Thursday, January 10, 2008

A new broom sweeps cleanest - but and old one gets into the corners!

10 reasons why age & experience count for an awful lot in LAW

Im bigging up the forty-somethings here because we are sometimes in need of a little luvvin. The young pups walk away with plaudits just for chewing a bone the right way so occasionally you have to remind yourselves just why older is better when it comes to law.

1) Long memories
Its an obvious one but lets face it - when your good at the job and always willing to learn - a mature lawyer will generally pee all over a youngster. There is nothing better in a meeting than unearthing a gem of a case law buried in the dark recesses of your mind whilst the yoof tries flicking thru his / her text books to locate it.

2) Patience
You learn that fast isnt always good. Speed can sometimes slow you down in the long game and cause errors that you may never recover from. Oldies dont rush - time is money, remember?

3) Status & Gravitas
The yoof have no status or gravitas - Fact. You cant buy it off the shelf let me tell ya. Well maybe occasionally.

4) Politics
Its a fact that to get on in law you really have to be a smart politician. That means you keep an eye on the power base in the practice, say the right thing at the right time and make key decisions at key moments. Dont work hard all year round at this game only to end up shagging the office pirhana round the back of the nightclub at Christmas. The older the lawyer - the better the politician - guaranteed.

5) The real world
Oldies live in the real world. Weve been kicked a few times and survived. Weve had our bits chewed and yet we remain resoloute. We know bullshit when we hear it and we know where to draw the line in terms of our abilities. Yoofs understandly are like toddlers who have yet to touch something hot or taste something nasty. Staying with the toddler analogy - just because youve managed to pee straight into the potty a few times doesnt mean you wont piss on the floor once in a while. Stay grounded and keep it real kids

6) Kids suck up
Oldies dont suck up to management. There's no point you see - weve either reached the level at which you get sucked up to or weve dropped down below to the level where you dont need to bother sucking up any longer. Life when sucking up is no longer a necessity - can be very sweet indeed.

7) Clients love an oldie to handle their case - Fact
They really do - clients love gravitas when it comes to who handles their cases. They dont mess oldies around either. On the other side of the coin however, one glimpse of a pimply yoofs mugshot on the firms website can be enough to turn many a clients stomach. You often hear "he looks much younger than he sounds" which is client code for "youve landed me with a bleeding hoodie"

8) Oldies bill more £££ - Fact
Bit harsh but a truism nonetheless.

9) Oldies dont do lunch
Or to put it another way we dont see the need to spend every second of the allotted hour doing lunch just because its in the contract. We dont mess around reading tabloids or looking at Youtube (maybe the odd blawg though?). As soon as our ass hits the seat - we work. We do have the occasional power lunch though - they are worth the effort. See 4)

10) The older you are - the more you appreciate 21st century LAW
Law is better - bigger - smarter - more accessible - more focused - more progressive today than it has ever been before. Its the truth kids ------- BELIEVE!

That last bit relates of course to CIVIL law. Everyone knows criminal law has gone to the dogs thanks to the reformers.

If this post dont get some of those pesky kids yapping and snapping - I dont know what will!


Nearly Legal said...

As a 40ish person, but one with only 2.5 years practice experience, I might be a bit short on points 1)(although I'm better at recognising the use of obscure case law and remembering it than the youngsters) and 6) (I still need to suck up a bit, although I'm too old and flea-bitten to be any good at it). But as for the rest of the list - spot on and damn right. Consider your 40-something self suitably luvved in a self-regarding kind of way.

Charon QC said...

Enjoyed this post !

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