“Being a lawyer means spending a lot of hours reading, talking with clients, reviewing paperwork and even more reading” -Lawyer lifestyle
It is funny the perspective the society has about the life of a lawyer: to some, lawyers are a boring set of people who don’t engage in any fun activity; to others lawyers are too serious always with suit and files in hand, while to others ‘lawyer don’t have a social life’. To top it all, being a lawyer is placed third in Yahoo’s list of careers that could ruin a person’s social life behind surgeons and registered nurses.
Due to the prestige and nobility attached to the legal profession, the general society (non-lawyers in the instant case) always scrutinize the personal life of a lawyer, one hears statements like “Oh you are a lawyer you shouldn’t dress this way or that way”, “Oh you are a lawyer you shouldn’t take this drink or be seen in this place”, “As a lawyer, you shouldn’t act this way”, at the end of the day because of the restrictions and expectations of the public, lawyers live a black and white life.
Majority of the public view lawyers as reserved workaholics who don’t spend much time with friends and family. Truth be said, lawyers have personal life different from work though it is sometimes difficult to separate the one from the other. Lawyers are groomed to be gentlemen at all times, in our speech, dress sense and conduct.
Take social media platforms like facebook, twitter and bbm (blackberry messenger)where people visit to socialise, make friends and share status, yet, what a lawyer is expected to post on such platform is different from what a lay man would ordinarily post, meaning lawyers ought to keep personal life private within circle of friends, family and loved ones.
Not too long ago, a young lawyer posted a picture of himself having fun in a night club, which any non-lawyer is permitted to do, but being a legal practitioner there were opinions and comments by the public, not condemning the fact that he went to club but that he shouldn’t publish such pictures on social media “you are a lawyer, people should not see you living this way.”
Lawyers are permitted to have social life but should be reserved about how they live it, this is why lawyers are seen as too formal and boring, because certain acts lay men do without remorse a lawyer cannot engage in them.
There are two sides to a coin, while the public sees a lawyer as proud (someone who feels he knows it all), to the lawyer being a legal practitioner is no small task, one has to go through university for a minimum of five (5) to six (6) years, then law school before National Youth Service. Even after that, the reading doesn’t end, a lawyer must constantly read and do research to be on top of his game as it is not how smart a lawyer is that makes him successful but the amount of time dedicated to a job.
There is hardly any interaction a lawyer has with the society that does not fall under scrutiny, this makes it difficult to separate personal life from work life as the everyday life of a lawyer involves attending to clients’ problems whatever the issue maybe and he must be ever ready to provide solutions.
It is therefore not true that a lawyer doesn’t have social life; clientele and popularity are gotten when a young wig mingles with the society, not just in a serious environment but also in a not-too-serious atmosphere.
A young lawyer however must be careful in his interaction with the public, he needs to understand and strike a balance between work and personal life no matter how hard, so that one doesn’t affect the other. Lawyers especially young ones still growing in the profession must be watchful about how we conduct ourselves wherever we find ourselves.
It is better to be a gentleman as a lawyer and not be noticed, than to be a tout as a lawyer and be noticed.
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