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Double Billing: A Young Lawyer's Tale of Greed, Sex, Lies, and the Pursuit of a Swivel Chair (English Edition) [Format Kindle]

Cameron Stracher
5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)

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Descriptions du produit

Présentation de l'éditeur

Double Billing is a clever and sobering expose of the legal profession from the perspective of the lowest lawyer on the totem pole. Harvard Law School may have taught Cameron Stracher to think as a lawyer, but it was his experience as an associate that taught him to behave -- or misbehave -- as one. As timely now as it was when it was first published in 1998, this special E-book edition contains a new preface written by the author.

Biographie de l'auteur

Cameron Stracher is a graduate of Harvard Law School and the Iowa Writers' Workshop. He is the author of a novel, The Laws of Return, and the recipient of a 1998 fiction fellowsip from the New York Foundation for the Arts. He lives in New York City with his family.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 587 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 242 pages
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Non activé
  • Composition améliorée: Activé
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°683.787 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)

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Commentaires client les plus utiles
Par Un client
Ce livre devrait être le livre de chevet de tous les étudiants en droits américains et étrangers ayant face à eux les mythes repandus par les Ally Mac Beal et autres séries. Il décrit à quel point les premières années dans un cabinet peuvent être extrêmement difficiles, représenter une véritable guerre entre "associates" pour maximiser les heures facturables. En outre, il remarque que la plupart du temps le système conduit à une double facturation pour le client car le travail de l'associate est revu par le partner qui facture également son temps alors que généralement il n'apporte rien au travail effectué par l'associate.
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Amazon.com: 3.7 étoiles sur 5  55 commentaires
21 internautes sur 22 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 An absolute MUST READ for all law students and young lawyers 13 avril 2001
Par Calvin93 - Publié sur Amazon.com
OK, so we all didn't go to Harvard and few of us went straight from school into a blue chip NYC law firms - but it is exhilarating to read this very intimate memoir of some one who did AND lived to tell about it. The book starts with the splash of cold water culture shock the author feels in his first days at his new firm (C & C) and how the crush of the work is in such contrast to his experience when he had "summered" there working during law school where he did little work and was taken out to lunch each day. You get the sense of how lost Stracher felt as assignments came from all angles, or worse some time, none at all, sending off the dreaded feeling of not making his hours. The author is candid about the feelings of competitiveness that dominate a new associate's thoughts, and he watches his peers carefully to make sure he is on the right pace. Some of his frustrations will make you smile: his inability to get a new chair when his old one breaks, his dilemna over wanting to leave work to see his girlfriend at night but staying late just to keep up with the Joneses, and the time he spends an entire weekend prepping a case file only to learn, come Monday, that the case settled Friday and no one told him. And as his enthusiasm for the work fades, the great money keeps him going, until some point after a year and half, he prepares to call it quits. The message of how anonymous Stracher felt at the big firm, his work unnoticed by the partners, comes to a head when he wins a 5K race against competitors from other firms, which is reported in the local papers, and elevates him to celebrity status at the firm, earning the praise of senior partners who previously had not known of his existence. As a young lawyer at a large firm, I find that Stracher outlines the essentials very well: the firm setup, the hierarchy between the clericals, the paralegals, the associats, and the Oz-like partners, and the difficulties in really enjoying your work when your work means so little. The author teases us with hints of some illicit romance within the firm, but never dabbles in the temptations himself. My only complaint is that the book ends as though the author just ran out of time, and without ruining the ending, I'll just say that it was a satisfying and scathing expose of big firm life for young associates.
15 internautes sur 15 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 A good description of the legal industry 5 février 2001
Par J. Taylor - Publié sur Amazon.com
