Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Accursed Hull and his gang of vagabonds strike again!

If you've never heard the name Dan Hull whispered by a scowling professional who then adds a list of inventive expletives then you probably don't know who Dan Hull is. Long story short Dan is trying to derail the gravy train of bamboozlement, self entitlement and wankspeak that has kept lawyers kidding themselves that they are some sort of indispensible service. Kind of Jimmy Stewart meets the 4 horsemen, in legal sector terms.

Anywhose, at the risk of inflating his big square he has a great post here about the horrors of legal education and how this feeds into the profession. It's American centric and while systems are different to qualify into the profession in the ungrateful colonies and in the UK the issues remain. I've stolen the punchy bits for would be lawyers and young lawyers to consider, learn and take on board on the off chance they want to get anywhere and be know as a 'good lawyer'.

We wish that law schools could convey a few truths, and what might be called "old verities", to part-time clerks, summer clerks and grads:

1. Even for the most brilliant, motivated, resourceful and ambitious people, law practice is time-intensive and very hard--especially in the beginning.

2. Graduating from law school with top grades and willing to give practice the old Siwash try is only the beginning of your travail. Again, practicing law is hard. Even harder to learn how. And hard to maintain as years roll by at a comfortable and honourable level of quality. You don't get to say this much: "Sorry, Jack, but I'm on my break."

3. Real-life client problems pose extraordinary ambiguity and complexity (you can't "Google" the answers; you may fret over some projects and have to stay late; at first, it may interfere with your relationships and your "real life").

4. Maybe you'll find that private practice is not for you. It's not about the lawyers, courtliness, lawyer-centric cults of "professionalism", bar associations, wearing cool suits, prestige, money or being in a special club. If you stay in it for all that stuff, even if you make big bucks, you will regret it. No, you will hate it.

5. Clients. Talented people with JDs are legion. It's really about those you serve: the gritty details, hardships, and joys of "getting it right" for them.

1 comment:

  1. Well, just shucks--and thanks. Thanks very much.

    But we are right about this stuff: bust the bubble and back to basics, you know? Everyone who doesn't get it--that seems to be a lot of people of all ages with their hollow JDs--can get a job selling suits to real lawyers. To all 300 or 400 of them worldwide.

    The price of "lawyer cool"? It's very very high.