Thursday, September 30, 2010

Sometimes Attorneys Aren't So Bad

I've written here (and here) before about how much I hate attorneys, generally. (And yes, it does lead to a fair amount of self-loathing and depression sometimes).

But this week something happened that reminded me that not all attorneys are awful.

First, some background.

Before I started law school, I was warned that it would be a hyper-competitive environment, in which no one collaborated with others, everyone was out to stab you in the back, and it was "sink or swim" all the way.

So when I was ill during one of the first few weeks of law school, I was terrified to skip class, lest I miss something important. After all, I had no friends yet, no one I could ask for a recap or to share notes with me. But I was too sick to get out of bed, so I skipped my classes one day.

Imagine my surprise the next day, when I dragged my still-ill-but-at-least-marginally-functional-self to school, and a fellow student (I'll call him "Jay" since his first initial was "J," but that's not his real name**) approached me with some photocopied notes he had taken, and said, "Hey, I noticed you were absent yesterday from the contracts class so I copied my notes for you. I hope they're helpful."

I was amazed at this display of thoughtfulness.

And Jay wasn't even "hitting" on me, just being kind. Really. (Hard to believe, I know, but true).

Jay and I didn't become best friends in law school, but he was always polite and kind and friendly - collegial in the best sense of the word - and thoughtful.

After graduation, we did not keep in touch much. I'd run into him at random seminars or state bar events and we'd chat a few minutes. One time, he was presenting material at a seminar and saw me in the audience, and mentioned my name as an attorney who had worked on one of the important cases he was discussing. Very kind of him.

Recently one of my former clients (an excellent paralegal / legal assistant) called me for assistance with an appeal to the Arizona Supreme Court. She had represented herself in the trial court and had won, but the other side had appealed. It was a fairly straightforward case - she probably could have handled it herself, but she was intimidated by the appellate process, and so I agreed to help her. The Arizona Supreme Court affirmed the decision in her favor.

I received an email at about 10:00 a.m. one day from the Supreme Court, with a copy of the decision.

At approximately noon that same day, I received an email from Jay stating, "congratulations on your win - impressive!" (or words to that effect).

I haven't talked to Jay in at least two years. I am quite sure he is not stalking me and so I don't want any of you thinking this is creepy in any way. It's just not. Most likely, he subscribes to the Court's email service, in which they email you copies of all decisions. He read it, saw my name on a decision in my client's favor, and took the time to email me with kind words.

How very cool.

** I wish I could tell you Jay's real name and give him full credit for his thoughtfulness, but since I'm trying to remain anonymous here, I simply can't.


Melly said...

Wow that's really nice of him! Good to hear that are some nice ones out there.

Green said...

Isn't it just lovely when people are nice?! So happy you have J on your side.

Scope said...

It's nice to find people who understand how the game is SUPPOSED to be played.

Gaston Studio said...

Very thoughtful of Jay which makes me suspect he has a desire to be closer to you, if nothing other than best friends.

LOLA said...

My nephew works for the AZ Supreme Court. It's a small world. I have a great lawyer friend. He was my debate colleague in high school during senior year and it was a huge honor to work with him because he was definitely the best person on the team. When what's his name left me, my old friend was one of the first people I called and he gave me very helpful advice. He's also my kids' godfather. Yes, the world definitely has some good lawyers (just not my divorce lawyer who took the case, spent most of the retainer and never did anything but the next one I hired was better), and I'm sure you are one of them, the good lawyers I mean, in case you got lost in that lengthy aside.
Infinities of love,