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May 01, 2015

Mindfulness, Law Day and the Politeness Police.

Good morning, and Kumbayah in the Highest, everyone.

Let's shoot another duck, another well-meaning but spectacularly clueless article purporting to be about the practice of law. Quickly now, as it's barely worth our time. Please read or skim "Happy Law Day! Can We Bring Civility Into Law?"* by Jeena Cho, and appearing yesterday in Above The Law.

Finished? Great. Thanks for reading. For obvious reasons, it is one of the most naive, silly and lightweight articles related to the law profession you will ever read. Let's never forget--the overture here screams--that lawyering is all about the care, feeding, mental health of the lawyers and otherwise how the lawyers experience lawyering, including other lawyers. Most of the comments to the Cho article--as is the custom at super-blawg Above The Law where it appeared--are the usual rude but often funny cries for help you get from the ATL commentariot. And in this case the impertinence is well-deserved. Here's one:

I think Jeena would be the perfect person to teach CLEs on civility, as such a role requires someone self-delusional enough to actually think that anyone is going to walk in as an asshole and walk out having done a complete 180. As if they're going to slap themselves on the forehead and realize, "So I've been the shithead this whole time?!" Like seminars on the importance of diversity, the very concept is based around preaching to the choir.

I commented, too. Which I rarely do anywhere, especially at Above The Law.

A spectacularly naive and lightweight piece--and one of the worst and frankly misleading writings you could see in the growing category of "it's all about the lawyers" profession literature. The author needs to take a deep breath and re-think the nature and goals of this law thing. It's sad to see an article like this in ATL. Would be wonderful to see more feature stuff on lawyering--its gritty and often difficult details--and serving sophisticated clients.

The most on-point remarks given the circumstances, however, were arguably by my friend Partner Emeritus. Certainly, his comments were the funniest assuming that, like me, you still value wit and the First Amendment, and you deplore PC culture. Consider PE's approach to having the author of the article consider other lines of work.

Ms. Cho, your people are very good at imparting relaxation techniques. Back when I was a practicing lawyer, there were times I would exit the complex on Centre Street with knots on my shoulders and other limbs. I would take a stroll up to Mulberry Street and an Asian woman would be able to bring me instant stress release in 5 minutes. It was the best $20 I ever spent as a New Yorker. Alas, these establishments were eradicated in the wake of the Giuliani Era. Ms. Cho, if you are ever in New York, please contact me as I may require your services. Namaste Ms. Cho.

*In case you are interested, this piece on professionalism is how I would approach the "civility" issue.

Posted by JD Hull at May 1, 2015 04:32 AM


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