One of my most famous misquotes was in an otherwise awesome interview with Bitter Lawyer. I was quoted as saying:
I’d rather drive a stake through my balls than work in BigLaw, where it’s all about being a billing machine and ethics aren’t important.
What I actually said was
I’d rather drive a stake through my balls than work in some big firm where it’s all about being a billing machine and ethics aren’t important.
The difference is subtle, but significant. The printed quote seems to suggest that I think that way about all of Biglaw. I don’t. I feel that way about an awful lot of Biglaw… most of Biglaw. What I actually said, however, is more accurate — that if the Biglaw firm is all about billing and no ethics, then I would rather drive a stake through my balls than work there.
I can certainly point to a few Biglaw firms that I would choose over a stake through the balls. For example:
Up until today, I was neutral about Quinn Emanuel & Urquhart. I have a lot of respect for lawyers I have known from there, but nothing to the degree of hero worship that I have for the DWT and J&B crowds. Today QEU added Kathleen Sullivan to its letterhead and became Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan.
So anyhow… I get a lot of mail (fan mail even) about that “stake through my balls” quote. Don’t put too much stock in it. Of course, I don’t think I will ever be joining my heroes at any of their firms. I think I got things going pretty good the way they are.
Hmm… This post was supposed to be about Kathleen Sullivan, and how she’s my hero. It turned out to be about stakes and balls. Go figure.
Well, lets all hear it for Kathleen Sullivan!