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Friday, May 23, 2003
Summer Associates: The True Gauge of the Economy

The summer associates have arrived. Summer has obviously begun. When my fellow Academy colleagues were summers in the summer of 2000 (the last "summer of plenty"), they used to play a game they called, "what's going to happen next?" Will it be another 3 hour lunch at Le Cirque? Is it time to get drunk at 4 p.m.? Who is going to try impress me with their [insert location of posh penthouse, house in the Hamptons, amazing sports or concert tickets, etc.]? What crazy enternaining event will we be invited to next? What, I have an assignment?

According to the actual lawyers who lived through the summer of 2000, those summer associates were infused with the most annoying sense of entitlement the law firm world had ever known. There was scandal, and intrigue, and attempts to one-up each other in the "how much money can I get the firm to spend on me" department. My what 3 years can do. I submit that whether the lawyers are doing the groveling or whether the law students are the ones begging for a job is the true measure of the economy. Today, the economy sucks like never before. I know this because this year's summers are not beginning their day at 10 a.m. by planning where to go to lunch and who is going to take them. They actually appear grateful to be here. They are surprised when we spend money on them - even showing some sense of guilt. Several have turned down the opportunity to go out for coffee because they were waiting for a phone call from the summer assignment coordinator. The last two nights, I actually left work before some of the summer associates. They are actually doing work. Amazing.

I suppose the law firms are happy with this development. However, I'd trade these nice, grateful, hardworking people for the assholes of the summer of 2000 in a heartbeat if it meant my brother could actually get a job out of law school. Back to the years of ungrateful bastards and scandal!! C'mon, economy, let's get to it.