A Satire of Law Firm Employment Practices (Book Review of Anonymous Lawyer, by Jeremy Blachman)


My essay is a review of Jeremy Blachman’s new book, Anonymous Lawyer. The book is a black-humorous stab at the hearts and souls of large elite law firms everywhere (if firms had such things as hearts and souls). In this review essay, I discuss why the blog struck a chord with so many readers, and why the novel Anonymous Lawyer contains a serious message about employment at law firms. First, I place Anonymous Lawyer within the tradition of satire surrounding the legal profession. Specifically, I compare Blachman’s novel to John Jay Osborne Jr.’s earlier novel The Associates, which also takes large law firm life as its subject. Second, I want to examine how this novel fits into the literature that describes working life at a large elite law firm. Anonymous Lawyer highlights the issues of associate turnover, work-life imbalance, and workplace hierarchies that seem to characterize employment at large law firms. Ultimately, I conclude that Anonymous Lawyer adds to the formal academic discourse on law firm culture and, through its humor, challenges and goads the system toward change.


Labor and Employment Law | Legal Profession

Date of this Version

October 2006