It's the end of the world as we know it...

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a babbling post about boys clubs

Rational...focused...these are not words that I've ever been called. In fact, I've pretty much exclusively been called the same two words since junior high: bubbly and weird. Without fail. (The reason I know this is largely because I've found my yearbooks from back then in my unpacking and have been traveling down memory lane. Or shuddering at the pictures.) I'm not sure how I feel about such adjectives. These people didn't mean their comments as an insult, but essentially being called an airhead who cannot function in society - ummm...bite me.

So I have a trial starting on the 23rd. I may have mentioned this once or twice or 100 times. This is my first trial. This has been very exciting, an amazing learning experience so far. (I have just decided that the partner on the case is my unofficial mentor. I have most of my cases with him. Or have thus far. I have just decided he's like Yoda. Not THE Yoda (from the movie), or Yoda (a teacher from high school) or yoda (a professor from college). But LIKE Yoda. Just not actually him.

Anyway, the trial itself addresses a complaint I had, although it's more coincidence than anything else. I told my employer that I was thinking of leaving at the end of the year because I wasn't being given the opportunity to do things (such as depositions and other client-related things. More field trips, less grunt work). Specifically, there is someone who graduated the same year as me who is given the opportunity to do things that I'm not. And it's not because he's a better attorney than I am. That I could understand. But I know that I'm better. (I'm so damn modest...) Actually, it's because he has a dick. My firm is extremely male-dominated, male-focused, a bunch of drinking, basketball and softball-playing frat boys (in case you were wondering why I just don't play ball with them, the team is men only, and when I asked to play, I was told I could be the "cheerleader" but I could not play). In fact, someone at another firm even told me that our reputation across the city was that of a frat house. It was just odd because I've mentioned that in the past.

I've used the term "boys club" to complain about it, and in January, they told me that it would get better after certain people left. But yet, this certain associate (he's the only one who graduated the same year as I, so the one I feel it is most appropriate to compare myself to. Though they disagree because I had a federal clerkship for a year while he went straight to the firm so I am considered a year *behind* him - they just might be the only firm in the world who doesn't give credit for a federal clerkship...)

So since January, I didn't see it getting better. So I told them last month I was going to leave in December unless I saw a change in the opportunities I was being given. So this trial is a good thing, even though it's totally a coincidence that one of my cases is going to trial at this time. Luck. But then a partner told me today that I could take the Plaintiff's deposition (by myself, no one else there) if I was so inclined. (Unfortunately, I'm going to have to decline, because of my trial.)

But assuming that things move in this direction, I will be much happier. There is paying ones dues, and there is an inherent unfairness. And I let them know that unless they want to lose me, I want what I perceive to be the unfairness to disappear. (I'm waiting for them to say, "there's the door..." This is the second or third time I've said, "address this or I'm leaving." (Different things). Though again, to be fair, each time they've at least attempted to address them.

To the extent that they can change opinions. There are only six female partners (out of maybe 25 or soksdf). And one is on a leave of absense. To be fair, most all of their recent hires have been females, but changing things at the bottom doesn't change old school opinions at the top. There are male partners who will only give their cases to the male associates in the firm. One who will only give his cases to this particular associate because they hang out together and are friends. One time, this particular associate and three male partners were at happy hour, and saw five female associates there, and never even acknowledge us. Seriously, it's like a junior high dance in the gym or something. I am most discouraged by all this.

And on a final note, for the record, I hate Butch Davis. Since football starts tomorrow, you have a lot of time to learn this. As much as I adore Jody Gerut, I dislike Butch Davis. Just to the opposite extreme. (Life is not meant to be lived in any way other than extremes.) I don't understand how you go 5-11 and get a raise and extension. I just don't get it. And if they suck this year, who is he going to blame? He's gotten rid of everything, blamed everyone for his decisions. These are all his soldiers.

Oh, can the Olympic torch go out? What happens if it does?


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