In Double Billing: A Young Lawyer's Tale of Greed, Sex, Lies, and the Pursuit of a Swivel Chair, author Cameron Stracher provides the reader with an in-depth look at working in a prominent New York firm based on his real life experiences. Stracher's main character is an unnamed attorney recently graduated from Harvard Law who is starting as a first year associate at the fictional firm of Crowley & Cavanaugh (C&C). But before proceeding with his character's experiences from day one, he provides the reader with the basic layout of our litigious society. Indeed, that the legal industry exists for itself is a sub-theme of his book. "[P]eace is bad business for the peacemakers," he writes.
Starting in C&C's litigation department, Stracher's character faces mountainous discovery tasks and endless workweeks. He accurately explains that much of his work is completely unnecessary, and that the only reason he performs it is because his prominent firm can afford it, just in case it needs it. "If one associate could do the research, why not two? If one motion might succeed, what about a second? We threw everything into the pot and hoped something would rise. If it didn't, at least our bills would be paid." He adds that "because C&C's fees were paid out of an insurance policy, with each payment reducing the amount that would be left for settlement, the insurance company had little incentive to insist on a settlement now." Hence, given that much of his work was really unnecessary, he genuinely felt detached from the general and important issues in his cases. He also expresses disappointment at not having the opportunity to argue in court. However, his disappointment subsides when he learns that the partner in charge of the case has never argued in court at all.
Stracher's character holds no bitterness or animosity towards his work. Rather, his on-the-job experiences bewilder and constantly amuse him as he labors for hours on end. He strikes a chord with law students and lawyers when he laments that "[t]he more you learn about a case, the more you need to know," and, "if only I could understand what I've been reading." Such musings remind me of a frustrated classmate who, trying to understand a concept in Civil Procedure, cried "I'm confused about what I'm confused about." As Stracher's character expresses his frustrations, he discovers that he "doesn't know what he doesn't know." Such expressions abound throughout the book.
Stracher strikes another chord when he analyzes his decision to attend law school. "[I] believe the law school migration is equally widespread, and peculiar to my generation," he writes. "Law school has become the graduate school for the great unwashed, the final resting place for a plurality of college graduates without an employable degree." He further writes that "law school is the most hospitable locale for undergraduates with no specific expertise." Indeed, students with life-long goals of working in fields such as medicine, engineering, architecture and other professions greatly outweigh those who grow up desiring to attend law school and enter the legal world.
Stracher's character experiences other frustrations at C&C, such as a constant lack of feedback, difficult coworkers and working throughout weekends. That the smell of late night Chinese food brings back instant memories of a conference room full of boxes of documents only accentuates the monotony and besieged mentality he feels at C&C. Hence, his sense of constantly being overwhelmed is another theme of the book.
As Stracher's character leaves C&C as a third-year associate, Stracher concludes, "law, particularly as it was practiced at C&C and other big corporate firms, was also unique among capitalist enterprises. It produced no goods, rarely addressed substantive issues, almost never provided closure, pitted lawyers against each other in the struggle for partnership, isolated lawyers in the library and their offices, tended to weed out the sociable and genial." In essence, Stracher describes the big firm life as a surreal existence, where lawyers thrive on tediousness and ambiguity. However, he feels no disdain towards law. He soon begins working "in a different legal setting, where I was in court more often and confronting the merits of cases rather than the procedural grind, [where] my work would be more meaningful." He embraces his new work experience, which invokes more of a human element and where "they praise rigorous work, not take it for granted."
Stracher applies much humor into his writing style, which gives the book a healthy rhythm. For instance, he mentions how he finds a rival attorney's office for a deposition when his eye catches a sign "that warns: Attorneys-at-Law." Overall, he writes with an engaging determination to "tell it like it was." This makes the book even harder to put down. The only problem is that the title is somewhat misleading. There isn't any sex, and no one really lies about anything. Moreover, there really isn't any double billing in the sense that most people would assume. Where most people might think of double billing as improperly billing twice for work performed, Stracher explains that the dedication to winning the war of attrition that is discovery, where as many associates as possible are used to labor unceasingly in a battle of documents and depositions, constitutes real double billing. He thoroughly explains this when he paraphrase a partner crying "Give them something to do, anything; make them bill!" For law students desiring a big firm experience, Stracher's book provides a reasonable idea of what to expect.
