Some years ago my firm had a lawyer’s retreat. We invited a speaker who gave a philosophical presentation about being mindful about how you use your time. His theme was that you have to constantly ask yourself, “what is the best use of my time right now?”
My friend Martin called me the other day. He was a tad upset. Having been a partner in one law firm for most of his career, Martin had withdrawn as a partner and continued to work with the firm in his pre-retirement years as “Counsel.” As Counsel, he was an independent contractor and his agreement with his law firm provided that it could be terminated on six months’ notice.
I have heard it said that “an expert is someone from out of town with Power Point.” This expression has some old roots. When I originally heard it, it was “someone from out of town with overhead slides.”
Apparently nowadays you do not even have to travel to become an expert. A young lawyer contacted me recently to ask me my views on the legal profession because he had been told by the Managing Partner of his firm that I was an expert on the profession, a status that I appear to have achieved by ranting on social media.
I said and thought a lot of stuff while I was practicing law. I believed every single bit of it. Over time I figured out that some of it was kind of dumb. Here are some of those gems:
Adults often ask young children what they want to be when they grow up. I knew one child who insisted that he wanted to be a fire truck. Nobody could convince this fellow that he could not be a fire truck. You can be a “firefighter” they told him. But no, he insisted that he wanted to be a fire truck.
I have observed that it is not only Mary who was quite contrary, but rather that the character flaw of contrariness is innate to all of us.
For those of you who never watched Boston Legal, my all-time favourite television show about lawyers, Denny Crane was the senior partner of Crane Poole & Schmidt.
Obviously, it would be utterly impossible to comprehensively address the topic of ‘Why I Hate the Law Society’ in the depth that it so richly deserves while complying with the LinkedIn limit on the length of a post. So, I will try to just hit the high points.
So, what exactly do I hate about the Law Society? Primarily its arrogance, and the high-handed nature of its decision making.
I recently celebrated the 17th anniversary of one of the most significant events of my life.
Back on March 21, 2005, I came to what was, at the time, a stunning realization. I had accidentally fallen in love with a woman with whom I had been working very closely for six years. Luckily for me and all the other potential Defendants in this situation, she came to the same troubling realization about me at the exact same time.
There was once a law firm which had a particular department which experienced some turn-over in its associates. Lots of turn-over, actually.
The department in question was headed by a lawyer with a ‘strong personality.’ I am not qualified to give a psychological diagnosis of this lawyer, but if I were, I would probably say that this person was a narcissist. If I was being nice.