“The No-Bill Profession” – Legal Aid and Pro Bono

You know what’s nice? Knowing that the practice of law is a profession that places as its benchmark the pursuit of justice and higher school of thought.  We all go into law school thinking that we’re going to change the world through our practice of the law, and some dolent professor with an Ivy League pedigree extols the virtues of the “Noble Savage” that the lawyer is supposed to be.  We are told, in every class, that the law exists to bring justice and that the role of an attorney is a counselor and advocate for the cause of the downtrodden client.  We are, in the words of the administrators and professors, the gatekeepers of justice, the first line of defense against tyranny, and the vindicators of the downtrodden.

And, of course, we then step out into the real world of practice and become made aware of the fact that all that esoteric bullshit and idealism doesn’t make the student loan payment of the rent.  Nobody’s ringing up their landlord and saying “Hey, I stopped a family of five from being evicted today!  They paid me in a big bag of pork rinds!  Will you accept pork rinds in lieu of rent now?”  If your landlord or utility company would ever stop laughing, what they’d choke out is “No, dipshit.”  Idealism doesn’t pay any of the bills.  “Good feels” doesn’t put food on the table.  Advocacy won’t buy avocado toast.

For that, you need money.  And to make money, you have to let go of the concept that you are anything more than a cutthroat mercenary of the legal world.  Because motherfuckers may need justice, but motherfuckers gotta pay to get it.  And yes, there are lawyers out there who provide representation to those people that need it without regard to their ability to pay, and they do some great goddamn work in doing so.  But, and here’s the thing:

They may not be there for much longer, and society has no viable safety net ready and raring to go for those folks.

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When the Check Goes *Boing* – Lawyers and Credit Cards

Hey hey, it’s Wednesday here on Lawyers and Liquor and that means…what exactly does that mean anymore? I don’t know guys, I’m ankle deep in a ton of litigation stuff right now, and as I swim through the sea of stupid that is email and text message review in discovery, I find myself drifting back to a happier time. A nicer time. A more genteel era.  I am, of course, talking about the time when your clients paid their damn bills in full and on time.

Alright, so, a little background here.  My office, when I came into it, did not accept payment in any manner except check or cash.  Now, because I have a bad tendency of representing people, and because people aren’t exactly known for their tendency to carry around thousands of dollars in cash, this meant the majority of my clients paid with a check.  I know, there’s a younger generation of people out there going “What the fuck is a check? I just figured out those squares with the faces of dead guys on them last year, now you’re telling me there’s some other bullshit way of old-timey paying for goods and services?” Here’s the explanation: A check is like a paper version of a debit card that takes three-five days to hit your bank account.

You may be familiar with these if you’ve ever worked for someone that feels Direct Deposit is a tool of the devil or you have a grandmother that refuses to send cash through the postal service.

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Guest Post by Bill M. Hours – A Concussive Blow To Contact Sports Coming to a Family Court Near You?

[Boozy:  Today we welcome back Bill M. Hours, our erstwhile contributor, with another guest post to keep my goddamn queue from overflowing.  Bill is an insurance defense attorney, a peon, a pleb, and an all around nice guy despite his work for the evil empire of Defense Attorneys.  You can find him on Twitter at @billmhours.]

If someone you cared about asked for your opinion on whether they should play football; full contact, pads and helmets, grass-in-mouth football, what would you say?

Many of us today probably would caution against it. I know that when I run this scenario through my mind, my hypothetical self goes through various derivations of “fuck no” before deciding that phrases which aren’t broke don’t require fixing. I’d imagine that if one of my children ever asked me to let them play football, I’d most likely ask for a paternity test, but then also immediately lodge my opposition. In my case, this probably wouldn’t be too difficult to enforce because my spouse, while very interested in cooking, probably isn’t looking to be dealing with scrambled brains any time soon.

Perhaps I’ve tipped my hat too soon, in terms of expressing my opinion on the effects of football, but I don’t wish to make it sound like I hate ‘sportsball.’ In fact, where I come from, football in all its forms is a celebrated pastime. I even partook in the bashing of heads myself as a younger fellow (it was “Billy” back then), and I know from secondary experience that playing football can help young men in having an outlet to express hormonal emotions, and by helping them to develop discipline which can transfer into everyday life.

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Everything Wrong with Legal Hiring: Searching for Dick Awesome, Esq.

It seems like every now and again Keith over at Associate’s Mind, the father of LawyerSmack, and I end up focusing on the same topics for a few days in a row. This time it all comes about out of an ad for an attorney and the ridiculous requirements and pay expectations that the firm wanted met in order to hire a lawyer to assist.  I’m not going to do a lot of talking to describe the ad, because you can watch the bullshit flow over on the LawyerSmack website about the anger and frustration of the attorneys that gather around the virtual water cooler (Keith has cleaned the joint up a bit from the days when it was more of a dive bar, and even insisted that sentient whiskey glasses identify themselves in the chat by their real names and everything).  But here’s the gist of the ad’s requirements:

  1. 5-7 years of experience;
  2. 20 cases tried to a verdict, unless you’re a former prosecutor, then at least 80 cases tried to a verdict;
  3. Answers to an attorney with 30 years of experience, and;
  4. Pay is $55,000 to $90,000.

While they’re at it, they’d like to find an attorney that owns his own rainbow-shitting unicorn, lives in a castle made of gingerbread, and can melt the faces of opposing counsel by singing eldritch verses in court. I mean, if we’re going to go all out on this shit, let’s go balls to the goddamn wall crazy with it.

Because the lawyer these guys are looking for?  It doesn’t fucking exist.

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NCCU and the ABA – A Clash of Wills


So you guys may be familiar with my longstanding opinion that the ABA is something we could do without.  It has, for generations now, served as a governing body without a profession to govern, choosing to suggest things and come up with resolutions regarding the practice of law that are entirely non-binding on attorneys. In short, the ABA is the government-that-never-was, dictating the standards and admissions of exactly 0 attorneys and offering nothing more than a series of possible discounts in the form of malpractice insurance and rental car agreements for the attorney who thinks it may mean something, someday.  But, unfortunately, this lack of say has not extended to the law schools that educate the attorneys of our fair nation, and the ABA, as the accrediting body for these august institutions of assholery, has long maintained a stranglehold on the profession by governing where someone seeking to learn how big of a mistake lawyering is can go.

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