Last night, a comment I made on twitter caused a raging debate about lawyers and money.
I said: "People who go to law school to become lawyers for the purpose of making money are no different then prostitutes."
My meaning? Prostitutes are engaged in an important function: sex. In some relationships sex is part of love, in others, it's just superficial, like prostitution.
My comment was interpreted as being critical of lawyers who make good money.
After an hour so of debate, some got it.
My point was that those that enter law only to make money, are part of the problem.
If your only purpose for going to law school. for practicing law, is to make money, then you have no sense of the higher calling that is the profession.
Being a lawyer is important.
Making money is a nice thing.
I believe one of the reasons we are so hated in society is because of the notion that we are all "rich." Truth be told, most lawyers are not rich, but "rich" is usually defined as someone who makes $1 more than the person making the accusation.
That being said, we did not take an oath to poverty. When I hear a PI lawyer obtained a $100 million verdict, or a fellow criminal lawyer got a six-figure fee for a big case, or a divorce lawyer is working on a multi-million dollar divorce, I say "way to go."
Doctors make good money, health care costs are out of control, but you dont hear people being critical of doctors salaries. It's not sexy. Unless it's a charity medical procedure, you never hear that a patient received a heart transplant and the doctor received $50,000. When we hear how much people make, the worst in us comes out.
Lawyers work hard to build practices. We go to school at least 3 years longer than most others, and the stresses of the career are not well understood. Many of us lay awake at night, having absorbed as our own the problems of our clients.
And yes, there are scumbags among us, those that give us a "bad name." There is bad in every profession. No segment of the workforce is exempt. Unfortunately when lawyers are criticized, it's often preceded by the term "money grubbing."
I just wish we could weed out those lawyers in law school.
Located in Miami, Florida, Brian Tannebaum practices Bar Admission and Discipline and Criminal Defense. Read his free ebook The Truth About Hiring A Criminal Defense Lawyer. Please visit www.tannebaumweiss.com