Greedy Associates

Greedy Associates - The FindLaw Legal Lifestyle and Career Blog


Voters in Ireland go to the polls today to vote on whether the Emerald Isle will legalize gay marriage. If the vote is successful, Ireland will be the first country to adopt marriage equality by popular referendum.

Meanwhile, gay marriage fans and foes alike in the United States are left waiting for the Supreme Court to decide whether the Constitution protects an individual's right to marry a same-sex partner. According to some, they might have a hint of how the Court will eventually rule, based on a figurative wink and nod Justice Ginsburg gave as she officiated a same-sex marriage last weekend.

They don't make many T.V. dramas about IRS attorneys. John Grisham has yet to write about the sexy world of EPA rule making. But that doesn't mean a job in a regulatory position isn't exciting. Working in government regulation, whether for a regulated industry or for the government itself, can be an engaging and rewarding career.

Your work in regulatory affairs can affect the operations of entire companies, industries and even whole government agencies. That is, if you know how to get the job.

Beards were once fairly common in the legal profession, even if they were never the norm. Portraits of the Supreme Court under Justice Waite show a few Stonewall Jackson look-alikes, though the last Justice to sport a full beard, Justice George Sutherland, stepped down in 1938.

A few generations later, beards are booming again. From Brooklyn hipsters, to college professors, to Hollywood stars, beards are everywhere. But, are they appropriate for lawyers?

The last episode of AMC's "Mad Men"aired this weekend, bringing to a close the critically acclaimed, booze-soaked series. While the show focused on the advertising industry in the 1960's, there's plenty that lawyers can learn from the chain-smoking, heavy-drinking characters.

Besides the best way to mix a cocktail before lunch, or why you shouldn't smoke a pack a day, here's five important lessons lawyers can take from "Mad Men:"

Lawyers don't just carry their clients troubles on their shoulders -- we also have to drag along notebooks, filings, legal pads, computers and even the rare law book. Some days it's enough to make you feel like a highly-paid Sherpa.

That's no excuse for wearing a backpack, though. Or even a bad briefcase. As a lawyer, you need to look the part -- back pain be damned.*

Congratulations; you've graduated from law school! Three years of hard work and dedication have finally paid off. At long last, you'll be able to take a break from late-night studying sessions.

Just kidding! You have one more teensy-weensy hurdle to overcome before you become a lawyer: THE BAR EXAM. With any luck, you'll only have to take this thing once and then it will be smooth sailing. Here are some tips to make sure your first time is your last time.

Welcome to "First Week at the Firm," a new FindLaw feature for beginning associates, focused on helping you navigate the transition into firm life. We hope you'll enjoy this new series and come back regularly for more insider tips.

Welcome to the firm! Get ready to start writing, because the bulk of many new associates' workloads will be research. It's easy to sit down and begin researching a question -- be it something simple, or something juicy -- and find yourself still sitting there, still researching hours later.

You could spend a lifetime looking through Westlaw or Lexis for that perfect case and still never find it. So, how do you know how long you should research an issue before you say enough is enough?

3 Great Movie Judges

Nerds around the world rejoiced at the news that Natalie Portman would play Justice Ginsburg in a biopic about Ginsburg's extraordinary life.

That got us to wondering about judges in movies. They're fairly common -- every dramatic courtroom scene needs a judge, after all -- so who are some of the great judges in movies?

When I first started working in law, several people told me that if I wanted to impress, I should make sure I was the first person partners saw when they came in and the last person they saw when they left. I never considered that could mean actually moving in to the office.

But that's just what one young California lawyer did -- after graduation, he gave up his long commutes and high rent in order to live out of his office, unbeknownst to any of his colleagues.

Being out of law school for a few years and actually practicing, it's startling how unprepared I was, both substantively and in terms of practicing. Law school, it's well understood, doesn't do a very good job of preparing you for anything.

What it does do (maybe) is teach you how to think like a lawyer, but not how to actually be a lawyer or what to know as a lawyer. Here are some things I wish law school had taught me.