You Are My Little Lads: Boozy’s Tips For The Bar Exam

So there’s a Terry Pratchett novel out there called “Monstrous Regiment.”  In it a poor, misguided country seeks out war with all of its neighbors in the pursuit of satisfying a dead, lunatic god.  Over decades of such warfare, the country’s young men have been depleted, leaving only the women, children, old men, and wounded to manage the insanity that is their nation.  Against this backdrop a group of women dress as men and enlist in the army, each for their own reasons, and begin to face the hilarious hardships of a fantasy soldier’s life, all under the tutelage and protection of the rotund, infamous, and clever Sergeant Jackrum, who bellows often (and inaccurately) to his troops “You are my little lads, and I will protect you!

Imagine that I’m your Sergeant Jackrum today here on Lawyers & Liquor, dear reader, as we move just a bit closer to the mess that is the bar exam.  In less than 24 hours some of you will be in the convention halls and hotel meeting spaces of whatever city is close enough to your home for it to make sense, working feverishly on the single two day brain dump of legal knowledge that determines whether or not you have the minimal competence to practice law in your chosen jurisdiction.  You, along with hundreds of others who are sweating through their pajama pants and t-shirt or, if you’re in Virginia, the full-fucking-suit they make you wear to take the exam, will be engaging in a rite of passage for the entry into the profession of law, one that your entire legal career of doing absolutely nothing that actually resembles the practice of law has led up to.

A pass, which you won’t know about for months, welcomes you with open arms into a profession that will remind you repeatedly that you are a worthless and stupid piece of shit because you have absolutely no training in how to actually practice law.  A failure will send you back to the unwashed masses of humanity that don’t know a tort from a tart, unable to append the word “Esquire” to your name for the very brief period of time anyone that meets you will treat it as acceptable.  It is, in every sense of the word, the last bar to practice (get it?  I’m so fucking clever today), and while some of you will rise from the ashes of the social lives and mental health that you have left behind you like a seriously disturbed phoenix, others among you will know the horror that is a six figure student loan debt and absolutely no job prospects.  I’m certain all of you are just relaxed as shit right now, correct?

But have no fear, my little juris dickheads, for you are my little lads and I will protect you.  Mainly by knocking some oft-repeated and rarely heeded advice into your fucking heads.

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Avoo Maria, Part 1: Talking About The Avvo Legal Services Shutdown

Welcome to another session of the profane legal ramblings that appear on this site, which we have politely named Lawyers & Liquor.  I’m your host with the half cup of coffee and the stained suit, the Boozy Barrister, here to curse the day that I decided a scholarship offer from a law school was a good idea.

So the big news, or rather the not so fucking big news, in the legal world this week is the shutdown of Avvo’s fixed price legal services platform.  You may remember Avvo if you’re a regular reader as the high-pressure sales environment that puts on its slimy car salesman suit to harass the fuck out of any lawyer stupid enough to claim their profile on the site.  Well, imagine if the guy that was showing you your own car and then calling you twenty fucking times a day to see if you wanted it painted decided to move on from that and then offer a service where other people could drive your damn car at a certain price that they decide, not you!  That was essentially Avvo’s fixed price legal fee service, and like all bad ideas it was destined to either go down in flames or get elected President.  Luckily, in this specific situation, it was the former.

So let’s spend a little time today providing erotic elucidation (because anything that negatively impacts Chris who calls my office to get me to buy ad space certainly gives me a half-chub at the very least) on what Avvo was offering and why it was shut the fuck down faster than a nerdy kid gets shut down by the head cheerleader.  Break out the marching band and let’s move on ye of little experience as we discuss why a lawyer advertising service somehow decided that exempted it from impermissible fee sharing agreements in today’s Lawyers & Liquor.

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June Legal News Retrospective: Leases, Adultery, and Death

 

Welcome back to Lawyers & Liquor, where I normally talk profanely about legal shit in what is meant to be an amusing manner.  Today, Monday July 9th, though, I need a minute to decompress from a busy couple weeks.  So we’re going to introduce the monthly Legal News Retrospective, where I’ll talk about the three most interesting stories I could find from the month before.

Yeah, it’s a cop-out.  Fuck you.  I’m tired.

So without further ado, let’s look at June’s true tales of legal interest, including the world’s worst tenant, a Texas style adultery, and the death of a living legal legend.

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An Open Letter To My Neighbor About Their Fireworks

Dear Neighbor,

Hello.  You probably know me as the pissed off looking guy with a cane you tend to see furtively smoking cigarettes in his porch chair while wearing a suit in the late evening hours.  You often may ask yourself “why is he always wearing a suit” and “why do I never see him before 7 p.m. at night?”  The answer to that question is that I’m an attorney, and I tend to get up pretty early in the morning to head to my office.  I also only really return home at night after all my work is done.  You see, it isn’t that I’m not sociable, it’s just that I’m tired and those early evening hours, when I’m sitting on the porch and enjoying a glass of whiskey and some nicotine, are about the only quiet moments I get in a life full of kids, dogs, and legal bullshit from other people in the area.

And that’s sort of why I want to talk to you today, because, see, getting up early in the morning and shit tends to mean that I go to bed early at night.  Like, not at 7:30 p.m. or something, but at a respectable hour. You know, maybe 9:30 or 10:00.  Not “Grandma’s bed time” but not too far off.  Early to bed and early to rise and all that.  Except, lately, I’ve been finding it to be hard to get to sleep at night.  Because it’s summer, and you’ve found out the fireworks stands are open.

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Things I Don’t Care About: BigLaw Pay Raises

Hello and welcome to Lawyers & Liquor, where we do nothing but talk about legal stuff in a profane manner because…you know what? I don’t owe an explanation to you.  Every lawyer in the world wants to just start cursing about halfway through discussing anything legal with laymen and brand-spanking-new baby attorneys, and that’s what I do because, frankly, I ain’t got much to lose anymore by doing it.

So today let’s start talking about the things I don’t really give two watery shits about, and by that I mean the whole thing going on that’s  been over-reported and covered with intense scrutiny in the legal community.  No, not the death of Judge Leighton, former federal judge and civil rights pioneer, and quite possibly the most interesting man in the world, back in the beginning of June, but rather the BigLaw pay raises that I, like many other small-time meat and potatoes attorneys aren’t affected by and don’t fucking care about.

I’m the Boozy Barrister, and it’s time to buckle the fuck up.

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