Some people think I have a cushy job. On the contrary, being a full time ligitation lawyer is no cushy job at all, I can't even say it's even a tad bit cushy. Some of my peers can give a rough estimate on how much time they devote to litigation advocacy. Some of them say their practice is about 60% litigation and 40% consulting work, but for now, I can't I can give a rough estimate as to how much of my time I devote to these fields.
Most of my consultancy work ultimately leads to litigation, I don't have to wonder why. While our law firm handles "some" consultancy work, it always have something to do with suing or defending somebody in court.
Appearing and arguing the cause or defense of a client might be exciting for some "spectators" but one must have the stomach for all the hate and mire that is being thrown by the litigants in court. I for one am starting to get used to it. Most, if not all, litigants want us lawyers to join in on the fray and hate the opposition, but there's one thing I can really say about that: I cannot possibly hate the opposition, I don't have the time nor the emotional instability to do that. Some would want to drag us into their fights, sort of like a proxy war, but I don't operate like that and I don't want to be dragged into all that hate. Which gets me thinking, how can I be a practicing Buddhist while being a lawyer in active court litigation?
That question is still haunting me. Compassion is something that is seemingly absent in court but I really beg to differ. If I were such a cold-hearted bastard, how come I feel emotionally drained after tearing into a witness and pointing it out to the court that his/her testimony is nothing but a big fat lie? During hearings, especially the cases I've been handling which are somewhat emotionally charged, I cannot help but feel frustrated and angry at times, but I have to keep my tongue and anger in check, otherwise, I might be put in the chokie.
In any case, being a lawyer (depending on what kind of advocacy) is no cushy job. Although I have a rather comfortable office sans rent (some of the perks for being a 3rd generation lawyer in a family of lawyers), I've never had any regrets for the things that I do for my cleints within the bounds of propriety and the law. However, I do have to remind myself every now and again why I wanted to be a lawyer, this may sound cheesy for the jaded ones out there, but I just want to help people.
YEah, it sounds cheesy even to me, but that's one of the reasons I sacrificed four years of my life to get my law degree and pass the bar.
Be that as it may, I will have to try to practice detachment and not be affected with all the hate and the vigorous argumentation. In the meantime, I will have to sit in a corner at my favorite coffeeshop with my back against a corner wall where I can have a 180 degree view of the people coming in going. This job makes me paranoid at times.
Posted at Friday, January 21, 2011 by CAFFiend