Cameron’s novel balances familiarity and insanity as it showcases an excess of vices exacting a toll on corporate attorneys.
Former corporate attorney Lindsay Cameron showcases the hostile reality of New York mega-firm life in her exposé-style novel, BIGLAW. While popular fiction often glamorizes such careers, Cameron’s novel tells a much less flattering story.
Mackenzie Corbett is a second-year corporate law associate at Freedman & Downs, one of New York’s elite mega firms. While working at F&D proves hectic, Corbett’s accomplishments get noticed and her career looks promising. Things start falling apart, however, when her workload increases to an incomprehensible degree, causing troubles in her personal life and landing her on the path to an SEC investigation.
Cameron’s own background in corporate law provides her story with a sense of credibility, and the book’s setting and characters further enhance that quality. Most of the horrors Mackenzie encounters exceed those experienced by the average person working a lower-stress job, but none of them go beyond the limits of imagination since they each address faults lying at the heart of the human condition: greed, jealousy, wrath, and pride, to name a few. These vices are concrete and familiar, rooting the book in reality, but the excess of these vices among the attorneys at F&D transforms the firm into a land of nightmares.
The most severe impact of her situation at F&D is on Mackenzie herself. She starts as a relatable protagonist—her underlying obsession with success stems from common childhood issues, but she comes from a supportive family and treasures her loved ones. As F&D takes its toll, Mackenzie’s values gradually weaken until she is nearly unable to recognize herself. Witnessing this effect underscores the true damage of “biglaw” life, showcasing how that environment can change people for the worse.
In her novel, Cameron balances familiarity and insanity with finesse, providing a fascinating yet stomach-turning perspective on mega-firm culture. Law-fiction fans interested in peeking behind the scenes at the skeevier side of legal life needn’t look any further than BIGLAW to satisfy their curiosity.
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