The Art of Lawyering


  • Tutorialist

    @Auspice said in The Art of Lawyering:

    homgwhatifsomeonewhoisn'tqualifiedandisjustgoodatself-marketinggetsin.

    It's weird to me that you have to be an attorney to practice law, but not to be a judge.


  • Tutorialist

    @Ganymede -- You're about an hour drive from where I live, I think. Which is basically the same drive I make to get to work, just in the other direction. Doable.


  • Pitcrew

    @Ganymede said in The Art of Lawyering:

    The criminal attorneys have a different perspective on judges and juries than I.

    I prefer judges in administrative matters, and possibly in civil ones. But for defense? It's a tactical decision. Most of the time, I'd rather a jury.


  • Pitcrew

    @Auspice said in The Art of Lawyering:

    @Ganymede said in The Art of Lawyering:

    Hofbrauhaus

    One of the places I miss from living in the Cincinnati region.

    It's good, but I prefer the restaurants in Mainstrasse, because they're local rather than a chain. However, none of them have giant rooms with long tables and benches where you sit next to strangers and sing loudly off-key in between chugging from a tankard.

    @Derp said in The Art of Lawyering:

    It's weird to me that you have to be an attorney to practice law, but not to be a judge.

    It depends on the state. In Ohio and Kentucky, you must be a licensed attorney in the state to be a judge.

    However, there is no requirement to be a US Supreme Court Justice. You just have to be nominated by the US President and confirmed by the US Senate, per the US Constitution. What's sad is that I worked with lawyers at my last job who did not know this.

    Ohio also requires individuals running for certain offices to have corresponding credentials. The County Engineer must be a Professional Engineer and Professional Surveyor. The County Coroner must be a licensed physician. So on and so forth.



  • Do you actual lawyers enjoy watching Legal Eagle?
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpa-Zb0ZcQjTCPP1Dx_1M8Q



  • @Groth

    It’s fun to watch, sure, but he’s more like Billy Mays explaining how Oxyclean works than Bill Nye.



  • I wasn't expecting so many good replies! And I wasn't expecting we had THAT many lawyers or legal savvies here in the MUing community.

    I think that's awesome. Thank you all! I'm especially amused by all the history and takes on the jury trials. I have always wondered, as my husband brought it up one day many years ago about the American legal system.

    Now I'm curious about the "lawyer reputation" you know - blood sucking, etc. Is it because the fees are so expensive or is it because people just didn't get the outcomes they wanted and are now bitter that they didn't get their way like an petulant child?

    Why are judges elected in some places, but not in others? Which way is better in our modern times? I'm sure they both have pros and cons.


  • Tutorialist

    @nyctophiliac said in The Art of Lawyering:

    Now I'm curious about the "lawyer reputation" you know - blood sucking, etc. Is it because the fees are so expensive or is it because people just didn't get the outcomes they wanted and are now bitter that they didn't get their way like an petulant child?

    Yes, but the latter informs the former. Fees are expensive because lawyers go through some really intense training. You have to have an undergraduate degree of at least Bachelor's level in most places in the U.S., then take a brutal test to get in to law school (LSAT), take three or four years of classes to earn a doctoral degree in the law(J.D.), take an even more brutal test to get licensed to practice law (MBE/MPRE/etc.), and then, in some areas, take one or two years of post-doctoral education in order to practice in your specific area (LL.M.).

    Lawyers are expensive because their time is extremely valuable. But also, people can be really petty and insist on doing things 'on principle', even though there is really nothing to gain from it. They just want a court to stroke their ego.

    Well, guess what? It's going to cost you. Are you sure that this issue is so important that you're willing to pay a large fee to clog up the courts for what is probably no gain whatsoever?

    It serves as a sort of gatekeeping function, really, and weeds out the ones that are really passionate from the ones that are just mildly irritated and will eventually move on because even they realize there is nothing to gain from this.

    Why are judges elected in some places, but not in others? Which way is better in our modern times? I'm sure they both have pros and cons.

    Because we love elections in the united states. We elect everyone. We elect dog catchers. Our love of elections and our love of lawsuits has literally been commented on since the founding of the country. Neither election nor appointment is perfect. I would prefer technocratic elections, wherein candidates must meet a baseline set of skills/education/experience in order to qualify and then voters can pick from this group of competent people.



  • @Ganymede said in The Art of Lawyering:

    We all could come together and make a pretty nasty law firm.

    Let me know if you need that Bird Law gap filled, but I am also willing to work as a consultant for your Bird Law needs.



  • Where are the PI lawyers?

    Don’t tell me we have all these lawyers in the hobby and none of you are in it for the money.

    What is wrong with y’all.



  • @Tempest said in The Art of Lawyering:

    Where are the PI lawyers?

    Don’t tell me we have all these lawyers in the hobby and none of you are in it for the money.

    What is wrong with y’all.

    they're all too busy chasing ambulances


  • Tutorialist

    @Ghost said in The Art of Lawyering:

    Let me know if you need that Bird Law gap filled, but I am also willing to work as a consultant for your Bird Law needs.

    Are we talking environmental law or import/export law? Or are you just a master of all things bird related.

