People who’ve been to law school, are you taught or advised that you should treat rich or famous people differently from ordinary people? Why or why not?
No, we learn that after we graduate.
What follows hereafter is my unvarnished honest opinion, and for the sake of context you should know this is coming from a lawyer who doesn’t have a very high opinion of lawyers in general:
While I am sure there are some lawyers or law firms out there who actually do teach the lawyers they hire to treat rich and famous people better than poor people, the overwhelming majority of lawyers are neither taught nor do they believe that people should be treated better depending upon how wealthy they are.
The fact of the matter is that there is a reason why poor people are generally less popular—among lawyers and virtually every other man woman and child on this earth, regardless of his or her livelihood—than the rich and famous: poor people are needy (needy physically, financially, emotionally, spiritually, and in virtually every other conceivable way), and for all but the most angelic among us it is human nature to find needy people off-putting.
- The days when practicing law being lucrative are over for the overwhelming majority of lawyers. Providing legal services is extremely demanding and stressful under normal conditions. Providing legal services for the poor usually means providing those services free of charge or at a substantially discounted rate. Working for free or at a cut rate is generally much more demanding and stressful than doing the same work for people who pay.
- Many poor people suffer from untreated, unchecked mental health disorders and substance abuse, which makes working with them extraordinarily difficult and unpleasant.
- Many poor people ironically have an entitlement mentality because they have spent so much time on (in some cases spent their whole lives on) the dole. Ask any lawyer who, between the rich and the poor, the first clients are. The rich can be a demanding and arrogant lot, but the poor are frequently even worse. It’s irritating enough to deal with a demanding and ungrateful client, but even more irritating when that demanding and ungrateful client isn’t paying you, and worse by an order of magnitude when the client who isn’t paying is demanding and ungrateful by an order of magnitude.
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