Friday, April 04, 2008

Law Firm Games

Don't get me wrong, I love my boss, I really do. She's easy going, got a good sense of humour, pretty low maintenance, gives good Christmas presents, and she often buys me chocolate. What more do you need? But some of these 'games' below eerily echo reality. :)

It's funny how these things are facts of life in an office - everyone knows it happens or that they do it, joke about it, and then go and do it! Number 2 and the last one are particularly apt in my lawyer/assistant relationship! funny...

These popular games require only two players, though more can play. They are not sold commercially. If you are interested in participating in any of them, your first step is to work for an attorney.

Object of the game: To locate the missing attorney.
Attorney: Do not tell Secretary where you're going, why you're going, or when you'll be back. If possible stay away all afternoon. To score additional points, arrive late the following morning.
Secretary: Telephone attorney's home, favourite club, golf course, doctor, dentist, the local bureau of missing persons. If unable to make contact, bluff your way through the afternoon. If attorney has not arrived by next morning, repeat procedure of previous afternoon, telling callers, "I expect him any minute."

Object of the game: To have everything in its place (somewhere).
Attorney: Go over the days mail, important papers, things to do. Then throw in a heap on desk. Later, ask, "Where is so and so? I'm sure I gave it to you this morning".
Secretary: To bolster attorney's self-confidence, pretend to search through your desk and files. Then, while attorney tries to stall client on the phone, walk around him, picking up and examining every paper on his desk, on his credenza, and in his desk trays. When you find the elusive document on his desk, penalize yourself ten points if you say: "I knew all the time it was on your desk".

Object of the game: To read each others' minds.
Attorney: When you dictate or instruct, leave as many unknowns as possible. (when dictating, mumble and cough into the transmitter to make the game more competitive) If you play back the tape to check for points which need clarification, you are not a good sport.
Secretary: Run and rerun the tape, searching for a clue to the missing word. When uncertain of a word, fill in the gap and hope you're right. If you're right, expect no commendation from the attorney; if you're wrong, look for another job.

Object of the game: To carry on a battle of wits for perfection.
Attorney: Dictate, revise, dictate insertions, revise again, get in final form, and redline. Then call attention to errors. Be certain to make additions to page one which will require reformatting the entire document. An entertaining diversion would be a last minute decision to require all spellings to conform to second preference spellings in Webster's Unabridged Third Edition.
Secretary: Use precious last minutes to go back and correct, praying that you still have it ready by the time the client walks in. Score five extra points if the document is completed in time. Score fifty extra points if you tell the attorney exactly how you feel about his endeavour for perfection.

Object of the game: To file a court paper no more than five minutes before the courthouse closes on the deadline day.
Attorney: Don't dictate pleading or brief until late the day before. Require Interoffice conferences and numerous changes before finalizing one hour before deadline. (Remember, you're cheating if you finalize sooner!)
Secretary: Type, type, type and type. Xerox correct number of copies, assemble, staple properly, draw check for costs, if any, get pleading signed, send copies to appropriate parties, locate law clerk to file it, arrange for courier, or file it yourself. (If you are ready to collapse when finished, you know you have played the game according to rules.)

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