Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Name it: We Sweat It
Finding true love and happily ever after is pretty difficult in a world where prenuptials are negotiated as intensely as multimillion currency transactions or where aso-ebis cost more than the average family’s monthly income. Being perceived as a conceited, fashion faux pas on feet (really, black gown on black suits!) does not help your chances. My advice: don’t attempt to cross-breed, stay with your kind.
It is a dangerous world out there run by a conspiracy created by people who hate us simply because we are perfect. Relationships in non-law world have been skewered against legal training. They have so many alien concepts as trust, forbearance and forgiveness (yes, that includes forgoing your right of reply). Apparently, what makes us fantastic lawyers make us inept in a world of non-lawyers. A lawyer:non-lawyer ratio is hard work. Blame it on the conflict in values or the curse of genius.
Take our often unappreciated brilliance. Lawyers are trained to be smart in ways mere mortals cannot grasp. How else does one describe how we have convinced ourselves, the Supreme Court and its five wise men to ignore logic and the English dictionary to redefine ‘and’ as ‘or’? When you pull stunts like this and get away with speaking a dead language, reserve ‘learned-hood’ for your kind, conceit becomes you. Conceit does not however translate nicely with non-lawyers. In fact, people ignore delusions of grandeur except they are mouthed by a former military president with suspiciously abundant funds and willing sycophants who have convinced him that the world revolves around him.
Despite years of being right, we are unable to get past the innate need to persuade other people of our inherent rightness. Unwritten convention dictate that other lawyers allow us revel in the sound of our voices, while they politely await their turn. The initiated also knows that the real reason we have meetings is not to listen to the other side but to prove we are right again. Non-lawyers don’t get that and rudely interrupt our long winded sounds – one of the reasons that make ‘irreconcilable differences’ in divorces.
Lawyers have undeveloped trust genes. Law School trains us to suspect everything and trust no one. Besides our typo spotting prowess, we find discrepancies and danger lurking at every corner. Where we do not find them quickly enough, we create them. For example, while a non-lawyer cannot tell the difference between ‘I was at work all day’ and ‘I have been busy all day’, lawyers can read ten different meanings to each.
Words are everything. Non-lawyers may not understand us. Pillow talk between birds of a different feather could go like this:
Ignorant love-struck non-lawyer: I love you.
Love-struck professional lawyer: Is that without prejudice to my inclinations and leanings, and includes, without limitation, my appurtenant family; and excludes my corporeal and incorporeal hereditaments?
Only a lawyer will understand why we need to rewrite wedding vows for accuracy into three pages of verbosity.
Spending time with mortals to build relationships is incompatible with the status of a legal practitioner. Time is money and lawyers realise that. No true lawyer can send a friendly email or meet for drinks without mentally writing a bill for time spent.
We sweat the small stuff for a living. We fuss and nag and no one complains. Sometimes I wonder if the original word in the Biblical reference to a nagging wife shared the root words for ‘lawyer’. Lawyer revel in the small print. Often we manage to convince other people that two lines of barely legible print matter more than pages before. Other times, we just wear them out.
Posted by Funlayo at 6:10 PM