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Live from New York: A Big Law Partner!

Vivia Chen

January 20, 2017

Screen Shot 2017-01-20 at 11.52.08 AM

Who says corporate lawyers lack star wattage? Last Saturday, SNL turned the spot light on a Big Law partner in its much-watched opening skit with Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump.

The honor belonged to Sheri Dillion, a tax (!) partner at Morgan Lewis in Washington D.C. Dillion, you might recall, appeared next to The Donald at his first press conference as president-elect, explaining how he would navigate the ethical thicket involving his business interests during his presidency.

In a nutshell, Dillion says not to worry because Trump, under Morgan Lewis' tutelage, has put in all sorts of safe guards. But, no, it's not practical for him to divest himself from his companies or sell his business. My favorite line from her remarks: "President Trump can't un-know he owns Trump Tower." 

I tried to watch the entirety of Dillion's speech but it was, frankly, a bit boring. Very much the earnest lawyer, Dillion read from prepared remarks and even cited section letters and numbers from the U.S. Code. Oy.

Dillion got her 15 minutes of fame from that much anticipated event—literally: She went on for over 14 minutes—a significant chunk of time, considering that the conference was just over an hour.

Nothing against Dillion, but SNL's version, where Cecily Strong (above) played the Morgan Lewis partner, was a lot speedier and more fun. Basically, SNL mocked Dillion and the voluminous legal documents she trotted out as props to bolster her position. (Yes, redwells and manila folders were piled high on a side table during the actual conference—just like the Trump steaks and wine on display at other events during the election.)

I honestly don't have an opinion about Dillion's performance during the conference. What got me all excited is that SNL deemed an Am Law 100 partner to be worthy of parody.

So excited that I dashed off an email to Dillion to get her reaction. I was hoping she'd say she was tickled silly about the whole thing.

Instead, I only got a curt reply from the firm's PR handler who wrote: "We do not comment on our clients or the work we do for them."

For goodness sake, Morgan Lewis, chill. I wasn't asking for gory details about your client. All I wanted to know was how it felt to be included in an SNL skit. I was hoping to see a glimpse of humor—to show that Big Law can laugh at itself.

Apparently, it can't.

As Trump would say: Sad!

vchen@alm.com

 

 

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About The Careerist

The Careerist takes an inside look at how lawyers shape their careers and manage their lives. The blog aims to dissect developments in the profession, provide useful information and advice, and give lawyers a platform to voice their views. The goal is to provide a fresh, provocative take on the state of lawyering.

About Vivia Chen

Vivia Chen

Vivia Chen, The Careerist's chief blogger, has been covering the business and culture of law firms for a decade. A former corporate lawyer, Chen is fascinated by those who thrive (as well as those who don't) in the legal profession. Her take: Success in the law (and life) doesn't always travel a linear path. If you have topics you'd like to discuss or information to share, contact her: VChen@alm.com

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