Lawyer shows are becoming popular. In the summer Lifetime runs Drop Dead Diva and NBC recently started premiered The Firm, based off John Grisham’s novel, though you may be more familiar with the Tom Cruise movie. Being in the legal world long enough, between practice and law school, I tend to forget how people who do not work in the legal field view us. Sometimes when I mention that I regularly venture to court, I get a wide-eyed ‘ooo, what’s THAT like’ response. I remember the first time my dad saw me working on a case and looked at almost puzzled and said ‘Like… you’re working on a REAL case?’ Though this may be due in part to the fact that he’s realizing his little girl is all grown up.
Anyways, so these shows… you see them with sensationalist court scenes, clever attorneys that come up with plans on a show-writer can come up with after weeks of creative thing, and the backstabbing, take no-prisoners attitude. Well, let me tell you – that’s only half the truth (ok, less than that). Being an attorney is ultimately about advocating for your client – which often means avoiding sensation or even adversarial tactics. Sometimes it just means picking up the phone and having a kind chat with opposing counsel and settling the matter in a civil way. And I’ve often that works quite effectively.