I stick it to the lawyers’ guild at this discussion at Lawyerist.com. I’m responding to Sam Glover (and others), “Why Are Lawyers So Expensive? I’ll Tell You Why.” As far as I’m concerned, he doesn’t.
Ironically, I’m the Pre-Law Advisor at Felician College.
I might add that some of my best friends are lawyers. Seriously.
Postscript, November 2, 2014: I was away for most of the weekend, so I didn’t visit Lawyerist.com to see how the Expensive-but-So-Totally-Worth-It lawyers had responded to my criticisms of their special pleading for their inflated fees. I just did.
In four days, the author of the piece, Sam Glover, who conspicuously “LOL’d” my initial comment, has backed off, shut up, and moved on without responding to anything I said. I’ve now asked another commenter, who admitted to increasing his fees on the basis of snap judgments of his clients’ “unrealistic expectations,” whether he’d be willing to universalize that judgment and allow service providers in other fields–doctors, therapists, mechanics, plumbers, educational institutions, insurance companies–to do the same without legal interference, oversight, or regulation. I’m morbidly curious to hear the answer.
It’s not that I lack respect for the legal profession as such. It’s a necessary and valuable profession with many noble practitioners. Nor do I much mind that such people have large incomes and live accordingly. What I mind is how many others of them are arrogant, misologistic sophists who thrive on the undeserved deference they get in our society, and who, despite their inflated egos, six-figure incomes, and delusional self-conceptions, cannot argue their way out of a paper bag. There are plenty of lawyers out there fitting that description, and a great number of them seem to congregate at Lawyerist.com. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of them billed for being there–in which case I don’t mind giving them a run for their money. Unfortunately, I can’t bill for it, but philosophers don’t live by bread alone.
By the way, I should probably add that not only are some of my best friends lawyers, but so are some of my best former students!