Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Shh... Lawyering is a Scam!
Perhaps, no one really needs lawyers. At least not in the way we need a non-phantom president; or members of the Senate whose thought processes will inspire our secondary school students; or in the way we assume we need ministers who can manage prayer sessions and culinary skills without spilling their loyalty. Laywering, of course, does not come up close to teaching, medicine, or engineering, whose skills keep our minds, bodies and skulls safe. Yet, lawyers have managed to get a lot of attention and charge for bills for what looks like doing most of nothing.
It is like a scam everyone falls for – not 419 enough for EFCC to arrest us and set up a press conference about how fantastic the organisation is, but a scam still. Like the way people pay underage hustlers for ‘cleaning’ their windscreens in traffic on Lagos roads when every idiot knows that the Omo laced water will only leave streaks on the glass. Or the way we pay park attendants for ‘helping’ us park or give the scary looking guys next door ‘weekend dash money’. Lawyers seem to charge people for services no one really needs, and the world falls for it every time.
Take the lawyer’s basic services – attending meetings, preparing agreements, giving opinions, listening (or pretending to listen) to clients rant about how their partner / wife / other person, all have long red tails and horns and is horrible, etc. Most people can do that without legal help. If we scrap meetings and use emails and everyone becomes saints and adheres to agreements, we can easily take the lawyer out without a bother. Luckily many can write so the email bit is easier to manage. Better still, if the world’s sainthood prospects fail, we can work with threats or other extra judicial methods to enforce our agreements. Listening is pretty easy, pastors will do it without a fee and gossip mongers will do it for free for the thrill. Opinions, like talk are cheap – every fool has one. Appearing in court, which may the only tricky bit is not as worrying when you think about the number of ‘fake lawyers’ who have practised successfully for years. Certainly, everything can be learnt on the job.
Technically, a law degree seems as useful as a complete pair of Cinderella’s glass slippers in Mile 12 market or a nice fireplace in one of Ikoyi’s posh houses. They look good, are pretty expensive but are useless in the real world.
So why do we have lawyers? In figuring this out, the easiest people available for any irrational conspiracy theorist are the ‘they’ (one world for government, the schools and basically every one worthy of suspicion). The schools make more money for keeping students in for five years instead of four. Law school gets them for another year, and the government subsidises the fees so because of the ‘compulsory’ dinners at Law School. Feeding students makes the government look good, as it part-fulfils its MDG goals. ‘They’ also have to keep the schools open because it is cheaper to pay salaries than force the lecturers to retire. The law profession gains the most – the feudality of it all, ensures that SANs continue to maximise their superiority over the rest of us and seniors continue to bully juniors. The juniors, victims of the Stockholm Syndrome are reluctant to rebel out of affection for the SANs and other seniors – and so it goes in a circle.
Despite the many bad bad things people say, lawyers will be here for a while. History itself seems to tell of the dark ages before us – like Eve in the Garden of Eden and her lame finger pointing Statement of Defence, which was not even a general traverse: ‘the serpent deceived me’. *Smsh* A lawyer could have built a stronger case.
Then in Lagos. King Dosumu could have gotten a better bargain for ceding Lagos to the British – perhaps, interests in the South-South. At the worst, a good lawyer would have scuttled negotiations and history as we now know it.
Here is my take on it all: lawyers have successfully created an ‘indispensability’ myth for centuries, it is not going to disappear anytime soon.
Posted by Funlayo at 7:44 PM