Anonymous Lawyer contest

by Eszter Hargittai on June 7, 2006

With all this talk about fun books, it’s time for me to write a post about Jeremy Blachman’s new book Anonymous Lawyer. Better yet, I even have a copy to give away courtesy of the publisher, so this time I’m holding a contest with an actual prize. Yipee.

First, a few words about the book. (Disclosure: I was Jeremy’s TA for a class in college and have been in touch with him over the past few years.) It is in the format of a blog. (But no, uhm, you don’t start on the last page flipping backward.) The story is told through blog posts with email messages interspersed. If you have read the blog Anonymous Lawyer then you will be familiar with the topic and style, although rest assured that the book content is new and not simply a copy-paste of what is already available.

More about the book, a special book-related Web site and contest details below the fold.


The story is about a hiring partner at a major law firm who comments on everyday life in the firm and at home. It is basically a satire of such a person’s and his colleagues’ and family’s life. While some actual lawyers may not find it particularly authentic, I thought it was a very amusing read. There is a specific plot – when will AL become The New Chairman? – something not present on the original blog. So even if you are used to reading that, you should find plenty of new and fun material here.

There are three groups of people featured in the book: members of AL’s family (Anonymous Son, Anonymous Daughter, Anonymous Wife and Anonymous Niece who is AL’s main email correspondent); summer interns (e.g. the Suck-Up, That Foreign Dude, Some Other Foreign Dude, The Guy With The Bad Haircut, the Musician) and other colleagues, both associates and partners (e.g. the Jerk, the Bombshell, the One Who Missed Her Kid’s Funeral).

To add to the fun, there is also an Anonymous Law Firm Web site accompanying the book where you can read up on various partners and associates, learn about their offices worldwide and even the meaning of life.

Now onto the contest. I’m looking for suggestions for Anonymous Colleague descriptions. The author refers to all characters in the book through descriptions of their personality, their looks, their habits, something in their past. What kind of character would you feature when describing your work relations? Alternatively, what kind of character would you think would be interesting in a story about a law firm?

You did great with the photo caption “contest” so let’s see how you do when there’s an actual prize at stake. Submit suggestions in the comments to this post or by sending me an email. Some identifying information will be necessary if you win and want to claim the prize. I will decide about how to decide the winner later.

—Flickr Obsessed

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Crooked Timber » » Vote for your favorite Anonymous Colleague description
06.14.06 at 6:21 am

{ 12 comments }

1

inigo jones 06.07.06 at 12:49 pm

How about this: ‘The Double Mocha-Latte Drinking, Gel-Haired, Brown Courduroy Blazer Wearing Trendoid’? I think this amusingly (if inaccurately) describes a sizeable chunk of British university students, so you might have to resort to numbering them in order to have a coherent narrative, as in “DMLD-GH-BCBWT Nos.1 through 17 all applauded the suggestion to label Arafat as a beacon of enlightened rule.”

2

M. Gordon 06.07.06 at 2:00 pm

A few examples from my lab: Korean Jesus-Love Guy, Mr. In-By-Noon-And-Out-By-Four, and The Amazing Vanishing Advisor.

3

pp 06.07.06 at 3:37 pm

The anonymous touchy feely guy. He is overweight, red faced and fails to bathe regularly. He wears plaid light colored double breasted suits (with suspenders). He greets everyone, not with a handshake but with a clammy hand grasping the upper arm/shoulder/back. He steals lunches out of the refrigerator and makes sure that he always has the same stall for his daily defecation ritual. But he is a good worker and related to the managing partners sister.

4

KCinDC 06.07.06 at 4:48 pm

How about the CEO Who Must Receive and Distribute All Company Mail Herself?

5

dejla 06.07.06 at 4:58 pm

Among my ACs would be The Nuclear Warhead, The Loose Cannon, She-Hasn’t-Got-A-Clue, and The Mother of All Slackers.

6

otto 06.07.06 at 6:10 pm

Links not working. [Fixed, thanks! E.]

7

fishbane 06.07.06 at 6:37 pm

Prof-who-burnt-his-beard-off-with-that-pretentious-pipe

Ecxema Guy

No Life ‘Til Tenure

7th Year Undergrad

SUG (Stoned Until Graduation)

Wishes She Were Jane Austen

Mom’s Disappointment

Token Conservative

Overly Feminist Guy

Overly Feminist Chick

Really Overly Feminist Guy

Identity Politics Ate His Brain

Opportunistic Faculty Climber

Will TA for Food

Endentured Summer Scholarship Victim

Bathrobe Philosopher

PoliSci-Is-About-Indy-Rock Guy

Ms. Empathy

Some of these might only be native to a certain liberal arts school in New England; I have no way of knowing.

8

AB 06.07.06 at 11:15 pm

The One Who Repeats Everyone’s Name
The One Who Wastes Time On Courtesy
The Green
The Apprentice Loser
Get Him On What-Not-To-Wear
Dot Com Riches
Allergy Chic
Cut That Hair Already
Not As Hot As He Thinks
Summa Cum

9

Nabakov 06.08.06 at 2:29 am

Mr shaggy grey hair, twinkling blue eyes and wandering clammy hands.

“I’m a perky blonde ministerial advisor and you’re not!”

Mr grizzled beard, bifocals and homebrewed beer.

Wears ironed jeans on casual Fridays. Talks to his mum a lot on the phone. Got really drunk at the office Xmas part and came out. Was surprised that no one was surprised.

“Frankly, I’m too good for this position and I don’t care who knows how I feel. Except my supervisor.”

Ms recent divorcee and her new gay friends. Would any office party be complete without her Ab Fab impersonation? Unfortunately no.

The teenage Goth office assistant who can’t stop blushing.

Mr Happy, who believes if something funny is worth saying once, it’s worth saying a thousand times, the fucker.

The intern with long legs and a short mind. First name usually ends in “i”.

Six feet of soignée savagery with her carry-on always to heel, hitting the glass ceiling.

Ex-army. Keeps a picture of his motorbike in his wallet. Also posts it on his personal website along with pirated Maxim pinups. Currently 2nd in the office sleaze sweepstakes.

10

dave heasman 06.08.06 at 3:24 am

The Indian obsessed with the Da Vinci Code?

11

someone7 06.08.06 at 11:54 am

I’ll try the character I think would be interesting in a story about a law firm, based on personal experiences in the field.

Partner X (he isn’t officially a partner, meaning he isn’t listed as one, he just cashes in as any other one, but in a separate, off-shore bank account) is in charge of doing what can’t be done, but must be done, in order to win certain high-profile cases, where the client is ready to pay extraordinary sums. He’s in charge of establishing contacts that can’t be traced and celebrating meetings that never took place, with policy-makers, opinion leaders, members of the judiciary, technocrats in key positions, etc. His looks are extremely modest, but don’t fool yourself. With just a glance, or a certain phrase, the message will be conveyed, as well as what follows if you don’t abide by it.

12

JMK 06.10.06 at 5:21 pm

Bollocks. THIS is the actual anonymous lawyer: http://www.philalawyer.net (used to be http://www.philalawyer.blogspot.com). Blachman is amusing. This is flat out piss your pants funny and incredibly insightful. The .net page is new, but you can find the old stuff from the blogspot site doing a googls cache search.

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