I love being a lawyer. It’s been 20 years and every day is different for me. I didn’t know that I would feel that way when I started off and I consider myself very lucky. I had a long time client call me the other day about a situation he had. He knew it wasn’t something I handle, but told me that he wanted my opinion because “you are the only lawyer I trust.” That made me feel great.
I told him as we ended the call to remember two things: 1. He can always call me with any questions. 2. Lawyers are the worst. I said the second thing as a joke and he laughed, but the sad part is that it’s kind of true.
Now I know tons of passionate, great attorneys who really fight for their clients. Those are the attorneys I recommend to people who call me for a lawyer referral.
I also though have met and talked to a lot of attorneys lately who clearly hate what they do. I like to ask lawyers if they enjoy their practice area or if they see themselves evolving in to something else. Too many attorneys are miserable having done the same thing for a long time. I’ve been told by more and more attorneys is that all they really want to do is make enough money so they can stop doing law at all.
Now I’m not against anyone retiring and enjoying life. In fact I get nervous if an attorney is in their 70’s and still practicing law. To me that can be a bad sign.
What I’m talking about is lawyers that make clear in talking to them that they hate what they are doing, hate their clients and would rather do anything other than practice law, but don’t feel they have options. Really these are people who worship the money they are making over personal happiness. Yes it would suck to go from earning six figures to 40 grand a year, but if you hate life, isn’t that worth it?
The problem is that these miserable attorneys have clients like you who get harmed because you aren’t getting their best effort. Sometimes you can still win or get a good result, but a lack of passion or caring can doom you.
Your attorney isn’t likely to come out and tell you that they hate their job, so what are the warning signs?
- Failure to return phone calls
- Mood swings
- They don’t remember facts about your case that the two of you have discussed
- Sloppy dress
- High turnover in their office
- They yell at you
- Failure to follow through on what they say they will do
These are just some of the signs and if they do these things and aren’t burned out then they are just a bad attorney/person. In most cases you can switch lawyers without problem and you should do so. If you need help with a case or have questions call us at (312) 346-5320.