April 26, 2005

This is a "No Tightass" Zone

It's no secret here that I am a lawyer. Yep, I'm a member of one of the most hated professions in the world. But- I'm not a dickhead.

It's sometimes hard to believe there are still decent people in this profession, but there are. There are the guys in my office who- although they piss me off with their inconsiderate actions (read here: change the TP roll)- do good work and treat people fairly (well, except maybe Larry but that's another story). Some of these guys are people that I originally met online. Others went to school with me or just wandered in one day. They are smart and most of all, they are dedicated to making clients happy when possible. They are real people with real lives and real feelings like the young attorney I know in D.C. whose heart is broken everytime she visits sick kids in the hospital and who liberally peppers her converstions with "ya'll" and "shit, yeah!", the attorney in Tulsa who always, always helps out her colleagues even when she's recovering from major surgery, the guy in Florida who has rediscovered the laidback lifestyle of his youth (and listens to some rockin' ass music), the head attorney of a major state agency that spends most of his days thinking about the funny things his kids did that morning, and the guy who keeps crusading for changes to the criminal justice system in spite of the odds he's always going to lose. I like these people a lot. They're not the freak assholes with their efficiency experts and billable hour fetishes that seem to control this profession.

The freaks who run this profession see themselves as part of the "aristocracy." They pass judgment on everyone else who doesn't fit their idea of what an attorney should be or speaks the way an attorney should, or dress in a suit each and every day. In their eyes, we should all be tightassed, grimacing, and pointing our pinky out while we drink. They think by the virtue of a lousy ass piece of paper they are better than everyone else. I'll tell you a secret- law school isn't hard academically- it's hard socially because of the freaks. Anyone can get a JD, but not just anyone can survive the snake's nest that is the practice of law. It takes a tough ego or at the very least a certain fuck you attitude. Fotunately, I have both.

I'm way different than the freaks. I wear jeans, rude T-shirts, talk to my clients like people, share a bit about myself to make them more comfortable prostrating themselves to me. I talk to them about getting counseling before they file for a divorce. Sure, I'm giving money away, but I'd rather see a family stay intact than buy a freaking Lexus. I tell them honestly when they are not the best choice to have custody of their kids. I tell them when they are being selfish and vindictive and call them on petty jealousies. I try to work things out so that they can move on, so they can leave us attorneys out of it when possible. My clients trust me. They know I won't be the average attorney. There's no way I could ever be the average attorney. I won't let myself be that much of an asshole.

I still vividly remember what happened in my parents' divorce. I remember my mother crying at night when she thought we were asleep. I remember the creditors calling and the constables with eviction papers. It was six years of hell that fucked up my mother for years, permanently scarred my sister emotionally and made my father into a future serial killer. Me- it made me a better attorney. At least I think so because I never want to ever put my clients or their children through what we went through. Not ever. It's downright inhumane- and is a byproduct of the profession being controlled by the freaks.

Maybe because I'm an actual human I am better able to see the fear in my clients' eyes when they walk in my office. They are fearful they'll lose everything. They fear the loneliness that accompanies the Big D. They fear ever letting anyone else in again. My job isn't just to get the paperwork signed and filed, it's also to give them a bit of hope and when I can't give them that, cushion the blow just enough so that they can try to be whole and healthy again. The freaks don't do that. They just continue looking for new prey or attending conferences where they get to tell each other how smart and powerful they are and how much better they are than the average Joes that they tear up on a daily basis.

The freaks get their egos tied up in the "fight." They see their clients and each other as a means to an end. They see the job as allowing them entry into the world of the socially elite. They think they are smarter, more powerful, more moral, more everything than anyone else because of what job they hold. And they don't stop with just the clients. They also do this to other lawyers and their own families. I can't tell you how many of these prigs have prescription drug habits, fuck around on their spouses, hide money from the government and business partners, and generally treat people like doormats. The morality police are a big fucking hypocritical asspain, and having real people like me as attorneys somehow diminishes their golden hue. Screw 'em. To quote the great Louis Skolnick- "there are more of us than there are of you."

I might not ever make as much money as them or sit on the right boards, but at least I'll know at the end of the day the people I represent and work with talk to me because they like me, not because they fear me or because I might vote for them in some bullshit popularity contest. I'm not like my parents' attorneys and I'm certainly not like the freaks out there who have an innate need to destroy and hurt people. They suck the fun out of everything with their rules and old-fashioned rigidity. Sorry, but I'm not a tightassed, grimacing, pinky pointing fool and I will never play by their rules, and neither will the people I like and count as friends.

This is my blog and they can stay the hell out. This is a "No Tightass" zone.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is not strictly in your field my dear. I think it is associated with all of those people who have never had 3 jobs to pay for bills, school and a decent bar tab They never had to deal with "real" people and real problems so they have no basis to sympathize. For those who Mommy and Daddy floated the bills, the credit card and the Spring Break trips. They just came up with their reality while playing 18 at the local "club" in college. Wonderdog

4:14 PM  
Blogger The Lawlinebacker said...


4:13 PM  
Anonymous Honorably mentioned? said...

Wonderful commentary! (I am still waiting for my raving badge! -- your clue)I have been listening to so much many alternative music lately that it is washing other things out -- Garbage, Von Bondies, Gorillaz -- I will say that there are for me some gray areas -- some of the oligarchy of our profession have surprising dimension to them -- but I know also that the world of tightasses is indeed real. I am in my late fifties but I know Gen Yers who are about 3 decades older than my real life twennty something mind. Keep raving!

10:32 AM  

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