Why I Hate Lawyers
I know, it’s a strange title for a blog post from a guy who can’t wait to be a lawyer.
I have a flaw. Probably more than one, but only one I want to discuss tonight. I have this nasty habit of only saying what I really think when I’ve had something to drink. Well, I’ve got some Sailor Jerry rum in me on this fine Saturday night, and I feel like blogging about something that’s been stuck in my craw for a few days.
I’m a member of a trial lawyer listserv. The listserv is made up of defense and plaintiff’s lawyers, and both sides often ask questions and share knowledge. Recently, I made the foolish mistake of asking whether an individual with a specific set of circumstances had sufficient standing to bring an asbestos lawsuit in California. You’d think I insulted someone’s mother.
First off, I got reprimanded on the listserv for not properly identifying myself. Hmmm… my email address is Justinian AT justinian DOT us. Now, I don’t know about you, but if I wanted information about a guy with that email address, I might be smart enough to go to www.justinian.us – my personal blog that has everything you’d want to know about me. If I wasn’t smart enough to look at the email address and go to the vanity domain, I might use “the googles” and google Justinian Lane. If you were to do so, you’d find (a) my personal domain, and (b) that I’m a punching bag for the corporate sycophants who run Overlawyered.com. You’d also find that the President and General Counsel of the American Tort Reform Association have personally bashed me. Translation: I’m about as pro-god-damned-plaintiff as you get.
I’d sooner shoot myself in the face with a shotgun full of rusty buckshot than represent Wyeth or Pfizer in a product liability lawsuit. There isn’t a single person on this planet who is more pro-plaintiff and pro-trial lawyer than me. And if you doubt that, I’ll challenge you to a nice game of Roshambo.
So it was offensive to me when I was “called out” for not listing the name of any law firm I work for. Never mind the fact that half the people on my listserv reply from their iPhones or other mobile devices, all of which lack substantive identification. And also never mind the fact that saying that I work for Jack Shit, Esq. doesn’t tell you anything about the law firms I do contract research for. Whatever.
The real issue here is the cliqueish nature of the practice of law. Right now, I’m not yet a lawyer. So I’m a piece of shit. Actually, I’m the shit on the shoes of the piece of shit. I can’t find my ass with both hands and a road map. I am a worthless, pathetic piece of human garbage. If you talk to me, you need to hold your nose and blindfold yourself lest you be exposed to my putrid self. However, in a year, I’ll have graduated law school and passed the bar.
At that time, I will become your master. You’ll need to bow down and lick my boots, and be thankful that I allow you to even be in my presence. Because as everyone (on the listserv) knows, once someone passes the bar, they shuffle off this mortal coil and become a living God. Or so some of the people on the listserv act.
Of course, when I’ve pulled a case off Lexis, or sent them free research I’ve done, they’ve had no problem with accepting it and using it. It was only when I dared to ask for a bit of their wisdom that I was castigated for (a) not identifying myself and (b) not sending asbestos cases to the “qualified” lawyers on the listserv.
The same qualified lawyers who aren’t smart enough to figure out how to use Google to figure out who the hell I am. The same qualified lawyers who haven’t become successful enough to delegate listserv duties to their subordinates. Whatever.
If you’re a lawyer, I don’t care what law school you went to, or what your LSAT was, or any other piece of elitist bullshit. If I can help you represent an injured individual, don’t hesitate to ask. I’ll pull a case, or do some research, or even help you tweak a PowerPoint at no charge because that’s what I do. I help the “little guy” while all of my classmates and half of the practicing bar is sucking from the corrupt tit of corporate America.
It really “grinds my gears” to have lawyers who aren’t published, who don’t blog, and who don’t do anything but handle bullshit soft tissue cases question my loyalty to the plaintiff’s bar. Did I mention I’d rather shoot myself in the face than work for the rapacious asshats who run corporate America? And did I also mention that if you don’t know who the hell I am, all you need to do is use Google, Bing, or Yahoo? One search from either of them will confirm that I’m as legit as it gets. I dare say I’m too legit to quit. Certainly, I’ve burned enough bridges with corporate America that I couldn’t get a job at a defense firm to save my life.
And kick me in the crotch if I ever classify people as “lawyers” and “nonlawyers.” As if someone’s worth is determined by whether or not they’ve gone to law school. Most people who do go to law school are worthless wastes of space that I wish would stop sucking down my air. Their whole Raison d'être is to eat the crumbs that fall from a CEO’s table. I on the other hand will drag those sons-of-bitches into court and force them to answer for the wrongs they inflicted on innocent citizens. Bash trial lawyers all you want, but they’re second only to soldiers in protecting the rights of everyday citizens.