Joe and Elie discuss the major headlines in law firm news. Paul Weiss found itself in hot water after putting out a picture promoting its new partnership class of predominantly white dudes. It’s a lesson in the damage visuals can wreck… and how to address incidents like this. Jones Day inserted itself… again… into the war on workers by entering the Slate labor dispute. And does your firm give the staff Christmas Eve off? Shouldn’t everyone be doing this?
Special thanks to our sponsor, Smith.ai.
Above the Law – Thinking Like a Lawyer
Should Christmas Eve Be A Firm Holiday
Intro: Welcome to Thinking Like a Lawyer with your hosts, Elie Mystal and Joe Patrice, talking about legal news and pop culture, all while thinking like a lawyer, here on Legal Talk Network.
Joe Patrice: Hell and welcome to another edition of Thinking Like a Lawyer.
Yes, no, thank you, thank you. I am Joe Patrice from Above the Law. With me, as always is Elie Mystal.
Elie Mystal: All is calm. All is not how I’m feeling right now.
Joe Patrice: Really? Is it that you are not —
Elie Mystal: I am not calm.
Joe Patrice: Are you not feeling that way because you don’t have a virtual receptionist service for lawyers like Smith.ai is; who are our sponsors who we are thanking right now?
Smith.ai is a superior virtual receptionist service for lawyers. US-based professionals answer your phone and website chats, screen potential clients and schedule appointments. Get a free trial at Smith.ai.
Elie Mystal: There’s an excellent chance that I would feel more calm and bright if I had Smith.ai.
Joe Patrice: Yes, you wouldn’t have to worry about messages and people bugging you, yeah, like —
Elie Mystal: I get bugged.
Joe Patrice: Yeah, so what’s your problem right now? I assume it deals with the Mets?
Elie Mystal: Oh my God, you just — no, I’m not going to, I’m not going to, I’m going to wait until they actually do the thing before I burn down Citi Field. Now, today, and look, listeners, I understand I have a penis, I cannot jump up and down on the patriarchy with as much credibility as some people, I understand that, I am self-aware of that, I apologize for the penis.
However, I just read a report, and so, I don’t know where this is coming out, but in real-time when we are recording, the Maria Butina plea deal just hit the papers, all these reports about, she’s the Russian spy, Black Widow spy woman who’s been infiltrating the NRA. The report just came out about her plea deal, and in the middle of this otherwise normal news story about the details of the deal and the details of the scam, and da… da… da… there’s an entire paragraph that starts with Butina looked thinner than she had previously. She was wearing a green jumpsuit with patches at the elbows, revealing her thermal tank top undergarment which clashed against her braided red hair. I mean, it was like a goddamn romance novel paragraph in the middle of the freaking sentencing report, and look, this is again in real-time, this is just a day after we went through the Michael Cohen stuff.
I read a bunch of Michael Cohen’s Cohen reports. I have no idea what color his undergarments are.
Joe Patrice: Yeah, and that’s when they pulled out their throbbing block. Yeah, no, so you think this was potentially bias in the way in which we report things.
Elie Mystal: Yes, I think, I think there might be a newsflash.
Joe Patrice: Yeah, that’s fair enough.
Elie Mystal: There might be some reporting bias and how we talk about women versus how we talk about men. I don’t know if people are aware of this.
Joe Patrice: Yeah, I mean, it definitely could happen, yeah.
Elie Mystal: Come on. They are talking about her thermal underwear.
Joe Patrice: Yeah.
Elie Mystal: She’s pleading guilty to massive conspiracies against the United States, massive is maybe overstating it.
Joe Patrice: Yeah, a conspiracy like much like a lot of the Russian conspiracies, it’s just dumb more than like massive, but yeah.
Elie Mystal: It is funny that like you can almost imagine like a Dr. Evil type kind of in his lair, trying to figure out how to influence the American elections, maybe we need some sharks with laser beams, and then like Scott Green comes in, there’s just like just, just give the NRA a bag of money, done.
Joe Patrice: Yeah, the details of it are highly comical including the official who they found notes where he was like weighing job opportunity with the entity that is the new KGB, which I mean, it’s like how stupid.