    Also: Please submit your picture with your resume. If I'm paying you consultant fees in a non-existent law firm for a non-existent area of law, then I need to at least get some eye candy going on.*

    *Non-existant law firm employs less than four people and is therefore not subject to EEOC or Indiana/Ohio guidelines on employment discrimination. Suck it. <3

    ETA: Lol. Probably not the connotation I wanted to end that last sentence with. Oops. I should proofread these things. But you know I'm teasing anyway. I would totally hire you as a bird lawyer.



  • @Derp I'm talking about the highly important and underappreciated task of providing legal support for birds as clients in civil and criminal legal matters.

    When a bird comes to me upset that some human shot at him or her with a pellet gun? Most lawyers would say "birds have no rights", but this is not true.

    #notbeingseriousatall



  • @Derp said in The Art of Lawyering:

    ETA: Lol. Probably not the connotation I wanted to end that last sentence with.

    I thought it was part of the hiring process



  • @Tempest said in The Art of Lawyering:

    Where are the PI lawyers?

    You think that's where the money is? How droll.


  • Tutorialist

    @Ganymede said in The Art of Lawyering:

    @Tempest said in The Art of Lawyering:

    Where are the PI lawyers?

    You think that's where the money is? How droll.

    The more mind-numbingly boring the work, the higher it pays.

    Looking at you, fucking tax attorneys.

    Oh wait, no. Looks like IP and Patents sits at the top of the food chain.

    stares at one of the MSB attorneys that knows who they are, dammit


  • Pitcrew

    One of my friends from college is a patent attorney with an engineering Bachelor's. He makes mad bank. He hates his work, but he only has like 6 more years until he retires to the Caribbean.



  • Had to google PI.

    It doesn't mean Private Investigator. It means Personal Injury.

    Sounds far less fun than my initial assumption. My heart, it breaks.

    Anyway, you ever seen in the movies where there's this firm of lawyers who are like "if you win this case we will make you a partner" -> Can someone explain that? Does that actually happen?

    What is the bar exam - it's like a licensing test right? Does it cost money to take? Does it last a certain length of time, are there strings attached? What can actually cause you to be disbarred (that's the term right?)? Could to retry the exam later if disbarred?


  • Tutorialist

    @nyctophiliac said in The Art of Lawyering:

    Anyway, you ever seen in the movies where there's this firm of lawyers who are like "if you win this case we will make you a partner" -> Can someone explain that? Does that actually happen?

    Rarely. I won't say that it never happens, but that's not the kind of thing that tends to make a good partner. One moment of brilliance or one high dollar case might be enough to get you to Junior Partner, but rarely Senior Partner without some kind of track record behind it, in which case they were already considering you for it well before that, and I can't think of a single instance where someone has made name partner because of a single case that wasn't like, national headlines scope.

    What is the bar exam - it's like a licensing test right? Does it cost money to take? Does it last a certain length of time, are there strings attached? What can actually cause you to be disbarred (that's the term right?)? Could to retry the exam later if disbarred?

    So the bar exam isn't one exam, it's usually 3.

    Just to knock one out of the way, you have the MPRE (Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam), which is an ethics test, and it's the 'easiest' part of the process.

    Then you have the MBE (Multistate Bar Exam), which consists of 200 questions over Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law, Evidence, Real Property and Torts. This is a six hour exam, broken up into two 3-hour segments, each consisting of 100 questions. (Louisiana does not use the MBE. I don't remember what they use, but it's not the MBE. @Rinel?)

    Then, you have the state specific bar exams, which naturally differ by state and cover specific state topics.

    Yes, each of these costs money to take, but the actual fee is usually not the largest chunk of it. The MBE is usually incorporated into state bar exams. Here, it's $250 (or $500 for late registration), and then an additional $125 for the MPRE (or $220 for late registration).

    The prepatory courses are the real bitch of all this. Because law school, contrary to popular belief, doesn't actually teach you the law that you need to know. So you either have to self-study and hope to god that you get it all together, or drop about $5000 for something like BarBri / Themis / Kaplan to make sure you know enough of your shit that you can actually pass this exam.

    Note that the bar exam. at least the MBE, is typically pass/fail. Scores are not reported to the people that take the bar, so you have no idea how well you did in any given area. On the MBE practice tests, it can tell you how well you did on a curve, but that isn't actually useful information either, because the percentile tells you how well you did compared to everyone else, not overall.

    It's a fairly fucked up, grueling system that takes way too god damn much investment and should really be modified.

    ETA: Re disbarment -- generally the thing that will get you disbarred is breaking one of the ethical requirements in a pretty egregious way, or committing a serious felony. Disbarment is typically 'permanent', as the same body that disbarred you in the first place would have to reinstate your privileges, either a bar association or a supreme court, depending on the state. One of the biggest ones is financial misconduct with a client, which will get the hammer brought down on your ass fast. You can't overbill, you can't mishandle money (funds are typically put in a trust and withdrawn as you can prove they are earned, and if you use them for anything else, even if replaced, you have technically stolen from a client.)

    It's also state-specific, so in theory you could go practice in another state after being disbarred in one, but there is usually an ethical requirement to report or disclose previous disbarment.

    ETA 2: Interesting sidenote -- what happens to the interest generated in attorney trust accounts is a hotly contested topic in the legal profession.


  • Pitcrew

    I became friends with @saosmash back when she was in the early days of law school and honestly from an outside perspective the bar prep and exam process sounded like it was more miserable than law school itself.


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