A Squire Patton Boggs lawyer has achieved fame on teh internets by revealing in a series of posts on Reddit how self-loathing, greed, pressure and sexism led her to quit the firm after nine years as an associate.
Using the 'Ask Me Anything' format, Kristen Johnson explained that she was posted to the firm's Doha office for two and a half years but quit after she became "disgusted" by the "luxury lifestyle and lawyers who would give anything and everything to make millions".
|Johnson's Reddit proof
The post rose to the top of the front page of the popular site as readers left over 1,492 comments and questions for the lawyer, who worked in Squire Patton Boggs' international arbitration practice.
SQB will not be happy about her extremely juicy public exit interview. Under the heading, "IamA burned out international lawyer just returned from Qatar making almost $400k per year, feeling jet lagged and slightly insane at having just quit it all to get my life back, get back in shape, actually see my 2 young boys, and start a toy company, AMA!" Johnson gave intimate details of her alleged working life at Squire Patton Boggs. She said that her annual target was 2,500 hours including non-billable hours, and that she billed "about 2200/year". She billed less during the years she took maternity leave, which she claimed "massively impacted my bonus, partner, and salary increase eligibility”.
Attracting a sympathetic response from other posters, Johnson said, "I encountered blatant gender discrimination, sexual harassment, and a very clear glass ceiling" at the firm. "Having a baby apparently makes you worth less as a lawyer".
The ex-associate told Reddit users, “I did feel pressure towards the end to either keep working (increasingly) insane hours or resign”. When her grandmother died in November, "I found out 2 hours before I was heading to the airport to work at a hearing for 3 weeks" and "couldn't even take the time to mourn". She said it was "horrible", and the misery was compounded when "I missed her funeral the next month because of another hearing”.
"There's a boot camp mentality", said Johnson, "and a reward mentality that if you sacrifice everything, you'll ultimately win the prize. I know it's cliche, but it is probably true that the prize is like winning more pie at a pie eating contest".
Health was also an issue. "I was putting in about 60-70 hours per week on average for the firm", wrote Johnson, which meant "I rarely exercised", "gained a lot of weight" and "ached all the time from computers and sitting".
Johnson did have some nice things to say about Squire Patton Boggs. She "loved not having to worry about money", earning enough to provide college funds for her two children, buy two houses, save a large amount and enjoy a lifestyle where she and her husband "could travel and splurge and it didn't matter".
But living around people "who worked 24/7 and didn't see their kids" made her "stop and think about what on earth I was doing". In March she quit SPB, and is now back in the US where she plans to start a boy doll company with her sister. "I became inspired to start a company making boy dolls after I couldn't find any cool ones for my own sons", she said. They are "designed to be a compliment doll to the many girl dolls out there, especially American Girl. They are the approximate same size, just slightly taller with molded hair".
RollOnFriday has asked SPB for a comment (not about the doll stuff).