Townie guide to... lawyering up

Rachel Monger, attorney, enjoys mystery solving, comic book collecting, Joss Whedon watching

What kind of lawyer are you, exactly? Oooh! Oooh! Are you one of those lawyers in late-night commercials that specializes in on-the-job injuries? I could use one of those. I'm thinking of suing lawrence.com for the Lyme Disease I contracted. It's a long story involving an undercover gig at a nudist colony and a tick that crawled into my-well, it's complicated. Anyway, think you can win me some long green?

"I'm afraid I can't help you with your gross problem. My law practice is devoted to representing elderly people and their families against nursing homes. I mostly sue for neglect, abuse and exploitation. However, what I can tell you is that before taking on any case, a lawyer has to look for a defendant with deep pockets. Based on what I've seen over the years, lawrence.com's pockets are filled with PBR and a pack of expired condoms."

Oh, so you're one of those lawyers who helps regular people that have been abused by corrupt and powerful interests-why do you hate America? This is exactly why we need tort reform! Where do you get off trying to subvert the free market's natural inclination to screw old people?

"I love America! I especially love American ideals surrounding civil justice and respect for the individual. Free market conditions that put profits over the health and life of older people should not be acceptable in our society. Elderly people are one of the most victimized populations in our country. A lawyer's job is to advocate and speak on behalf of others. I decided that if I was going to advocate, I would do it on behalf of someone who really needed it."

Favorite TV lawyer: Matlock or that mentally disabled chap from "L.A. Law"?

"Neither. Perry Mason was the best ever TV lawyer, because he had excellent hair. Good hair is an important weapon in any lawyer's arsenal. Juries love it."

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What's the best lawyer joke you've ever heard?

"Maybe not the best, but it's my favorite. What's the difference between God and a lawyer? God doesn't think he's a lawyer."

Advice for those contemplating law school?

"I suggest you cultivate an appreciation for frat boys and huge egos. Developing an alarming sense of entitlement would also not be a bad idea. These things will serve you well in law school, and will only be more helpful in your later career. If you strive to not be a douchebag-as I once did-you will just have to grimace and trudge through. Take advantage of practice clinics, and cling to anyone who seems remotely cool. Also, avoid the law school pub crawls. It never, ever turns out well."

Finally, from a legal standpoint, what are your thoughts on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"?

"Buffy Summers is one of my personal heroes. Unfortunately, her vulnerability to tort claims makes me cringe. The destruction of private property on that show is enormous, and I would argue, irresponsible. Buffy often runs afoul of 'Good Samaritan' rules. In general, the law in this country is that no one has to come to the aid of their fellow man. However, if you do decide to rescue someone, you better do it right or your ass is getting sued. Just think about the grieving familes of all those Sunnydale residents Buffy failed to save. It's a massive wrongful death suit waiting to happen. Then there's the time she blew up the high school. She may have destroyed a giant snake monster, but at what cost to taxpayers?"

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