16 internautes sur 17 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth 29 octobre 1999
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
After 20 years in the legal profession, I can assure you that this is, without a doubt, the most accurate book about the way things really are in law firms. I got into law because the guys on TV were always in the courtroom. Little did I know that the first year of practice means 20 hours a day in the library, 7 days a week. The second year means graduating to reviewing 100,000 documents which "may" have something to do with the case, but probably don't. Even the partners who do a lot of courtroom work (based on the research, writing, and busywork of the lower echelon) are not in the courtroom as often as Perry Mason.
If you are looking for a classic courtroom thriller of the John Grisham/Steve Martini variety, this isn't it. What it is, is the perfect gift for that person who wants to go to law school. Once they read the unvarnished truth, instead of the drama, they will probably change their career goals. Real-life civil litigation isn't Ally McBeal, it isn't L.A. Law ... it's boring and stressful. Stracher is the first attorney to tell the truth about it.
A must-read for all future and current law students.
12 internautes sur 13 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 A must read for those thinking of a legal career. 28 décembre 1998
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
As a senior associate at a large corporate law firm in Los Angeles who began his career at a large firm in New York, I can vouch for the unerring accuracy of the detail of the life of a junior associate at a large firm (right down to the smell of the Chinese food delivered late at night). Notwithstanding that every recent law school graduate appears to be an aspiring writer, Mr. Stracher is the first to actually write knowingly about the life of the junior associate. His book deserves to be read by every person considering law school and a legal career. My only criticism is that Mr. Stracher's pervasively pessimistic account, while not unwarranted, fails to give an inkling of the intellectual (and physical) rush of complex transactions and litigations that attracts a certain type of individual who is "addicted to the deal." But that is a minor criticism. Four stars.
8 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A(nother) cautionary tale for aspiring lawyers. 14 janvier 1999
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Perry Mason, LA Law, Ally McBeal, The Practice. Even putting aside the requisite Hollywood embellishments (carefree sex with glamorous coworkers and clients, witnesses who return your phone calls and show up when they're supposed to, etc.), practicing law looks like it ought to be fun -- or at least interesing. Then why are so many lawyers so miserable in their jobs?
In this humorous and insightful memoir, Cameron Stracher provides some clues. For example, nothing can prepare a young lawyer for the first time a partner hands over an incomprehensible list of poorly drafted "Requests for Production" and turns you loose in a warehouse to locate and copy all "responsive" documents. Mr. Stracher describes this experience -- familiar to virtually any young litigator -- with the perfect mixture of humor and despair.
Indeed, it is perhaps the greatest (and most disturbing) virtue of Mr. Stracher's book that he has chosen to focus not upon his own unique experiences, but upon those experiences that are a typical, universal, and -- aspiring lawyers take note -- nearly unavoidable part of big firm practice. Thus, for any lawyers-to-be who think they might actually be questioning witnesses, arguing motions, and generally frolicking in the vinyards of the law, this book is a wake up call: If you go to a big corporate law firm you won't. Why not? As Cameron Stracher deftly illustrates, at most large firms, the practice of law is primarily about making money. And since massive commercial cases (very few of which ever go to trial) are far more profitable than smaller personal injury, malpractice, or simple breach of contract cases (which provide far more opportunity for "hands on" experience), most associates at the big corporate law firms will never -- never -- see the inside of a courtroom during their tenure. Instead they'll find themselves churning out irrelevant research memos, exhaustive privilege logs, and tendentious legal briefs -- until they can't take the stress, the hours, or the ultimiate meaninglessness of the work anymore and they finally bail out.
So if you're thinking of going to law school -- or if you're a law student who has been listening to the siren song of those seductive, high-paying, big city firms -- read this book. It may not change your mind, but you'll have a much better idea of what you might be in for.
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