Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Modern Family: Lawyers Are Being Laid Off Left and Right and Mitch QUITS!?

I have a couple of guilty pleasures.  I like Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Canada Dry, LOST and Modern Family.  With the last episode, Modern Family may have knocked Reese's off the top of the list.

This episode is in the spirit of our career-life balance discussion--Mitch gets a little pissed off because he is called into work on weekends (btw, Mitch is a lawyer at a BigLaw Firm) and his chubby, lovable partner witnesses their adorable baby daughter engage in her "firsts" in his absence. Watch the episode to find out how this situation unfolds.

Best Line: "I'm used to nice things!"

I contemplated writing in to the producers to suggest that Mitch register with temp agencies and do document review to tide the family over until better times.


  1. Is Mitch a partner or an associate? He looks old enough (if that's him in the pic) to start a flailing solo practice.... : )

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  3. wrong partner... his significant other is a man... so i have to say "partner" until the government let's me say "husand." If you don't want the show, you have to. It's so funny.

    He can start a solo, but check out their house! Can he afford to be a solo in that crib?

  4. Remember in the 60's there was the "Feminine Mystique"? Not just the popular book that has often been cited by latter day feminists by title only rather than content (that's a whole different topic) but an actual social reality. Perhaps there is also a "Jurist Mystique."

    The gist of the "Feminine Mystique" was some "mystery" phenomena experienced by countless housewives across the country. Even though these women were "busy" and hard at work applying their well earned high school/college "home economics" education to meals, dishes, and cleaning, in fealty to their husbands who should never be questioned *rolls eyes*, they felt that something was lacking.

    Society told women that to be a housewife was the highest good and the greatest role of the woman (I also remember alot of case law where male judges actually go on the record for eternity saying something to this effect). Going all the way back to the Victorian days where there were separate spheres for men and women with women at home being the gatekeepers of morality. Women who weren't married housewives with kids were failures or throwaways, the untouchable spinsters. To create this cultural ideal required not only the consent of the governed, so to speak, but also an idealized form that can be expressed and lauded in media outlets (you can no only watch old television shows or commercials when they first began appearing but also newspapers and magazines to find the common thread).

    Today we juris "doctors," at least to many of our virgin eyes, find ourselves in a similar position to the housewives of the 1950s and 1960s (although many of the housewives only had to "economize" rather than face the very real threat of not meeting basic physical needs like food as many of us graduates now face). Going back to the premiere of shows like L.A. Law, Law and Order, To Kill a Mockingbird, or other countless media portrayals of the lawyer, our society has an idealized cultural form of what the lawyer should be and what his/her life looks like. It relies on genuine ignorance, not stupidity, of the masses as to what the reality looks like. There are so many TV shows about cops, lawyers, and doctors today not just because their roles may lend themselves to drama easier, whereas the Office shows that such a life can really only be explained via absurd comedy, but because they represent an ideal.

    I think this idealized form more than anything else is what drives most people into law school and keeps driving them into law school. The ideal holds more sway now than ever as we have entered the wilderness of the Great Recession. We see our lives as they are and wish for what they might be.

    We've hedged our bets from the idealized form of the lawyer to, "if I could only get a job at a small firm or go solo! "Sweet christ jesus! I'll settle for a decent doc review job that pays enough for me to try and at least start unshackling the iron yoke of student loans!"

    As this latest generation of grads, and even weathered vets of lawyers, struggle to maintain and persevere in today's legal world, the idealized form soldiers on in the mystic chords of memory. The power of its myth only growing as media outlets, from the Modern Family to the heinous Deep End, continue to manifest our individual and collective ignorance about the role and life of the lawyer. It's been well over 40 years since the "Feminine Mystique" was identified and disseminated which should have helped lead to its downfall...but ask any of my female classmates from college or law school who are successful, independent women about their goals, dreams, and fears of failure and the Feminine Mystique still comes out of the corner of their mind smiling in a knee length skirt holding a casserole of fulfillment in oven-mitted hands.

