Saturday, November 28, 2009

Bad to the Bone? Hell, Yes.

Bad Lawyers are born not made.  Nah.  But we adapt to badness pretty damn quick!

Let's face it the process of getting into law school, law school, getting a job or worse making a living from scratch, swimming with the sharks, processing unending injustice, and trying somehow to pay the bills, the taxes, and dare I say it, stay out of trouble, active and passive--can turn anyone into a Bad Lawyer.  I'm sure the ABA has statistics on this, but impressionistically--that my heart beats in pin stripes nearly 30 years after law school is something of an anomaly.  I don't see members of my law school graduating class anywhere very often.

But I digress, are Bad Lawyers, to use my friend, Gayle's construct, ever ontologically evil.  Bad to the bone?  Born Bad?

I do believe that the the predatory aspect of serial killers and rapists play out among lawyers.  Hell, all you have to do is turn on day time television, there they are hundreds of lawyers advertising like crazy to exploit you or your family member's pain and misery, (no cash settlement, no fee).  Flip through the yellow page ads for lawyers, tell me that a lot of these asshats aren't genetically predisposed to go to hell, and take you with them?    The image is one of series of borderline-porn ads for a Texas law firm that specializes in "aggressive" defense of rapists, family child incest perpetrators and child porn criminals.  The firms media advertising and website have been roundly condemned.  Must work, the firm is proliferating this offensive garbage, not taking it down:

I think we become who we are through Darwinian natural selection.  The shark will eat you to avoid being eaten and the law is the perfect profession for the shark.  The law, in practice, is disgusting, dispiriting, depressing.  In my opinion Ted Bundy was one slightly damaged chromosome away from who I am and who Geoffrey Fieger is.  Opportunistic, predatory, amoral, we are the survivors of a hostile world.   And my luck ran out.


  1. Yes, but it seems to me that ambition and over-achieving of any kind, be it in the legal profession or any other, can lead to this kind of soulless urge to dominate at any cost. Hegel described this as a desire for recognition that leads to a struggle to the death (literally or metaphorically). Religion, despite its many failings as a moral system, was in some sense put in place as a counterweight to this relentless need to eat-or-be-eaten. Failing that, one has philosophy, or alcohol, or some other (even more) libidinal means of mitigating the gut-deep Fear of Failure that motivates all successful people.

    Or you can start a blog.

  2. I don't know about the desire to dominate, I do know I was in a struggle to survive, then one morning I woke up and I had a dorsal fin.