Perry Mason and The Allure of the Law

Perry Mason and The Allure of the Law 2

Kevin O’Keefe wrote about restoring the allure of the law and Perry Mason’s influence upon those who sought that shining light of goodness.

Can it be done easily after the rough ride of recent years?  Well, of course and he reports on the dreams of Ralph Baxter, the Chair of the Thomson Reuters’ Legal Executive Institute who dreamt of being a Perry Mason – cross examinations resulting in admissions of guilty and standing up for what is right – is what probably motivated a lot of lawyers.

Kevin O’Keefe had similar dreams, he wrote in Real Lawyers Have Blogs:

So did I dream of being Perry Mason and I actually got to do it (in my mind). Not on the criminal side but in doing civil trial work in rural Wisconsin.

I agree with Baxter that not nearly as many people have a dream of being a lawyer as well as his reasoning for it. The economics are not there – high tuition and low pay. Large law, something I never saw appealing, is no longer appealing to lawyers employed there – long hours, tedious work. Windows for career opportunities are not apparent.

I am not sure I agree with Baxter on how we restore the allure. He sees regulatory reform, legal education reform, reforming the large law firm associate model, and increased public funding for legal services to the lower income. Those changes, though having merit, could take an awful long time.

They also require wading through a lot of bureaucracy. I spent last weekend with Michigan law students and lawyers. We worked on social media, with the lion’s share of the time spent on blogging.

They saw how they could do the the type of legal work they wanted to do. The lawyers and students were not looking to make big dollars practicing. They wanted to enjoy being a lawyer by doing the work they liked, helping people, and earning enough to be part of middle income America. These lawyers and law students found being lawyer alluring — or last saw how it could be alluring. Could blogging and social media make being a lawyer alluring again? It’s possible — for at least some lawyers.

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