Saturday, September 16, 2017

Dean Satan Q&A: Lawyers... In "Love"

Q.  Howdy, Deano!  Love the new feature and thanks for taking my question.  I've been a lawyer a few years now, and while I absolutely love being in the front ranks slicing the Slimy Orcs of Injustice with my handy TruthSaber - motion for judgment on the pleadings POW - I notice my marriage is sort-of...sad.  Like two ships passing in the night, although we're both taking on excess cargo and I think the other ship may be mingling around the harbor.  What can we do to keep the romance smooth smiling while steering this million dollar cruise ship?

-Drydocked in Des Moines

A:  Ambiguously gendered writer, I'm something of an expert on this topic, as I have been married five times.  You might ask yourself why a philanderer diametrically opposed to Juedo-Christian norms would indulge the institution of marriage and the answer is:  networking.

Once you hit a certain age, professionalism requires that you take a spouse or else everyone will think you're a [weirdo/closet queer/nympho/commitmentphobic/incel/predator/super-feminist/etc.].  Don't believe me?  Show up to a lawyer networking event as a 40-year-old, wait the obligatory hour for the alcohol to set in, and start telling people that you're "single."  Not divorced.  Not separated.  Not "we've been together for a few years now."  Single.

Drydocked, you may as well unbutton your shirt and show everyone oozing, festering boils.

The point is that - much like your decision to go to law school - you have already made an excellent professional life decision.  Congratulations!  Breed a future lawyer or two - they're like sprinkles on your networking sundae, or, to use your boating metaphor, a gilded anchor.

Unfortunately, almost all marriages are superficial scams.  Just as the depression and substance abuse reported in the legal industry are common across all professions and therefore not of concern, please know that no one really has a blissful, fully satisfied domestic life, lawyer or no.

Major unhappiness in relationships, I have found, is the result of unrealistic expectations.  Once you accept the fact that romance is a delusion propagated by other industries' scam operators, you'll find a certain peace with that awkward co-existence with another person from your class in a dull, emotionally vacant, and relatively sexless suburb.  Again, pop a litter out if you really need to add some gravy to that IV of sad mashed potatoes running into your ass.

Sadly, Drydocked, sometimes the significant others of lawyers don't appreciate these truths that you and I, as superior intellects, can grasp.  They still believe in "communication," "emotional support," "work-life balance," "intimacy," and "not stress drinking until you scream-cry pass out," that Disney-fantasy existence of cartoon characters and pop psychology textbooks.

The silver lining - on top of the literal silver lining you can now afford in your bathtub - is that if you find yourself in one of these totally toxic, ahistorical, and unrealistic partnerships, law school gives you the legal resources to fight tooth and nail for what is yours when she sees the "other" credit card statement, at least in theory - you'll still want to hire a peer lest you represent a fool.  My legal acumen has saved me one of my three houses and at least 40% of my earned income over the years.

Many things in law and life are an issue of perspective.  Once you accept that long-term monogamy is a multinational scam and that you should simply approach it as a Machiavellian means to an end, your life is going to get a whole lot better.  When your partner bitches about not doing housework, smile and think "All for the networking."

Your one true love is yourself.  Second-place?  The Law.

My approach to marriage - which is now 5 for 5 - is heads I win, tails she loses.  Non-lawyers won't crack that code until after they've called one of our esteemed peers, which means - yet again - law school put you in a winning position.  Works every fucking time, and you know what?  The network loves crazy ex- stories, too! 

Smooth sailing!

Friday, September 8, 2017

Dean Satan Q&A: Akron-y Capitalism

Q:  Yo, Supreme Law Prof of Darkness, love the new feature.  What do you think of the University of Akron dumping $21 Mil into remodeling its law school?  The school stockpiled $9M from tuition hikes over the last decade and bilked another $5M from the state of Ohio.  Enrollment is up 49 students from last year to a meaty 473.  I think it's great, but some other lawyer - probably one of the very few alcoholic narcissistic shitbirds that sneaks into the profession given our generous entry requirements and the promise of fortune and fame - told me the school only had a 44% employment score (da fuq?) and that Akron is a rust belt dumpster fire with no need for its own law school.  What's wrong with these dust-licking dorks? 

