Part of the problem with the legal profession is that there are a number of shows on the teevee, and movies, which make the job of being a lawyer seem incredibly simple. Like our friend Adam here. A couple of mildly biting comments when faced with a sticking point in a case, and the case moves to a neatly-packaged conclusion — preferably with a bad guy going to Auburn or Comstock or some either nice town upstate.
All I know is that I got so caught up in work tonight that I just blew through a Stinque meetup here in town. Apologies to all concerned. (I perhaps can redeem myself when SFL blows through next week.)
Maybe — through my admission of shame and guilt — there are other members of the Lawyerz Caucus who might like to vent. If so: please have at it.
Contempt of court!
Nah, Pedonator. That’s Orly’s bag.
But seriously, folks: the job is basically dealing with people’s complaints all day. Everybody’s complaints. Opposing counsel, clerks, co-workers, etc. etc. Everybody wants something from you. By the end of some weeks, if somebody at the bar gives you crap, you feel like going into a corner with a newspaper and tearing it into ribbons, methodically, like a good little crazy person.
They don’t tell you that in law school.
@chicago bureau: To me, whats crazy-making is the pettiness. Its so much petty little shit. Thats the day to day, on the larger level, its the unreality of it all. The enormous gap between the reality of what occurs in the real world between real people, and the presentation of it and the treatment of it by the lawyers and the way the judge sees it and the way the ruling is so divorced from the reality, but, yet, the ruling creates a reality more real than what is real.
Its the worst way to settle disputes there is, except for any other way, I suppose.
@chicago bureau:You better fucking redeem yourself, why would you miss a chance to socialize with some of the best Stinquers ever?
Oh, and I actually feel the urge to tear my fingernails off, maybe I should switch to the newspaper. And no they certainly don’t tell you that in law school.
I hope you will be able to join me next week when I’m in your fair town. we can vent our spleens together over the legal profession, politics, the Bears, your gold-flute girlfriend from The Tree, whatevah.
And to vent, I don’t work for BigLaw, I’m coming at this from a totally different perspective. But because I don’t work for BigLaw, I’m sick of people asking me to do “just one little thing” for their case or cause, because of course I’ll be sympathetic because I don’t work at BigLaw, and of course, my time isn’t worth that much because you know I “just” work at a nonprofit and not at BigLaw, so how much could my time really be worth? So I should be able to do this little thing, or write this little amicus brief, or talk to these law students, or write this article, or research this point, because it’s all for the greater good of humanity, right? Because when it adds up it’s taking way more of my time than is humane. And don’t get me started on the $150K+ in free legal advice I’ve provided my condo association in the past two years as they’ve encountered legal difficulties.
On the upside, at least in the legal business most sane, rational clients respect your expertise and knowledge. Things are a little worse in the software development business.
As an example, I tried to convince a C** level manager that the process built into the customer relation management app was, indeed, what their own internal documentation said. (Manager hadn’t ever READ the process, and I’d spent 2 weeks translating it into software – but *they’re* the expert) So, change it to work the way the C** positively insisted it should.
Two months and many other changes later, real users start testing the app – lo and behold, the process is wrong. Change it back to the way it was, while catching FURTHER grief about “not understanding the business processes”.
This same customer later complained that some of the reports they wanted hadn’t been built. Of course, *telling* the devs something more than the generic title of the reports when they asked 6 months ago might have helped…
@SanFranLefty: It’s just because we all know that lawyers who work for nonprofits aren’t in it for the money, so why wouldn’t they be available to fight ALL the injustices in the world, in a professional capacity?
I mean, if you don’t want to be a superhero, don’t don the tights.
(/snark — also, HOAs are the worst, I wouldn’t want to go there at all)
@al2o3cr: Oh honey, I know exactly what you mean. That is my life day in, day out. Luckily, I like the people I work for and I’ve been through it so many times I just smile now and say, “OK, tell me what you want, specifically.”
If they get in my face afterward I fall back on, “If you want a system that can read your mind you’ll have to spend a million dollars more!” (while caressing my lower lip with a pinky finger)
I love salaried clients who insist on chatting my freelance ears off. But I have most of them trained to use email now.
Hey, where’s Jamie Sommers?
FLOTUS named Honorary National President of the Girl Scouts. I don’t know why, but that picture of Shelly Oh! and Barry and the Girl Scouts just made my heart explode.
ADD: Can I just say, the Girl Scouts uniforms are SOOO much more stylish than they were in 1978?
@SanFranLefty: The Nobel’s not good enough for him?
@nojo: FLOTUS, not POTUS.
@SanFranLefty: Yes, of course. I blame Ped for reminding me of Rimbaud’s derangement of the acronyms.
@SanFranLefty: After a few years on the campaign trail and FSM knows what else, I’m sure she deserves the prize as much as he does.
@Pedonator: I’d rather be President of the Girl Scouts than President of the United States.
Fuck Air Force One, think of the discount on Thin Mints!
@nojo: Hey, that’s all on you. I don’t even remember that particular derangement. I was in Yemen at the time, with my harem.
Though I did have to go to Wiki for “FLOTUS”. Y’all are just too fast with the acronyms and intertubez meems.
I have always said that it is a strange gig to take on other peoples’ problems for a living.
Like my esteemed colleagues DB and SFL, I do not work for Big Law. I decided in law school that their clients did not need my help since there were plenty of people who would walk over grandma to get a Big Firm gig.
