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  # 1703499 15-Jan-2017 12:58
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networkn:

 

This seems like a thinly veiled attempt at petty point scoring from previously mentioned thread. Not sure what you are hoping to achieve with it? If everyone says they hate Lawyers will you feel better? Will you not use one ever again even for matters that require one? 

 

Overall, I don't think it adds much to this forum, except to allow more negativity and conflict, and given how much of it there already is....

 

Even though I'd quite like to share my experiences here, I won't, simply because I think continued participation in this thread means it might go longer. 

 

 

 

The OP's motives might have been petty but the discussions here have actually been very sensible. If you've got an interesting experience to add, why not do it? 

 

 

 

 


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  # 1703502 15-Jan-2017 13:02
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dejadeadnz:

 

Sadly, there are a lot of lawyers whose grasp of the language is.... not exactly great. Mind you, as someone who has had to look at a lot of work from construction PMs, the experience in this regard has not always been positive either. As a former practising lawyer who has worked in firms and in-house and also in non-legal risk/commercial roles who routinely purchase legal services on behalf of firms, I find overwhelmingly that the best value lawyers are the younger Senior Associates who are clearly operating at partner level in terms of skills. And these are almost always women -- they are careful, detailed, and able to grasp all the nuances. Some of the worst services that I have seen have come from well-known QCs. 

 

 

Yeah fair point.....it is the same in our consultancy ie. often best value / LOS is from the circa 7-10 year experienced people ie. who are smart, with good levels of exp and confidence, still have a lot of hustle in them and are at a reasonable charge rate.

 

And agreed re sloppiness from our side of the desk ie. Construction industry - the only way I can guarantee quality service is to get/train up good people - give them great support - assist/drive delivery - and ensure all deliverables are thoroughly reviewed by appropriate staff before issue.

 

As a former client who spent in the vicinity of $7M pa (in today's $$) on professional services - one of the key lessons I took away from that experience was the fact that if we as a service provider could deliver quality advice, on time, every time - we would be in the top 5% of suppliers in an instant by whatever KPI you want to measure.

 

Sadly most service providers/professionals/trades etc fail in this regard more than they succeed.

 

 

 

PS: Sister is a criminal lawyer - and she works her butt off - so it ain't no easy street and I certainly am not putting the boot into the legal profession as one previous poster seems to suggest this thread is about.

 

 

 

 


 
 
 
 




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  # 1703503 15-Jan-2017 13:03
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networkn:

 

This seems like a thinly veiled attempt at petty point scoring from previously mentioned thread. Not sure what you are hoping to achieve with it? If everyone says they hate Lawyers will you feel better? Will you not use one ever again even for matters that require one? 

 

Overall, I don't think it adds much to this forum, except to allow more negativity and conflict, and given how much of it there already is....

 

Even though I'd quite like to share my experiences here, I won't, simply because I think continued participation in this thread means it might go longer. 

 

 

What point are you trying to make here? It was suggested I start my own thread and I did. I pointed out the prevailing public perception of lawyers, which is true (the perception) and said I knew this was not the case for most of them. I asked, quite neutrally, what people thought. I was not fishing for a particular response. I gave my own experiences, which are also true. I think the replies in this thread so far are fairly balanced and I have been happy to let them speak for themselves. Some report good experiences, some less good. There was no invitation or suggestion for negative responses only. I just asked what people thought about the matter. This is a perfectly valid off-topic thread and it adds as much as many others have. Which brings me back to my question. What point are you trying to make?  

 

 





I reject your reality and substitute my own. - Adam Savage
 


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  # 1703550 15-Jan-2017 14:48
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timmmay:

 

My wife's a lawyer, though not practicing as a lawyer, but works for a law firm in a legal role. The firm is very money oriented, and I typically describe law firms as "a pyramid scheme of bastards, the higher up you go the bigger the degree of bastardry". They treat their people relatively poorly, set targets that are difficult to achieve, and in general the working conditions and flexibility are far inferior to those in IT. Their charge out rates are ridiculous, $250 to $750 per hour, with the junior people who are charged out at $250/hr being paid maybe $50 at hour at best. All in all I prefer to avoid dealing with lawyers in that role, though most are nice enough people.

 

 

 

 

Big accounting firms are the same. Know someone who worked for one, and they were worked to the bone, and they only got paid a fraction of the chargeout rate. I think it is similar in many of these professional type jobs which have a clear hierarchy where you have to start tat the bottom and work your way up. A bit old fashioned IMO and it is sort of a job for life where you eventually should get to the top. 


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  # 1703862 15-Jan-2017 23:32
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I've had the pleasure of working with some very bright Silks in London on legal cases taken for an employer.

 

I found it it edifying to work with people who had minds like steel traps and whose command of their field was superb. The cases I worked on were large, lengthy and expensive - one ended with a costs award against our opposition to cover our legal costs of about NZ$1.2 million spent over about 18 months. 

