Despite our representation on a myriad of TV shows, the life of a lawyer isn’t quite as glamorous as one would hope. While it may be true that many of the world’s leading lawyers live a life of pampered luxury, this isn’t always the case for the average run-of-the-mill lawyer. That being said, our duty to clients – to secure, in our case, a fair and equitable settlement – is as certain as any TV show, however in vain, can hope to accurately represent.
So, in today’s blog, we explore exactly that - what lawyers actually do.
We explore the services they provide, how they provide them, as well as dispelling the many misrepresentations that abound in the eyes of much of the public.
It’s worth mentioning, though, that not all lawyers are the same. Just as with medicine and other professions, there are many fields of expertise.
Many of these fields have very different approaches and means of settlement and/or securing justice. What we can do, though, is sketch out the broad contours of what lawyers actually do – and, with that in mind, let’s begin with asking ourselves why legal action can take so long to take effect.
Lawyers take their time
Not because they want to, but because that’s the way the process is.
However undramatic it may be, most cases do not go to trial. Almost 8-9 cases out of 10 are, according to americanbar.org, are settled out of court. There are many reasons why this is the case. For example, there are long waiting periods before a trial even goes to court. In many cases, there’s something called ‘mandatory arbitration’, where the case is decided by a qualified person other than a judge.
Going to trial is, in some respects, taking a risk. However solid your case may appear to be, things can always go the other way. It depends upon the strength of your evidence, how well this evidence is marshalled and whether there are any real and meaningful inconsistencies in your opponent’s claim. When dealing with federal legal claims, the process is often drawn out for many years.
So, while TV shows have court appearances in a matter of days, the unfortunate reality is that the process is designed and scheduled over months if not years.
Lawyers read, write and interpret
In law school, lawyers are primarily taught to read and write.
Admittedly, the task of accurately reading legal texts can be demanding. This is the purpose of a judge, after all – to interpret the law as they deem it to be. Sometimes this interpretation isn’t as clear cut as one might think. Attorneys present their interpretation and the evidence to support this interpretation, forming an argument. The best lawyers are those with the keenest interpretative eye who understand how to marshal the right evidence in their favor. Lawyers are, at least in the case of civil litigators, professional arguers.
Lawyers, then, aren’t involved in any dramatic and powerful exercise. The work they do is invariably dry and stolid; the antithesis of what ordinary people consider exciting.
Lawyers take their work seriously
While it’s true that some lawyers consider their pay-check in more valuable terms than the service they provide, but they are in a small minority.
Yes, sometimes the services of a lawyer can appear gratuitously expensive. That being said, nobody would ever wish to hire an attorney that failed to deliver the result they expected. As with any profession, quality costs. Just because a service burns a small hole in our pocket, it doesn’t mean the practitioner of that service is indifferent about the quality of service they provide.
Quality service is as much about listening to the client as it is about delivering what that client wants.
Nehora Law Firm is a personal injury law firm based in Irvine, California. We represent clients throughout Orange County, helping these clients recover the compensation they deserve. Want to learn more?