As with journalism, I went in with a mindset informed by resources available to rez kid with access to a library. Journalists were on the cutting edge of history while lawyers fought for peoples’ rights. But I had also lived a bit when I entered law school at 30 in 1990, so I had some very serious demands as regards not letting the gig take over, although I admit Living the Life as a reporter. I applied to one law school because it was 45 mins away from good trout fishing.
Going back to other people’s problems, I prefer having institutional clients such as a reservation school board, or an indian tribe. Most of our clients are not big, glamorous names, but they desperately need what we do. I understand my clients from growing up with an outhouse to language and culture issues, to rural isolation to wanting to do better to hunting, cutting firewood for the winter, dealing with rez health care, politics, shitty employees, etc. I ‘ll tell a client to call me during a board meeting for 0.3 hr consultation instead of having them pay $1300 to get me to a meeting. Tribal clients resent the fuck out of that shit. My bro is our tribe’s tribal administrator (which is a new client). If he criticizes their general counsel for something, I don’t do that.
I know I’m not on the cutting edge like my partner who has been practicing for 30 years. But I care, and I’m doing what I went to law school for, and for a poor kid whose family didn’t even have a goddamn car at certain points in our life, I’m doing really fucking well. And really, you can’t beat the title: “tribal attorney.”
@SanFranLefty: OK, I would go with a riposte to the tune of “I would rather be President of the Boy Scouts”, but that would just be creepy.
Maybe the Eagle Scouts? Don’t they have to be
legal eighteen at least?
OK, how about just President of the Scout Leaders? Assuming they are all above 25 years of age, square of jaw, stout of abdomen, and possess their five-o-clock-shadow and tent-constructing badges. Yes, that will do.
@redmanlaw: As much as everyone talks trash about lawyers, I hope all the lawyers on this blog know that some of us appreciate what you do.
I mean, I don’t think anyone commenting here is a cutthroat M&A vulture who chortles on the way to the bank after a spectacular leveraged buyout resulting in thousands of middle-class jettisoned, celebrating with a hearty brunch of baby parts at the Club.
Real lawyers practice Law. And that’s a good thing. Especially since the Law is so fucking complicated that no mere citizen could possibly understand it.
@Pedonator: Dude, the Boy Scouts and Eagle Scouts have all been totally infiltrated by the Mormoni. They now badmouth the Girl Scouts and the Brownies as being a hotbed of lesbianism and feminism because they teach the girls about self-esteem, respect, college, and things besides baking cookies.
@redmanlaw: I think it helps to go to law school when you’re older. You know why you’re there. Too many of my young classmates burned out early because they were ambivalent about law school, or went there because they didn’t know what else to do with an English degree and two years of Teach for America, and their daddy was an attorney. I totally wasn’t like that. I knew why I was going to law school and didn’t forget it in three years. I didn’t end up practicing in the exact area of law that I thought I would when I started, but all in all, as fucked up as my work is sometimes or how much it makes me scream or cry, I don’t hate it because I like to think that each day I leave things a little bit better than when they were in the morning. Kind of like the campground rule I learned in Girl Scouts (hey!) or that Dan Savage advises older people to use when sexing the recently of-age crowd. And the screaming or crying isn’t because of my job per se, but more because of the assholes and bureaucrats of the world who seem to want to do nothing more than fuck over poor people.
As for your moniker – was it Pedo, Tommy or HF (it was one of the gheyz, I know that) who said that he had the total mental image of someone in a Brooks Brothers suit with a blanket over his shoulder? Total New Yorker cartoon material, but nonetheless, I agree you have the best title ever.
@SanFranLefty: self-esteem, respect, college, and things besides baking cookies
That’s tragic. And even more reason to kick those pig-fucking Boy Scouts out of taxpayer-subsidized land on Balboa Park or whatever.
Anyway that’s just socialism, complete with the brown shirts and armbands.
It has to stop somewhere.
I may be in DC on Thursday, btw, if that’s when we can arrange some meeting there next week . . . my partner can handle other days …
it was tommie lefty, i remember enjoying that mental image. the brooks brothers suit and traditional face paint if i recall.
yes reds, “tribal attorney” way cool.
i believed in justice…once.
law school has NOTHING to do with real life.
why i ended up throwing plates at al pacino and jack warden.
i’ve said this before: that blindfolded lady with the scales?
she got eyes, she got eyes.
@redmanlaw: Dude, shoot me some electrons on FB if you’re going to be there. I’ll be in training in the Dupont Circle area throughout the week, available each day as of 5 or so.
@SanFranLefty: Saw that. They only changed the adult unis a couple of years ago. They still could use some work IMHO but at least they’ve done away with the polyester green dresses.
@SanFranLefty: I like to think that each day I leave things a little bit better than when they were in the morning.That’s part of why i left my job. I hadn’t been feeling like that for quite some time. Add that to the shitload of other stuff that had been bugging me and I simply couldn’t stand to stay long enough to find another job first.
@Jamie Sommers: Do you have to wear the Girl Scout uniform? Couldn’t stand those polyester dresses when I was a kid.
@SanFranLefty: No. Actually, none of the uniforms are required. They don’t want girls to feel like they have to spend a bunch of money to be a Girl Scout. Girls can get scholarships for camp and donations for uniforms and/or sashes. Our council even has an angel tree at the council store around Xmas time for those who want to purchase uniforms for needy Scouts.
@redmanlaw: @The Nabisco Quiver are Go!: Wait. Whoa. What’s this?
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