Denver Bar Association
April 2002
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Letter: Office Surviva

As a response to the March 2002 Docket article “The 4-1-1 of Office Survivial”:

Dear Docket: As a young lawyer bumbling through the politics of private practice, I have been reading each month’s helpful survival tip with great interest. But last month’s letter demonstrates why attrition rates among firms are skyrocketing, more lawyers are not practicing law, and the reputation of lawyers is increasingly poor.

The author suggested that quality of work and good service to clients is not as important as whether the partners saw you come in early and leave late. Further, the idea that lawyers in an interview process can promise mentoring and not deliver it is appalling. It is also embarrassing that she finds it necessary to dress like a man to be successful.

If her letter is representative of what young lawyers must do, our professionalism is threatened. The practice of law should be less like fraternity hazing, where bad experiences get perpetuated in the name of “tradition,” and more like a profession that focuses on customer service and professional development to achieve justice. — Jennifer Smith

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