Lawyers On A Train

lawyer 1[Above The Law] There’s just something about riding on crowded Amtrak trains that causes Biglaw attorneys to lose all of their inhibitions. From fondling one another to making $300,000 partnership offers to casually discussing future layoffs, their indiscretion knows no bounds. Perhaps they choose to throw caution to the wind because they think no one cares about the business of law, or that no one is really listening to what they’re saying or watching what they’re doing, but that’s simply not the case. We’ve got eyes and ears everywhere, and no one is safe.

Today’s Biglaw blind item occurred on yet another Amtrak train, and deals with some longstanding archetypes: an attorney who “sounded like a real jerk” and a law student who “sounded desperate.” It seems like this attorney has hate in his heart for his firm’s summer associates…

A tipster sent us this story about what she overheard in an Amtrak quiet car last week (and surprisingly, it wasn’t Acela Bob who was caught blabbing about his firm’s problems this time):

I was on the evening train from DC to New York last Thursday that arrived in NYC at midnight. I was half asleep but woke up when two guys came onto the train at one of the Pennsylvania stops. The two guys sat down in my car and were talking very loudly (note: I was sitting in the quiet car so everyone in the car could hear their conversation). One of the guys was an attorney at a firm in NYC and the other was a law student looking to secure a summer position.

The practicing attorney was telling the law student that all of his firm’s summers were “crap” and “idiots” and that he would recommend the law student for a summer position as soon as the firm’s previous summers finished accepting their offers. The law student then asked if the attorney’s firm was still looking to hire law students for its incoming summer class and the attorney replied “no,” but all of their summers last year were “losers” and “worthless,” so he was confident he could get the law student into the summer program.

The practicing attorney then continued to bash his firm’s previous summer class for the next couple of minutes, saying that the summers were “useless” and “a bunch of morons.” After enduring about 5 minutes of this, another patron told the guys they were in the quiet car and needed to keep it down.

This is yet another case of obnoxious over-sharing in public places. Sure, those 100 percent summer associate offer rates are great, but now you know that some of the attorneys at these elite Biglaw firms think they’ve just hired a gaggle of expendable morons. Congratulations, former SAs, you’re “worthless.”

Do you think you know the attorney and the firm in question? Feel free to speculate in the comments.


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  1. nomnom says

    I don’t know the answer, but as a former summer associate let me just say yeah, we know that already.

  2. Syd Wishes says

    If the student was truly desperate, I have to guess Mark Heller.

    Loud + Pennsylvania (where the professional courtesy of allowing a NY Bar atty to take a case is extended by one Pa. Bar attorney vouching for you, was denied to Heller for Jon Gosselin’s divorce) point to him. Except I don’t think he’s been associated with a Biglaw firm for a long, long time.

    The aptly-named Heller – a lawyer who makes even the crookedest, most shameless lawyers cry, “Have you no conscience, Heller?!”

  3. mugofmead111 says

    Re: “I was half asleep but woke up when two guys came onto the train at one of the Pennsylvania stops”

    On the Acela, there’d only be one stop in PA…at 30th Street. My guess would be a Philly-area firm, though unsure whether it’d be in city or in the ‘burbs.