My Uber rating is 4.63. Ever since I discovered that I can see the average score my drivers have given me, I can’t stop obsessing about it. I know, 4.63 out of 5 is pretty good. And yet, I keep thinking about what might have brought down my score. Was it the time my friend got a nosebleed in the car? Was it the time I called out my driver’s racist statement? Or do some drivers have a general feeling that this passenger is more of a 4.6?
Well, I’m no longer going to dwell on the past. My new goal is to improve my score. I am trying hard to be the Best Passenger Ever. When my car arrives, I rush to meet it on time. I say hello and make only a short amount of conversation. If the driver spouts an opinion I don’t agree with, I just nod along. As I climb out of the car, I promise to give the driver a five-star rating. I am determined.
But what’s the point of all this effort? As long as I’m not barfing in the backseat, I’m pretty sure my score will rest at a comfortable mid-4-star rating. Drivers will continue to pick me up and take me to my destination. The rating doesn’t actually matter. Right?
And yet, it’s so easy to chase an arbitrary goal. It can happen with Uber, sure, but also with grades in law school or with promotions at work.
For a long time, the objective marker of success among lawyers was the same: making partner. When I was practising law, it was held up as the ultimate goal. We chased partnership without taking a moment to think about whether it was something we actually wanted.
But today, thankfully, there has been a shift. Not only do lawyers have more options for fulfilling careers outside the traditional law-firm model — think of the growing number of opportunities on in-house teams or at cannabis companies — but a lot of associates have taken a look at the partnership model and decided it’s not their jam. They aren’t as worried about how it will look to give up on partnership. In this issue, we examine how this shift has occurred and what it means for the profession.
As for me, despite my best efforts, I’m still chasing those five stars. So please, check your Uber rating for me. If you have a perfect rating, I’d love some tips.
Publisher & Editor
This year, for the first time, we entered the annual awards put on by the Canadian chapter of the Society of American Business Editors & Writers. And we’re proud to say that we didn’t leave the ceremony empty handed. Our exclusive investigation into the mental-health crisis in law, written by Precedent’s senior editor, Daniel Fish, took home a gold. The piece was an in-depth look into why the rate of mental illness in the legal profession has hit an all-time high. You can read the full story online.
More from the Summer Issue
This story is from our Summer 2019 Issue.
Photography by Ian Patterson