 

There is no doubt that good lawyers are worth every penny.

 

Many people form their opinions of lawyers based on minimal personal experience and maximal MSM comment, since the man on the Clapham Omnibus rarely actually has much to do with them unless things in his life are going wrong, other than very simple transactional law such as conveyancing  or will writing. The interesting part of the law, where the clever minds are at work, is something many would never see.






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  # 1703863 15-Jan-2017 23:36
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timmmay:

 

My wife's a lawyer, though not practicing as a lawyer, but works for a law firm in a legal role. The firm is very money oriented, and I typically describe law firms as "a pyramid scheme of bastards, the higher up you go the bigger the degree of bastardry". They treat their people relatively poorly, set targets that are difficult to achieve, and in general the working conditions and flexibility are far inferior to those in IT. Their charge out rates are ridiculous, $250 to $750 per hour, with the junior people who are charged out at $250/hr being paid maybe $50 at hour at best. All in all I prefer to avoid dealing with lawyers in that role, though most are nice enough people.

 

 

 

 

In many cases that is true, at least to some extent.

 

In London I knew people in large law firms with international practices that were provided with beds in the office as they were not expected to wimp out and go home when big deals were being closed in international time zones!

 

They do pay well in some case though - get a First in Law from Oxford or Cambridge and you can expect a starting salary in a big London firm on your first day out of University of around NZ$100,000 equivalent.






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  # 1703864 15-Jan-2017 23:46
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I've only ever had to use a lawyer once and I found the lawyer a very pleasant person to work with. The laywer was very straight up with me while also taking the time to listen and that was what I needed at the time. The lawyer worked for the union I was a member of at the time. I am also acquainted with another lawyer who also works for another non-profit organisation whom I worked with on a project. That lawyer came across as very knowledgeable about a wide range of legal topics relevant to our work and was more than happy to explain the particulars of legal principles in a easy to understand manner. I suppose the culture at non-profit organisations are quite different to large law firms.

 

- James


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  # 1703882 16-Jan-2017 07:06
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I have never needed to use a lawyer, so my observation may be completely inaccurate but there are 3 professions I despise.

 

1, Real Estate Agents

 

2, Lawyers

 

3, Pastors/ "Bishops"

 

My opinion is based on these professions taking advantage of people who don't know any better.

 

Actually add to this the guys that drive around in the vans that sell over priced goods in poor areas on finance.


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  # 1703885 16-Jan-2017 07:17
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Had to use one once, in an employment context - useful, not entirely up to my expectations but I wasn't the only case he was dealing with. Cousin was a partner in one of the big Auckland firms specialising in tax/fraud matters but recently left due to the increasing demands on her time (+having a young child).

 

 

GF's step-dad is a senior partner in one of the big firms, seems to do quite well and is apparently highly regarded, but is in a very niche field and accordingly can command big $$$ from companies that want him.

 

 

I've got no issues with the profession largely, not entirely a fan of criminal defence lawyers but that's more to do with our justice system where a legal defence sometimes doesn't have much to do with the actual circumstances. I'm also cognitively biased in this area however.

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  # 1703886 16-Jan-2017 07:19
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I wish I could wind the clock 20 years in the past and go back to law school.  People may hate lawyers but when they are in your court and you have a good one, you will never be happier!


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  # 1703889 16-Jan-2017 07:34
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I can understand public perception of them being difficult people, charging a lot etc and not really getting any where with disputes (but this only happens sometimes). I have heard of mixed experiences. Including from people who have worked with them. I also have a few friends who work in the legal profession, both of them are (junior lawyers) and really nice people. I think they get a bit of a raw deal based on the amount of hours they work, while they are new to the profession I have seen them word ridiculous hours, but I understand why it is the way it is.

 

If you value work/life balance then it might not be the profession for you. If career is an important aspect then yeh it might seem more exciting.

 

Of my own personal dealings, They were ok. I have not done much, bought and sold property and had a will written up. I guess fortunately for me I have not been in the "S**T" or have dealt with a deceased estate , which is kind of nice.






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  # 1703893 16-Jan-2017 07:45
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darylblake:

 

I can understand public perception of them being difficult people, charging a lot etc and not really getting any where with disputes (but this only happens sometimes). I have heard of mixed experiences. Including from people who have worked with them. I also have a few friends who work in the legal profession, both of them are (junior lawyers) and really nice people. I think they get a bit of a raw deal based on the amount of hours they work, while they are new to the profession I have seen them word ridiculous hours, but I understand why it is the way it is.

 

If you value work/life balance then it might not be the profession for you. If career is an important aspect then yeh it might seem more exciting.

 

Of my own personal dealings, They were ok. I have not done much, bought and sold property and had a will written up. I guess fortunately for me I have not been in the "S**T" or have dealt with a deceased estate , which is kind of nice.

