Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The desperation of a 45 year old criminal attorney

Yesterday while I was in the office, a 45 yr old criminal lawyer came by to visit my boss. While I was close by in the hallway I heard this conversation:

45yr old: "Any criminal case you hear about, please refer to me, please. Im really low on cash"

Boss: "Ill do what I can"

45 yr old: "Any lead can help. Im desperate. I really need some work. Ive been dead dry for the last 6 months"

Boss: "Ok, whatever I hear ill help you out"

45 yr old: (Long, deep sigh) "Thanks alot, things are just so fucked up"

This criminal lawyer has been practicing for over 20 years. Amazing that after all this time he finds himself in a situation that he has to beg for leads from a lawyer that is 10 yrs younger than him. I could only imagine how many other older attorneys are out there suffering right now. I personally know the sorrows of new grads but to hear this type of woe from a legal veteran is just downright frightening. It just comes to show you that in 2010, no profession is safe.

This is what happens when the ABA allows 45,000 JDs to get pumped into the market year after year. This is what happens when the ABA allows outsourcing of legal work to India. Imagine how many new criminal lawyers there WOULDNT be if outsourcing and mass JD's were being pumped out every year. Every year, new JD's are starting their own little shops, doing Personal Injury, Family law, criminal, small business defense, and other small law. These motherfuckers at the ABA continue to debase the value of the JD. I could only imagine how bad things will get by the time 2015 is here, as there will be another 450,000 more JD's running around like chickens with their heads cutoff, owing more money that us current JD's already owe.


  1. Yes, that too is surprising especially considering that criminal law is something that just doesn't go away with the recession. While other forms of law rely upon business expenditures, DWIs and thefts just don't stop happening.

    This could mean anything. There may be a dearth of paying customers because everybody is too poor to hire an attorney and is receiving appointed counsel. It may be that there are too many lawyers fighting over few cases. If your area has a public defender office, he'd only be able to get overflow cases. If the judges appoint counsel, he may have been stricken from their little list of favorites. Being removed from their call list may have anything to do with taking too many cases to trial to the judge preferring to go with brand new attorneys. Criminal defense is just one of those areas of law where people don't appreciate you for doing your job. Even many of the judges just want a lump to stand next to the defendant so the defendant can plead out and go away.

  2. I love how our profession is so frakked that we are dependent upon criminals paying us for our time. If the criminals have money, maybe they're on to something. If you can't beat'em, join'em.

  3. I know some criminal defense attorneys who were affected by the recession. Crime tends to increase when the economy dips, but what happens is DA's get overworked, so they offer better deals just to close files, and more criminal defendants opt out of securing representation because the deals are so good. Even PD appointments are harder to come by in a recession.

  4. Having to face the legal system with no idea as to how it functions is the place where many people find themselves. Whether innocent or guilty, having a good defense is the only way to go.


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