Dear Prudence: I just finished my first year of law school and have my first legal job. The other day I was doing some filing and I found a handgun in a drawer. I don't know if it was loaded. I'm scared of this gun because I use the filing cabinets all the time, and I don't want to set it off unintentionally.
Also, tempers run high in this office, and I'm afraid that somebody who knows it's there might use it for dangerous purposes. I'm lucky to have this job, and I need it for the pay and experience. I'm hesitant to bring this up to my job-placement office, because my boss will absolutely know it was me who brought this up. I'm hesitant to ask my boss directly because I don't want to appear weak or difficult.
What is your advice?
Prudence says: You might have discovered that your boss has his own plans for reducing the glut of lawyers. If your firm handles matrimonial or bankruptcy law, let's hope a sharpshooter at the firm doesn't have to lunge for the drawer in order to subdue a dispute.
Depending on where your firm is located, there might be laws regarding unsecured weapons. No matter where you are, a loose, loaded one in a workplace is alarming.
Take this to your school administrators. Explain the discovery, say that you don't know whether the weapon is loaded and that given the volatility of the office, you are too uncomfortable to ask your boss about it. Your school should be concerned that a student could be hit by a flying bullet. Let's hope you get another placement.
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