Nick's Journal
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2009-07-21 17:33:34 (UTC)

The Arrogance

i have 7 days until the bar. ugh. butterflies, constant
anxiety dreams. what a great life. of course the
whip-cream on the shit-pie is that i get to deal with people
who are insanely arrogant. you see, socrates was a wise
man, but one of the wisest things he ever said was: "All I
know, is that I know nothing." For a man who after whom the
most hellacious method of law-school questioning is named
after, you'd think that law students (and particularly
lawyers) would take this man's humble approach to legal
knowledge. not so.

i just spent about a half an hour arguing with a fellow law
school colleague as to whether the right against
self-incrimination extends to civil proceedings (it does).
he vehemmently, and i mean VEHEMENTLY argued that it does
not. not only that but he kept on personally attacking me,
"you don't know what you're talking about." "come on!!!"
"dude, seriously, do you seriously think that it applies
beyond criminal proceedings?"

not until i could finally get my hands on our bar review
outline that cited the specific case that cited
specifically: "A person may assert the privilege in ANY
proceeding in which testimony that could tend to incriminate
is sought, INCLUDING CIVIL PROCEEDINGS." he looked at it,
increduously tore it from my hands, ran his grease-stained
fingers over the text while mouthing it in an ever more
increduolous manner and then shoved it back at
me..."whatever, man...whatever."

yes, that's what you get when you're in the legal
profession. now, it bothers me because is spent 30 mins
arguing with an asshole. but it bothers me even MORE
becuase this asshole will eventually (unless he fails, but
the people who should fail the bar always seem to manage to
pass the bar, more on this later) represent someone, and,
unless for some reason he becomes less arrogant at that
time, he will staunchly inform someone he has no right
against self-incrimination in a civil proceeding. maximum

this leads me to the guy that i worked for over a year ago.
he was by far the worst lawyer i've ever seen. he only
paid me when i confronted him in his office, he always
avoided his clients, and worst of all, he was an arrogant
son of a bitch who knew NOTHING and i mean NOTHING about the
law. not only did he know nothing, but he thought he knew
everything. the problem with this deadly combination is
that he never took the time to research an area.

see that's the implication behind what socrates said, always
be willing to learn. and in law, more than any other
profession, as it is ever-chaning, you have to assume you
know nothing. complacency is a death-knell, and arrogance
is the poison to a client's chance for recovery or liberty.

yet somehow this guy passed the bar. ugh the bar, i just
want it over with yet in the same breath i am terrified
because i know nothing. and there of course is the reason
why those people who are truly incompetent seem competent in
the eyes of the law. they are arrogant enough to bullshit
their way through the exam that requires nothing but
memorization, and then wreak havoc.

on the other hand, i fret and fret and fret, but hopefully i
can counter-balance these assholes.