What a DAY.

I had a fascinating day at work for reasons I can't really get in to here. I had an opportunity to watch a couple sets of lawyers at work on a very, very interesting case. Wildly different personality types involved. It got me thinking about the many layers of factors at work in any given case.

There are, of course, the clients. Ultimately, their best interests are the most important thing of all. This is part of how I ended up in law school- I was tired of contributing time to benefit just the CEO of a software startup and the law is real people, real problems, real impacts. This became abundantly clear today.

Then, there are attorneys. A strange breed, indeed. There's a very political aspect to it all- how do you balance being a strong and effective advocate for your client with maintaining working relationships with opposing counsel? Can you be an advocate and a pleasant person to work with all at the same time? Once you're entrenched in advocate mode, whether as counsel for plaintiff or defendant, how do you objectively evaluate what is best for your client? I'd imagine it's hard to think reasonably about your client's situation when you have invested time, money, energy, brainpower in supporting their position.

Then, there's the law, which really is it's own player. Knowing a judge and how they rule on similar cases is huge. And the law changes over time. There's also spin- attorneys on opposite sides of a case can give wildly divergent takes on the exact same law. And frequently, they're relying on totally different cases that say diametrically opposed things about the law. This is a messy, complicated, fascinating business I'm getting in to.

I'm starting to get a feel for some of the contours of the local legal community, and it is fascinating. I LIKE it a lot. It seems that working in a smallish professional community like this has plenty of advantages to counter the drawbacks. Everyone knows everyone- at a minimum they know how to find out about someone- and the camaraderie is cool to watch. For example, everyone knows the guy who currently holds the top jury verdict in the state. Not just know who he is, but generally know him on a personal, I've worked with him, kind of level. You just don't get that in Texas, or anywhere else. On the other hand, my guess is that if you're an a-hole just once, you will NEVER live it down. In fact we were warned about this at the beginning of law school. It's very very interesting.

New Mexico is a strange place in general. It's a smallish state in terms of population, and the state is generally very poor. But there is huge opportunity to do great things and to have a significant imact here. That's very attractive, despite the state's imperfections.

And now for the random crap.... I managed to give myself a black eye last night. Yeah, I'm that graceful. I had turned off the lights and was climbing in to bed when I slammed into the corner post of my 4 poster bed. O.U.C.H. I managed to get through today looking like I am just bad at putting on make up. Hiding behind my glasses helped. I've got a picture, but you have to click to see it. The most horrifying thing about this picture is that, sadly, I got my Dad's nose. (Hi Dad! No offense!) I think my schnoz looks HUGE in this picture.

And to distract your attention from the utter lack of knitting around here, I leave you with a picture of Scooter. He curled up in the clean laundry within 3 minutes of it getting out of the dryer and on to the bed. Kitties. Can't live with 'em, can live with out all of 'em except Scooter.


jeannie said...

Oh, Jen, Owwwwww! Are you ok? Get thee to Wild Oats and get some Arniflora ointment. It's great for bruising, etc. I've seen it do AMAZING things for people. It comes in a white tube with green lettering (last time I bought some).


jeannie said...

I've decided it's the fabric softener and the static that kitties like. And the chance to put their scent back on you - where it proclaims their ownership of you to the world. :)

Michael H Schneider said...

"There are, of course, the clients. Ultimately, their best interests are the most important thing of all."

No. As long as you are dealing with a competent client, and they're not seeking to do anything illegal, you are obliged to do what they want. It is unethical to do what you think is in their best interest, if that's not what they choose. Look at Rule 16-102 of the Rules of Professional Conduct.