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Folklaw 10 March 2006

Folklaw 10 March 2006

Three short emails to oblivionAn email which recently took the law community by (alternately) storms of laughter and cringing involves correspondence between a young law graduate and a senior…

Three short emails to oblivion

An email which recently took the law community by (alternately) storms of laughter and cringing involves correspondence between a young law graduate and a senior lawyer in the US. For obvious reasons, names have been changed here, but it should be noted that the actual email circulated contains their real names. Apparently the senior lawyer is the sharing type.

From: [Officious Young Lawyer with everything to lose]

Subject: Thank you

Dear [Would-be Boss], At this time, I am writing to inform you that I will not be accepting your offer.

After careful consideration, I have come to the conclusion that the pay you are offering would neither fulfill me nor support the lifestyle I am living in light of the work I would be doing for you. I have decided instead to work for myself, and reap 100% of the benefits that I sew [sic].

Thank you for the interviews. [Smug Young Lawyer], Esq. (Yes, Esq.)

From: [Bewildered Senior Lawyer]

To: [Obnoxious Young Lawyer well on the road to losing everything]

Subject: RE: Thank you [Ungrateful Young Lawyer] -

Given that you had two interviews, were offered and accepted the job (indeed, you had a definite start date), I am surprised that you chose an e-mail and a 9:30 PM voicemail message to convey this information to me.

It smacks of immaturity and is quite unprofessional. Indeed, I did rely upon your acceptance by ordering stationary and business cards with your name, reformatting a computer and setting up both internal and external e-mails for you here at the office. While I do not quarrel with your reasoning, I am extremely disappointed in the way this played out. I sincerely wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors. [Riled Senior Lawyer]

From: [Officious Young Lawyer]

To: [Expert in contract law]

Subject: Re: Thank you

A real lawyer would have put the contract into writing and not exercised any such reliance until he did so. Again, thank you.

From: [Scandalised Senior Lawyer]

To: [Insensibly Rude Young Lawyer]

Subject: RE: Thank you

Thank you for the refresher course on contracts. This is not a bar exam question. You need to realize that this is a very small legal community, especially the criminal defense bar. Do you really want to start pissing off more experienced lawyers at this early stage of your career?

From: [Young Lawyer about to destroy her career with three small words]

To: [Future purveyor of the destruction of her career]

Subject: Re: Thank you

bla bla bla


Dear beautiful people

An email sent to 20 lawyers at Irwin Mitchell from their media manager states, quite formally, that the firm’s HR people have “trawled the intranet and pulled together our most photogenic people for potential models” to be used for future promotional materials.

Just to avoid any misunderstandings, the email goes on to specify that the photos are to “keep some realism and avoid the normal textbook model poses”.

Folklaw hopes that the email was not forwarded to those without the necessary qualifications or the firm might have to spend a substantial amount of money cleaning up a whole lot of shattered dreams.

Throwing down the gauntlet

Folklaw has no problems with the adversarial system of justice we use, but it appears that a group at a top tier Australian law firm have taken it to a new level. Roll on Friday reports that during a recent senior associate induction week, a backpacker (obviously established as one by his poor tally of billable hours) had the temerity to respond physically to the taunts of one of our legal pugilists.

One fractured cheekbone (ending in hospitalisation) and one all out brawl (ending in beers) later, the only comment by participants was that the physical challenge component of the week should be moved to later in the schedule, so as not to interfere with focus levels. Folklaw in no way condones such activity in the workplace but does suggest that quite beyond the camaraderie fostered within the firm, clients might benefit from a legal team who knows how to lay their bodies on the line for the greater good.

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