TikToking law firm partner hits back at fellow lawyer’s claim she doesn’t ‘work very hard’

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By Adam Mawardi on

‘I’m annualising 2,800 hours this year’

US law firm partner Joanne Molinaro (credit: @thekoreanvegan)

A TikToking US law firm partner has clapped back after a fellow lawyer claimed she doesn’t “work very hard”.

According to Joanne Molinaro, a partner at Foley & Lardner’s Chicago office, the criticism originally came under what was meant to be a “very fun” TikTok video documenting lawyer life during the pandemic.

The clip showed Molinaro starting the day with a dog walk and a morning run before heading to the office, where she gets stuck into typical lawyerly tasks — stopping for the odd coffee and selfie break. Molinaro, who also runs food blog ‘The Korean Vegan’, is then seen rounding off the day by hosting a virtual cooking demonstration for her friends.

Despite what appears to be a hectic schedule, one lawyer reportedly criticised Molinaro’s work ethic by commenting below the video: “It looks like you don’t work very hard”. Taking issue with this critical quip, Molinaro posted her response in another TikTok video which has since been viewed over 660,000 times.


my first ##rant. ##fypシ ##fyp ##4u ##lawyer ##tiktoklawyer ##beautytips ##closingargument

♬ original sound – thekoreanvegan

Hitting back at the hater, she said:

“I’m annualising 2,800 hours this year at the firm. I run 35 to 40 miles a week, and this is on a break year, as there are no marathons right now. I run a blog that has well over a hundred thousand followers and in this past year, I wrote my first book.”

She continued:

“I work my real job from Monday through Saturday and the Korean Vegan is on Sunday. I don’t get days off, not even on my honeymoon. I get up at 4:15am to 5:00am to start my day and then get home past 6pm and immediately cook dinner for me and my vegan husband. I’m sorry, I wasn’t able to fit that into a 60-second video.”

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Molinaro, who boasts 37,000 TikTok followers, said that although the commenter “has since deleted her comment”, the remark “really hit a nerve because I feel like these days I am going to lose my mind from how little time for rest I have”.

She also found the comment to champion a “‘let’s compete on who’s going to work themselves to death the fastest’ mentality that is endemic of an older generation”, which clashes with those who “value joy, generosity, and compassion over sweat, grit and capitalistic greed”.

Molinaro’s video, described as “my first #rant”, ends with: “Whether or not I work hard enough is a matter of interpretation. But whether I should continue to make room for joy, love and laughter, that counsel is not up for debate.”

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