In today’s New York Lawyer (here; subscription site — sorry), the Rodent strikes again with a very funny description of the annual ritual of the law firm “retreat”:
Once a year, BigLaw packs its bags and goes off to the Firm Retreat….The Firm Retreat serves many purposes, all of which are of great importance to firm management (but no one else): renewing old friendships and making new ones, relieving the stress of the legal life, passing on firm culture and, of course, further swelling the already bloated egos of the leading partners. * * *
[T]here is always plenty of humiliation of the unintentional variety. This entertainment is usually fueled by alcohol. * * * No Firm Retreat is successful or even complete without some whiff of sexual peccadillo. These can range from surreptitious (and pathetic) snuggling by a middle-aged partner in the back seat of a car crowded with”young ones”to overt (and ridiculous, if odious) propositions by the truly inebriated.
Sexual harassment is never ok. And even putting harassment aside, many a lawyer has suffered (at least reputationally) from the off-site (or even in-office) hook-up. With that out of the way, let’s also acknowledge that we all know a lawyer (or two or three or more) who regained a bit of pep in the step from the same.
I see a business opportunity in the legal academy. What if there was a “profs date” database (a la J-Date, Match, eHarmony, etc.) that was conference-specific? Attendees of the AALS Annual Meeting, for example, could register with the service to indicate to their target audience an interest and availability for a few dates, flirtation, whatever.
There would have to be some sort of certification process — no registering unless you are legally single or divorced, morally available, etc. The system would facilitate initial communication between the professors and after that, it would be up to them.
Now THAT is a conference add-on that might increase attendance.