Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Marble, The Sculptor, and the Spoiled Milk

Darcy, on the contrary, had seen a collection of people in whom there was little beauty and no fashion, for none of whom he had felt the smallest interest, and from none received either attention or pleasure.  
          —Actual Writer of something that contains actual literary value to society 
The Marble and The Sculptor is not for people who want to blame others for their lot in life. It is not for people who want to cry over spilled milk. It is not for people who want to whine about being scammed. The Marble and The Sculptor is for people who realize that they are behind the 8-ball and are willing to work hard to get out from behind it. For people who are looking for a blueprint or guide to help them navigate being a new lawyer in the worst legal job market ever.   
         —Keith "Birmingham Keef" Lee (aka B.K., or the "Burger King" himself)
Writing a book is as close as a man can get to having a baby – and nobody wants to be told they’ve got an ugly baby.  
          —B.K. again, from his blog
I post this in support of the B.K. because I am highly offended by the other posters and commentators here and their superficial criticism of the book in question. I instead think that B.K. is nursing us exactly what nutrition we need. I hope you don't mind if I plug this guy's book; we need some positive, dairy-based, past-the-expiration date energy on this site. His book is incredible—so incredible that when I bought my copy, I knew at once that this adorable neonate had to be signed in person by the author. 

So, I flew to Birmingham, AL where the author was holding a public book signing. He also delivered a short presentation, of which I took notes to share with you all, to counter-balance the typical childish negativity and sarcasm of this site. You really ought to listen to a different moopoint. 
I heartedly endorse Birmingham Keef's book, and am dreadfully glad he refused to abort it during the third trimester, even when the doctors warned him there was a 90% certainty of literary deformity.

        Birmingham Barnes & Noble, Store #079
        November 17, 2013
        Book Signing & Author's Comments

Evenin'! Let me get right down to it: don't cry over spoiled milk, my Pappy used to say. I have followed that advice ever since, though I spill it often. In fact, I once upped Pappy by havin' the gall to drink any milk that done got spoiled! Can't cry over drunk milk! I oughtta mention that there are different types of spoiled milk; some 'us got degrees done spoiled, some got jobs done spoiled, some got marriages done spoiled, but don't cry about it! You spill it, you drink it! We'll drink our way out of this mess, you'll see.

I'm here not to coddle y'all but wake you up! You gotta stop your whinin' if you want fine dinin', my Pappy said too. That law degree ain't no spoiled milk; it's BUTTERMILK! And 
buttermilk pancakes will bring you success, even with only a degree from an unaccredited school so obscure people wonder which country its home city is in.

Now let my own introduction speak for itself:

Becoming a successful lawyer is possible for everyone. It is possible for you. You just have to want it badly enough. It has to become the overriding goal and purpose of your life. This will cause imbalance. It will interfere and intercede in parts of your life you once thought private. The separation between your personal life and your professional life will start to thin, to the point that it becomes illusory. And as any good lawyer will tell you—it is. Being a good lawyer is not a part-time job. It isn’t something that you do in your spare time. It isn’t something that you phone in or do when it is convenient. It isn’t something that you fit in between checking Facebook and Twitter. . . . 
[End transcript]

At this point, the audience was highly motivated. Several recent under-or-unemployed law grads immediately stopped texting on their phones, which they had been doing the entire time Keef was speaking, and instead began acquiring high-level wealthy corporate clients on the spot, right there and then. Incroyable! The problem was, as Birmingham Keef repeatedly mentioned with his highly apt metaphors and folk wisdom, not that there was a supply-demand imbalance between too many lawyers and too few jobs in the economy, but rather one of attitude: it's all you lazy crybabies who think you can score Alden-shoed partnerships with part-time work, done only when convenient between Facebook spamming and Twitter gossip.

ABA bless you Birmingham Keef, you are our new Darcy. 

Got Spoiled Milk? Read and learn the recipe for professional success yourself: (ABA, 2013; $29.99 Hardback)


  1. Not clear. So Bell wrote a satirical book spoofing someone else's book?

    Or is the OP satire?

