Residence: Oakland, CA
Date of Performance/Collection: March 17, 2015
Primary Language: English
Informant: What do you call a group of a hundred lawyers at the bottom of the ocean?
Informant: A good start.
The informant (my dad) is a particularly self-deprecating lawyer. While he does take pride in his work, he often admits that he only went to law school because his father had been a lawyer, and the informant had “no idea what to do with [his] life” after he graduated from college. The informant currently works at a law firm in San Francisco, CA (he recently changed firms, after his former firm became too large and very corrupt. I suspect the series of lawyer jokes he told me were told with some of his old colleagues in mind.) This joke was told to my family over the dinner table, and was very much enjoyed by my mom (also an attorney).
The informant told me that this joke was relayed to him “a couple weeks ago” by a close friend and colleague. Given how often the informant complains about other lawyers being “assholes” and the stereotype of the conniving and greedy attorney being true, I suspect that this joke was aimed mainly at those in the profession who reflect this kind of negative image. It’s probably very important to note that the informant and the friend who told him this joke both left the firm they worked together at a handful of months before this joke was passed on to my family.