As a profession we’re constantly being reminded about the importance of A2J (Access to Justice) for low income folks. We are forcing newly minted attorneys into Pro Bono work touting it as a rite of passage, an honor and a privilege to give back for earning this license. Those charged with a crime are given public defenders at no cost to protect their rights. But what about plaintiffs in difficult personal injury or medical malpractice situations where it is not about the lawyer foregoing a fee and putting in a few check marks in the pro bono column, but taking on cases that challenge an attorney to swing for the fences even if the odds are slim there will be a financial return; where the overarching goal is hopefully helping to right a significant wrong and maybe prevent future wrongs? What about that difficult personal injury case or medical malpractice case that fewer and fewer lawyers have the caring or courage or fortitude to take on because the odds are against victory, though should they be victorious, there is tremendous financial reward plus the gratification of helping someone? What about that plaintiff who needs that real cowboy?
I heard a story on NPR this morning about a 1993 Harvard Business Review Article entitled “The Memo Every Woman Keeps in Her Desk.” I remembered the article. It made some waves, back in the day. In the article, author Kathleen Reardon asks several influential business people whether a female executive should send a memo regarding sexism in the workplace to the company’s CEO. The memo details the struggles of women to be heard and treated equally by their male peers. Then it asks several prominent professionals whether she should give the memo to the CEO or let it sit in her desk drawer. Find out …..
Do you ever feel like an imposter? As successful as you are do you believe you are just fooling people because deep down you are incompetent, taking money for work you are ill-prepared to do? Do you think one day you will be found out for the fraud that you are? Well, so do most lawyers. Suzanne Meehle shares her story.
Shakespeare said it best. In reference to a plot to seed anarchy, Dick the Barber says, “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.” In other words, the lawyers are what stand between the Rule of Law and utter lawlessness.
You’ve had your initial consultation. You’ve counseled your new client on the services they need, and they are ready to sign the engagement letter. But then you ask for their retainer, and they look at you like you’ve got three heads.
“You want HOW MUCH?!?!”
What do you do now?
Imagine if you will two horse traders during early 1900s saying, ‘You know, we’re not selling as many horses as we used to because there are just too many horse traders.’ This discussion takes place on a busy street where where crowds of people are awed and enthused as they see four or five of those new-fangled contraptions called the automobile weaving in and out between the horse and buggies and pedestrians. The conversation continues, ‘now if we can just shut down those horse dealers who are already in trouble, make it a little harder for them to succeed, regulate them right out of business, we can corner the horse market for ourselves.’ So, let’s talk horses in this post….
When are you most vulnerable to a malpractice claim, when are you least? What are the ugly malpractice monsters are rearing their heads going forward? Are you safer as a a newbie or a more seasoned professional? The answers may surprise you. But most importantly, they’ll inform you to help you with your practice going forward. Join Jared and I as we discuss these surprising landmines from our unique perspective.
They made misleading claims about how many of their students were likely to find a job, obscuring the grim reality of how few get employment in their field. They buried their graduates in piles of debt they could not reasonably repay, and admitted unqualified students in pursuit of tuition revenue. They often failed to educate their students well enough to pass the tests required to land a job. And the watchdog that oversees them is facing sanctions from the Education Department.
This might sound very much like the scandal-ridden world of for-profit colleges. But since the recession, it has also become an accurate way to describe some American law schools. So, will the government step in and cancel your student loans?