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As I was plodding my way to work through the gridlock the other morning, I turned from my usual morning fare to an all-news station that gives a traffic report every 10 minutes. As I inched along, hoping against hope that the Eye-witless News Team would have some explanation for my glacial progress (and sure enough there was a glacier in the next lane for purposes of comparison), I happened to notice that an online matchmaking service sponsored the traffic report. According to its founder, a psychologist with an advanced degree and a voice that was equal parts benevolence and WD-40, all anyone has to do is answer some simple questions to reveal the key “dimensions” of their personality. Then the service’s computers match you with people who have the same “dimensions” as you — in my case that would mean someone who says, “Just put down ‘too much,’ ” when the doctor asks what his weight is — and presto! You’ve got your soul mate. Well, I am pleased to report that I was able to pick out my soul mate all by my own self — we’ve just celebrated our 10th anniversary — but when I remembered that the fall round of law student recruiting is upon us, replete with lunches, mixers, informal get-togethers and things like that, the ad for the matchmaking service started coming back loud and clear. Think about it. Isn’t this recruiting business pretty much just like what everyone went through to meet their spouse/significant other? They started looking around (read a lot of resumes), tried to find out more about them (held interviews, mixers and receptions), rejected some of them ( “I regret to inform you … “), went steady with others (hired summer associates) and got married (hired first-year associates). Am I right or what? Well, anyway, if matching “dimensions” is the iPod, WiFi wave of the future when it comes to spousal selection, well, it darned sure ought to work when it comes to associate selection, too. So without further ado let me unveil, my fabulous new Web site where uniting firms and law students is just a few clicks away. Now to be part of the family, hopefuls will answer a series of carefully researched psychological questions to determine their legal dimensions. So hook up that mouse and get started. First the computer will check preferences: QUESTION NO. 1: I would most like to be in: (a) civil court; (b) criminal court; (c) family court; or (d) food court. QUESTION NO. 2: In my free time I read: (a) the Harvard Law Review; (b) the National Review; (c) bills of review; or (d) the bar review. QUESTION NO. 3: I think it would be exciting to: (a) work on the largest IPO of the year; (b) handle a major class action; (c) represent Ken Lay; or (d) represent Lay’s Potato Chips. QUESTION NO. 4: In preparing a brief or pleading it is better to: (a) hand write it yourself; (b) dictate it on a tape machine; (c) type it out on a word processor; or (d) cut and paste it together from stuff already on the system. QUESTION NO. 5: My chance to get punitive damages is: (a) gutted by House Bill 4; (b) not important to me because I want to do corporate work; (c) unclear given the evidence that’s available; or (d) less important than my chance to get the movie rights. BRAIN TEASER Now that the matchmaking service has a sense of where the lonely hearts’ legal preferences are, it needs to get an idea of how they think. Consider only the following facts while answering questions 6 through 8: The justices of the U.S. Supreme Court are seated as follows: The chief justice sits in the middle and the justices alternate to his or her left and right according to seniority unless doing so would place two female justices next to each other. (Don’t get huffy — it’s just a logic problem.) In that case, the junior of the two female justices and the next male justice switch places. Using only these facts answer the following questions: QUESTION NO. 6: Which of the justices sits immediately on the chief justice’s left? (a) John Paul Stevens; (b) John Paul Jones; (c) John, Paul, George and Ringo; or (d) Connie Stevens. QUESTION NO. 7: Justice Antonin Scalia is on the right of: (a) Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist; (b) Justice Anthony M. Kennedy; (c) Justice Stephen Breyer; or (d) just about everybody. QUESTION NO. 8: If Justices William O. Douglas and William Brennan were still sitting on the court they would sit: (a) on either side of the chief justice; (b) next to Justice Stevens; (c) they’d be so old they probably wouldn’t remember where they sat; or (d) as far away from Justices Scalia and Clarence Thomas as possible. Now, weren’t those questions fun? Of course they were, and a whole lot less fattening than going to a bunch of catered receptions, luncheons and other foodfests. (Associates who start sitting behind a desk and soon become sedentary just like the rest of us need to get over those cravings now.) This tiny sample test shows truly is the wave of the future when it comes to recruiting associates. So don’t wait. Sign up today. Not only will it provide a match made in heaven, my IRA may finally make it into four figures, and then we’ll all be happy. Tom Alleman, a shareholder in the environmental and insurance practice groups at Winstead, Sechrest & Minick in Dallas, actually failed the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory. Can there be any doubt then as to the reasons his opinions aren’t necessarily those of the firm, its clients and Professor Rorschach of the inkblot test?

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