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Double Billing: A Young Lawyer's Tale Of Greed, Sex, Lies, And The Pursuit Of A Swivel Chair

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3.08  ·  Rating Details  ·  176 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
By turns hilarious and horrifying, Double Billing is a clever and sobering expose of the legal profession. Writing with wit and wisdom, Cameron Stracher describes the grueling rite of passage of an associate at a major New York law firm. As Stracher describes, Harvard Law School may have taught him to think like a lawyer, but it was his experience as an associate that taug ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published October 20th 1999 by William Morrow (first published 1998)
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Anita Kelley Harris
Double Billing is a memoir by a Harvard Law graduate who spent a few years in the 1990’s as an associate at a large (fictionalized) law firm in New York City. I bought this book for my fiance’s father, who enjoys legal thrillers by the likes of John Grisham. He had most recently been telling me about Grisham’s book The Associate. So, I thought, here’s a bird’s eye view into the world of a first year associate at a large law firm, a true story told by the former associate himself. The cover looke ...more
Melanie
Jul 31, 2007 Melanie rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: law students
An interesting look into life at a big law firm. It's a quick read and the writing's not awesome. Sometimes I got really angry with the main character because he seemed too whiny. I would have said, "Well, they're paying you over $100K/year to proofread documents - what did you expect?" if I had been face to face with him. He just seemed to make poor decisions and never put the blame on himself. Nonetheless, the book is a good reminder that firm life is a crappy life with a big salary, and that ...more
Oliver Bateman
Sep 13, 2009 Oliver Bateman rated it liked it
A systematic description of large firm practice that is neither as savage nor as funny as it could have been. The story is told in clear, heavily workshopped prose and can be read in about three hours. It's not resonant or memorable, but I doubt that there is anything Stracher could have done to make it so. His attempts to dramatize the material fall flat, but there are some genuinely hilarious moments. Read ANONYMOUS LAWYER if you're in it for shits and giggles.
Jennifer
Jun 07, 2016 Jennifer rated it liked it
If you read One L: The Turbulent True Story of a First Year at Harvard Law School or The Paper Chase, you might well wonder what happens when a law student graduates, passes the bar, and takes a job? Stracher's book is one answer to that question.

After graduating Harvard Law, Stracher signs on with a Wall Street firm. Like most young associates, he spends a lot of time on grunt work, putting together paperwork and finding case law for attorneys who seem to be more adept at billing hours than so
...more
Craig
Mar 28, 2007 Craig rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-fiction
The overly whiney story of a BigLaw associate. While I think it does a decent job of capturing the frustration and travails of a first year BigLaw associate...get over it. People should know what they're getting into when they go down that road, and as such, get what they deserve.
D.J.
Apr 22, 2009 D.J. rated it liked it
Somewhat interesting, but it loses focus. Also, I work in a big Manhattan lawfirm, and granted that it's a decade later, but my firm is nothing like his was.
Kate H
Jan 07, 2016 Kate H rated it it was ok
I read this book because one of my elderly friends recommended it. She said I would be shocked--shocked! at the goings-on at law firms.

If you would be shocked that the work of a first-year corporate lawyer is mind-achingly dull, involves travelling to unglamorous settings, pays a ton of money and that sometimes people in the firm date each other, then by all means, read it.

If you're offended by racist/sexist/classist references to the clerical people who actually helped Cameron get a lot of his
...more
Erik Lee
Feb 06, 2013 Erik Lee rated it really liked it
Like the cover of this volume, the content itself can be seen as "trying too hard."

A noble attempt to be the next "One L," Double Billing is not without its strengths. Without a doubt, Stracher is a learned individual: Amherst, Harvard, Iowa MFA. And therein lies the problem. This book reads too much like an over-workshopped, MFA project that have out-of-place post-modern sentences and "hey-I-have-an-MFA" vocabulary. The pseudo-memoir is a fun read--it paces a lot like its "predecessor" in that
...more
Carl
Oct 02, 2013 Carl rated it liked it
Executive Summary: A quick read that will make you think twice about the BIGLAW route.

But if you are already an attorney what good is this book? Perhaps its a good reiteration of the reasons you never "chose" to work for a big firm. Maybe it is a good way to judge your Jones Day friends?