- Can't-Lose in Canton

A:  The greatest basketball player in the world, Lebron James, is from Akron, Ohio.  I'm now going to cut and paste his stats as a way to fill space:

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2003–04 Cleveland 79 79 39.5 .417 .290 .754 5.5 5.9 1.6 .7 20.9
2004–05 Cleveland 80 80 42.4* .472 .351 .750 7.4 7.2 2.2 .7 27.2
2005–06 Cleveland 79 79 42.5 .480 .335 .738 7.0 6.6 1.6 .8 31.4
2006–07 Cleveland 78 78 40.9 .476 .319 .698 6.7 6.0 1.6 .7 27.3
2007–08 Cleveland 75 74 40.4 .484 .315 .712 7.9 7.2 1.8 1.1 30.0*
2008–09 Cleveland 81 81 37.7 .489 .344 .780 7.6 7.2 1.7 1.1 28.4
2009–10 Cleveland 76 76 39.0 .503 .333 .767 7.3 8.6 1.6 1.0 29.7
2010–11 Miami 79 79 38.8 .510 .330 .759 7.5 7.0 1.6 .6 26.7
2011–12 Miami 62 62 37.5 .531 .362 .771 7.9 6.2 1.9 .8 27.1
2012–13 Miami 76 76 37.9 .565 .406 .753 8.0 7.3 1.7 .9 26.8
2013–14 Miami 77 77 37.7 .567 .379 .750 6.9 6.4 1.6 .3 27.1
2014–15 Cleveland 69 69 36.1 .488 .354 .710 6.0 7.4 1.6 .7 25.3
2015–16 Cleveland 76 76 35.6 .520 .309 .731 7.4 6.8 1.4 .6 25.3
2016–17 Cleveland 74 74 37.8* .548 .363 .674 8.6 8.7 1.2 .6 26.4
Career 1,061 1,060 38.9 .501 .342 .740 7.3 7.0 1.6 .8 27.1

That, my dear readers, is some kick-ass dominance, and that's only the regular season.  His playoff numbers are even better:

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2006 Cleveland 13 13 46.5 .476 .333 .737 8.1 5.8 1.4 .7 30.8
2007 Cleveland 20 20 44.7 .416 .280 .755 8.1 8.0 1.7 .5 25.1
2008 Cleveland 13 13 42.5 .411 .257 .731 7.8 7.6 1.8 1.3 28.2
2009 Cleveland 14 14 41.4 .510 .333 .749 9.1 7.3 1.6 .9 35.3
2010 Cleveland 11 11 41.8 .502 .400 .733 9.3 7.6 1.7 1.8 29.1
2011 Miami 21 21 43.9 .466 .353 .763 8.4 5.9 1.7 1.2 23.7
2012 Miami 23 23 42.7 .500 .259 .739 9.7 5.6 1.9 .7 30.3
2013 Miami 23 23 41.7 .491 .375 .777 8.4 6.6 1.8 .8 25.9
2014 Miami 20 20 38.2 .565 .407 .806 7.1 4.8 1.9 .6 27.4
2015 Cleveland 20 20 42.2 .417 .227 .731 11.3 8.5 1.7 1.1 30.1
2016 Cleveland 21 21 39.1 .525 .340 .661 9.5 7.6 2.3 1.3 26.3
2017 Cleveland 18 18 41.3 .565 .411 .698 9.1 7.8 1.9 1.3 32.8
Career 217 217 42.1 .485 .330 .742 8.9 6.9 1.8 1.0 28.4

How can you deny this man's awesome power?

Yet some people claim the University of Akron shouldn't spend hard-earned cash to improve itself?  What if Akron produces a Lebron James of the law?  Paul Clement was born in a town of 6,000.  Clarence Darrow is from a super-small Ohio town not terribly far from Akron.