Elie Mystal: If you are reporting on people taking plea deals and women taking plea deals, don’t tell me about their f**king hair, I don’t care.
Joe Patrice: I mean, I think that’s fair. So, we’re going to — well, let’s jump from there, take a quick break, and then we’ll pop back in. So, at the break what we’ll say, we’re going to continue talking about our friends from Smith.ai.
Are you missing calls, are you spread too thin, interruptions kill your productivity, but clients demand a quick response. The US-based professional receptionists at Smith.ai help law firms screen new clients and schedule appointments by phone and website chat. Plus, Smith.ai integrates with your software including Clio and LawPay. Plans start at just $60 per month. Get a free trial at Smith.ai, so.
Elie Mystal: Is this Wild Turkey?
Joe Patrice: No, War Eagle, it’s called.
Elie Mystal: Nice.
Joe Patrice: That’s the brand of whiskey that we’ve decided to start drinking while we’re recording because we’re responsible podcast hosts.
No, it’s really because the firm holiday party has started but we already felt the need to speak to you, dear listeners, rather than push it off just because a party had started.
So, we are taking a break from our party right now in order to speak with you about our week, which apparently deals with media bias and plea deals.
Elie Mystal: There’s a party in your ears.
Joe Patrice: Yes, that is a way, a very creepy way, but a way in which to say this, yeah.
Elie Mystal: Speaking of creepy, can we talk about Paul, Weiss?
Joe Patrice: Yeah. So Paul, Weiss is a law firm, you should know. Let me preface this with some of the good things. As Paul Weiss is a one of the main line members of the Microsoft Diversity Program, and for those who don’t know, Microsoft for the last 10 years has had a program where they basically take the problem of a lack of diversity in the legal profession and they make it a problem that firms feel in their pocketbook.
They tell law firms that they will give them a giant bonus if they provide diverse legal teams to work on matters for Microsoft. It’s a program that has been successful in making firms a little bit more diverse because firms, unlike Corporate America, lagged behind because of a variety of baked into the way in which we do law problems. That said.
Elie Mystal: Firms also like money, so it’s a good incentive.
Joe Patrice: Exactly, but they don’t have the same sorts of public oversight and so on that shame a lot of Corporate America into diverse hiring practices, so here we go.
Elie Mystal: And we can also, I mean, there’s pipeline issues, there’s lot of stuff.
Joe Patrice: Yeah, right. So with that said —
Elie Mystal: So, we’re still talking about good Paul, Weiss.
Joe Patrice: So that goes to good Paul, Weiss. This will be like a — it’s going to be kind of a parabolic effect here, it’s going to be good then bad, then good. So good Paul, Weiss is that Paul, Weiss just elected some new partners, a bunch of them and they fell —
Elie Mystal: Like 18 or something, right?
Joe Patrice: I can’t remember, something like that. So, several partners, they decided that it was worth putting on a press release. Nothing wrong with that, people do that all the time. I get a lot of press releases, actually I’ve got a ton of them this week, they usually say things like and we’re just highlighting that 60% of our class are women or people of colors, things like that.
This release does not say any of that and the reason it doesn’t say any of that is not only does it not talk about who these folks are necessarily, it includes a picture of them, which is, it’s a nice little monochromatic image of a bunch of White dudes with one White woman, who’s placed in last billing.
Not granted, because it’s alphabetical, but at a certain point, don’t you look at that and think, hmm, that don’t look good?
Elie Mystal: It is an overwhelming collage of whiteness. The likes you cannot see south of the Arctic Circle. Honestly, the —
Joe Patrice: Oh no, no, no the Arctic Circle, there are people of color who live in the Arctic Circle. No, it’s more like the Senate intern.
Elie Mystal: Yeah, but I’m saying — I was about to say, it looks the Senate, the congressional Republican congressional intern caucus looks slightly more diverse than the Paul, Weiss new partnership class, which obviously — and again, they didn’t – which shows making a side of an industry point that really want to hammer home.
Most firms talk about their new partner class, right? They don’t put it all in this very easy to see the problem picture. And so, I’m not trying to make a big deal, I don’t think anybody is trying to make a big deal about the picture. The picture literally highlights in blindingly white letters what the problem is.