However, at the end of the day we all know working for a top 20 firm is a grind. We know in-house is cush. We know that litigators think corporate attorneys are afraid of court and socially awkward -or- corporat
...more
Stefani
Aug 26, 2008 Stefani rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who is thinking about selling their soul to a big law firm to pay off student loans
This is a pretty good book about what the experience of a first year associate in a high powered corporate law firm is really like.

It is disturbing, and upsetting, but also really really interesting. It is fairly well written, although there are some typos and editing errors...

I really like the way the story stays on track. It is about the experience the writer had, not about his background, not about his relationships, and just the right amount about what he thinks of the whole situation...



Tyler Storm
Feb 09, 2014 Tyler Storm rated it it was amazing
Really good insight into a Big Law career. Unfortunately, I was unable to finish this book however I did finish around 85% of it. Very entertaining and the author brings up some valid points. Overall, a good book and great for someone thinking about entering corporate law. Book is ideal for 0L's and perhaps parents who want to know more about their childrens career path or current job.
Lexi
Jan 19, 2010 Lexi rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
As other reviewers have noted, this book is overwritten and heavy handed. However, while it's been 10+ years since the author was an associate, times have not changed that much. This story captures the essence of what life is like as a big firm associate. As someone currently living that life, I suppose I got a misery loves company sort of enjoyment out of it.
Mallory
Feb 03, 2009 Mallory rated it it was ok
Recommended to Mallory by: Prof. Neugroschel
Read when I was still in pre-law in college. In interesting look behind the scenes in corporate law firms. Since I was not interested in corporate, the book did little to spark my interest. It was also used as part of the heavy handed "ethics training" we had to undergo with the hopes that we would remember them when we ourselves were behind the desks.
Anthony
May 14, 2009 Anthony rated it it was amazing
A great book written by one of my law school professors. Details a young lawyer's life as an early associate in New York Big Law. A behind the scenes look at what it is really like to be an associate at an elite corporate law firm. The money, the hours, the work.
M
Jun 01, 2014 M rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
What One L is for pre-law students, this book is for law school graduates. Though I have to say that working with insurance companies has changes greatly since the 1990's. Fun easy read of one person's experience of being a first year associate.
Erin
Feb 20, 2013 Erin rated it did not like it
egads, I was clearly already in "prepare for law school" mode. This one is about the life of a first year associate in a large NY firm. YAWN.
Nick
Sep 15, 2007 Nick rated it it was ok
worth the read if you're considering going into law school or you know lots of people that are. Some fun stuff, no revelations.
Kristin
Feb 26, 2008 Kristin rated it liked it
I think I would have liked it more if I understood all the lawyer-ese. But still good.
Ross
Mar 20, 2008 Ross rated it really liked it
Shelves: law
Type A personality survives NYC big law, makes it out with soul intact.
Harvey
Jul 08, 2015 Harvey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
- true, interesting, behind-the-scenes stories of a law firm
deborah lawson
Feb 19, 2013 deborah lawson rated it it was amazing
Another must read for anyone thinking of going to law school!
Breezy
Sep 07, 2008 Breezy rated it did not like it
Didn't live up to the title, even in the slightest. Pass.
Bernadette
Mar 27, 2012 Bernadette rated it liked it
Shelves:
Still reading.......
Howard Jaeckel
Howard Jaeckel rated it really liked it
Jun 21, 2016
Robin
Robin added it
Jun 09, 2016
David Kaplan
David Kaplan marked it as to-read
May 25, 2016
Kelly Pattison
Kelly Pattison marked it as to-read
May 01, 2016
Jamie
Jamie rated it it was ok
Apr 15, 2016
Mr. D
Mr. D marked it as to-read
Apr 15, 2016
Jasmine McElroy
Jasmine McElroy marked it as to-read
Apr 12, 2016
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Cameron Stracher practices and teaches law. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the New York Times Magazine, and the Wall Street Journal, among other publications. He lives in Westport, CT, with his wife, two children, and two dogs, not necessarily in that order.
More about Cameron Stracher...

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“Like a giant Ponzi scheme, profits depended on an unending source of associates entering at the bottom of the pyramid, funneling cash up the chain,” 0 likes
“Like a giant Ponzi scheme, profits depended on an unending source of associates entering at the bottom of the pyramid, funneling cash up the chain, and departing before making partner.” 0 likes
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