You want to deny them a local place to go to law school?  You don't think it's worth a measly $21M to ensure their teachers have a decent lounge and there's a mock courtroom worthy of the term?

At 150 graduates a year, the anticipated lifetime premium for the class is $150M.  Ten years' worth of graduates is a $1.5B.  If just 1% of those earnings are donated back to the school, it's $15M.  Tax revenue to the state will pay back that $5M with ludicrous, mouth-watering interest.

Can't Lose - and you can't - I'm frankly growing quite tired of our nation's petulant attitude towards public education.  Men like me gave up lucrative salaries to make slightly less lucrative salaries educating tomorrow's leaders.  Akron fills the Ohio Bar with top-shelf material.  We must support such ventures, and if that means dumping $21M for new windows and a coat of paint, we should dump $50M, or else we run the severe risk of seeing the would-be Lebrons of the world taking their talents to other fields.

Scam on, Ohio.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Dean Satan Q&A: A Holiday in the Life

Q:  Hi Dean Satan!  Mega-dittos and scam on!  Beautiful tan you have.  Did you enjoy the eclipse?  (That's not my question, just my go-to conversation starter until Halloween; "always be networking").

As I write this question, it is the morning of Labor Day, that annual sabbath for capitalism, ostensibly the one day where the overlords give non-essential worker bees a day of repose just because.  By all accounts a holiday.  One of a handful that close the courts, our sacred vanguards of  justice.

Yet, instead of feeling relaxed, I have a weighty sense of guilt about not billing anything yesterday and an anxiety about hitting n hours in a shorter month.  No pending trials or looming deadlines, just a feeling of worthlessness and dread because I should be working.  Most of November and December will be the same, only the rest of the rational world slows down even more, and the sense of missing out on a standardized cultural celebration is even higher.

Why does the legal profession inflect this mental strain on itself through a ludicrous business model?  And why do law schools not prepare students for this sort of thing?  Where's the thought leadership in addressing a common cause of burnout and ensuring that law firms are staffed with sane, healthy, well-adjusted people instead of narcissistic schmoozers and shell-shocked survivors?

-"Down in Denver"

A:  First of all, I'm going to rename you "Up."  Attitude is everything!

Up, yours...that's a great question!   And thanks for the kind words on the tan.  (I had a research project in Costa Rica, and the answer is yes, I can have sex with four lovely lapsed Catholics at the same time.  Thanks, science!)

Naturally, though, being out of the country means that I missed the eclipse, including my opportunity to post super-meta "normal idiot" pics of me with ABA-approved eclipse glasses over my cell phone. 

Eclipses are not really my thing anyway, as I prefer to smother the nation with a more intangible form of darkness. If I want literal darkness, I'll just close my damn eyes.  I'm a literal man; if I see a Corona, it means I'm at the wrong bar.  Know what I mean, Up?

But you're absolutely correct to always be networking and to value the contribution of our courts in ensuring civic order.  It sounds like you have the pitch-perfect idea of what makes a lawyer a lawyer.

Additionally, Up, as a law school dean, it's a gentle island breeze on my hellishly hot heart to see a lawyer thinking through client matters on a day the rest of the world believes is best left to barbecues, clearance sales, and Hurricane relief efforts.

After all, if you treat life like a holiday, you will never do anything amazing.  That anxiety is just the world's way of getting you prepared for greatness.  If you shoot for the moon, you may still land among the stars.  Etc.

Granted, I think it's a bit egotistical to seek validation through an advice column, but as a professional narcissist, I like the cut of your jib.  So here you go, bro:  Your clients chose wisely.  Your thinking of their interests, of how to protect them and what work needs to be done on a "day off" is proof positive that you have the Right Stuff(c).  

The fact that you're able to formulate such a question is an affirmation that the legal education industrial complex produced a properly calibrated weapon of justice.

Thanks for writing, Up. Looking ahead to November and December, remember that it's never too early to make an end-of-year tax-purposes donation!  Giddy-up and scam on!