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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The kiss of death?

They say there's no such thing as bad publicity, but one would think that the local law firm of Lindquist & Vennum has not been enjoying its 15 minutes of fame on the always entertaining Above the Law blog.

A posting today, along with a follow up that links back to the original (click here), tells the tale of two female summer associates terminated from Lindquist after a night that allegedly included over imbibing and kissing each other at an after-hours event at "a local watering hole" following an official firm function. (A case of Minnesota nice run amok, perhaps?) Among the "facts" reported by the blog are the women are not lesbians (and at least one has a boyfriend), both women are "quite attractive'' (although I'm not sure of the relevance of that ...) and the extent of the kiss is currently unclear (i.e. whether they "made out" or merely kissed on the lips).

Without more information, it's difficult to know what to make of this. We'll see if the firm has anything it wants to add to what has been reported (and, if so, pass it on to you). I don't want to make too light of the whole thing, as it is obviously no laughing matter to the two law students involved (and please, please, please refrain from posting anything that contains any identifying information). In any event, try as I may, I can't get the refrain from "As time goes by" out of my head -- You must remember this: A kiss is just a kiss.


Anonymous said...

Entertaining? Perhaps. Journalistic importance? None. I am disappointed to see this blog report on this issue. I had held it a bit higher than some of the others as far as taste and quality of reporting goes. I am disappointed.

Mark Cohen, editor said...

You make a fair point. Because this story does have limited news value and I think the two women involved have been punished enough for an unfortunate incident, it is something we would probably not have made public here, even if the news had crossed our desk. However, at the point we posted this, the story had become public and generated literally hundreds of comments.

So the question at that point becomes is there any value for our blog readers in repeating this watercooler-story as an anecdote sans any identifying information about the associates involved.

I think there is some value for our younger readers who might be first or second year associates. With all the boat cruises, clam bakes and whatnots, it can be easy to forget at times that what you are essentially on is a summer-long job audition. You should behave as such at any firm function -- sanctioned or unsactioned. You can certainly argue whether termination was the appropriate sanction for what happened, but it doesn't appear that everything that happened would have happened if one kept in mind this was a job interview.

Anonymous said...

Check out this site on the incident and the www.AbovetheLaw.com comments. Seems that the lesbos over at 2 Lesbos Goin At It know the source of the problem at Lindquist:


Anonymous said...

This story just reminds us that the legal community is a small one. Reputation is an important part of being a good lawyer. We need to remember in the age of facebook/myspace/and thousands of blogs that what happens in front of only a handful of people can be brodcast to the world in minutes.

Mark Cohen, editor said...

Good point, 10:57 comment. It's a whole new world with e-technology. (BTW, In my prior comment I obviously meant first or second year summer associates.) Mea culpa for any confusion on that.

Anonymous said...

wow. are you seriously debating the journalistic importance of such a story rather than focussing on the really disturbing facts that:

1. the "kiss" occured AFTER a firm sponsored event. seriously, if every attorney were fired any time they did anything less than completely professional in public after hours, i'm pretty sure there'd be no attorneys left in mn.

which brings me to:

2. do you really think they would have been FIRED had they been a male/female pair? i'd be a first year associate's salary the answer is "no." how can you not be appalled by this?

sure, maybe the girls didn't think this out so well, but isn't the firm really the culpable party here? if it was anything like my summer expeience, it's pretty ridiculous to basically peer pressure a bunch of 20-something kids who have been studying their butts off for a year to do as many rounds of tequilla shots as they can in an hour and then expect them to behave like angels. good lord, they didn't knock over a liquor store. they kissed.

Anonymous said...

I concur with anon@10:56 for the most part, with the following caveat:

-The above the law story (through follow ups) indicates that there may have been other behavioral issues with these women (such as drinking at firm lunches, etc), and that the evening in question was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back. I certainly don't know if that's true, but if it is, it gives L&V more justification in my mind.

Also, to anon@6:53: Are you kidding me? Get off your high horse and click "back" on your browser to read something else if a story doesn't interest you. Just because an organization reports on a topic that is itself rather tasteless does not make the organization tasteless (If so, e.g., every news organization would have been deemed in poor taste and lacking quality by your standards when they reported about semen-stained dresses and cigars in inappropriate places during the Clinton administration).