Lawyers Life

~Unless You’re Dealing With A Shyster~

This is part-gripe, part-info.  But mostly gripe.

Insider info about lawyer services, which not many who seek lawyer services understand.

Clients usually set 3 standards for lawyer services.

1. They want the advice to be GOOD (i.e., thorough and reliable).

2. They want the advice to COST LOW (I hesitated to say “cheap”).

3. They want the advice to be given/available FAST (“can you provide me the answer NOW?”).

Alas, Life holds its few truths and one of them is that you very rarely can have all 3. You can only the service meet 2 standards at a time. Thus —

1. If you want the advice good and to cost low, you can’t have it fast.  Wait in our queue of jobs till we get to your file.

2. If you want the advice to cost low and rendered fast, it won’t be reliable or complete.

3. If you want the advice quickly and good, it WILL cost you, so keep the checkbook fat and ready.

And if your find a lawyer who promises that he can provide you all 3, he/she is either:

1. in love with you (Take advantage of this period of non compos mentis before his/her feet touch the ground!)

2. is not really licensed attorney.

3.  Most likely, he/she’s just plain lying.  What haven’t we learned about anything that is too good to be true?

A final note, if you’re for free legal advice, we don’t mind those once in a while. In fact, they come plenty-in-a-while, and yeah we take ’em.   But please tone down on the cheekiness.  Case in point, I was asked (via a social networking website) to represent a person in court (Insult Number 1: me? go to traffic court?.  And he is an acquaintance not a friend). Said he couldn’t make it to court because he had an appointment on that day to go jet-skiing with his girlfriend. ohhhhh-kaaay. I turned him down flat-out. And graciously (with much effort to do it that way) told him I was not licensed to appear in Cow State’s local courts. Bless his insolent 22-year old heart (yup… THAT generation). No decent lawyer would cover for you that way. And worse, we’ll only be appalled by your gall.

I am sure I will pull this blog entry down in a few days.   But for now I’m keeping it up just because I need to gripe.


5 thoughts on “~Unless You’re Dealing With A Shyster~

  1. Hello,

    Love your blog. I’m also a lawyer dating a Brit. Can you do a more detailed post on how you’ve managed to practice U.S. law (what kind btw) from across the pond? Will you be taking the QLTT soon and isn’t there a one-year apprenticeship/trainee requirement to become a solicitor?


    1. Hi Kimtastic —
      No, I haven’t had the time to actually sit for the QLTT. But its within my Grand Plan. :) I know the test is given in the US as well — NY, Chicago, Miami, Houston and LA; and I heard its not that difficult if you reviewed enough. For a US attorney, the QLTT is probably the best way to practice in the UK. Otherwise, the “normal” routes UK attorneys take requires you take the legal practice exam, and a minimum 2-years training afterwards. I do mainly labor-related practice: immigration, employment and contracts. I would’ve stopped my US practice while living in the US but one client insisted that I continue to handle their cases, and thus the pingponging across the pond. With technology, the world is really getting smaller and I coordinate often and closely with my assistant, clients, and practice partners. I am not tied to a big firm but work mostly independently (although I have an alliance of partners), so that allows me the flexibility.

  2. Wow, he’s got a nerve. Wish I had more of that though, when dealing with the lawyer who’s been doing all our visa stuff.

    His advice has been

    1) BAD (we only managed to get into the country 3 yrs ago because we kept phoning friends of friends who were lawyers, and then phoning him back saying “you’re not right about this”)
    2) EXPENSIVE (actually, I don’t know this for sure, I’m making assumptions)
    3) SLOW (it took over a year to file for 2 green cards – that’s quite an in-tray).

    To be fair, part of the problem (and maybe most, I don’t know) is that we aren’t always dealing direct, but often through Husband’s employer. But I strongly suspect that we’ve never been forgiven for requesting Husband’s employer use a different lawyer to do the green card stuff, given our first experience. Husband’s employer is a university and said “oh but he’s an alum, so we like to use him”. I strongly suspect that they told him we’d asked not to use him. Who knows? Just a vibe I get.

    Thank you for allowing me to join your gripe, and you’ll have to pull it down in a few days now, since I have incriminated myself in black and white!

    1. Iota: A significant bulk of my practice involves employment-based immigration, so do not hesitate to email me anytime you have questions or if you need a second opinion. Give me a buzz if you’ve emailed though because I don’t always check this mailbox:

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