Legal cartoons and humorous comment (c) Paul Brennan. All rights reserved.

I decided on 101 reasons as I didn’t want to depress the entire legal profession by having 1,001.
Paul Brennan, Lawyer, Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

# 5. Young lawyers think they are so smart

Are older lawyers a little vague about law? We can be. However, I could give anyone a run for their money on the law circa 1980, which I still use extensively in my law practice today.

I have been a recovering young lawyer for 25 years. I married and became a lawyer in the same year. Each evening, I would go home and share my cases with my wife, who after the honeymoon seemed a little less willing to listen. This hasn’t changed but I have noticed it has extended beyond legal subjects.

I then knew what your problem was before you even sat down. It was written on the file cover. If it said “Debt” then I would tell you everything I knew about Debt. I knew all about property law, especially the section numbers and the cases. The same with divorce, accidents, in fact, if you had a legal problem, I instinctively knew the answer, it was uncanny.

My interviews seem shorter. I find fewer clients making a bid for the door after 2 hours.

I am less willing now to accept my client’s idea of the best approach to a legal problem and see how it goes.

Then I would give legal advice solicited or unsolicited. Now my legal advice has to be solicited usually during working hours.

The solution always seemed to be in doing something, preferably legal. Now I often feel the solution in not doing anything at all. This seems to suit me and my clients.

Money (your money I mean) was no object. Whereas, now even I can see that there are so many better ways to spend money e.g. taking a holiday.

Today, I tend to listen to clients a little more, difficult but useful. I am less certain about the answer to legal issues. I am baffled at my own.

I think if people pay for legal advice they are more likely to take it and value it-if I am wrong about this one, I can live with it.

Did I think I was so smart? Well no, but sometimes it may have appeared that way.

(c) Paul Brennan 2007

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