Back from the truly lovely Midwest oasis of Bloomington, Indiana
(approx. 40 miles south of Indianapolis), where I had the pleasure of
guest-lecturing to a group of 30 or so smart, inquisitive, and polite-but-challenging
2L’s and 3L’s. Bloomington, and the Indiana University campus,
are full of architectural gems and monuments both, with brick sidewalks,
rolling terrain, and that ineffable "college town" feel. At
a Starbucks right across the street from the law school, the crowd could
almost have come from the Upper West Side (well, half the crowd, anyway).
Midwest hospitality may be what it’s cracked up to be. Prof. Henderson and Lauren Robel, the Dean of the Law School, were exemplary hosts in their willingness to spend time and make me feel at home, and I can report that the IU Law School library is one of the most beautiful I’ve seen. Maybe it even encourages students to spend time there. Be that as it may, the Dean and the Professor are people I am proud to know now in person.
And the hospitality runs across the board: When I went to
the front desk of the charming B&B I was staying at at 6 am to see if
I could get advice on a running route, I got 5-10 minutes of informed,
accurate, and inspired advice complemented by a highlighted map. And
a wonderful run it was.
I’ll report very very briefly on what the class I taught was about: The
AmLaw 200 and various historical, geographical, financial, and cultural
perspectives on same (yes, full of charts and graphs). The final
part of my presentation dwelt on the highly statistically significant
(<0.01 chance of random), and highly negative, correlation
between profits per partner and associate satisfaction. Pick
the "associate satisfaction" metric you want—"family
friendly," "realistic billable hours expectation," "open-ness about financials,"
etc.—and the negative correlation is striking. As one student
pithily put it: "Anywhere I’d want to be an associate I would definitely
not want to be a partner."
Choose, indeed, your poison.