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There is a new illness on the block that targets only lawyers - mergeritis. Chicago firm Ungaretti & Harris has cleverly worked out that health scares get people talking.
The firm has invented Mergeritis (www.merger itis.com) for a new online recruitment ad targeting unhappy lawyers in newly-merged megafirms.
Click through to the site and you get a letter from Ungaretti managing partner Thomas Fahey, which opens: "If you feel dissatisfied or disconnected after being swept up in a law firm merger, you are not alone."
He goes on to say: "If you are a partner with a strong practice looking to right-size your firm, call me or any of the other executive committee members listed on this page."
Classy. Apparently there is a vaccine for mergeritis. You need to take about $10m and apply it liberally all over yourself in a Bahamas mansion with a beach view. It seems discontent is growing among lawyers in big US firms. There is even a blog specifically devoted to it called Legal Sanity (www.legalsanity. com), which has come up with all kinds of ways to stop lawyers from going crazy in the data room.
Blogger Arnie Herz has posts such as "managing the invisible and anxious lawyer", which place the blame for associate unhappiness in the managing committee boardroom.
If you are an invisible and anxious lawyer, Webweek recommends you use your powers to leave the office without anyone seeing and have a pint to calm your nerves.