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Internet Overload

May 29, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 92

I am writing about what is actually two interrelated topics, with both of them having as their common denominator, the Internet. I recently read an article by a lawyer, who, after practicing law for many years, has founded a program in to help lawyers reduce stress. I don't think it is farfetched to say that most people feel that lawyers shouldn't complain about stress because they are well-educated and perceived as being rich. Many people don't understand why lawyers feel they are more stressed out than any other professional or business executive. Many other people feel that lawyers re rich and should handle their cases for free, even if they can afford to pay for a lawyer's services.

Well, these are some of the answers why lawyers are stressed. First, Lawyers do, and are expected to, work extremely long hours. Although many other professions require tools and equipment which aren't portable, lawyers, and this was even before our electronic age, are able to bring this information with them, either in physical or electronic format, and they are often able to work from wherever they are. Unfortunately, because some of the information is so cumbersome, they are often tied to their offices, and their time with their families and friends is diminished. Many law firms also require lawyers to bill a large number of hours in order to retain their jobs and/or partnerships. Also, clients expect quick responses to their e mails, and often a work day is spent responding to e mails, consulting with potential clients, etc., and the end of the day or weekends are the only times when lawyers can work in quiet and develop and research their theories and draft their documents.

Second, lawyers suffer much stress because other people are relying on their advice, and many lawyers fear they will give the wrong advice, or they have not found all of the answers available, a process which is lengthy, and often not possible, as cases are ongoing, the law is fluid, and different areas and even different cases, change the law on a consistent basis. Add to this the situation where many potential and current clients acquaint themselves with what they perceive to be the law via the Internet. I tell clients not to read and believe everything they see on the Internet, and because laws exist, doesn't mean that a government agency will enforce the laws for them. Usually the written law is far different than the practice of the law involved in enforcing it. One example is that a government employee contacted me recently to complain that he worked for a government agency and had not been awarded a promotion, and he thought he was a victim of discrimination. Many people feel that because they are not being treated fairly at work means that they are being discriminated against. The laws of discrimination exist, but they are specifically defined. Also, government agencies, who accept complaints of discrimination, pursue very few individual cases to conclusion. All of the other cases must be pursued by the complaining parties, either on their own, which is difficult without a lawyer as this area of the law is very complex, or through a lawyer. These types of cases are very costly to pursue, both in a lawyer's time, and the costs involved in a lawsuit. I asked this person what type of remedy he sought. He stated he only wanted his title to change, and then he softly added that he also wanted the difference in his pay grades, plus $300,000. I asked him where the $300,000 amount came from, and he stated that it says that in the law, and in fact, he knew someone who he was sure got $200,000 in a similar case. I can state that said agency rarely gives out much if any money in settlements, and I was highly doubtful that he had his facts straight. This person had unrealistic expectations, but he is the norm, rather than the exception. Dealing with the unrealistic expectations of clients and potential clients involving the law, is also very stressful for lawyers, and many of these expectations are being driven by random Internet reading and lack of understanding the costly reality of pursuing a case through the legal system.

Third, lawyers are surrounded by conflict. Everyone is a potential adversary. Each event is a competition. Lawyers are loathe to show any vulnerability, but seek it out in opponents. Lawyers are trained to do battle, and that battle never ends.

Fourth lawyers are often disillusioned. Some lawyers lose their ideals because they are required to represent the clients assigned to them whose causes they don't believe in, or do the job they have been hired for, but don't like what they have to do. Other lawyers learn that the legal system is imperfect and can only do so much. It is still driven by people, and sometimes by politics, and often by the high costs involved in pursuing one's case. Although some lawyers do earn the big bucks, for the most part, lawyers do not earn a fortune. I recently read another article that stated that the real wealth in this country is made by people who are in the service industries, often living in the Midwest, sometimes in small towns and rural areas, who live in a frugal fashion. Those people also are not required to put in long hours at work and away from their friends and families. So, stop believing everything you read on the Internet, have realistic expectations, and give lawyers a break!

By: Faye Riva Cohen, Esquire Law Office of Faye Riva Cohen, P.C. 2047 Locust Street Philadelphia, PA 19103 P: 215-563-7776 F: 215-563-9996 E: U:

Source: EzineArticles
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