Seems no one had a rant so no one gets the prize or a published rant.
Anyhow, time for a few more rants. First up, a naive person seeking a service on Craig's List:
Need a paralegal/writer to help me draft a strong letter (Midtown East)
Date: 2011-01-02, 7:35PM EST
Reply to: firstname.lastname@example.org [Errors when replying to ads?]
I am filing a pro-se grievance against an attorney with the NYS Bar.
I'd like a paralegal/writer to draft it for me.
Written with the aim to suspend/disbar. If this makes you uncomfortable, do not reply.
I am available to do a quick in person interview near Grand Central.
Do you have any experience/success in this type of writing? Tell me your compensation request and how quickly can you turn this around? Locals only.
* it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
* Compensation: tell me your compensation request-
Good luck with that one, slick. First off, how would a writer or paralegal compete with a licensed attorney responding to the complaint? Would the person even know the attorney ethics rules to assess whether this individual even has a complaint to start with?
Second, non-lawyers make lots of complaints about lawyers to the state grievance committee (the proper place for an attorney complaint). In fact, the grievance committee says that the majority of the complaints they get (about 70%+, I believe) aren't even actionable since the attorney in question never violated an ethics rule.
I've had & heard of many experiences with unreasonable clients who can be best described as "nutjobs." Some would file a grievance on you because you refused to lie to the court, pay for the client's filing fees or any number of actions that would violate different ethics rules. Some want to push you to break the law, have improper communications with the judge or micromanage your conduct when you are liable if you go along with it.
Finally, let's consider career suicide. A writer/paralegal who wants to become an attorney someday is not going to win points with other lawyers and firms for writing grievance letters against attorneys, many of which will contain non-actionable claims according to statistics. It would be okay if you worked at a law firm that did it but under the direction of some random non-attorney, who might be a complete & total nutjob?!?!?!? I think not.
If this person were smart, (s)he would talk to a law firm or attorney that handles these matters. A young person who could do this can probably find less difficult & toxic ways to make extra cash.
Today, I read some rather interesting MSN articles. One is about these creationist nuts who want to get tax breaks for their Noah's Ark theme park.
Yes, I think there is a serious problem in giving these people tax breaks. Claiming the park will be non-religious or not require employees to be believers is ludicrous when the same people run a Creationist museum & require such a pledge there.
I say "nuts" because I know plenty of religious people who would not go around creating religious theme parks & try to get tax breaks for it. They also don't foam at the mouth if you talk about evolution or the discovery of fossils. To me, you can simply say God created the process of evolution (you know, started the wheels spinning) & then shut up about it. None of them have ever forced school children to learn creationism or even intelligent design in school by harassing their local school board.
Know what? If you want YOUR child to be ignorant in the ways of evolution or sexual intercourse, then use a religious private school or home school. That's why we have these & I think choice is wonderful. Use it! Don't push your beliefs on other people's kids.
Finally, there's apparently ways you can network on Facebook.
Does anyone else equate the phrase "professional profile" with "bland, vanilla content just like all the other robots?"
I really do. Facebook is boring & lame (along with everything else that's supposed to be a "personal" social network) if you have to put some corporate sheen over your real personality. I say the wheelers & dealers of my field can come find me.
Furthermore, some company pages are bland, boring, vanilla content that don't tell me squat. You give me no insight as to your goals or why I should give a damn about you. I'm not speaking of entertainment companies. Sports, TV, film, many other entertainment folk: overall, we're the masters of originality & making our projects connect to people. That connection can mean the difference between opportunity and being stuck in a car with a dead battery. The same could be said for other forward thinking industries that must satisfy a tech savvy demographic. You have to distinguish yourself from Company #2, Company #3, etc.
However, strict corporate atmospheres or law firms that don't work with the tech savvy or younger people? I'm talking to you. Some of you just join the herd & really take no time to distinguish yourselves from your competitors. It's far more than writing a mission statement & listing your profit record or case wins. Tell me WHY I should care about YOU? What makes YOU different or special from everyone else?
It's no wonder so many seminars & forums have taken place about how to improve bland law firm websites.
I'm also very, VERY selective about who I follow or who I deal with. If I approve a friend request or follow you on Twitter, you should feel proud. It's not an automatic thing with me.
Case in point: I don't follow the bar associations I belong to. I also don't follow things concerning my college & won't friend everyone I knew back in the day. How come?
First off, the bar associations have a ways to go in making me feel like my presence there matters. I won't fan an entity that I'm not so sure values me. Forget any "young lawyers" stuff; if you don't bother to listen to what I have to say or consider my wisdom, then quite frankly you don't deserve my words.
Second, I don't like dealing with all the people I know in real life. Knowing someone doesn't mean I like or even tolerate him/her.
So since I don't have to do a bland, boring, vanilla profile & not doing one actually HELPS me in my career, why start now? The very idea that people are being encouraged to do that bothers me on many levels since it's a form of deception & when everyone's doing the same thing, how do YOU stand out? When do YOU get to have a personality or value something besides some employer? Let me see a personality, let me distinguish you from Pencil Pusher #89,265,794.
I strongly believe that if major corporate interests had their way, we'd have altars & churches to them as well as real life human sacrifices. There'd also be mandatory butt tattoos of the company name on all employees with painful removal if the employee got fired or laid off. If you think I'm wrong, prove it.