Joe Patrice: Yeah. And look, one thing that’s important is, this is much like a lot of diversity problems in this world. It’s not something that can be fixed at the eighth year level, and a lot of people are like, well, the what aboutism that I’ve received of which I’ve received very little, most of the comments I’ve received back on this story have been overwhelmingly positive and a lot of them are from Paul, Weiss people saying, I’m glad someone said something.
But, to the extent that there’s any what aboutism, it’s always like, well, they probably just didn’t have anybody available at that level to promote and that may well be true. The problem is that’s also —
Elie Mystal: That’s also damning.
Joe Patrice: That also speaks to a bigger problem, which is, if firms, you’re never going to fix the problem by just promoting one more person at the end, it’s about nurturing and creating a situation where those folks are put in a position to succeed their entire career, such that there are women and people of color who are available 8, 9, 10 years in who are viable partnership candidates. And that’s the sort of long-term strategy that people need to embark upon, and the sort of strategy that the Microsoft Project is designed to focus on. So, that’s kind of in a nutshell the bad part.
Elie Mystal: I think there’s another bad part here and I think it goes to another kind of larger industry problem. This is not — think about, this is the partner class of 2018. A lot of the people in this class were people who survived somehow the great winnowing, right, the Great Recession, the great — after Lehman collapse in 2006-2007, it took a while for it to ripple through law firms.
But by 2009-2010, law firms were cutting about 20% of their new associates, were reducing the class by about 20%. So the people that you see being made partners now are the people who survived those great layoffs, and who survived, the White men survived.
Joe Patrice: Yeah, more like cockroaches, it’s great.
Elie Mystal: So — wow, that was Joe Patrice, the White guy who said that. So, one of the things that we see in this Paul, Weiss partner class and we see in partner classes I think around Big Law at this point is that when Paul, Weiss decided who it was going to fire or who it was going to not hire back in 2008, you can see that it must have been predominantly non-White, non-males who got the axe, because the only people left to be partner 10 years later are the White guys.
Joe Patrice: Well, and that’s — there’s some of that, but there’s also in ways that are much more unconscious. They may never have said, oh, we’re not hiring these people that we are hiring these folks, there’s also a high likelihood that a lot of people who are in those sorts of positions where they worry about maybe they aren’t like from nine generations of lawyers, like a lot of White dudes are, for instance, like those are the sorts of people who then in that sort of economic climate don’t go to law school or opt for different places and different kinds of career paths because they are like they don’t have those ends.
There’s women who like or might be considering other paths, might hurry up that decision when the economy fell apart, like there are a lot of little things that can happen that push people off of the path that they’re doing themselves but they’re doing themselves because firms aren’t taking the affirmative steps to say, no, no, no, don’t do that, stick with us.
So, it’s more — it’s not even that they aren’t hiring them, it’s that they aren’t taking the bull by the horns and saying, we know that for a variety of reasons beyond anyone’s control, you might not be thinking about following this path, please follow it with us.
Elie Mystal: There’s also the attrition issue, right?
Joe Patrice: Yeah.
Elie Mystal: I mean, one of the things that we know from statistics and from studies is that even when you hire a large number of non-White associates or women associates, the attrition that happens to them as they move on is much stalker than when you hire White men.
There are 15,000 reasons for why that’s women — not 15,000, certainly 1,500 reasons for why that happens and certainly if you are starting from a reduced pool in the first place, because of hiring, because of layoffs, whatever, by the time you get 8, 9, 10 years out, you’re just not going to have a lot of those non-White people or women to promote a partnership because you haven’t put in the work for the past 9 years keeping those people.
Joe Patrice: And they also have something of college-football, which we talk about quite a bit, they also have something of the college-football reverse Rooney problem. One argument that people make for why there are not as many Black coaches at the college level is because the NFL’s so good at it. The NFL under the — its Rooney rule has been so good about creating a career, upwardly mobile career path for Black coaches that basically if you’re a Black football coach, you go, why would I ever spend time in the college ranks, I’m going to go to the NFL and work my way through there?
So, college is — there’s an argument that one of the reasons college is so bereft is that the NFL is doing a better job, as a corollary, who does a much better job than law firms at diversity, Corporate America who are hiring people in their in-house legal departments and are very happy to say look at this person who’s a 3-4 year associate at Paul, Weiss, who’s got great marks. I’m going to make them assistant GC here at Fortune 500 company, which is also a problem for the firms.
Elie Mystal: I don’t think that a lot of people in college, like college-age people, especially minorities, I don’t think they have a great sense of just how much better you’re kind of run the mill, least common denominator, corporation is at diversity issues than your average run the mill law firm.
Joe Patrice: Yeah.
Elie Mystal: We always think of like Corporate America, it’s like people are thinking Wolf of Wall Street and it’s kind of hyper white, hyper masculine.
Joe Patrice: May be not the funds.
Elie Mystal: We’re not talking about them, we’re not talking about the iBankers.
Joe Patrice: Talking about 3M here, like big companies.
Elie Mystal: For the most part in big companies the thing that they care about is money and the thing that you can do as a minority is just put the money on the table, like they keep stats on this, and so the same thing used to happen, Colin Powell actually talks about this, and this is the first time I’ve ever quoted Colin Powell positively in this podcast.
Joe Patrice: Okay.
Elie Mystal: But, Colin Powell talks about how the military is very much like that too. It’s very performance-based and you can — you have a body-count, you can rank out your kill chart, you can rank out your spreadsheet and you can prove your value in Corporate America.
In law, it’s really not like that. It’s much more difficult to identify the great lawyer from the average lawyer with just good relationships from the rainmakers get stats, if you’re able to bring a book of business into the company, they can see that. But the guy who bills like 3,000 hours isn’t necessarily the better lawyer than the guy who billed 2600 hours, maybe the better person to bill 2600 hours who is just a little bit more efficient with their work.
So, it’s a much — it’s much more difficult as a minority in a big law firm to document and prove that you are better than somebody else.
Joe Patrice: Yeah. I mean, I don’t know about that for the reason why the Corporate America is better. I think just Corporate America is public-facing in ways that we treat law firms as black boxes. Nobody thinks about like how law firms do things, when — if throw out a random Wal-Mart goes out there and has no women or people of color at any level, people will notice that and talk about that and it will affect them in a myriad of ways because they deal with consumers.
Law doesn’t have that. They exist in this kind of rarefied air and a brand-based air a lot of times, and that’s one of the things that — not to gush about Microsoft but about this Microsoft program, which I know some other clients have done similar things.
What’s useful about that is, for so long nobody thinks about personalities at least at the elite levels when they hire. They are hiring Paul, Weiss because — not to pick on them but they are the ones who did this, they’re hiring Paul, Weiss because —
Elie Mystal: It’s their turn.
Joe Patrice: — they are hiring Paul, Weiss over Paul and Weiss, people who aren’t really there anymore. They’re hiring them over a brand, an idea, that is, this firm that produces quality work. The individual lawyers, I mean, to some extent, there are some rainmakers that you may know, but a lot of people are choosing those big firms because of the brand name, not because of an individual.
And for that reason, there’s no like accountability there that is existing in the Corporate America side.
Elie Mystal: Get to the back end of the parabola.
Joe Patrice: Yeah. So, the good is, in a world where Big Law, for a lot of the reasons we just mentioned, can easily duck their heads and try and hope everything blows over. We write a story about this, a lot of firms will just not acknowledge it, disappear, hope that it blows over. There’s firms that have all sorts of negative press that just take that strategy.
Paul, Weiss does not take that strategy within — within 24 hours of this story breaking, of this thing that they’ve done being pointed out as problematic, the Chair of the firm has already reached out to us and we were unable to like make connection but did at least reach out to us, and we got back and tried to talk, but also went out of their way to set up a town hall that’s going to happen early in the new year when everyone’s back to discuss these issues and to have a real conversation about not just what’s going on but what firm leadership says they are doing, and eliciting feedback from the associates on, is this enough, which is a good thing.
Like you might say, oh, it’s — they’re just having a commission to talk about it kind of, but in the world of Big Law that’s a huge deal to actually proactively put yourself out there and say, I’ve decided this is a real problem and we’re going to have a conversation about it.
Elie Mystal: Yeah.
Joe Patrice: I mean —
Elie Mystal: What would you say I could say, they’re going to make a commission and talk about it and not do anything?
Joe Patrice: I mean, well, my guess is they’re going to do something because they are noted as being a firm that’s all — we already know from their work with Microsoft that they are not only a firm that has expressed commitment in it, but a firm that has actually passed several benchmarks of promoting diversity in ways that other law firms are not. So, we know they have some base reason of caring about this.
I think that the way in which the invitation is written to this town hall, it explains we have plans, we have concrete steps that we’re looking at to improve this and we want to talk to you about them and hear from you about whether or not there’s more that can be done.
I think this is the sign of a firm that actually does want this problem fixed though I think it’s a firm that doesn’t want the image to be out there — basically the image that they put out there. And on that front I want to also throw — there was a good episode of On the Road with the Legal Talk Network from —
Elie Mystal: Blog.
Joe Patrice: Yeah, from back earlier this year that I was hosting at the ABA meeting where we talked about bias with some experts on unconscious and implicit bias and one of the things that was kind of a recurring theme of that conversation was when there are issues like this, where it’s not like you tried to go out and just have an all-white class with one woman, but it happened and then you never thought that that picture was a problem when you looked at it and sent it out, those sorts of biases are things that you shouldn’t feel ashamed of, to the extent that shame tends to spark denial out of people like firms, going like that’s not what happened, blah, blah, blah.
Embrace it, recognize unconscious bias exists. When you are told about it, don’t fall into a shame spiral of uh, just say yeah, that happened. We don’t think it’s good that it happened. We are going to do things to address that it happened. They should be applauded for taking that approach in a world where I would say, unfortunately, most of the Am Law would probably not have taken that approach.
Elie Mystal: A shame spiral, is that a thing?
Joe Patrice: Yeah, I mean it’s — well, technically it’s a line from a Simpsons episode, but it is a — I mean that’s where I heard it, but it is a thing, and that’s what it is, right? You are ashamed that you have been called out, and this happens a lot on the social medias, you are ashamed as a White person, you are called out as a racist, your response is to go into the spiral of, well, I didn’t really say it. Or I mean I guess, no, you said it, um, no, it’s not me, like a denial and this is not productive.
Recognizing that unconscious bias exists is important to get any sort of change. Being able to say like, oh, wow, yeah, good point, not going to do that anymore and here is how we are going to address it. It doesn’t excuse the fact that the thing happened in the first place, but it’s also true that that’s never going to be a thing that you can avoid, because unconscious bias permeates everything, because of the structure.
Elie Mystal: If white people want to compliment other white people for thinking about one day being less so fucking white, I guess I am all for that.
Joe Patrice: I mean you could listen also to the experts who talked about this who were not white people on this podcast and I am relaying their message and they are not white people and this is their message, yeah, that this is — and it works even in the non — like you tend for reasons that makes sense, to focus just on the white level, but the exact opposite, it’s not just that, it is also a male-female thing, it is also — they are also LGBT biases that are built in that span all sorts of intersexual markers.
So recognizing that like obviously the white-black thing is huge, but there are several people who are making the same sorts of unconscious biases towards other groups even if they might not be part of the white heterosexual male supremacy superstructure. So it’s worth noting and being concerned about, because if you get in a denial, it’s never going to fix anything.
Elie Mystal: Do we have time, I know we didn’t plan this, do we have time to piss on Jones Day for just two seconds?
Joe Patrice: We can if you want.
Elie Mystal: Okay.
Joe Patrice: I am always up for that.
Elie Mystal: I just wanted to point out to our listeners, our brothers and sisters in the fight at Slate are striking.
Joe Patrice: Well, they have authorized to strike.
Elie Mystal: They have authorized.
Joe Patrice: They have not struck yet, but they have authorized to strike.
Elie Mystal: As of this recording they have authorized a strike and so Slate management has brought in a firm to defend them, and guess what firm it is?
Joe Patrice: Well, to represent management, yes, they brought in Jones Day.
Elie Mystal: What the hell, like does Jones — is there some like Jones Day bat signal like I am a jackboot and I need legal representation?
