Welcome to the Wednesday, June 6, 2018 edition of Lawyers & Liquor, your home for the very best in profane commentary on a variety of legally related matters. I’m the Boozy Barrister, and you assholes need to stop taking yourselves so goddamn seriously.
Turn the fuck back now. I’m warning you.
I’m not a fan of VERY IMPORTANT LAWYERS.
Back when I started this website, the whole purpose was to create a little place where I could word-vomit all over the internet like some weird Roman Shower party and pimp myself out to other lawyers. The purpose of this whole damn endeavor is to be a profane, non-serious asshole spreading words of wisdom like tiny little fairy dust farts all over the shit nuggets that make up the legal profession at the lower levels. Be they law students, recent law graduates, struggling solos, or the beknighted associates of every stripe, this site isn’t designed for the experienced senior attorney with a closet of suits and ties. If you get a haircut that isn’t from Supercuts and don’t have to worry about your student loan payments, if the news of the recent BigLaw Pay Bump excites you, if your entire identity is built around being not just a lawyer but a Very Important Lawyer, this isn’t the fucking place for you.
In fact, nowhere is the place for you. The place for you doesn’t fucking exist outside of the carefully cultivated firm lifestyle that you’ve, I assume, created for yourself. High in your little secluded world of desks that aren’t particle board with a thin coating of “I can’t believe it’s not wood grain,” you’ve cut yourself off from the reality of the legal world and the peons that actually populate that shit, and I get it. I do. Law school turns people into fucking sociopathic assholes that lose their connection to reality over time and begin to believe that somehow by merely appending the word “Esquire” to your business card (because these types of people definitely use the fucking word “Esquire” on their cards) you’ve somehow entered a sort of judicial and legal priesthood.
So, if you’re one of those upper level lawyers, not merely a shit nugget struggling to get by but a big, old, steaming pile of safari shit left by an incontinent elephant after a close encounter with the Trump sons, I kindly invite you to stop reading now. Because you aren’t going to like what I’m going to tell young lawyers today. Please, feel free to ask your secretary or something to run to the nearest boutique coffee shop and then go peruse the latest news in the ABA Journal or some shit as you slowly turn into a suited lizard person incapable of human emotion. We’re cool with it. But for the rest of you out there?
Stop taking yourselves so goddamn seriously.
The practice of law is a human profession.
There’s a reason that we don’t let one-eyed murdering lunatics join in the practice of law, guys. I mean, except for the murdering lunatics we totally were letting into the practice of law. The main reason is, unless you’re some BigLaw drone dedicated to serving the whims of a Very Important Lawyer and their corporate masters, or some latte-sipping in-house ingrate whose life consists of interns and actually taking a fucking vacation, the practice of law is a people profession. Our clients are people, their representatives are people, the opposing parties are people, the judges are people, the juries are people. I mean, it’s fucking people all the way down (but not actually fucking people, at least not your clients, I cannot stress enough how you should not literally fuck your clients). That means, and this is a surprise here for a lot of motherfuckers with the expensive suits and some girl named Gina that gives them a manicure every other week, that your clients and all of those other people may want to relate to you as a human from time to time.
That’s sort of hard to do if you are a giant fucking lizard person with a single-minded brain. See, “people” tend to have things like hobbies. They like to laugh (for the senior partners and Very Important Lawyers in training out there, a laugh is like an involuntary yell but when something is amusing. “Amusing” is the opposite of “angry” or “immediately offended.” I know, these are frightening concepts but with a little practice you can master them). They like to smile (that’s the opposite of a frown. You know. The thing you haven’t done since the court sanctioned some little old lady you were foreclosing on. Once again, I know these are scary concepts, but we’ll get through it together, Lizard Person, just you and me). Clients like to fucking know that their lawyer is, you know, a person outside of being a lawyer.
Being a VERY IMPORTANT LAWYER all the time is fucking hurting us, guys.
