Good lawyers and bad lawyers (and other professionals)

I’m working with a number of different lawyers right now, because I’m both selling and buying property, dealing with various business contracts.

It seems to me there’s two kinds of lawyers.

There are the lawyers that listen carefully to your concern and give a relevant and useful answer.

And there are those that just give generic boiler-plate answers, and when you asked more specific questions, they repeat the same boiler-plate answer, possible in a slightly patronizing tone, as if saying “why didn’t you pay attention the first time”.

I’m sure it’s true of a number of different professions, but lawyers is the profession where I’ve noticed this the most.

There’s an element of intelligence going on. A good lawyer understands that his client is a completely capable, intelligent individual, he just doesn’t have the detailed legal knowledge, which is why, surprise, he turned to a lawyer.

The bad lawyer seems to think that people have a hearing impediment and just need the answer repeated, when in fact the reverse is true: It’s the lawyer that can’t hear what the client is asking.

At the end of the day, I think the intelligence question is reversed as well: The lawyer who can’t take a step back, see where the disconnect or lack of knowledge is, and fill that gap, is the one that doesn’t have as firm a grasp of his profession.

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