December 19, 2008

Lawyers and happiness, is there such a thing?

I saw a survey once done by a website specialising in providing free email for lawyers in the United States but did not really read the article, about there are so many unhappy lawyers out there. I was thinking that it may not just localised there but is also true everywhere as lawyers are never associated with the word happiness. This is true either to the lawyer him/herself or to the clients of the lawyers.

I had always associated the business of lawyering as the business of 'when shit has hit the fan' even if everyday you, as a lawyer, draft agreements and don't go to court. Just ask yourself (if you are a lawyer, that is) why do you draft that agreement? To ensure that your client would never have to go to court, right? So, it is still about making sure the shit would never hit the fan. As for the one who goes to court, you need to make sure that fan won't cut your client's lifeline (in a worse case scenario) and if it is just civil cases that you deal, the monetary loss will never be that substantial or none at all. The better.

Let's not start with lawyers whose service is sought during divorce matters, they never are loved but always needed. In Malaysia, in most cases, the amount of money involve is usually neglegible but the heartbreak of the people involve, especially the children, is always an unwanted collateral damage.

So, how can lawyers make people happy? Some may say when they helped close deals worth millions or make plaintiff wins millions or make sure damages are compensated. Yeah, right... No one goes to court if they are happy...Let's not start about money buying happiness. Especially of you just lose your leg to an accident. Or your love one has just been buried under tonnes of rubbles.

As for lawyers, you can never run from unhappiness, especially if you offer services suing or defending people in courts. If you just draft agreements for people be it a simple Sale & Purchase Agreement or complex underwriting agreements for financial institution, deadline will make you need that aspirin in an instant. As a business owner, like me, lawyers are asked to bear cost and be a buffer to bigger institutions which people would think would never need anyone's help. Even government bodies or agencies!

This post is just a preamble of further topics I want to write about lawyer and the word happiness as I am suppose to study for my exams tomorrow but just some food for thought...

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