So You Want To Be A Lawyer, Part 1: A Brief History of the Legal Profession

HEY! So, there were a lot of great suggestions for posts yesterday from my newly found technicolor zoo of friendly animal-people, but I woke up this morning and thought to myself: “Am I gonna listen to these assholes? I don’t even let other lawyers suggest what the fuck I’m going to write about!”

So today, I’m writing for all the people out there, you sweet little clueless shits, that have decided they may want to be lawyers. I plan on making this a continuing series, by the way, because there’s a lot to be said to the dumbasses that feel the need to become attorneys.

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Lawyers Don’t Judge: A Followup to Yesterday and Some Art

Whoa.  Just…Just whoa. So apparently I became popular with furries yesterday. The Twitter feed for BoozyBarrister is, in the words of Habeas Porpoise (whose blog you can find in the “Links” section), a “veritable fucking Noah’s Ark of animals.” There’s fan art that has been made (I’ll stick it in the bottom of this post), and apparently more fan art being made, and people are trying to talk me into attending conventions to ply me with booze and give drunken legal talks to rooms full of furries.

I’m fucking loving it.

However, it got me thinking about some shit, mainly about why a salty lawyer such as myself somehow obtained cult status within a community in the course of 24 hours, and how it came to pass that I’ve been adopted as some sort of unofficial mascot (is pet a better word? Am I their pet lawyer now?) for furries.  I raised this issue with a couple lawyers in our super-secret-chatroom last night, and got this response:

“I think this is a result of an often ostracized group feeling as if you’ve given them mainstream legitimacy in a way that doesn’t shame them for who they are,” responded one lawyer.

“Yeah, sure,” I answered, “But, you know, people are people.”

“Yes for sure,” he told me, “but they are a group that doesn’t get that sentiment. They’re pushed to the fringes of society and I can only assume when they get a little bit of legitimacy without being made fun of they’re thrilled.”

I then may have proposed writing something about fundamentalist, evangelical Christians to see if I could attract an equal number of them to the blog and Twitter, then try to broker some sort of Camp David accord between the Furries and the Freewill Baptists.  But you know what?  Fuck that noise. I’m gonna have a much more meaningful conversation, and it’s directed at my regular readers, what I can only assume are my now-Furry Masters, and anyone else out there who feels like they can’t just be who the fuck they are with a lawyer.

We’re your lawyers, and we don’t care.

Continue reading “Lawyers Don’t Judge: A Followup to Yesterday and Some Art”

Screw The Optics: Why Lawyers Need Vacations

So, this weekend I had the chance to talk to my father. If you’re a reader of my inane ramblings that aren’t exclusively practice guides, you know a little about Dad already, and if you don’t you can read a lot more about him here than you really want to know. The gist of the phone call was arranging a pickup point for us to exchange my kids this weekend, as they’re going to spend a week with my parents and explore all the wonders the Bluegrass state has to offer…or at least all the wonders they can enjoy before they turn 21. Which, considering the main exports of Kentucky, are bourbon, tobacco, and horses, aren’t much.

During the course of the conversation, Dad said to me “You should really take a week off and come down to visit. It’d do you some good.”

“Gee whiz Dad,” I answered, “I’d love to, but I’ve got so much going on right now. Depositions, hearings, client meetings, and some appellate stuff that has a pretty firm deadline. Maybe next year.”

“You know, if you don’t get away from that office you’re going to lose your mind.”

“That’s ridiculous,” I told him as I built a new friend out of pipe cleaners and drain hair, “I’ve got it all together.”

“Just remember, you gotta take care of yourself or you can’t take care of your clients.

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Negotiation, How the Fuck Does It Work? Part 2: The 5 Negotiation Languages

Okay, so Friday I talked about how Negotiation is being taught in law schools. I also said that while that shit’s fine in theory, it doesn’t have a lot of application in the real fucking world, because the people that are gonna determine the negotiation style aren’t the recent law school graduates that are all about “Getting to Yes.”  Instead, they’re the products of the offices they work in, and will carry those habits with them through the rest of their fucking careers.

So, that in mind, let’s just jump right into the fucking 5 Negotiation Languages (Yeah, I’m stealing it from “The 5 Love Languages.” Fuck you.)

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Negotiation, How The Fuck Does It Work? Part 1, Getting to No.

Alright folks, let’s talk about the fine fucking art of negotiation. This isn’t exactly a new topic, with people writing about it all the goddamn time and there being a lot of books out there, like the seminal volume Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In (a…pretty good read), but it’s one that I really haven’t written on yet, have I? No, I haven’t, you know, in case you’re the type of mouthbreather who can’t be bothered to actually read my past entries on this site to determine if I am, in fact being truthful.

By the way, fuck you for doubting me.

Anyhow, we’ve all been there before, ain’t we? On the verge of making a case that’s been sitting around like a thumbtack in your extra-wide ass go the fuck away by finally reaching some sort of reasonable resolution with opposing counsel. We’ve all felt the thrill of hearing a number that isn’t too far apart from your client’s number, and started to do that Snoopy dance of unmitigated joy at the prospect of finally closing the file. Sure, billables are great and all, but at some fuckin’ point continuing with the litigation just doesn’t make sense for anybody involved, and the clients are starting to get weary of paying the monthly invoice with no discernable (to them) movement on the case at all…because clients have no idea that 90% of legal work is done behind the scenes, and it’s hard to encapsulate “spent five hours desperately trying to salvage the claim from the client’s latest fuck-up” in a form on the invoice that doesn’t raise their unjustified ire.

So you waltz to opposing counsel and say “Hey, let me take this over to my guy, but I think I’m going to suggest we heavily consider this one.” Everything is right with the world, and your client says “Get me $1,000 more and we’re done.” Great! Who’s going to fight over a fucking grand?

Opposing counsel’s client, who just dropped their last offer by $6,000 in response to your counter. Congrats, you’ve gone from “a reasonable prospect of settlement” to “a goddamn negotiation.” So, what exactly are you dealing with? Shit man, that’s hard to say, because everyone out there negotiates stuff differently. Hey, why don’t we take three fucking days to talk about it?

Well, welcome aboard for the first day of my three part series on “Negotiation, How The Fuck Does That Work?” Today we’re gonna talk, really generally, about the issues in how negotiation styles are being taught to prospective lawyers. Tonight (or Monday), we’ll talk about The Types of Negotiators You’re Gonna Meet, then, to wrap the whole damn thing up, we’ll talk about how you can avoid being the fucking problem.

But, today, let’s just stick with the issues in how negotiation styles are being taught, and when I say “styles,” I mean the one fucking style law schools actually teach: Principled Negotiation.

Continue reading “Negotiation, How The Fuck Does It Work? Part 1, Getting to No.”