Hilarious, poignant, maddening (even the readers chide one another for their high-priced whining), the blog, which began appearing in March, has become an anonymous, online 24-hour confessional for disaffected associates at large, elite law firms around the country. (Many comments are posted late at night when, presumably, the readers are still at the firm.)
And even though the blog (anonymouslawyer.blogspot.com) makes clear that Anonymous Lawyer's stories are fiction, readers write in to say they identify with him and especially with the associates he tyrannizes.
"I'm a real live Big Law midlevel associate," one reader wrote. "And I'm here to say that whether A.L. is real or not, yes, most (most) Big Law partners do think that way."
It is not surprising that a group of highly verbal computer-bound professionals who are paid to complain would gravitate toward the blogosphere. The elite firms are supposed to be the pinnacle, the reward at the end of Harvard, Yale or Stanford law schools. Anonymous Lawyer is a chance to admit, anonymously, an uncomfortable truth: The money and status may not be worth all the sacrifices.
"Anonymous Lawyer is a cultural phenomenon," said William Henderson, an associate professor at Indiana University School of Law, who uses the blog in class. "It strikes a nerve with the deep-seated ambivalence that lawyers in big law firms feel about big law firm life."
Monday, December 27, 2004
I Wonder If Ellisen Has Similar Thoughts About Big Law
So the Anonymous Lawyer has been exposed as Jeremy Blachman. And by the NY Times no less. An excerpt from the Times' article: