Work fewer hours and move to Cleveland. That's not advice that most young lawyers hear from their elders, but it's exactly (and laughably) what Justice Scalia said during a talk at the University of Chicago Law School.
He's being mocked by those lawyerly types who admit that while it's nice to have a balance of life, that kind of advice really doesn't fly for folks wet behind the ears trying to make a place for themselves in the profession.
Here's exactly what Scalia said:
“Try to find a practice that enables you to maintain a human existence … time for your family, your church or synagogue, community … boy scouts, little league,” Scalia said, noting he started with Jones Day in Cleveland. “You should look for a place like that. I’m sure they’re still out there. Maybe you have to go to Cleveland.”
Mother of pearl. While I do appreciate the nod to the West Coast’s stoner mellow culture (especially from Justice Scalia, of all people), this advice comes across as more than a little insensitive to young lawyers. Let’s set aside the fact that not “work[ing] too many hours” at a Biglaw firm is basically an oxymoron (or as Quinn wrote, “I don’t think it’s too out of school to note that Jones Day, like its peers, probably has a billing requirement for associates near 1,950 hours — even in Cleveland.”)
But a lot of recent law school graduates can’t work less, because they’re not working at all. Anyone who has spent time with unemployed people (I am on my third unemployed roommate. Don’t ask.), or has been an unemployed person, knows one of the worst things you can say is: “Chill out, bro. Everything will be fine. Just spend more time with your family, your church, and your local Little League team.”
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