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I write this from the the shores of Lago Como, just north of Milan, Italy, in a little ristorante watching the setting sun play off the gently rippling water, the old mansions, and the peasant fishing boats returning with a day’s catch. (Sexy.) Just yesterday, in Milan I deposed a large Italian bank by myself. (Sexy.) It took three Cravath-type attorneys on the other side of the table just to keep up. (Very sexy.) For some strange reason, the desirability of legal work is measured in sexiness. I first heard the word linked to the law during an interview with Chadbourne and Park. It went something like this: You might think you want to litigate, but if you want to do really sexy work, work with us in International Development where we build bridges and dams in third world countries. I started to laugh thinking this guy had just told a joke and had to cover with a fake cough. This guy seriously thought he was sexy. And he knew that if he didn’t proclaim to me his sexiness, I wouldn’t know it. The whole profession is a co-dependant mutually autoadmiring self-help group. And we lie shamelessly. How else am I supposed to feel good about myself in the face of far sexier lawyers? Am I just supposed to accept my pathetic lot in this God-forsaken profession? Absolutely not. I make like the Como fishermen and just tell a better story. (I’ll admit, though, I don’t understand lying about the size of a fish. Have you ever cleaned a fish? I say the smaller the better.) But even the best story is no good if it doesn’t survive cross examination. And since you’re telling the story to other lawyers who do not want to feel inferior to you, there’s a good chance you’ll have to answer some questions to see how the story holds up. Take the third-year associate who threw her hat in the ring the other day. “I have been doing a lot of travel for work lately,” she said. (Sexy.) “For what?” “Well,” affecting modesty, “I’ve been asked to supervise other attorneys in some important preparation.” (Sexier.) “Really? For what?” “I’m in charge of a pretty big project” (Still rising on the sexy chart.) “Wow, what project?” “Oh,” starting to crack under pressure, “some document production.” (Not as sexy.) “I make the final decisions about in which of 15 overly-general categories a document goes.” (Low-level associate stuff does not register on the sexy meter, even among low-level associates.) That’s why my Lago Como story is good; the facts are hard for you to verify and I can come out relatively unscathed. I could give you the name of some of those Cravath-type attorneys with little risk that you contact them and discover the truth. Even if you did contact them, they are Cravath-type attorneys � they don’t have time to respond to you. But when telling your story, you must also consider feasibility. This is where my Lago Como story starts to break up. Under any kind of examination, I probably would have to confess. Even though I was on the shore of Como not long ago after my triumphant deposition, it was rainy and no sun played off of anything. And while I did write something in a cheap tourist trap of a cafe overlooking the gray mist of Como, I’m no longer in Italy and I’m definitely not writing this there. Instead, I am dictating it while hiding under my desk from a militant group of elementary school cafeteria employees ravaging my firm and threatening to burn the library if I don’t represent them against the bus driver union. (Super sexy.) While I don’t really want to represent them, I’m getting cramped under my desk and I don’t want the library burned. (Incredibly noble.) But now I’m really treading dangerous water. Even though I often hide under my desk, you won’t believe it. And because you won’t believe it, you’ll start to ask questions. Things like: What elementary school? What bus driver union? I’ll answer the questions, but you’ll keep probing and, pretty soon you’ll discover that the militant cafeteria employees weren’t threatening to burn the library at all, they were going to smear fake mashed potatoes and gravy all over the bathroom mirrors. There’s nothing sexy about that. Adam Anderson is an associate at Beus Gilbert PLLC in Scottsdale, AZ. (Very sexy.)

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