Smiley Faces and Unicorns and Other Survey Outtakes

by Vault Law Editors | June 12, 2012

Next week, Vault will release its 2013 Law 100 Rankings. To whet your appetite for the rankings—which contain some interesting shake-ups—we’ve compiled some of the “outtakes” from this year’s survey.

The comments we get from our survey are what make the Vault Guide so widely used—law students and laterals take associates’ opinions seriously. Still, when you have nearly 17,000 associates taking a survey, you’re going to come across some responses that are a little… quirky. Let’s take a look at a few of the comments we got this year that didn’t quite make it into the Guide. (Firm names have been removed to protect the anonymity of our respondents.)

Fun Facts

  • We have a pet dog that runs around the office. That's actually not at all true, but it would be cool if it were.”
  • “The reason for our continued success is that there is a secret fraternity of alpha frat studs that makes most major decisions.”
  • “When hired, every lawyer gets a [firm name] tattoo on his or her lower back.”

Uppers

  • “It's solid, reasonable, and a good value. It's the Volvo of the firm world.”
  • “Low standards.”

Downers

  • “Having to actually show up for 2-3 years before going in-house.”
  • “Never seeing the sky except through a window.”
  • “Not enough damn cookies.”

Associate/Partner Relations

  • “Firm leadership as a general matter is a star chamber run by free masons in underground bunkers. When the white smoke puffs out from the chimney in New York, you know they've made a decision.”
  • “The younger associates are (with one exception) a delight. The senior associates and partners are horrible and Machiavellian.”
  • “It's easier to get news out of the papal conclave than it is to find out whether you'll be promoted to partner.”
  • “The partnership's recent decision to cease corporal punishment was well received.”

Training

  • “Associates are essentially feral; learning is organized on a ‘lord of the flies’ basis.”

Green Initiatives

  • “I like to kill trees, and wish that this survey could have been done on paper.”
  • “Who cares if a firm is ‘environmentally friendly’? I suppose that we are, but you may as well ask whether we like smiley faces and unicorns.”

Compensation

  • “The right word to describe our compensation system is "byzantine," and that's probably doing an injustice to the Byzantines.”

Culture

  • “Liberals are over-represented among associates, which makes no sense because all we do is work for the man!”
  • “We do drink together, as misery loves company.”
  • “We are easily one of the most socially awkward and asocial firms in the market. When people pass each other in the hallways, the etiquette is to avert your eyes and shuffle along in silence.”
  • “We are family like the Wu-Tang Clan.”

Don't forget to check back next week for the official rankings release of our Top 100 firms (and for some more... helpful quotes).

--Rachel Marx, Law Editor

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Filed Under: Job Search | Law | Workplace Issues


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