SALT LAKE CITY — Inter-firm pranks between major SLC law firms escalated into fake job postings last week. Unknown individuals, presumed to be from the firms involved, have posted ridiculous, embarrassing or impossible employment opportunities for each other’s firms on popular job sites.
The opening salvo arrived early last week when Monster.com listed a new position at prestigious downtown firm James & Young. Listed as “Executive Gofer”, the position demanded an attorney with five-to-ten years of litigation experience to “deliver dry cleaning, pick up coffee, buy anniversary gifts” and “generally serve the beck and call” of managing partner Arthur Young.
The fake posting quickly skyrocketed to the top of major social news sites, earning witty comments confirming some of Mr. Young’s more unflattering habits. Discovering the ruse, attorneys at James & Young quickly surmised the culprit, rival firm Nichols & Sinclair, and set upon revenge.
The next morning, phone lines and emails at Nichols & Sinclair were flooded with applications for an “Entry-level Legal Assistant” position that paid $75,000 with a “two year guaranteed contract.” The game was officially afoot.
These two giants of this city’s legal world, together at the top of corporate work in Utah, share a deep-seeded rivalry tracing back to a hotly disputed game of golf between respective founders Lionel James and Alister Nichols. To this day, the blood stained shirts of the two impromptu pugilists remain on display in the lounge of the Salt Lake Country Club as a warning about maintaining civility. As the fisticuffs died down, pranks took their place.
Over the ensuing days, the staff at James & Young denied applications for the “masseuse” position listed on Craigslist. Nichols & Sinclair found itself listed everywhere as the number one firm for low cost and pro bono immigration work. James & Young found itself in hot water with its major clients from the mining industry when a help wanted ad appears looking for attorneys with experience those same companies “for a possible environmental class action lawsuit.”
The rivalry even spilled into the classified section of The Salt Lake Tribune where publishers, desperate for whatever advertising dollars they can get, have so far permitted the ads to proliferate. Showing their tastes in science fiction, a half-page classified ad published in the Sunday Tribune looked for a lateral associate with language proficiency in Klingon, specifically those with “experience serving the House of Mogh.”
Despite the growing costs of placing such ads, the antics show no sign of abating. As of this writing, candidates interested in applying for a position as an entry-level mohel should forward resumes and cover letters to the hiring partner at James & Young.