Sunday, March 01, 2009

Grisham on Gunners

Rather than go some place warm for break, we're in Charlottesville for the moment enjoying the snow. We also got a chance to read John Grisham's new book, The Associate - and, really, it's pretty good (so far, on p. 200). The novel opens with the protagonist as a 3L at a school almost as prestigious as Virginia and trying to decide whether to work at a legal aid place in Central Virginia assisting migrant workers or to become an associate at [insert fictitious NYC BIGLAW firm that sound suspiciously like a real one]. I don't want to get in to how he chooses to the latter because it would spoil the plot a bit, but Grisham spends a lot of the novel exploring the glitz and glamor of Manhattan firm life. And then, there is this gem on page 138:
The first gunner appeared. There is at least one in every class, whether it is first-year contracts in law school or a group of fresh recruits on Wall Street. A gunner sits in the front row, asks complicated questions, sucks to whoever happens to be at the podium, works every angle, cuts throats for better grades, stabs backs to make law review, interviews at top-rated firms regardless of how bad their reputations might be, and arrives at the firm with every intention of making partner before every other member in in his class. Gunners suceed magnificently; most make partner.
That's a pretty comprehensive definition - and the wikipedia stub does need some work, though some might quibble with the broad applicability of the last line (emphasis added, naturally) . . .

Read the First Chapter of The Associate (.pdf) []
A Time to Pay Attention: Grisham Visits UVA Law


Anonymous said...

Grisham doesn't know anything about gunners. He didn't mention them hitting Ctrl-S all the time.

Rule 12 (f) said...