Tuesday, January 12, 2010

There's a Reason I've Been Called "The Avenger"

I saw the story about this initially. Here's the follow-up, though I'm VERY skeptical about the actual follow through.

Here's one I just saw about the city destroying clothing that could easily go to the poor.

A co-worker & I were talking about situations of waste by big business because of asinine, arbitrary factors. Mainly, we were discussing how food places waste their food by throwing it out instead of giving it to the homeless (the rationale is fear of lawsuits but I read a comment from one Yahoo user that claimed a corporate restaurant chain didn't want to "diminish the brand"). Personally, I think homeless people have bigger fish to fry than filing lawsuits. What kind of advocate group for the homeless would FILE that suit? The bad publicity would kill any credibility it had.

Oh, and some of these restaurants do a fine job of diminishing their brand WITHOUT donating food to the homeless. I don't eat fast food & I'm better at making lots of stuff than many of the chain restaurants I could go to regularly.

I think some lawyers seriously dropped the ball in advising these companies considering the negative publicity they're getting right now. ESPECIALLY in this economy. If it were me, I would advise any major business to donate to charity for 3 very good reasons:

1. Being a good corporate citizen leading to,
2. Good PR/publicity AND
3. To satisfy the more conscientious stockholders (especially those who are outspoken about this--every company has this group)

As for the city, does Bloomberg need MORE middle & lower class people to hate him? Isn't outsourcing jobs that used to be performed by city employees enough? Didn't that narrow win to the Mayor's seat teach the man a lesson in popularity?

So, you enterprising but unemployed lawyers in NYC....you're seeking experience, right? Well, maybe you should look for the injustices going on around you & get involved. You might not get paid but you could find clients who appreciate your efforts (just drop those who don't), other lawyers would have to respect you for taking on grievances they wouldn't deign to take & maybe you'd even get some publicity that might help you down the road. Some people fall through the cracks of legal aid or bar association efforts; they might not qualify, know where to go or just be too proud to go there.

And if you don't have the drive or motivation to stand up for yourself or others when being kicked around, I have to ask why you call yourself a lawyer in the first place. That's what we call a slave mentality & it's unhealthy.

One day when money's not an issue, I figured I'd go into public interest work since my experience is far less removed from the average clientele than that of the average lawyer. I know what it's like to live without a phone, have a car repossessed, a relative in jail, etc. and figure my story could inspire someone else to make things happen for themselves (after all, you have to MAKE life happen NOT sit back & let it happen).

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