The Girls' Club, Episode 1
by Paul Bergman
is all too tempting to trash the images of lawyers and law firms
portrayed in the first ever episode of David Kelley's newest
show, Girls' Club. After all, one partner sexually harasses
his protégé (Girl # 1) and forces her to pressure
an opposing attorney into making a settlement offer on a legally
invalid claim that seems to have been chosen mainly for its ability
to titillate the audience with the image of a doctor fainting
into a woman's crotch. A second partner allows another young
associate (Girl # 2) to practice her litigation skills for the
first time by representing a sexual deviant charged with capital
murder. The partner sits and watches while the D.A. tricks the
associate into asking the judge to declare a mistrial, thus giving
the D.A. a chance to retry a case that has been going badly.
A third partner so terrifies and humiliates a third associate
(Girl # 3) that the latter calls a smug, supercilious colleague
a "dyke," nearly ending Girl # 3's employment with
the firm even before the show gets cancelled.
Despite this parade of utter
nonsense I want to say something nice about this first episode
of The Girls Club because I found it somewhat enjoyable.
And what I can say is this: the show's storylines are comedic
representations of how it might feel to be a young associate
in a big law firm. For example, like many young associates, The
Girls think that going to trial is the Holy Grail of law practice.
Thus, Girls 1 and 3 sigh enviously when they cross examine Girl
# 2 until she admits that trying the capital murder case is a
huge emotional rush. Moreover, just like many young associates,
all the girls think that the partners are out to make life miserable
for them. Many young associates feel that law school has left
them ill equipped to carry out law firm tasks, and live in constant
fear that partners will tear their work apart.
So the way to watch The
Girls' Club is to look at it through the eyes of the protagonists
and have fun. Nothing you will see is real; all of it represents
the angst that many new lawyers feel when they begin to practice
law in big law
Posted: October 31, 2002