I competed in two events at the Senior Olympics held this week in Los Angeles. I previously reported my results. I’ve been thinking further about the process of the competition and came up with ideas about how the competition relates to my life, and the lives of many people in our profession. Below is how I see the Senior Olympics on the one hand and how they are a metaphor in real life. If you have other events in your life that you care to share, please write me.
In a recent blog post, I suggested that it was o.k. for lawyers to seek profit. One justification that I didn’t suggest, however, becomes very clear when you look at state bars disciplinary reports: Clients’ trust accounts are invaded by economically marginal lawyers (exclude out and out theft from this discussion, a rare event). Thus, when we encourage lawyers to be business-wise, we are actually seeking to protect the public.
Being effective with clients, efficient in the delivery of services to clients and therefore more profitable, we are actually protecting the public by providing sufficient resources to the lawyer to feed his/her family and therefore have no need to invade the trust account funds.
To say that law is a business, a service business, is not to deny that it is also a profession rooted in the highest ideals from the very beginning of our country. (more…)