Blech – I think this cold is going around; I’m hoping I won’t lose my voice but I do sound awful, and I ought to/want to just sleep, but I can’t (cold medicine side effects are lousy stuff).

Well, some legal stuff – the oral arguments on the Ten Commandments displays in courthouses cases sounded like interesting stuff. Dahlia Lithwick of had good, funny comments. The idea that Scalia is the honest analyst in this situation may very well be true – you kind of have to be that honest intellectually and spiritually to have the viewpoint that is essentially: “well, just shield your eyes if you’ve a problem, but this is a God-fearing country.” Umm. Okay. Not sure if I would agree with that or not, but this would be interesting to see what the Supreme Court can come up with. had posted this interesting article (Yahoo! cross-posted, so I’m putting up the Yahoo link to the article): “Law Firms Mulls the ‘Gen Y’ Equation.” Leigh Jones of the National Law Journal reports:

Attorneys from Generation Y — those born in 1978 or later — are plenty smart and generally well educated, say firm leaders and industry experts. But these young attorneys also are lacking in loyalty, initiative and energy, so the criticism goes.

And though some associates sharply dispute the assessment, the perception is forcing managing partners to rethink their motivation strategies and their expectations for their firms’ future.

Big money at large firms may be intoxicating for young lawyers with mounds of school debt, but new associates often are not willing to make the sacrifice that those salaries demand, said Bruce McLean, chairman of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld.

“It entices people to come to big firms who really don’t want to do what we do,” said McLean, adding that Akin Gump has a “significant number” of hardworking associates. [….]

But third-year associate Moe Keshavarzi at Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton in Los Angeles said that firms with unhappy Generation Y associates are not tapping into their potential.

“I have friends who are fourth-year associates at other firms who are sitting in the library researching,” he said.

Studies indicate that young workers are less willing to put in long hours and instead are more focused on pursuing interests outside work than were their predecessors. A report issued by the Families and Work Institute in October, Generation and Gender in the Workplace, found that younger employees are less likely to be “work-centric.” The study also found that young men and women are more interested in staying at the same rung on the career ladder in order to preserve their quality of life.

With regard to law firms specifically, a study conducted by Edge International, a professional services consulting firm, found that the 25- to 30-year-old group ranked the following factors as motivators at their jobs: time for personal life; opportunities for advancement; professional growth; achievement; intrinsic nature of work; security; leadership; and being a member of a team.

“This group wants to grow professionally and advance to partnership, but not while compromising their personal lives,” said Karen MacKay, a partner with Edge International. The survey, “Motivating the Next Generation,” was sent to about 4,000 members of the law firm network Multilaw. About 800 attorneys responded.

It may be that new associates simply are more vocal about what they perceive as meaningless work, even if they are handsomely paid, said Reed Smith fifth-year associate Alicia Powell.

“After you make so much money, it’s enough,” Powell said.

[….] Generation Y workers may be too smart for their own good, which contributes to management’s perceptions, said Carolyn Martin, co-author of “Managing Generation Y” (HRD Press, 2001).

Employees in that generation, especially those in professional positions, place a high value on education, something their parents drilled into them, she said. Consequently, young associates have a low tolerance for less-than-challenging tasks that management often relegates to them, she said.

In addition, the group has a greater degree of cynicism than in generations past, she said, stemming from the dot-com failure and 9/11 terrorist attacks. The result is diminished long-term loyalty to their employers.

“They’re saying, ‘I’ve looked at the world and there’s no such thing as job security,'” she said.

I’m right at the edge of Gen Y – indeed, being between Gen X and Gen Y leaves one feeling just being in the middle a lot (like how when I was in college, the College Grad Class of ’00 were the ones who acted like they’d take over the world, and the Class of ’98 had cool slackers/protesters and my class was just… well, just us). So, this article left me feeling more than a little empathetic – I mean, what do these Big Firms expect? Loyalty to a Firm that Makes Big Moola-la-la? The Class of 00 (and pretty much the rest of us children of Baby Boomers in general) had great ambitions to make the world a better place while making ourselves feel good. The usual way of practicing (Big Firm) law just doesn’t cut it. But, then again, too many of us may are willing to go that route – so Great Cultural Shift isn’t happening too soon or too fast.

“Alias” – wow. The two part episode (or is it two serialized episodes? whichever) with the return of the series’ two favorite villains (well, besides Sloane and Irina Derevko): Sark and Anna Espinosa. Plus Crazy Plots and Crazed Characters!

In fact, it’s really cool to see Anna again – she hasn’t been on the show since Season 1 – and she’s still nasty as heck toward CIA Secret Agent Sydney (and Sydney still hasn’t gained any love for Anna either). Scene: Anna, former Soviet-Cuban agent (or Cuban/Soviet? I never quite figured which) – turned freelance – fighting Sydney in a mall over a bomb. Sydney punches her and says, “She can have the blouse” to the befuddled mall security officer (who hasn’t a clue that these were spies trying to maul each other). Hehehe.

And, the return of the crazy stuff – Vaughn facing his wife’s corpse, not an easy thing because he’s the one who killed that trecherous woman; Sark bawling over the late Mrs. Vaughn because he supposedly loved her (yeah, adultery was just one of Lauren’s sins); Sark insisting that Sydney pose as Lauren to infiltrate the bad terrorist group; Vaughn setting himself up for psychological punishment by watching his girlfriend dress up as Lauren and use Lauren’s weird Anglo-American accent. Sark doublecrossing people, as usual – aiding Sydney and Vaughn but then joining forces with Anna, and then turning on Anna by letting Sydney loose on her. Headtwisting stuff.

Meanwhile, Sloane’s not supposed to be involved in the mission against Anna; but Jack Bristow, Sydney’s messed up dad, got him involved anyway. Sloane as a father in grief – ugh, the actor playing the character is great, but the character is a slimey sort. Jack taking a chance on dragging medically- induced- comatosed Nadia out of her coma to get the info on the bomb. Trying to even figure out why Anna had shot Nadia in the first place. And, Jack lying (or lying by omission) to Sydney. And, Sloane pissed with Jack for endangering Nadia, that Jack should have informed him as a father – as a courtesy, even if there was professional justification. Jack snapping back along the lines of “Well, you mean like how I have to endure watching you endanger my daughter on a daily basis?” Yeah, Jack. That’s right.

Oh, but then Sloane told him, “Well, how can I trust you?” Umm, geez, Sloane, didn’t you get the memo that spy people aren’t, well, trustworthy? Jack only gave Sloane the silent Jack look. Ha. Great Alias stuff.

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