Like…okay, for the last year I’ve found myself in a special level of fuzzy hell where the internet’s lovable giant animal folk adopted, then assimilated, me, right? We all know about that shit by now, don’t we? Good. Well, you know what I hear a lot from those people?
“Hey, you know, you’ve done a lot to humanize lawyers for us and remind us they’re really people too! Thank you! I feel so much better talking to my local attorney about this issue now!”
…HOW FUCKED UP IS IT THAT OUR PROFESSION IS SUCH A MIRTHLESS BUNCH OF BUZZKILLS THAT PEOPLE FORGET WE’RE FUCKING HUMANS?
Oh, and I know what you’re saying: “Gee Boozy, that doesn’t apply to me! I like a good joke just as much as the next guy! Why, let me tell you the joke I heard just the other day from a new associate that I promptly fired for expressing ‘mirth’ in the office. Why did the chicken cross the road? To collect on a large settlement from AllFarm Insurance after the drunken driver hit him! Ha ha ha ha ha! Hilarious, correct fellow human?”
That’s not humor, guys. That’s the sort of shit someone says before they carve off your face to wear it as a mask when their people spring forth from the underground caverns in which they live.
Just lay back a little, man.
The sad thing is, it’s so fucking easy to not be that sort of unrepentant asshole that clenches their asscheeks tight enough to turn coal into diamonds every time some guy on Twitter makes a joke. It’s not fucking hard to say “there’s literally no reason to get upset, and in fact I may enjoy the good-natured ribbing from time to time!” There’s no goddamn reason that every fucking moment you go out into the world you have to present yourself as a Very Important Lawyer other than the fact that’s how we’re fucking trained to be anymore. “We are lawyers,” you may scream into the reckless mass of unwashed humanity, “therefore we are better! We have a duty to always be serious, no matter the platform.”
Fucking sure thing there, Justice Marshall. I’m certain your comments on PornHub do absolutely nothing but discuss recent Supreme Court ruling and the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
Fact of the matter is, we don’t owe a duty to always be public facing, self-effacing professionals without a single instance of anything questionable or profane in our goddamn lives. I mean, we owe a duty to each other not to bring the profession into disrepute, but there’s nothing wrong with cutting the fuck loose every now and again and proving to the public that we’re humans. There’s nothing wrong with that shit! Go to a strip club! Join a roleplaying game! Post dick jokes on your non-professional Twitter account! Poke fun at other lawyers and practice areas! Be fucking silly!
Hell. Maybe even agree to wear short shorts to raise money for charity.
Just fucking relax.
Because, really, you’ll just help yourself too.
I started this site and the Boozy Barrister over a year ago as a way to vent out a lot of my frustration at the practice of law and to pass on some advice to new attorneys in a funny, engaging, and profane way. Along the way, I’ve met a lot of like-minded people, and while we all use pseudonyms in social media for this shit it’s because we have professional, client-facing shit that we like to keep separate. However, that doesn’t mean we’re hiding it…it just means that occasionally we like to be lawyers without having to be Very Important Lawyers. We want to be, for lack of a better word, non-reptilian surface dwelling meatbags.
When I started the site, dudes, I was a fucking angry guy. I still am when the need arises. But since having the outlet through the Barrister, and the ability to embrace my profane and social side, raise money for charities, talks about shit, and joke around with other people I’m not as angry. And the weird shit is, the general public that I’ve encountered have, for the most part, had their estimation of our profession raised as a result of those interactions. Because now they get to see us not as cold, uncaring, and narrowly focused professionals but as people that like to be people and happen to be really fucking good at helping folks with legal shit.
Let’s wrap it up.
Because I’ve laid back, relaxed, and stopping keeping a tree branch up my ass, I’ve helped humanize our profession.
And you can do the same too….just by unclenching the asscheeks, taking a deep breath, and reminding yourself of this one particular fact:
There are over 1,200,000 lawyers in the United States.
You are not a world-changing professional who must wear the skin of the humans to hide your scaley nature.
You are a shit nugget in a field of shit nuggets. And in that case, what’s the fucking point of not relaxing and having a little fun?
Till next time,