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August 12, 2006

The Joy of Work, Burned-Out Lawyers & Hard Questions - Redux.

Vacation re-run No. 2, from April 2006--unfortunately this could apply to almost any week:

The past week was Pretrial Skirmish, Negotiation and General Posturing Week. Which I love. Lively chats with mainly worthy adversaries. You constantly learn new things about the law, the world, yourself. You get your client involved. Funny and even hilarious things happen, too. But one conversation was disturbing. It was with a lawyer with 10+ years of experience who cuts corners whenever he can, won't research anything, won't read anything, won't prepare for anything, and unabashedly disdains the law, lawyering, his client and, at this point, me.

He won't read the federal procedural rules, and is aggravated by anyone who does--as if a basic adherence to them is somehow frivolous and beside the point. Maybe the guy should stick to his usual court, where my guess is that makes it up as he goes along, and the courthouse clerks he knows just smile and indulge him. Having dealt with him before, I doubt he was just having a bad day. It's written all over him: he "wants out" of the profession, but doesn't know how to get out, won't get out. We've all had tough crossroads.

And he won't be reading this blog, either. But all this reminded me of our first post dated August 1, 2005, and in large part why we started this blog. The line was: "Do many of us wind up selling clients short because we are disillusioned or burned out?" How much of bad client service and the shoddy image many people have of lawyers is a function of lawyers disliking what they do?

How many clients are getting hurt by it?

Dan Hull

Posted by Tom Welshonce at August 12, 2006 02:39 PM

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