Litigation is the common path for most young attorneys. In law school, the vast majority of subjects are taught through case law, i.e., litigation. In fact, most transactional courses are presented through the litigation lens: contracts, debtor/creditor, real estate transactions, etc. So it’s no surprise that most law school grads head straight to the litigation department. A year or two of being beaten senseless, however, many lawyers begin to investigate these rumors of some happy place in the firm called “trans-act-shun-ul-land” and eventually take up residence there. The rest accept their fate as permanent citizens of Scorched Earth. Here’s why:
1. Genetic defects. To survive – and especially to thrive – in litigation, you need to have some bad wiring. Odds are you enjoyed drowning puppies out at the old quarry when you were a snot-nosed adolescent and today relish your weekly appointments with Maîtresse Hildegarde, a dominatrix infamous for her innovative use of a cherry pitter.
2. There are no non-litigation job openings anywhere on the planet and student loans aren’t dischargeable in bankruptcy. This accounts for 98.6% of litigators.
3. Your office is no higher than the third or fourth story in the building and there’s no roof access. That’s simply not high enough to guarantee a successful suicide.
4. You had a dysfunctional childhood. While not sexually abused, odds are good that your father made you do things like pose for the camera wearing his jockstrap on your head while acting like your were smoking a cigar or drinking a beer or both. No, I do not have any recollection of my dad doing this to me when I was a preschooler, but I recently saw the photos when he posted them on Facebook. But I beat the odds. I’m a transactional attorney.
5. You have no other skills, interests, or passions that could generate income. If you did, why would you be a litigator?
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