This letter speaks for itself. It's my diatribe against the legal profession. I worked mostly as a proofreader during my first two years in New York City. A lengthy assignment I had, one that lasted half a year, was at a corporate Wall Street law firm. A lot of these letters were written while I was employed there.
Niall was a good friend who was attending UC Hastings law school when I sent him this dire warning to get out before it was too late. He of course ignored me.
Niall would go on to be a corporate lawyer and an attorney for the Department of Justice. His brother, who was also a good college friend and who has appeared in these letters, is now a prominent foreign policy reporter for one of the remaining august daily newspapers.
I work in a big Wall Street law office now. -- Niall, don't do it. It's not worth it. Drop out, apply to graduate school, take to the road, work in a laundromat. Do anything -- but don't become a lawyer.
The name of the firm is DAVIS POLK & WARDWELL. They specialize in litigation and corporate law. I'm a proofreader. Everyone looks at me like I'm a shit smear on the toilet seat. I don't have fancy clothes and my shoes are old need a shine.
There are two offices, one on Wall Street and one half a block up in Chase Manhattan Plaza. I'm at the Chase building. The one good thing is that there's a company subsidized cafeteria on the floor I work on. I can get good hot meals for really cheap. Most of the lawyers don't eat there, just the secretaries and clerks and pages and paralegals, which is fine by me.
What a bunch of scared snotty assholes lawyers are. They walk around like they're the best thing ever, like their piss is sitting in the Pope's refrigerator. They think they know everything and they treat people poorly. If you ask me I'd say that they're just a bunch of pussies and numbskulls. I don't think they've ever ironed out their masculinity. All they're doing is acting tough on carpeted floors. They need a good paddling.
I'm sure the reason this law office is so bad is because of the type of law that's practiced and the huge amount of money that's made. But even the paralegals are assholes, and they're not even necessarily going into corporate law (they're in law school or applying to law school and are at DAVIS POLK because it's prestigious) which leads me to believe that there's something about being a lawyer, about studying law, that bespeaks a vanity, an insecurity, that creates a desire for dominance. But the deal is that it's artificial dominance. It's the nerd behind the controls of the killer robot. It's the twenty-foot giant made out of papier-mache and the radio of clay and the dog with three legs. So much desire and need being absorbed into nothing. But maybe they're doing it all for justice? Maybe they're doing it for right, for rightness, for equity, for humility before the law and maintenance of society? Bullshit. They're in it for the smell of their own soiled underpants. I don't think that this is your case. And that's why a career as an attorney is probably going to be plenty horrible for you because you're better than it, because you're going to be surrounded by all these fucked up assholes.