I am just sharing my personal experience here, which MAY or MAY NOT suit other friends from this profession. Also this is not an attempt to convey any hidden message to anyone. This is merely an attempt to make you smile for a moment. If the attempt succeeds, then fine! If it does not, then you are free to drop your views!
Being a lawyer, I am blessed with an interesting professional life. Apart from cases and law books, many incidents outside my professional front add flavor to my life. When I introduce myself a Lawyer/Advocate, or even friends who know me for quite some time share some dialogues. Many of them are interesting, some or boring and at times some irritate me as well.
Sharing some funny dialogues that I hear frequently just because I am a Lawyer.
- “You look soft and quiet. How do you argue in court?”
From the day I decided to join law, I keep hearing this dialogue from people around me. Sometimes to my surprise people who meet me for the first time deliver this dialogue as soon as they know about my profession (I don’t know how can they judge me in one meeting?!?!) Before I actually started to take up court practice, this dialogue instilled some kind of fear in me that I am little less qualified for the profession. But after I decided my areas of practice and started appearing before courts, I really felt that court practice does not always need a roaring voice and dramatic expressions ALONE but confidence in legal knowledge and ability to present things in bold and best way.
- “I am going to handover my divorce case to you in future… LOL“
I am forced to add “LOL” to this dialogue because, when most people make this statement, they expect me to laugh. [Very Funny!] At times, even unmarried men/women try to tell this and expect a reply from me. Sometimes, I give a smile and at times I give a weird look and move on. At times when I try to convey that this is not my area of practice, then the next question would be “Any interesting (?!?!) reasons behind this?”
- “I don’t think Advocates can earn well. Why can’t to try some office job?”
This is something that puts me down at times, when I get to hear even from people belonging to this profession. I don’t want to talk more on this here. Whenever I get this statement my answer was always only one – “If office job was my target, then I would not have wasted my 5 years in a law school.
7.“Advocates can only take adjournments and drag cases”
Whenever I hear this stupid statement, I get mixed emotions seeing their ignorance. The reality is different. Taking an adjournment is not always a joke. And there are multiple incidents where are Advocates are forced to take adjournments and for safeguarding the interests of the clients.
“The wrong action done at the wrong time spells disaster; The right action done at the wrong time spells resistance; The wrong action done at the right time spells mistake but The right action done at the right time spells a miracle
– John C Maxwell
- Comparison with silly movie characters
This is yet another irritating factor that I come across day in and out. I see people comparing me with some silly movie characters. Such movies depict advocates as comedy characters and clowns and they run from pillar to post to get a case. To be frank there are thousands of movies and stories that has portrayed advocates which huge respect. In fact such books and movies were one among the many factors that influenced my dream to take law as my profession when I was in my early teen. Such so called funny portrayals happen to other professionals too. Comparison with those characters can never upset me. But hearing the same story from different persons and at times from the same person is always boring.
- Lawyers end up supporting criminals.
This is yet another generalized statement from non-lawyers, many of whom don’t even know what exactly a lawyer’s job is. Without even knowing that I am a corporate lawyer, people put this question to me “If a person commits murder and comes to you will you bail him out?” When I answer in negative (Obviously because I don’t take up criminal cases), they immediately jump up and say that I am lying and I will obviously take up the case if I get one [Without allowing me to speak any further]. God please save them!
- Lawyers are liars.
I think I have heard this statement more than million times in last few years from my school going cousin to age old relative. I have tried and answered 100 probable answers when I was asked why lawyers are lying. No use at all. Let us leave our personal lives apart. Professionally speaking, right from a small shop vendor to a CEO of huge MNC, who is not lying in their professional front? An advertisement of a fairness cream deliberately lies in front of millions of people that the usage of the cream will turn a tanned skin bright in few days. After a point of time, I stopped replying for this stupid statement like I do for others like this.
- Expectation to have expertise in all fields of law.
Law is an ocean. There are plenty of legislations that are operative even today and there are periodical amendments too. It is just not possible for a law school to fit all of them in their syllabus. Once people become a legal practitioner, they choose a specific line of practice and excel in them. With respect to the other areas they have mere basic knowledge of the field and they can guide better upon reference. The most common problem I face is difficulty in explaining my area of practice which is quite uncommon for individuals to understand as they might not have come across such cases. Problem does not ends there. They will end up asking you some random question from a random legislation and expect you to give a fingertip answer with detailed explanation. When you stop with just a basic reply, then the next statement is “As a lawyer you need to give detailed explanation”. My mind voice says “Yes. We are lawyers and not Encyclopedia”
- How can a lawyer like you be emotional?
So who told that a lawyer should not have emotions? Why can’t they laugh loud or cry when they are down? Obviously lawyers too have emotions like every others. Heights is when I fight with my parents / family members, they immediately react “It is wrong on our part to allow you to become a lawyer and you are arguing with me!” The actual fun here is my sister and other cousins who are not lawyers argue more than me during fights and their professions were never dragged 😦
- “Don’t show your Advocate skills here”
This is not a funny dialogue but the most silly statement that I frequently come across not just in my personal life but also in movies, novels etc. I recently came across this dialogue in a book: “You are a lawyer only outside and remove your profession outside the house and step inside” Is that a footwear to remove outside? To me, legal profession is just not Acts and Sections. It is the place where a person can learn several lessons including logical Application of mind, organized behavior, leadership skills, ability to listen, handling risks etc. I can add more. In my opinion being a lawyer at home, makes one a better person in personal life too rather than someone who is not fit for a family.
None of these dialogues can put a break in a lawyer’s faith in the profession. However at times, when I am mocked or abused with a wrong intention, I could not restrain myself from opposing these such statements (Of course when they are directed with a wrong intention and not mere funny statements). It is not possible for everyone to know about the tremendous revolution and Judicial activism that my forefathers in this profession gifted to this society. It is equally unfair on my part to expect everyone to praise this profession. Like every other profession, even legal profession has its own pros and cons. Also there are good and bad precedents. My only concern is let us not carry any general presumptions about any profession [Both good and bad], because such statements may contain risk of demotivating at least one out of hundred young minds who want to take up the profession.
Next time I will come up with perks of being a lawyer.
Thanks for the read!
SAVITHA G ARUN