Joe Patrice: Yeah.
Elie Mystal: Is that how it works?
Joe Patrice: Sort of. Jones Day has been very active in the anti-labor movement representations. That is a management side representation is a thing that they do and do often. And yeah, they are very well-known for utilizing their expertise to drive down the lowest common denominator basically of labor deals and then using that as precedent, saying oh, well, you just give up this, Lisa needs braces, dental plan, to make it the second Simpsons’ reference, get that dental plan kicked out in one and then turn to their next client and go, nobody has dental plans anymore. They utilize this as kind of a broad-based strategy. And so their being brought in on a matter like this is not a surprise. It is part of a concentrated anti-labor strategy.
Elie Mystal: I have yet, in my 10 years here at Above the Law, I have yet to meet a law student at a top five law school who had Jones Day as their top choice. There are a couple of students at non-top law schools who had going to live in Cleveland as their top choice and ended up at Jones Day, but I have yet to meet the top law student who is like yes, let me wrap that firm around my neck for the rest of my career.
Joe Patrice: I guess technically you might be right, it depends on the year of the rankings, because I know a Chicago student who went to Jones Day, but Chicago sometimes falls —
Elie Mystal: Was it their first choice? Went to Jones Day as their first choice and wasn’t because of Cleveland?
Joe Patrice: Wasn’t because of Cleveland; they worked in New York, if I recall. Yeah, they came to the New York office. But yeah, I don’t know whether it was first choice or not, but it’s the one they chose. They don’t do law anymore. So that probably says something.
But yeah, there you go. So yeah, no, that is a thing that is going on.
The other thing — the other little story from this week that I will put out there is December 24th —
Elie Mystal: I believe that’s Christmas Eve?
Joe Patrice: It is, holiday at least for staff members or not in big law, what do you think?
Elie Mystal: I mean — so I know the answer, so I am not — it’s not fair, but like –
Joe Patrice: There is no answer really. I think it goes a broad range, but what do you think?
Elie Mystal: It should be.
Joe Patrice: Yeah. Like in my experience for staff and like attorneys, that’s a whole different story, because the attorneys also have basically unlimited vacations, in a functional sense, so if they choose to work from home or whatever, that’s fine, but the staff for whom vacation days are very precious, do they have to haul themselves all the way in on a Christmas Eve just to have a day where most of the lawyers don’t do anything or not?
My big law experiences have been largely skeleton crews. Word processing is there, some of the clerks are there, to the extent necessary, but mostly people get the day off.
Elie Mystal: Christmas Eve needs to be a holiday for staff, especially because those people are so much more likely to have kids.
Joe Patrice: Well, there is that. I was going to say a different especially, especially this year where it’s on a Monday.
Elie Mystal: Oh, don’t even get me started. I mean the calendar is just — this is one of those years where the calendar —
Joe Patrice: They are going to give people two days off, have them come in to do nothing and then have another day off, like it’s just a waste.
Elie Mystal: But honest — like trying to work on Christmas Eve when you have children and you are trying to set up, however you do it, when you are trying to set up for the next day having to have eight or nine hours of your day sucked away by your job when there is nothing to do, and I think you have already made this point. Like it would be one thing if you were a staff at an Amazon Fulfillment Center, we need you to work on Christmas Eve, all right, but if you are working in a law firm, there is nothing for you to do. Why are you making these people come to work? Like do I have to bring the ghost of Christmas future over here before you shape up?
Joe Patrice: Yeah. Sheppard Mullin is taking the stance that their staff doesn’t have to come in, which is a very good thing. But I wrote an article about it where I was like this is a very good thing, but also, why is this — why are we patting them on the back for this in that it should be kind of standard.
And so far the feedback when I have asked what firms are doing this, let me know, most of the people who have gotten back to me have been taking the stance that yeah, we are letting the staff, not necessarily off, but it’s kind of a right of first refusal, as in they are presumptively off unless their bosses come and say we have a deal that closes that day, or whatever it is, which I think is probably fair.
But I haven’t heard from a broad swath of firms yet, so if there are others that aren’t doing it, let us know. We want to shine a light on this, because it does — it’s just dumb. And look, again, if Christmas Eve were a Friday, maybe I wouldn’t think the same about it, I think I probably would, but maybe, but on a Monday it just seems like a complete waste of time.
