A Self-Sustaining Evil

The other day I was telling some out-to-town relatives about some of the jobs I’ve had. One of these jobs was maintaining a promotional web site for a law firm. Promoting lawyers is one of the toughest sales jobs you could ever imagine. Quick, think of something positive to say about lawyers.

In addition, it was one of the most stratified organizations I’d ever worked for. I was only support staff with years of experience in I.T support. But if you weren’t an actual lawyer, or at least had a JD degree, you were just slightly above pond scum. Support staff in a law firm is only a necessary evil so that the lawyers don’t get their hands dirty with actual work.

So while I was discussing this I realized something and blurted out a Truth.

 If we didn’t have lawyers, we would not need lawyers.

Think about it. Anytime there’s a lawsuit, someone first has to… get a lawyer. Then that lawyer notifies the other party in the suit and they have to… get a lawyer. Then the lawyers take over to settle the suit. No one but lawyers know for sure what happens next. Sorta like butchers and their ingredients used in making sausage.

skidmarks on the highway
What’s the different between a snake and a lawyer on the highway? The skid marks in front of the snake.

Years before I worked at the law firm, the wife of a prominent local lawyer attended a class I was teaching. When I learned who she was, I made the comment that I guess I can’t make any lawyer jokes this term. She said it was ok, she had heard them all. And I’m sure she had. Oh BTW my favorite lawyer joke is shown here on the left.

I’m sure you have heard the quote from Shakespeare, “The first thing we do,  let’s kill all the lawyers.” This is a wish I think we all have that we could live in a utopian, anarchistic society where we did not need some one to represent us in a disagreement. If that society included a workable educational system where we could all learn to diplomatically express ourselves or better yet just not get in each others way to begin with, the dead lawyer idea might be totally workable. In the understated words of Rodney King, “Why can’t we all just get along?” Then we wouldn’t need the first lawyer – which means we would not need the second lawyer and so on. Hey, now that’s a thought!