America, the land of the free… and the home of roughly one and a quarter million attorneys like me. Some of us love our jobs and some of us not so much. There are definitely some areas of practice that are more exciting than others, and there are as many motivating factors that make attorneys choose certain areas of practice as there are attorneys themselves. Consider this my disclaimer – I am not here to advocate for lawyers. My sole intention is to somewhat explain some of the various practice areas and why some attorney choose them.
One of the more seemingly glamorous fields of law is that of high-powered lawyers working for “Corporate America.” It may not be popular with a lot of people, but they do serve very practical purposes by ensuring that companies act within the guidelines of the laws that govern business. These are also the guys to tell manufacturers to put warning labels on such things as desiccant packs. Now, a lot of you may think that you are unfamiliar with this term, but these are the little, white packages found in so many products that say “Do Not Eat.” There intended purpose is to act as a drying agent in a variety of products. I suppose the “Do Not Eat” label is because they are often found in food packaging or medication. Yes, to most of us, it would seem reasonable not to eat these items, but maybe someone did at some point which elicited this response from a corporate attorney in effort to protect his client from being sued.
This type of attorney is generally the kind that gives the rest of us a bad name because much of their responsibility is to ensure the best interests of companies or political offices. For many of them, if they have to trod upon the well-being of others to accomplish this goal, well then, so be it. They are often viewed as having little or no conscience, and as though they are simply trying to make money off of the hard luck of others. Obviously, there are various disciplines among non-corporate attorneys, too.
Defense attorneys are often considered to be just as odious. This is because they are charged with defending the guilty and the innocent alike. Many people find this particularly offensive when it seems as though there is little doubt about a defendant’s guilt, especially when it comes to heinous, emotionally charged offenses such as murder, rape, brutal assault, and so forth. Defending individuals in such circumstances may be hard for someone to understand, however, the Sixth Amendment states:
“In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right… to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.”
So, whether we think someone is entitled to a good defense or not, the Constitution ensures that this privilege is extended to everyone regardless of race, religion, gender, or suspected level of guilt. Most attorneys who have to defend someone who they feel is guilty get no pleasure in doing so, but by choosing to practice defense law, they take a solemn oath to do so.
Then there are injury attorneys. This particular group is also often viewed as repugnant by many. It is not uncommon to hear them referred to by the term “ambulance chasers,” and the general feeling is that they make a lot of money off of the suffering of others. It is customary for them to charge a fee equal to one-third of whatever settlement the client is awarded for their pain, suffering, and other damages. This seems like a lot, and it is, but often these cases can carry on for years and require extensive research. It may sound like a lousy way to make a living, but this method of billing clients assures that the attorney is going to recover as much money in damages as he can for his client, thereby assuring a larger payday for himself.
Let’s not forget about those lawyers who seem to represent anyone with a checkbook. We have all seen advertisements for these attorneys, usually with a list beside their name of all of the areas that their law office covers and then a phone number. Although this is perfectly legal, I would have concerns about the level of understanding of the law in many disciplines. It is a lot easier to learn a lot about one or two subjects than to try to learn many areas of law. Doing so successfully can be challenging which is why you always want to choose someone who specializes in a particular area.
As you can see, attorneys and the kinds of law in which they are well-versed are as diverse as doctors and the types of medicine they practice. You wouldn’t go to a gynecologist for a prostate exam, so you probably shouldn’t go to a personal injury attorney for a traffic ticket. Very few attorneys work strictly pro bono, so they obviously do go into law with an expectation of making a living. Some may make more than “a livable wage,” some may make a fortune, but a lot of attorneys are in this field to earn their living AND help “the little guy.”
I am one of those attorneys. I have worked in corporate law, but it wasn’t something that I found fulfilling. Consequently, I made the change to traffic ticket law because I believed that there was a need in this field. Some of the other types of lawyers may be willing to represent someone with a traffic ticket, but it usually costs a lot of money to retain them, and then they would have to pay a lot more when fines and other penalties were imposed by the courts.
Just turn on the television and you will see that traffic ticket law has become big business, and there is a lot of aggressive advertising going on. No matter how smooth the pitchman is, pay attention to how many other types of law they practice. If it is anything more than traffic ticket law, they may not have the level of experience and expertise required to get your traffic ticket dismissed or reduced. I have being doing this for about 16 years, and I have not regretted making the change. Seeing local municipalities stuff their pockets with the money they get from traffic tickets just appalls me. It should not be the responsibility of some hapless driver to ensure that cities, counties, or the state meet their budgetary shortfalls, but this is what happens every time someone pays a traffic ticket.
Of all of the biting commentary that is made about attorneys, one thing is probably more accurate than the others. As an attorney – taking on the legal system in front of a room full of people – we do all have to maintain a certain level of confidence. Naturally, a bit of ego develops after representing clients successfully a few times. This is especially true in cases that seem like they will be tough to win, yet through our professional negotiations, our clients emerge victorious. It is this experience with success that allows me to be confident in saying that we have a 99% success rate in getting our clients’ traffic tickets dismissed or reduced, so give us a call at 954-967-9888 for a free consultation.