 

 

 

 

There is no shortage of crooked lawyers for sure.  Let's face it... money... In the US, a civil litigation lawyer will pull down a minimum of 30% of the award.  Think about that :)  Win one good law suit and you're set.  Personal injury lawyers are ambulance chasers, the lot of them.  :)   But, if you get gimped up as a result of someone's negligence, wouldn't you want a hammer of a lawyer representing you?

 

Wills and probate... OMG, get your business in order before you die.  Otherwise, you can end up screwing your family and tying up your affairs for years.  If you really despise your family and you have a lot to leave... write a whole bunch of individual "wills" and date them all the same day :)  Your folks will have coronaries trying to get their fingers on all your stuff.


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  # 1703935 16-Jan-2017 09:22
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Geektastic:

 

I've had the pleasure of working with some very bright Silks in London on legal cases taken for an employer.

 

I found it it edifying to work with people who had minds like steel traps and whose command of their field was superb. The cases I worked on were large, lengthy and expensive - one ended with a costs award against our opposition to cover our legal costs of about NZ$1.2 million spent over about 18 months. 

 

There is no doubt that good lawyers are worth every penny.

 

Many people form their opinions of lawyers based on minimal personal experience and maximal MSM comment, since the man on the Clapham Omnibus rarely actually has much to do with them unless things in his life are going wrong, other than very simple transactional law such as conveyancing  or will writing. The interesting part of the law, where the clever minds are at work, is something many would never see.

 

 

 

 

Silks are a great marketing tool to add prestige to a firm, but from what I saw the amount of work they actually did was pretty minimal. In reality you will likely find there are a bunch of solicitors doing any real legal work. The UK still has the old school separation between barrister and solicitor, unlike NZ (Unless you chose to just be a barrister). 


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  # 1704102 16-Jan-2017 13:38
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lxsw20:

 

Geektastic:

 

I've had the pleasure of working with some very bright Silks in London on legal cases taken for an employer.

 

I found it it edifying to work with people who had minds like steel traps and whose command of their field was superb. The cases I worked on were large, lengthy and expensive - one ended with a costs award against our opposition to cover our legal costs of about NZ$1.2 million spent over about 18 months. 

 

There is no doubt that good lawyers are worth every penny.

 

Many people form their opinions of lawyers based on minimal personal experience and maximal MSM comment, since the man on the Clapham Omnibus rarely actually has much to do with them unless things in his life are going wrong, other than very simple transactional law such as conveyancing  or will writing. The interesting part of the law, where the clever minds are at work, is something many would never see.

 

 

 

 

Silks are a great marketing tool to add prestige to a firm, but from what I saw the amount of work they actually did was pretty minimal. In reality you will likely find there are a bunch of solicitors doing any real legal work. The UK still has the old school separation between barrister and solicitor, unlike NZ (Unless you chose to just be a barrister). 

 

 

 

 

In these cases, Silks were necessary according to both the in-house solicitor (who was dealing with the legal side of the case) and the initial counsel we had for advice, who ended up second chair to the QC. The outcome of both cases stood to establish legal principle that would affect my then employer in future cases so it was considered important enough to get it right.

 

It was a very specialist area of law (compulsory purchase) and the barrister acting agin us was actually the man who wrote the principle text book on the subject I used when I was up at university. 

 

Yes the UK does maintain that distinction - sensibly in my view - although they do now allow certain solicitors to address the court directly in minor cases I believe.






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  # 1704130 16-Jan-2017 14:04
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My feelings about lawyers are more philosophical. Like any professional or occupational group they are a mixed bag. I can point to lawyers who are amazing and wonderful people. I can point to others who are just as amazing but because they are really horrible and do such breath-takingly terrible things. That's why I'd rather point out specific issues.

 

When you study in any focused area of learning - trade, faculty, specialty, profession, etc. - then you are learning to use particular tools, to use specialist terminology and language, and to think in particular ways. There are many characteristics involved such as the examples in Wikipedia's article on professions: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Profession#Characteristics. The legal profession naturally attracts people who are more likely to fit those characteristics or to be attracted to them. So they are more likely to use the same flawed assumptions, make the same errors, and fall for the same sorts of temptations and moral hazards.

 

I really dislike the following:

 

  • people using technicalities to avoid or escape or subvert or obscure the intent of the law. This isn't limited to lawyers but it is a significant part of what lawyers do.
  • that legal systems in general and our own New Zealand legal system are so often diverted from producing just and positive outcomes. Adversarial systems so often produce win-lose outcomes when more positive outcomes are available such as win-win. I've sat through an entire seven-week fraud trial with four defendants which cost millions to produce an outcome that did not return any of the many millions of stolen money. I'm quite sure that other approaches would have produced the same result without the extensive costs.
  • that the outcomes from our legal system are often a lot like a lottery.   About the only rule that I am aware of is that those with the biggest pockets win far more than they should. This primarily relates to civil proceedings but it is often true for criminal proceedings as well.

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