13 April 2005

Fun with a Corpus

"Highlights" magazine afficionados will appreciate the title of this blog. Everyone else...won't. I actually briefly thought about how funny it would be to swap the words "corpus" and "porpoise," but the "power to invade porpoise" and "distribution of porpoise" are more wrong than funny, so that concept died.

But now on to the matter at hand. The following are quotes that may or may not have been heard at an estate planning career panel* yesterday, with three real-life practitioners. Can you pick out the real ones? [*Thanks T.S.--the panel was actually really useful, and convinced me that I'll go into that area of practice if I in fact do become a lawyer.]

(1) "One thing I'm constantly amazed at is the high percentage of marginal mental illness in our society."

(2) "If you're going to start your own practice, the single most important thing to do is buy a really good printer. Next, a really good computer. And malpractice insurance is the third thing. It also helps to have a respectable looking office."

(3) "I charge a flat rate first, but typically move to an hourly fee if I'm doing more work than the flat rate is covering."

(4) "I charge a flat rate unless I think the client is well-off enough to afford the hourly rate. You can kinda tell if someone's jaw might hit the floor when they hear $300 an hour."

(5) "I literally had a woman client last week who's IQ was maybe 70. Maybe. And I didn't really like her. So not only do you have to dumb down these complex legal ideas, but you're stuck spending extra time with someone you don't like, pretending like you care."

(6) "I had this guy for a client who obviously had a thing for me, but he was paying an hourly rate, so I figured if he calls and wants to chat for a couple hours on a Thursday night, no problem for me. He's happy, I'm happy, everyone's happy."

(7) "Let's be honest, there are two, maybe three hours a day when your mind is actively engaged with your clients."

(8) "Let's be honest, the third year of law school is a joke. Play a lot of golf, go to parties, do basically what you want, because that will be the last really good year of your life. I'm serious. It kind of goes downhill from there. Obviously, this advice is a little late for any 3Ls in the audience."

(9) "I'm close to retirement now, so I'm really cutting back on my hours. That is, unless I'm appointed to a district judgeship in a couple months by the governor. Which is really like taking a step back, because then I'll have to punch a clock. But, I mean, I still would want to be a judge."

[Ok, obviously they're all real. And these were successful lawyers who graduated from top twenty schools. I will note that the one guy was genuinely interesting and insightful, and none of the above quotes is from him.]

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