Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Big Law lifestyle

Thirty-five years ago, my first day as a summer associate [at a big law firm] marked the first of what would be years of missed dinners, theater opening curtains and other commitments. I had just returned the day before from my honeymoon, and was supposed to meet my wife for dinner at 7. Instead, an associate three years older than me said we had an urgent call to draft a promissory note. There were no cell phones in those days, and it wasn’t pretty. I showed up for dinner at 10:30 p.m.

Lawyers live in a different time zone than the rest of the world. Up to my last work days, when my wife called, I nearly always looked at the work on my desk and estimated I would be able to leave in half an hour. Nine times out of ten, I turned up at home hours later.
--Retired Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom partner Ronald Barusch, WSJ, on the handcuff part of "golden handcuffs." HT: RC