    1. Not that difficult to figure out if you bother thinking about it.

  2. You go to the Amazon link and there are a lot of positive reviews.
    It's kind of funny that many of these reviewers seem to have only posted one review (his book), and do not appear to have read his book. They cannot comment on the details in the book, merely offer broad pablum on how great it is. I love it.

    1. Sock puppets. I've a post lined for next week about this topic, but the amout of frickin puppets shilling Keith's book is truly notable. Like you correctly point out, it's clear that most of the reviewers have just joined Amazon to puppet promote his book, evident by their lack of detail in their reviewed and the fact that they have only posted that single review.

      It's also interesting that puppets are not just promoting unworthy materials and services, but also puppet attacking sites like this one. Note since Nancy Leong has been criticized, the number of anti-female comments has increased. I suspect she is anonymously seeding this site with hate in order to bolster her feeble position that we are attacking her and not her work.

    2. (And note that here, we engage in no creepy IP stalking or tracking of IDs. I have no way of proving that it is Nancy or Keith or whoever visiting this site, although I have my suspicions. The pattern is simple: we criticism something and suddenly there are lots of anonymous comments telling us to take the post down or censor comments about it. It's clearly the target of the article at work.

      I'm sure that Keith and Nancy are tracking traffic at their own sites, because they are precisely the kinds of stalkerish "gotcha" tactics employed by those who seek to silence valid debate rather than address it.

    3. We can leave negative reviews. Our numbers are greater than the sock army.

    4. Part of marketing a book nowadays involves having your "friends" (conspirators?) spam Amazon with positive reviews, so that actual potential readers who visit it and might actually consider purchasing it will see that high-status awesome people approve of it. The "reviews" for this book look, as you indicated, superficial and biased because they are marketing testimony and not actual reviews.

  3. I'm not sure why the hate on this book. I'm not interested in setting up a law practice so I can't speak about the value of the advice. But should new graduates and lawyers who want to set up law practices be discouraged? Can't going to law school be a terrible decision and yet you still want to set up a law practice? Sure, most will fail but a few will make it. Sunk costs are sunk. Is he advising going to law school to set up a solo shop? That would be bad advice. However, if you want some tips on throwing the Hail Mary that is solo law practice, I can't see the harm.

    1. I haven't read the book, but the reviewers seem to think his advice is a) worthless in terms of actually setting up a successful practice and b) being used by various interested parties as evidence that law school is a worthwhile endeavor on which naive youngsters should embark.

    2. The book provides no valid insight or detail - it is pure mush written for profit in the same vein as most motivational texts.!

    3. We don't hate the book. We dislike it because of its misguided message, its author who utterly lacks the qualifications or experience to write it, and for the author's insistence that the only thing standing between a law graduate and success is a little hard work (in other words, everyone without a bank full of money is lazy.)

      It's a bad book! Perhaps that's why we "hate" it?

    4. The book is puerile self-help mush as others have mentioned. Its aimed purely at pre-law/law students who have some doubts about their decision but just need a bit of hand holding to reassure them that law school is still a good idea for them (its not of course).

  4. The cure for anon comments is simply to not post them.

    If you do not do that there will always be suspicion and paranoia about "sock puppets" and in that sense Lambchop is undeniably on the outs around here for sure:

    Elvis even wrote a song about suspicious minds and it has the record for the most gold record sales of all time. Meat Loaf's Bat out of hell album was a close second and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame even gave Meatloaf an honorary crystal trophy at the MTV awards to memorialize the whole thing. And there wasn't a dry eye in the audience.

    But anyway and as far as Nancy Leong goes, what site or blog is hers or are there more than one?

    I had never even heard of Nancy Leong until the past week and now I am curious. There is a feminist writer blog by her and she seems upset by some comments that have been made in the past and she is now expending energy and time to write about it all.

    Although she doesn't seem to realize that some of the comments are not from anon people and her research was lacking in that respect.

    Besides, everyone knows that mankind has been under the thumb and oppression or womankind ever since Eve ate that damn apple and offered it to a trusting and good and honest Adam.