Elie Mystal: I am surprised that you are on it at all, because you are usually Mr. Belichick, just do your job kind of guy.
Joe Patrice: Well, maybe, but I do feel that — I feel like people do — you should do your job when the job needs doing, like things need to get done, then do them. Things don’t need to get done — the courts aren’t doing anything that day in a serious way. Deals probably aren’t happening. I mean obviously there is some cultural imperialism involved in that sentence, but if you are a US based law firm, you probably don’t have a thing that’s closing that day, like what’s the point in forcing this.
And I also — because while I do believe in getting jobs done, I believe A, that they have to be a job that needs to get done; and B, that the people who are doing it should be respected. This is why we were talking about labor unions a second ago.
And the idea that you are going to make people after two days off get all their stuff together, deal with childcare, deal with potentially, for a large swaths of this country, traveling in snow and ice to go into an office to then do nothing for eight hours, and it may not even be eight hours because probably what will happen is out of nowhere the office will send out an email at like 2 going, you know what, we have decided to close for the day, and then you have done all this for no reason and come back, like it’s just not safe, it’s not smart, just let them have the day off.
Elie Mystal: I mean I am surprised how focused you are on the day of the week issue of it, but certainly I mean —
Joe Patrice: Well, part of the day of the week issue, good point, part of the day of the week issue is I think that that speaks to the whether or not there is anything going on. There is no court that’s really hauling everybody in for a hearing on the 24th really, whereas if it were Friday, like the last day of a week and everybody is kind of going to cycle out early anyway, I could absolutely believe that a court is like we are going to be open until noon, at which point maybe you do need the staff, but Monday, no.
Elie Mystal: It’s also just an issue of whether or not you are a good manager. I mean, you need to treat people like adults, if you need people to be there, you as a manager should be able to see that coming and ask those people specifically, basically if they can do you a solid and come into work that day. What you shouldn’t be doing is not knowing whether or not you are going to need them, having everybody come in just to cover your own dumb ass, and then when you realize that you didn’t need them at all, as you say, hey, it’s 3 o’clock, everybody go home because I am such a nice manager. No, you are a dick. You should have figured that out before they showed up at all.
Joe Patrice: Yeah, absolutely.
Elie Mystal: I think, no, you are a dick is a good way to end the show.
Joe Patrice: Yeah. So, on that note, thank you for listening. Thank you to Smith.ai for sponsoring the show. If you aren’t subscribed, you should be. You should subscribe so you get every episode right as it comes hot off the presses. You should give us reviews and not just a star, although those are lovely, but give us — write something up, because the computer takes all that into account in recommending this as a legal podcast.
You should be following us at Above the Law, which you should read on a daily basis because that’s where you read these fun stories. You also can follow me @JosephPatrice, him @ElieNYC on Twitter. We have an Instagram account at Above the Law.
Elie Mystal: Really?
Joe Patrice: Yes, we have talked about this. Anyway, we have an Instagram account that you could follow too. We both also probably have personal Instagram accounts, though I am very bad about it. I am going to try. I am going to try to get better in the New Year.
And then you can listen to the other LTN offerings; you can listen to the other podcasts that Above the Law has; Book of Business and The Jabot.
And with that, I think I have now exhausted everything that I needed to say.
Elie Mystal: The whisky is so tangy on my lips.
Joe Patrice: That’s right. Let’s go back to this party and see if anybody missed us. All right, thanks everybody.
The views expressed by the participants of this program are their own and do not represent the views of, nor are they endorsed by Legal Talk Network, its officers, directors, employees, agents, representatives, shareholders, and subsidiaries. None of the content should be considered legal advice. As always, consult a lawyer.
Above the Law's Elie Mystal and Joe Patrice examine everyday topics through the prism of a legal framework.
Firms are signaling their strength in a COVID impacted economy.
Despite Trump's urgings, you'd be risking possible felonies.
Why doesn't the Attorney General know how many times we can vote?
Taking stock of the law after a week of consistent violations.
Online exams have a bathroom break problem.
Although this COVID party did stop.