Magazine article The New Yorker

OOPS THE BAR Series: 2/5

Magazine article The New Yorker

OOPS THE BAR Series: 2/5

Article excerpt

The city's white-shoe law firms have taken a serious hit in the recent economic downturn, but Summer Associate Season, that debauched perennial perkfest for rising 3Ls at Harvard and Fordham and Yale, is up and running (and only slightly diminished), much to the delight of Asia de Cuba, Sparks, and other corporate-card joints that can ply a half-dozen overworked lawyers and pampered will-be esquires with enough Scotch and sirloin for an easy thousand-dollar tab. A thousand dollars isn't even half of what each of the "summers," as they're known, gets paid every week at the biggest shops. And, to listen to Jonas Blank, a tall, handsome summer resident at Skadden Arps, the biggest of the big, a great deal of effort need not be expended to collect it.

Inadvertently following the New York Law Journal's advice for this summer's associate class ("Stand Out in a Crowd. . . . You still have to distinguish yourself from lots of other very bright people"), Jonas replied to an e-mail from his friend Melissa the other day with a message that was probably news to no one who's familiar with the drill: "I'm busy doing jack shit. Went to a nice 2hr sushi lunch today at Sushi Zen. Nice place. Spent the rest of the day typing e-mails and bullshitting with people." Jonas did, unfortunately, have a bit of work to take care of (corporate-finance deal; yawn), so he needed to "peruse these materials and not be a fuckup." But he couldn't complain; he was, after all, a summer associate. He signed off, "So yeah, Corporate Love hasn't worn off yet. . . . But just give me time."

Try two minutes. That was about how long it took the hiring department at Skadden to page Jonas (Duke undergrad, Harvard Law) and put him to work correcting his mistake. Jonas had sent his life-is-good note not to Melissa but to the firm's entire underwriting group. His task was to write an apology to the forty or so attorneys who had already opened the e-mail and reached the conclusion that Jackass might be a better name for him.

Jonas wrote to say that he recognized the damage he'd done to his firm-wide reputation and possibly to his future, and that he was appropriately concerned about "the implicit reflection such behavior could have on the Firm." Recipients of Jonas's apology were less concerned, however, about the firm's rep--"I thought they taught the summers how to use e-mail," one Skaddenite wrote to another--and within minutes the legal grapevine was buzzing. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.