    Everyone knows that and we don't need government student loans to pay women to dispute the truth. Do we?

    1. Why are painter's comments still getting through the filter???

      He is trying once again to drive a wedge between us. Please stop allowing his comments through. He wants to break the scamblogs because he was not allowed to be a part of them.

  5. BTW I just discovered that Nancy Leong contributes to a SCOTUS blog.

    Actually she seems to have outstanding and impressive credentials.

    1. Hi Nancy Puppet.


      And credentials don't mean a thing. A credential without experience is useless, because you know nothing without experience. Credentials are hollow.

    2. oh. but here is the link.

  6. Yawn. You could say that about 90% of the books published.

  7. A little off topic, but here is GW scamming undergrads also:

  8. "Writing a book is as close as a man can get to having a baby – and nobody wants to be told they’ve got an ugly baby."

    Keith, you have an ugly baby. Use a condom, bro, and please abort the next time you have an accident and find yourself qualified to give birth to one of these things.

  9. Apparently, the real "Marble and Sculptor" book actually does say:

    "The Marble and The Sculptor is for people who realize that they are behind the 8-ball and are willing to work hard to get out from behind it. For people who are looking for a blueprint or guide to help them navigate being a new lawyer in the worst legal job market ever."

    That sayd it all. This is a pro-law book that is being published under the auspicies of the ABA, yet even it is a frank admission that:

    (1) law school is no longer a good or acceptable choice for a young person (i.e., why spend considerable time, toil, and money in order to end up "behind the eight ball?"), and

    (2) that the legal job market sucks (actually, that it has undergone a irreversible nose-dive).

    The book seems to accept the truth: Going to law school puts you behind the 8-ball. It's spilled milk. Going out and getting 3 DWI's puts you behind the 8-ball. Getting a bankruptcy puts you behind the 8-ball. Going to jail for distributing coke to minors puts you behind the 8-ball.

    Law school's particularly galling in that you strive, sacrifice and pay to get behind the 8-ball.

    Great. The Marble Book gets it. But having got it, it fails to act responsibly.

    Given that it seems to acknowledge the truth, the book should helpfully announce that anyone who is currently enrolled in law school should quit at once (yes, before Thanksgiving), and that anyone who is thinking of law school should have their head examined. And any new law grad without that foundational first job should not waste any more time attempting to go solo in a marketplace that was way beyond hyper-saturated 10 years ago. Who wants to start a business to fail?

    The skyscraper's on fire at floors 58-60. For God's sake, don't let people keeping boarding the express elevators in an attempt to reach the 125th floor observation deck and "enjoy the view." Don't keep extolling the virtues of the outstanding view from the 125th floor and praising the tastiness of the refreshments served in the observation deck bar.

    Yes, there's probably some comforting advice you can give people who are trapped in the towering inferno: "If you're above floor 60 or so, use your cell phone to call your family and loved ones to tell them good bye.... Write out a will and put it in a solid case, and throw it outside the building so it will reach the ground.... pray the Lord's Prayer together in a group... "

    (Sadly, the book seems to say, fashion a WWII-style airborne infantry parachute from the ripstop nylon material and cordage that you'll find left over in some forgotten closets, and then parachute smartly to the ground, all the while singing, 'Nothing will Stop the Army Air Corps.')

    But in any event, to discuss the current situation facing today's law grads without failing to close off access to the building is irresponsible... and doing a great disservice to the grads it claims to advise.

    Yep, all new grads: Chin up. But know that this hopelessly broken system is at last being corrected and that you have not suffered (or died) in vain.

    Maybe that's why many readers hate this book.

    1. You nailed it. Even the ABA acknowledges that recent graduates are "behind the 8 ball." Why on earth would any sane person, who does not come from a wealth/connected family (the two generally go hand-in-hand), invest 3 years of their life (3 of the best years I might add, youth slips away quickly), 150-200K or more, and incalculable physical and emotional energy just to end up "behind the 8 ball?"