  5. Wow, that last comment was convoluted and longwinded.

    This was what I felt like when I was reading : fbfbfbfbbrrrrrroliopoleio folieophotofoejoejewjewiiojoeooouuouooooooouuuuaop;jnfgpoasigjpf%s%&)jgloj@#$%^&I#%$#@!$#$%^&*(^&^%@$#@^%@^*#$%//////////////////////////////////////////////////////^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^^*^*^*^*^* joe

  6. I'm sorry but the feminist mystique is just total bullshit perpetrated by a few pampered rich women that simply wanted to dilute wages by increasing wage earners, so that their corporations would have increased profits.

    If you actually watched TV or read anything from those time periods you're talking about you'd notice that women had jobs in those shows, and quite a few were very well off and owned their companies. If the only occupation a woman had was house wife you wouldn't see women having these positions in these shows. Furthermore they actually would spout the same "independent, intelligent, professional" women lines that people are spouting now, as if it was entirely new.

    The problem is nobody actually watches this stuff or reads anything. You can read stuff from Ancient Greece or even stuff from Russia a hundred or so years ago, women weren't these oppressed housewives as feminism wanted you to believe. Women simply had more options and better work-life balance when they wanted it. Now that option is gone, as it takes two wage earners and earning power is greatly pushed back for young women, and for young men as well because of increased educational requirements.

    I agree that yes, law is in a similar position, but not quite the way you think it is. Law is the same now in that most people won't question what they are told about it and don't care about reality.

    For the record, I come from a family where the women are high achievers and I encourage all my female relatives and siblings to seek to achieve their dreams, and most have done so. Most of them are doctors actually, but some have quit because that's a full time profession and they wanted to have children and actually be with those children.

    Oh yeah and just to add about homosexuality, all this "increased tolerance" is nothing compared to the open culture Ancient Greece had some thousands of years ago. Western culture is completely backwards and tries to re-write history, it's so stupid that it's hilarious that this junk is still propagated in the media and even so called "intelligent feminist attorneys" are so misinformed.

  7. I missed the last episode of Modern Family. I had a feeling he would quit because he felt envious of his partner for being able to record and see all of their baby's milestones but quitting a six-figure job in this economy when you have a baby to raise seems ridiculous. That said, I know people in business and the law who have quit their jobs in this economy because they were really miserable at work.

  8. Maybe they have substantial savings to fall back on.

    A wise man once said "you shouldn't work for your money. Your money should work for you." Obviously, it's a little bit of both columns. You should work and your money should be wisely invested. But once you reach a certain threshold, your money can be the gift that keeps on giving, and you don't "have" to work. I place that threshold at about 1 million liquid. It's reasonable to just live off dividends or interest from 1 million principal. (and maybe BigLaw attorneys can squirrel away that much in several years). If anything, even if interest and dividends aren't cutting it, they can certainly draw down the principal for a year or two.

  9. Feminists are just one of the many groups of Ideologues to rewrite history. You have to read many different perspectives to come close to a true sense of what happened

  10. The producers and writers should show this character working in a roach-infested doc review basement. Or better yet, they could show him start up a solo practice - where he takes on weak-ass PI cases, slip and falls, minor fender-benders, and gets put on the court-appointed list at traffic court.

    Imagine the hilarity that would ensue when Mitch is ordered to continue representing a wife-beating pig who has not paid him in months for his legal services. And who wouldn't laugh tears of joy and bitterness when you see a judge rip Mitch a new one in open court - especially, when the judge is to blame?!

    Please contact the network with these suggestions. It might also help young people see that law is an embarrassing "profession."

  11. Again, another media portrayal of the rich lawyer. Too bad that law students, especially 1L's believe that this is the life that awaits them after law school. They start moving back to earth as the 2L and 3L years creep up without a single job offer.



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