Lawyer Got So Buried in Discovery, Nobody Knew He Was There

By William Vogeler, Esq. on January 11, 2019 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

To hear one lawyer's story, you really can get lost in the paperwork.

He was a "discovery attorney" at a BigLaw firm, where he nearly faded into anonymity. After 10 years in the basement answering and writing interrogatories, he quit with a question to his colleagues:

"Who are these discovery attorneys?" he posed. If you don't know, he said, they actually exist.

Discovery Attorney

The lawyer emailed his co-workers at WilmerHale that he was leaving "with a heavy heart." For some, it was the first time they saw his name.

"For those of you that do not know me, or don't care, please mark Non-Responsive and move on to the next e-mail," he said. "If you do know me, know what a discovery attorney is, please mark responsive."

He said he was going elsewhere to work as in-house counsel. He could also write legal comedy on the side -- if only there were a market for it.

The unknown lawyer was not complaining, just saying. Discovery is boring, repetitive work.

The Unknown Lawyer

Anonymity, however, is not so bad for some attorneys. One of them is working as "of counsel," which he says is a disguise for the other things that he does.

He doesn't have to explain that he spends more time playing golf, working out, watching movies, or hanging out, than he does working.

"Or that when I do work, I am sitting on the couch in shorts from the comfort of home," he writes on a blog.

Sounds like it beats working in the basement.

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