This harrowing essay about NYC Big Law Firm life (or lack thereof) is a must read. Forman writes:
"The big firm I worked at was-- like all big New York law firms--a cultural oddity. It combined aspects of the boarding school I had attended in England with the political climate of the former Soviet Union. Like school it was a nightmare world of irrational hierarchies, institutionalized bullying, and overwhelming peer pressure. Like the bad old USSR it combined grotesque inefficiency with a culture of Orwellian surveillance, universal distrust, shameless sucking up, and constant dishonesty. High ideals were honored only in the breach. Capricious tyrants roamed the hallways, the terrifying reality behind the movie The Revenge of the Nerds. Those who flourished in the system were almost always monsters, twisted into Balzacian shapes by the struggle for power. The office was a petri dish for the growth of abnormal psychologies."