Earlier this month, attending my very last law firm holiday party, I almost had a heart attack. Well, maybe that’s a bit over-dramatic. Let’s just say that for about 5 minutes I saw my life flash before my eyes.
I was having a conversation with my mentor and some other colleagues when a partner who had flown in from an office out West joined the conversation. The topic, as it has been for the past several months, was the extensive layoffs in the legal industry. Here’s a non-verbatim summary:
Partner: “Yeah, the shit is definitely hitting the fan. Who knows how many people will actually make partner this cycle.”
Lawyer 1: “Who knows how many of us will still be here next year,” he said half-joking.
Partner: “That’s absolutely right; we probably won’t need any of you come next year,” he said with some seriousness.
[Everyone laughs nervously]
Partner: “The way I see it, many lawyers are going to have to burn their law degrees for heat this winter. Like that guy from Harvard.”
[Everyone laughs more nervously. I start to hyperventilate silently]
Mentor: “Oh yeah, I heard about that. But, hey, Jack actually went to Harvard. Maybe he can get the fire going,” he says with a wink [he does, after all, know I am leaving in a couple of months].
Jack: “No way. I would NEVER be that much of a douchebag,” I say with a laugh.
I wait three or four minutes before excusing myself to get the biggest shot of whisky I can find.