BigLaw Firms Ditch the Booze at Summer Associate Events

By William Vogeler, Esq. on June 08, 2018 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Some law firms finally got the memo: stop serving alcohol at firm events.

It's not like Prohibition; we know how that turned out. But law firms are learning that drinking alcohol is not a good idea at work.

Maybe alcohol-free zones -- like smoke-free zones -- will become the norm someday. In the meantime, major law firms have decided it's about time.

Abstain from Alcohol

According to reports, Goodwin Procter as well as Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe will abstain from alcohol at summer associate events. Instead, the firms will offer cooking, spinning and other classes, and host cultural events like museum tours.

"We want to get away from this idea that every social event for the summer associates has to have a bunch of alcohol," Orrick's Siobhan Handley told the American Lawyer.

In the spirit of #MeToo, the BigLaw firms also plan to raise awareness about sexual harassment. Eliminating alcohol might help with that, too.

It's not like anyone told you so, but drinking and practicing law just don't mix. There's more than enough evidence that says so.

Lawyers Drink Too Much

According to various studies, more than one-third of attorneys are problem drinkers. One survey of nearly 13,000 legal professionals said 11,000 of them drank in the past year.

That's a lot of alcohol. At one shot per attorney, that's almost 700 bottles of booze on the wall.

You could torch an island with that much alcohol. Or you could start a law firm, but nobody wants to see that movie.

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