When Cougars Attack (at the Firm): Help!
August 26, 2010 by Sweet Hot Counsel
Q: Role reversal…yeah this time a guy is looking for advice. I am a summer associate at the job of my dreams. I know that when I graduate a year from now this is where I want to work and the way things are going I think they will have me. The problem… last week at a firm-wide social event a very sexy recently divorced partner made very explicit and very obvious passes at me. So much so that everyone within earshot was aware. Here is the kicker: The partner is the female and I, the (more then willing) summer associate, am a guy. I guess my question is, does it make a difference if I entertain her ideas now versus waiting until the summer is over? The way I see it, if I wait until my summer employment is over I will be treading with at least a modicum of discretion.
A: Hold up—before I go any further, let me make sure I read the kicker right: A partner with lady parts made a pass at a male summer associate? Are you sure it wasn’t just a man partner dressed like a lady? Or maybe a paid hooker escort person dressed up like a partner? You must be confused. Are they even letting women turn into lawyers nowadays?
My child: So much about your question makes me nervous for your future.
One, was this summer associate gig really the “job of [your] dreams”? Why was that, exactly? Was it the cool, interesting people? The stimulating work? The respect for work-life balance? Or was it the three grand a week you took home for having free lunches and attending firm-wide social events where sexy divorcees try to get a handful in between client meetings? See, love, your experience as a summer was designed to have you leave for your final year of law school thinking exactly what you’re thinking: This place is awesome. I cannot wait to work here. Because it is my dream job. And yes, being a summer associate gig is indeed a dream job. Too bad it’s not even remotely related to being a real associate. If you want to have any shot of not finding yourself wandering the halls of your firm looking for a stool and and some strong rope by, say, February of your first year, start learning how to separate fiction from reality. Now.
Two, and speaking of fiction: This very sexy recently divorced partner? The one who practically dropped to her knees and unzipped your Brooks Brothers plain-fronts in plain view of the entire firm? She doesn’t remember your name. Actually, she never knew it. Because for all intents and purposes, your name was Twentysomething Boy Toy Who Will Erase My Pain For One Night And Allow Me To Skip Cardio At My Personal Training Session Tomorrow Morning.
So…good news! Your question is actually…irrelevant. This partner had had a couple of drinks, thought you were hot—or at least, “hot,”—remembered that she hasn’t had sex since a year before the divorce, got an email on her BlackBerry sending over her latest batch of eHarmony matches right before her third drink, died a little inside for that day, eyeballed the room, remembered that you’d be gone in a week and figured you’d do just fine. She doesn’t want to get to know you. She doesn’t want to date you. She probably doesn’t even want to know who your favorite Supreme Court Justice is. You were a fleeting thought. See, even though I have no doubt that you’re veritable catnip to the undergrad female population hanging around your law school, female partners—even the divorced, sexy ones—generally don’t list third-year law students at the top of their Eligible Bachelors list. Sorry.
So, calm down. You’re in the clear. You can return to law school with your discretion intact. And while you didn’t get a chance to entertain any of this lady’s ideas, at least take some comfort in the fact that this lady was entertained by them. I can guarantee I wasn’t the only one.
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