You know what’s nice? Knowing that the practice of law is a profession that places as its benchmark the pursuit of justice and higher school of thought. We all go into law school thinking that we’re going to change the world through our practice of the law, and some dolent professor with an Ivy League pedigree extols the virtues of the “Noble Savage” that the lawyer is supposed to be. We are told, in every class, that the law exists to bring justice and that the role of an attorney is a counselor and advocate for the cause of the downtrodden client. We are, in the words of the administrators and professors, the gatekeepers of justice, the first line of defense against tyranny, and the vindicators of the downtrodden.
And, of course, we then step out into the real world of practice and become made aware of the fact that all that esoteric bullshit and idealism doesn’t make the student loan payment of the rent. Nobody’s ringing up their landlord and saying “Hey, I stopped a family of five from being evicted today! They paid me in a big bag of pork rinds! Will you accept pork rinds in lieu of rent now?” If your landlord or utility company would ever stop laughing, what they’d choke out is “No, dipshit.” Idealism doesn’t pay any of the bills. “Good feels” doesn’t put food on the table. Advocacy won’t buy avocado toast.
For that, you need money. And to make money, you have to let go of the concept that you are anything more than a cutthroat mercenary of the legal world. Because motherfuckers may need justice, but motherfuckers gotta pay to get it. And yes, there are lawyers out there who provide representation to those people that need it without regard to their ability to pay, and they do some great goddamn work in doing so. But, and here’s the thing:
They may not be there for much longer, and society has no viable safety net ready and raring to go for those folks.
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