Thursday, May 13, 2010

Some Of Us Get Tired Of Hearing....

Although there is a whole new generation of bloggers that are told success is having enough keywords in a post to generate SEO, putting the blog high up on the Google chain and causing the flood gates to open with client calls, one of the true signs of a successful blog is that it generates discussion and debate.

And that happens here. I love it.

Much of this blog is my opinion. This comes from some experience, and I hope that someone, or even a few people take something from it that helps them.

But I'm not here for you, and I'm not here to be "nice," and I'm not here to tell you things that will make you feel better. I didn't start this blog to coddle the unemployed lawyers who went to law school only for the end goal of graduating and receiving their six-figure BigLaw check.

I prefer the truth. Always have.

So when I post about whether looking for "any job I can get is hurting you," I'm happy to read this comment:

It was not much fun reading some of the "There will be no jobs/Do you REALLY want to be a lawyer?" posts, especially as graduation/get a job/pass the bar pressure started to build.

Your emphasis on knowing what you want to do, getting to know the local legal community, and improvising on the job search (on a post last summer) was extremely valuable to me. Although it wasn't possible for me to work for free for a local attorney, in the hopes of getting a future job, I was able to negotiate with the three-attorney firm where I'd clerked since my first summer for continued employment. I don't make ideal money. I don't do ideal work. But I JUST started practicing, so I don't have the relationships with other lawyers and the courts that justify the big dollars. There are no perfect clients--just the ones who pay, and pay less for my time than my bosses'.

I can credit you with making crystal clear the importance of a realistic and flexible view of what I would be able to do with my degree and license. I don't see you as preaching from your very comfy chair with your feet up at all. You're further down the road trying to share your experience navigating this career. So I'll say a big fat "THANKS" for all the free, honest advice.

And I"m happy to read this comment:

No offense, but I'm so sick of the high and mighty job advice from people who got out of it and market not legal services but advice to all the other disgruntled lawyers. We may be BS artists, but the problem is we recognize it in you, BT. You have to get what you can get, and some of us get tired of hearing about how you should only do what you are passionate about, yada, yada, yada. You are dreaming! Moreover, you're just selling bullshit. So, give us all a break.

This is the type of dissenting view that is the enemy of those who spend their days convincing lawyers like me that I need to develop a personal brand. Sit on twitter for 5 minutes and you'll see lawyers "tweeting out" platitudes about themselves and other niceties, avoiding any dissenting opinion, criticism, or debate. Most of them barely practice law, or haven't practiced in years, so debating anything regarding the legal profession is done on the surface, or ignored because it's "negative."

I am a lawyer. I advocate. People disagree with me - normally the lawyers standing across the courtroom. I can take it. I actually like it. Without it, things would be pretty boring here.

So come, tell me you hate me, tell me you don't want to hear it anymore. Tell me I don't know what I'm talking about.

It's OK, this is why I'm passionate about what I do - it gives me the opportunity to listen to those who aren't.

Located in Miami, Florida, Brian Tannebaum practices Bar Admission and Discipline and Criminal Defense. He is the author of I Got A Bar Complaint.Share/Save/Bookmark


Bonnie C. said...

“ . . . one of the true signs of a successful blog is that it generates discussion and debate. And that happens here. I love it.”

I visit this blog for the same reason someone might watch the Jerry Springer show. You’re ashamed of yourself for watching. At the same time you can’t look away for fear of missing something.

Yes, the Springer show did have very high ratings. But I’m not so sure I would consider it successful.

I am also intrigued by your notion of “debate.” I read this blog and see you praise the same people who praise you. These people get it. They are enlightened. They see the world the same way as you do, in black and white terms, in which there is truth and then there are lies.

The people who disagree with you are being “hysterical.” They are whiners and crybabies and children.

This is your definition of “debate?”

“I prefer the truth. I always have.”

Interesting! Cue the National Anthem. How do you feel about “justice”? The “American Way?” And are these recently acquired beliefs or have you always felt this way?

My Law License said...

Hey Bonnie, thanks for stopping by. Besides the fact that throughout this blog I've debated plenty of those who disagree with me, I'm also a big fan of Jerry Springer's show.

It gives completely ignorant people an opportunity to express themselves and feel like what they say matters.

shg said...

It would be so much more Springer-like if Bonnie would tell us who she was. Lesbian cage fighter? Newly minted jobless lawyer? United States Senator? In the absence of this information, we're left to wonder. Jerry Springer never left us to guess.

The problem with debating the unknown commenter is that their visceral reactions tend to be based on their experiences, and that leaves the value of Bonnie's views too ephemeral to matter. My guess would be that she's one of the kids you tend to skewer, angry with you for not respecting the deep thoughts of her 6 months of being an lawyer, an unemployed lawyer at that.

You see, all young lawyers think you were never young, never struggled, never built a reputation, never suffered angst, failure, frustration. They think they alone own these things, and you (Mr. Pompous Big Time Show Off Successful Lawyer) know nothing of their travails. Like every new parent, no one ever had a child before them. No one else knows.

There is, of course, a difference, but not one that they would accept. That when Brian Tannebaum started out, he began by first learning what it meant to be a lawyer before opining to others about it and telling them that they don't know as much as he does. Young Brian learned from those who came before him. He just doesn't get it today, where they start out knowing everything. Now, 15 years of experience later, older Brian Tannebaum knows nothing.

Just like Jerry Springer.

Lisa Solomon said...

Brian, don't you think it's more effective to debate the issues, rather than call people names (ignorant, whiners, etc.)? After all, I'm sure you don't make ad hominem attacks in your briefs or during oral argument before judges.

I've been in your position (albeit not as frequently): advocating an unpopular position. See, for example I love to rip the other side's argument to shreds, whether it's in a brief or on a blog. But name-calling simply doesn't add anything to the debate. I know you recognize this to be true, because you were actually quite civil during the VLO debate last week.

Call people names as much as you want - in your mind. Heck, I do it, too. But it only weakens your argument when you resort to childish name-calling.

My Law License said...



I'm happy to have a civil debate with people who post their name and disagree with the premise of my argument.

I'm also happy to call a spade a spade, and when an anonymous loser comes here, not to debate the issues, but to ignorantly whine about me and how I am wrong and angering them and hurting their feelings, without any basis in fact, I'm calling it what it is.

I can't be "effective" with those types. They have no interest in opposing views that don't comport with their right to blame society for why they are not getting what they are entitled to.

DJ said...

@Patti - I'm to the point where I don't even read the blog...I just read the comments.

DJ said...

@Bonnie - I'm to the point where I don't even read the blog...I just read the comments.

Lisa Solomon said...

That's something we both agree on: anonymous whiners/complainers.

I have the greatest respect for someone (like you) who owns their opinions, even when those opinions aren't popular; that's how I operate as well.

Amy Derby said...

Jerry Springer? Lesbian cage fighters?

I'd better subscribe to this blog's comments immediately.