A few times a day, I hear my boss say, “Lawyers are terrible people.” Why would he say this? Are they really that terrible? Why would someone who’s a lawyer say that lawyers are terrible people? Well, I’ve asked myself all of those questions of myself and based upon my personal experience and six weeks six on the job as a legal assistant, I think I have the answers.
Don’t get me wrong. There are some truly good and decent family and divorce law lawyers out there, but the number of “terrible people” who are lawyers is surprising.
In my opinion one of the main reasons of why so many lawyers are terrible people is because, with very, very few exceptions, divorce and family law lawyers one hate responding to other lawyers’ calls and emails and two have no sense of urgency when it comes to moving a case forward.
It seems like the ‘terrible lawyers’ ignore other the lawyers who are trying to work on the case to dispose of it fairly and expeditiously. There have been many times in the short time I’ve been working here when we have sent over proposed settlement agreements or other documents to other law firms and we will be ignore and they refuse to answer us for what feels like no good reason or no reason at all. There have been opposing counsel who don’t answer us for months, and we even have one that hasn’t responded in over a year!
Usually, unless your lawyer has a good and personal relationship with the opposing lawyer, I’ve found that opposing counsel love to ignore and even be antagonistic. Unless they have a strong moral compass, the incentive to take a mediocre approach is strong.
I’ve noticed that it is easy to give people the benefit of the doubt – until you’ve also worked that job. Then it becomes much easier to distinguish the good from the bad. Because when you know how the system should work if everyone did their part correctly, it’s easier to see who’s slacking or outright sabotaging the system.
I obviously don’t believe every lawyer is a terrible person (neither does my boss), but I think if the focus of all lawyers was to complete cases as quickly, fairly, and peacefully as possible, they’d take and return calls. They’d respond to emails in a day or two at most. Resolving cases wouldn’t take nearly as long as they take now and would not be nearly as frustrating as they are now.
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