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The Unwritten Rules of Law Firms: Let's Write Them Here

RulesOver at, blogger Dan Michaluk has embarked upon a very important project: memorializing the unwritten rules of law firms. Perhaps inspired by the carefully documented Rules of Wedding Crashing, (e.g., "Rule #2 - Never use your real name;" "Rule #76 - No excuses. Play like a champion"), Michaluk offers up a handful of his "Firm Rules (Dos, Don’ts and Truths of Law Firm Life)" in this post:

Rule #408 -- Don’t lay claim to your personal coffee mug by mass e-mail.

Rule #78 -- It is impossible to send an e-mail longer than two paragraphs without a typo.

Rule #765 -- A managing partner should never walk the halls in stocking feet.

Rule #189 -- Docketing “twittering” to client development is sure to invite ridicule.

Rule #685 -- Don’t hang a picture of yourself wearing a bathing suit in your office.

Rule #441 -- If you’re under 50 and using a fountain pen you’re trying too hard.

Rule #210 -- Make funny faces and adoring comments when a new baby visits no matter what you’re thinking.

Rule #923 -- Telling colleagues their voice message is out of date is not an act to win friends.

Michaluk's numbering system suggests that there may be 900-plus such rules, but he only provides the eight above. So perhaps Legal Blog Watch readers can help fill in the rest of the Rules in the comments? I'll get the ball started with a few Rules off the top of my head:

Rule #29 -- Do not send out any e-mail to "All Users" unless the building is on fire.

Rule #111 -- For every 100 lawyers in a law firm there will be at least one lawyer who will instruct his or her secretary to print out all of their incoming e-mails for them to review.

Rule #242 -- Put the bow ties away until you reach the age of 50 (or unless you grew up on Nantucket).

So what are the remaining 900 or so currently unwritten Rules? Please help by adding yours in the comments.

Posted by Bruce Carton on January 13, 2010 at 11:04 AM | Permalink | Comments (28)


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