Floor 33: The Free Lunch

If you work at a firm, there IS such thing as a free lunch.  Well, it’s not free.  The firm pays for it. But free for you!

I am always puzzled when I see other young attorneys failing to sufficiently take advantage of the many, many free lunches out there.  Here are my top free lunch sources:

  • Get on the hiring committee for associates.  This is absolutely the #1 best source of free lunch.  First, lunch is expensive (but not for you, it’s free!).  Second, it is delicious.  Third, during hiring season, there is a lot of it.  Fourth, even though it’s tasty and free, you’re a good firm citizen for taking advantage of it.  Alas, I am not on the hiring committee, but am occasionally allowed to pinch-hit when the regular members are swamped.  If you can weasel legitimately convince your way onto such a committee, good for you!
  • Lunch-time bar association events.  I far, far prefer these to dinner-time bar association events.  Lunch is usually reheated chicken, pork, etc. in buffet trays.  However, I find nothing wrong with that.  It’s also a good way to be a good firm citizen AND get to know the local members of your bar.  Free lunch, good for your career.  Win-win, I say.
  • Training lunches.  Every associate knows about this.  Obviously you go, even if you are only going to sneakily pick up food, then “notice” an “emergency email” and run back to your desk.  If you are not taking advantage of these, I don’t think I can help you.
  • Working lunches.  This is the “I’m-Taking-A-Deposition-And-They-Ordered-Sandwiches” lunch.  Not exciting.  If you’re part of one, you know it.  If you’re not part of one, people get territorial about their food, especially if they’re at hour 8 of a 12 hour deposition.  I do not advise trying to crash a Working Lunch.
  • The left-overs from the Working Lunches.  At my firm, these leftovers are deposited at random times in the lunch room.  Knowing when to get there (and that they’re coming) requires either inside information from those in the Working Lunch, or an in with those long-time members of the firm who have developed a 6th sense for when leftovers will reach the lunch room.  It’s worth developing your contacts just for this.  I have most certainly done so.


9 thoughts on “Floor 33: The Free Lunch

  1. C@thesingledollar

    Oh, this is one I can relate to! The academic equivalent here is getting invited to speaker dinners (excellent, expensive food as a general rule) or attending lunchtime seminars (awful, cheap sandwiches as a general rule). I horn in on as many of these as possible.

  2. WellHeeledBlog

    When I travel for work or work through lunch/dinner (almost always), we get those meals reimbursed. This means that I have almost no meal expenses Monday – Thursday. We get lunch catered in office on Fridays. This has really helped our food budget – not least because I’ve lost my craving to eat out on weekends given that I eat out every meal during the week.

    In grad school, I have attended club meetings just because I knew there would be free pizza. 🙂

  3. Kate@GoodnightDebt

    What about CLE lunches?! Those are my favorite! .. or do those fall under Bar Association lunches? I don’t practice, so I dropped my bar association membership. Savings! 🙂

    1. Mrs. DebtFreeJD Post author

      My firm does most of those in-house, so for me, it’s under the category of firm lunches. The firm also pays for bar association fees, but I think I’d still go even if they didn’t for profession reasons pertaining specifically to my area of practice. I agree for a lot of people, doesn’t make sense!

  4. SF Stache

    I’ve spent months cultivating a relationship with our catering staff, and moved my office to the floor with the majority of the conference rooms. Now I’m high on the notification list for extra leftovers.

    Also, any 10+ hour day = free dinner for us too. Woo!

    1. Mrs. DebtFreeJD Post author

      If I had one gripe about my firm, is that there is never dinner, no matter how many hours you work. In theory, that’s because we don’t have to work that late. In actuality . . .

  5. Pingback: Floor 36: Hit the Pause Button | DebtFreeJD

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