This is a humorous and sarcastic blog written by a paralegal in a mid-sized law firm in a mid-tier market. The goal is to share some of the pitfalls and foibles encountered in my own day-to-day experiences. Feel free to contact me at aparalegalslife@gmail.com with comments. Complaints, not so much :)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Observations on Small Firm Life

Many, many moons ago I worked for a small, 2-attorney firm.  (Technically 3 attorneys, but the third was the other partner, long retired and in 6 years I never actually saw the man.  To this day I couldn't pick him out of a police lineup.)  Long-time readers may recognize the other partner, who I refer to as Asshat. 

Working for Asshat was a particularly difficult experience.  Not only did he have affairs with nearly half the female staff, he was The Most Obnoxious Man In The World. 

Firm policy was whatever he wanted it to be.  I once brought this up at an office meeting, and the following exchange occured: 

GH:  How can we know what the Firm's policy is if it's never written down?
AH:  I own the firm.  Firm Policy is whatever I want it to be. 
GH:  Yes, but why can't we have anything in writing?
AH:  Because I need to change policy to suit the situation.
GH:  So we really can't know in advance what a particular policy will be?
AH:  Yep. 

That was the day I started looking for a new job. 


Ms Austen said...

Grumpy: Even better than "no written firm policy" is the firm at which there IS a written firm policy, but each managing partner (and therefore, the employees in that partner's group) follows only the parts he/she wants and makes up his/her own rules as well.

This is great for those reporting to Partner Laid Back and Everything's Cool, but leads to bitterness and low morale for those reporting to Partner Stick Up His Butt. I have been in both groups.

Ms. Austen

Grumpy Humbug said...

At least you have a written policy to back you up in subsequent legal proceedings. Asshat got nearly every employment suit against him thrown out because the aggreived employees couldn't prove he violated firm policy.

Lost Paralega; said...

Another take on it - when there ARE policies and ways-we-do-things.

But they are so entrenched and ingrained that when there is the opportunity for change or enhancement or improvement...

No. We just don't do it that way. Sorry.