The Survey Says …

     The National Law Journal last week put this survey question near the top of its home page: “As the stock market plunges and traditional investment returns are small, what’s your 2016 plan to get you to retirement?”
     I have no idea why the NLJ wanted to know this – maybe an editor was looking for investment advice. Unless there was a shocking response from lawyer readers – something like “80 percent admit to devising plans to rob banks” – there didn’t seem to be a lot of point to this survey.
     This was especially true since you can’t fill in a blank – you have to pick one of five bland options. Things like “work longer” and “take on riskier investments.”
     In case you’re wondering, the most popular option, with 51 percent of respondents when I looked at the page, was: “Close my eyes and stay the course.”
     So if you see a lot of lawyers bumping into each other, you’ll know what happened.
     At the very least, the NLJ should have offered some more interesting optional answers.
     For example:
     “Succumb to homicidal rage and go on a killing spree.”
     “Improve my overbilling skills.”
     “Fake my death to promote my last album.”
     “Abandon all hope.”
     “Panhandle.”
     “Run around naked until someone puts me in a care facility.”
     “Get a great settlement for my client, keep the money and flee.”
     “Offer to host a telethon for homeless stock traders.”
     If any of the above get a substantial percentage of responses, you’ve got a news story.
     There are, of course, other things that would be useful to know about the current lawyer state of mind. So I have a couple of survey questions for you.
     Considering your experience and the state of the legal profession, what career advice do you give your children?
     “Don’t have children.”
     “Learn Chinese.”
     “Be the best at everything you do.”
     “Pretend to be the best at everything you do.”
     “Abandon all hope.”
     “Join my firm and don’t let anyone know you’re related to me.”
     “Consider majoring in ballet or philosophy.”
     “Get a fully rounded education and travel.”
     “Stay at home and watch TV.”
     “Become an expert on the welfare system.”
     What is your firm doing to cope with constantly evolving social and data technology?
     “Calling the IT guys.”
     “Advising clients to delete everything.”
     “Hiring teenagers to explain what’s going on.”
     “Creating a social media presence that almost everyone ignores.”
     “Paying to send associates back to school to learn information technology and then watching them get tech jobs.”
     “Hacking other firms.”
     “Abandoning all hope.”
     “Investing in the latest technologies and training all firm members to use them.”
     “Investing in the latest technologies and finding out why everybody went into law instead of science.”
     If you had to do it all over again, you would …
     “Do the same things.”
     “Shoot myself.”
     “Have more sex.”
     “Avoid those diseases.”
     “Major in ballet or philosophy.”
     “Not give out all those partnerships.”
     “Use that insider information.”
     “Take the plea deal.”
     “Not get caught.”
     “Abandon all hope.”
     
     When you’ve completed your survey, send your answers to the National Law Journal. I don’t want to know.

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