This is a humorous and sarcastic blog written by a paralegal in a mid-sized law firm in a mid-tier market. The goal is to share some of the pitfalls and foibles encountered in my own day-to-day experiences. Feel free to contact me at aparalegalslife@gmail.com with comments. Complaints, not so much :)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Things Lawyers Say

Lawyers are in the business of using language.  It's a key part of their job.  Why, then, are so many attorneys really bad at communicating effectively?  Some of the things I've heard recently need to be put on the internets for posterity:

"Could you get me that thing in that case?" - Yep, I'm on it.  Just let me go get the forklift so I can bring you every "thing" in every "case" you have.  I'm nothing if not thorough.

"I need you to do me a favor..." - Translation:  "Do this for me or else."  I actually prefer the latter, it's at least honest and doesn't try to suger-coat the fact that I work for you and have to do what you tell me to anyway.

"dude" - I have a name, and this isn't it.  Using this is just a cop-out to keep from personalizing our relationship.  That or you just can't be bothered to remember my name even though we've worked together for 6 years.

Some of my favorites are the horrible cliches lawyers employ: 

"kick it up a notch" - to what?  11? 

"it is what it is" - Strange, I thought it was what it wasn't, or something entirely different from either.  Shows what I know.

"head them off at the pass" - This is a law firm, not a freakin' B-movie western.  (Yes, I have a lawyer who uses this ALL THE TIME.)

"early bird catches the worm" - Eww.  You don't pay me enough to eat worms.  Or come in early.  Besides, the last time I saw a lawyer do anything early was... ummm... I'll get back to you.

"all in a day's work" - really?  Lawyers actually do a full day of work?  Could have fooled me.


Stacey said...

My favorites: 1. "Did THAT letter go out?" - when that same attorney has asked you to write five different letters; 2. "Where are we with the Smith divorce?" - when you are at a standstill because that very lawyer has not responded to a question you need answered before you can make any more progress.

Superlegal said...

Lawyers love ambiguity, it's the ONE thing they retain in law school.

Anonymous said...

I love the 20 MINUTE rant about a case and the 20 SECOND apology afterward. "Yeah, sorry I was grumpy. I was frustrated." Um, yeah, okay, my self-esteem is already looking in the want ads for a new boss, lawyer-man!

Anonymous said...

Lawyer: "Uh, yeah, could you reschedule all my client appointments after lunch? I forgot to tell you I have a board meeting." (tells you this at 10am)

Anonymous said...

Attorney: (yelling from the other office) "Could you find-or print off-What's-Her-Face's guilty plea form?"
Me: "Uh...yes!," *mental Rolex spinning*..."Right away, sir!" The bonus for me is - I guessed 'right' this time.

Anonymous said...

Me: "Do you have a Note to go with this Motion?" Lawyer (impatient voice): "A Note is ALWAYS filed with a Motion!" Me: "Yes, but I don't see one here..." Lawyer: "LOOK at the electronic file! ...(minutes later)...Uh, I could have SWORN I drafted one! I guess I didn't..."