June 19

What being a lawyer’s all about


Can I tell you how many times I’ve heard someone say, “I love to argue. I should have been a lawyer!”

Braaaaakkkkk. Loser buzzer goes off. Not a core competency.

Lawyers need a nasty, suspicious mind (and I mean that in the kindest way possible) and the ability to do killer research.  Law school doesn’t teach you the actual laws, the statutes, or even where the courthouse is. Instead, you learn how to parse the hell out of any sentence and how to find probable answers.

News Flash: a lot of law you can do yourself IF you RTFD. Just like you can prescribe aspirin for a headache without consulting a doc, so you can do a fair amount of stuff on your own. Not saying it’s smart to do that in all circumstances, just as it’s pretty dumb to just pop a couple of aspirin if you have the worst headache of your life (which is the term most often used to describe a serious brain bleed or tumor that will kill you, and probably also describes a legal situation that will gut you emotionally and physically like a fresh-caught carp.) BUT — for many routine situations, it’s okay to pop the proverbial aspirin.

Like maintaining good physical health, staying in good legal shape is 80% prevention and preparation. (Soon or later, this analogy is going to break down. I’ll warn you before I toss it.) That means thinking about what might go wrong and preparing for it. You CAN do this yourself, but it never hurts to have a lawyer — we’re professionally trained, remember — help stoke those fires of legal paranoia to the point that you’re considering preparing for zombies.  If you can imagine it and prepare for it, it usually won’t happen.



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