my life. I worked as an associate for over 2 years and experienced first hand what an attorney does.

 Let me tell you that the work is utterly boring, you deal with asshole clients, plenty of asshole defense attorneys, but you also meet plenty of cool people too. I learned that I hate paperwork with a passion but I love talking to people. I really loved settling cases, the feeling of closing the file. The close. My gut is screaming that I need to get into sales. At the age of 30 I'm relatively young and can bounce out of law now before its too late. The saturation is beyond insane. Too many lawyers chasing too few cases. Let me tell you guys the small firms out there paying shit money probably can't pay much more anyways. The other day one of my friends got a job for $54,000.00 one year experience for marketing company. She has a BA and a little bit of experience. I got offered part time court appearance work for $15.00 per hour, gas money and parking NOT included. The interviewer said "look at all these resumes, plenty of desperate people out there will accept it." I LOL'd to myself thinking wow this profession is absolutely fucked. I'm so done with this. I'll be writing more often now that I have a bit more free time.

Wanted to throw a shout out to Law Prof with ITLSS. Thanks so much for your work! You really helped expose the scam to so many out there. Also wanted to say a few words of encouragement to those out there that are struggling. Don't quit. Do something, ANYTHING. Never sit idle. Make cards, give out cards, talk to people, go the law library, study anything you can. If you decide to bang it out in the legal profession good luck to you. If you choose to bail then do it with no regrets. Think of the law school investment as a failed investment. I happens. Fuck it. Mourn your loss and move on. Sometimes bad things happen, such as a car bomb that explodes outside a cafe killing and maiming dozens. The victims of the car bomb didnt ask to get blown into pieces but this is the world we live in. There are bad people out there that want to do harm. This is life and in life bad shit will happen. It unfortunately happened to us with the law school scam. Yes I am comparing the law school scam with a car bomb as the psychological pain is severe. So not cool suckering young people with super high expectations only to bring them down to shit, making less than people with AA degrees. Telling young people "you're going to be a winner" when in reality many will end up with soul crushing debt and jobless. I would not be surpised the emotional suffering is similar to the toil that survivors of a car bomb feel. We need to accept it and move on at some point. If you don't you will wallow in misery and depression and if you do allow that then they have TRULY WON. And why let them win? Fuck that. Go out there and kill it whatever you do, do it with passion and 100 percent effort. Do not accept failure we are still young and have a chance to do something. My parents neighbor failed the California bar exam 3 times, wallowed in depression, got into medical device sales and now lives in a $1.5 million home. Another litigator dropped out of law, got into corporate auto sales and now makes $250k per year. I will post more success stories as I find them.

Be back soon. Happy monday to everyone.

Subprime

12 comments:

  1. Try doing the same shit for a sociopathic shyster, all for $10.00 an hour and no benefits whatsoever.

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  2. Ooohhhh, your former boss sounds a lot like my former boss. We weren't allowed to take a lunch break. The people who did (which turned out to be just the support staff) were referred to as "fat asses." Behind their backs, of course, otherwise that would be rude. I'm glad you got out. I agree, life's too short to put up with that kind of crap. There are so many sociopaths, narcissists and misogynists in the legal field, and they are allowed to operate unchecked in this job market since there are too many lawyers and not enough clients. Please keep us updated on what you end up doing.

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  3. What a great "profession," huh?!?! Hopefully, this fuels you to do what you want - and to throw an occasional stiff jab at the law school pigs.

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  4. Hey man, I doubt you remember me, but I was around JDU and posted some comments on your blog a few times 2 years ago or so and much more sporadically more recently (but that works out since it sounds like you didn't post much either!).

    You'll probably recall I told you before "How could anyone like this profession?" and instead of challenging you when you talked about how great it was I just stated "I guess there are some people that do really like it."

    The reason was I had pretty much been through what you went through by that point, almost exactly on the dot. I am 32 years old myself! I would wager there are many more people that went through that same period at that same age and more that will continue to.

    20 years ago the field was a bit better but also it didn't matter as much if you washed out because there was no real price tag on it. I think that's the real, true crime here. I don't really know how to get out, but I hope we both get out of this. And you're right, it's not worth your health, and all we have is our dignity.

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  5. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/03/fashion/for-20-somethings-ambition-at-a-cost.html?src=me&ref=general&_r=1&

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  6. Hi Gribble! I sure do remember your posts on the blogs and JDU. Looks like you went thru a similar experience that I did thankfully I was OUT of there quickstyle. I could only imagine all the poor saps with families and kids that cant afford to up and leave at the first sign of trouble. Abusive employers exist in all fields too bad law due to the glut of labor is probably one of the worst. So we have three options: quit and find new job, stay and take it, or quit and go it alone.

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  7. Awesome post. Good to read a post from you. And kudos for you for not knuckling under to a bullying punk of a boss. (If he ever runs into you again he will probably try to treat you like an "old pal," as that is most bully's MO.)

    Not enough unhappy JDs realize that there is no shame in walking away from the profession. It can be the wise and healthy choice, as it seems to be for you. Good luck, Subprime!

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  8. Good to see another post!

    Sorry bout the former boss.

    What would say the percentage is of lawyers >35 who are "hard to work with" in charitable terms?

    I would peg it at 50% or so.

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  9. Great post. I could feel my heart rate raising while I read about your boss.

    Anyway, you gave it a shot. Two years in, and it's ok to walk away. It's always ok to walk away. We should be encouraging 1L's to feel no shame from trying at law school and walking away after the first year.

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  10. Hey Subprime. Sucks to see your shitlaw dreams crumble but in the end you'll be fine. Any openings at Gus's House of Mousaka? Even if there aren't you'll be fine. You're a bright guy with a good head on your shoulders, and let's not forget that eventual inheritance.

    I miss you and the rest of the JDU miscreants terribly. Tell Uncle Admin I say hello. If you want, shoot me an email at severian3@yahoo.com

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  11. I think you should dip your feet in the solo practice pool. Even though people at JDU beat up the idea, I've been at it for over a year and the results have been pretty good. You are an anti-establishment guy, so I would get into consumer protection. I sue debt collectors, but there are many different areas you can get into and they lend themselves to solo/small practices.

    Not having a boss goes a long way to making law more tolerable.

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  12. I'm glad to see you blogging again. Best of luck with your new career.

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