Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Thinking like a lawyer.

They always tell you that the purpose of law school is to "think like a lawyer." They do that to justify the fact that they generally don't teach you any laws, and even if they want to the legislature can just rewrite the rules any time they want to. But it's true, that you do think like a lawyer when you get out of law school.

Thinking like a lawyer entails: 1) being afraid to step outside the front door for fear of getting sued, 2) spending more time arguing about risk and cost rather than moving your tailfeather when, for example, a car is skidding toward you on an icy street, and 3) having uncomfortably intimate dreams about Supreme Court justices. You know you're thinking like a lawyer when the most disturbing parts of those dreams are that they focus on the judges who aren't on your side of the great ideological divide.

So I am going to take refuge in the fact that I "think like a lawyer" to justify that when I read this:
I have the most precious [tech support] case number now, and even though I only have four days of free phone support left, the case number ensures my case can grin on forever like Jarndyce and Jarndyce. It may even survive me. I may bequeath it to my heirs.
My gut reaction was: "Don't joke about that! The legal fees would eat up the cost of the messed up product!"
And upon realizing how ridiculous that is, reflexively thinking: "For reals - probate is complicated!!" And then going off on a mental trip about how one would actually go about probating a technical support case number. I couldn't stop myself from going there even while the nonlawyer chunk of brain was busy trying to revel in the Bleak House love.

The post-law school working world quickly disabuses you of the notion that you're any value to anyone when you think like a lawyer. It is, unfortunately, not as good at instructing you quite how . . .

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