Friday, June 24, 2011

The lawyer God not!

It's such an irony when people expect a professional to know everything! Yeah I am starting this post on a very angry note - angry because every other day I face this! I am a lawyer and you all know that as you will see me flaunting it everywhere! But people forget one simple thing - I am a human being! All the lawyers are! We are not gifted with super powers to know and remember everything!

Reason behind the above paragraph - I am always asked different questions on law related matters by clients and relatives all the time. The question may belong to any of the 100s of existing acts. It may be of any nature viz. Civil, Criminal, Commercial, Non-commercial, Quasi Judicial and such. There are so many laws that exist. There are so many laws that keep coming out. Even if we read them all, it is not possible to remember each and every small detail of it! But people think we are God, or super heroes or heroines for that matter! They think we must know everything!

My maternal uncle happened to call me up. He lives in Gujarat. He had some query about taxation in property matter. I told him very politely that I was not aware about the laws there and he should consult some local lawyer there. He started telling how good for nothing lawyer I was and how I studied but didn't learn anything, how I don't have any future in this field and such else! He must thank god that he was related to my mom!

But it's not only about him! Most of the people expect us to know it all! Brothers and Sisters, it is NOT possible to know all the acts and all the laws. We may be able to give you a fair idea but not the exact law! Are you aware about the types of lawyers that exist? There are civil lawyers, criminal lawyers, lawyers specializing in family law matters - Hindu, Muslim, Parsi laws specialization, lawyers specializing in wills related matters, property consultants, Intellectual property related laws specialists, lawyers specializing in Government job related matters - the list goes on and on! So people, when you can't remember this list after reading it once, how will we remember the acts all these lawyers deal with all the time?

And those who think our job is easy, we have ready made templates, it's more of a mechanical job etc., well do you know that each case is different? Each person has different priority and requirements? Each state and country has different laws, we not only have to keep in mind those laws, but the dispute resolution methods too as certain modes of dispute resolution are very very expensive as compared to India, certain words have to be present in a document for it to be valid legally! Yes there are templates, there is mechanical work involved, but we have to use our brain much more than others to create a water tight document!

And we have it all easy? If only we did!


  1. shant gada dhari bheem shaant ;)

    I know how it feels..sigh..they don't they? :(

  2. I am software engineer and I know relatives call me to buy which laptop, to install specific software, which service provider is good for internate connection in their area, even to check their mails, open email account and book railway ticket.... in-short any work related to compute... :) ....
    It feels irritating but.... you can't do anything but polite humble reply.....

  3. Its ignorance, pardon them.

    It happens with me as well..You read that in my earlier posts :)

  4. Our people are obsessed with the idea of getting free advice/services from family and friends.I dislike it when people open their mouth at me while they are eating their meal at parties and other social gatherings -"zara ye wala daant dekho to." Some of them even suggest that i should always keep few diagnostic instruments in my purse - for emergency .Gawd.
    I completely understand how it feels.

  5. Every side has a very precariously low understanding of anothers profession..

    Thistoo shall pass !

  6. Many people tend to think that their own job is the most difficult.
    I remember what my teacher taught me.Knowledge has to be kept at three levels.Certain things have to be at your finger tips.No excuse for not rememberig when you resuscitate a dying man..For the second level..there is must be able to think and bring back what you have learned.The third level,you dont need to know the answer,but should know where to look for it,if some one asks you.

    No job is inferior to another.All are important.

  7. and than the same thing happens elsewhere. I agree with what Anish commented that being an instrumentation engineer how would I know the work of an electrical engineer. How can I repair a fuse tube light? Yesterday a jerk inquire me about my work as an engineer. To make it simple I said that I regulate the automation processes and regulate temperature in an industry. To my utter surprise he laughed and said that's only you do?

    Thanks for suggesting me a theme for my next post. :)

  8. Ah. Don't you just want to axe things sometimes? Annoying. But you will live this down too, like you usually do. :)

  9. ohh yeah, it's really frustrating just like how i am supposed to know how to fix a computer ...
    cool down Vakeel Sahiba :)

  10. Nice post. This happens in most of the professions. A funny incident comes to my mind. I have a doctor friend. He was attending a wedding. A relative asked him (in front of 100 people) to check his health and see if something is wrong. My friend immediately said: "Sure. Take off your clothes now and I will examine you from head to toe". The guy walked off.

  11. Lol! :) Kahani profession profession ki :)

    Been there and all I have learned is to not get bothered of such people.. :)

  12. Neha,

    I am with you on this issue. But never lose your control over calm. If you permit, I will suggest that in such cases it is best to say that you do have inkling about it but need some time to recheck. Specially when the person is close one. These are the days of specialization. In lighter vein on this, once a proud father was telling a friend that his doctor son is studying for specialization surgery of nose. Friend asked " Which nostril?"

    Take care

  13. Neha, this happens to most of the professionls and it perhaps is part of the package.
    Perhaps, you could tell your friends of your sepeciality, be it Civil, Criminal, Taxation or whatever. At least they will know what NOT to ask you about.
    Others must pay.
    Could you please tell your blogger friends of your specialisation?

  14. Very true. Professionals are expected to know-it-all.But the good thing is that you get to know more.

  15. Shhh...Breathe! It only shows that people take you to be a supremely intelligent being! Versus me being...oh well. ;/

    Scribblers Inc.

  16. Oops!! That's bad!! Come on now, say a quick prayer, "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do!" :))

  17. Interesting post :)

    people should use some common sense ..How can u be expected to know about laws in Iran ? :D

  18. oh my poor you! i am imagine your frustration!

  19. God in its infinite compassion has forgotten many things of creation, thus humankind is created to bring out the laws implemented but long forgotten:). We are whole as a human family, as individuals we become fractions. Each know a little of the whole. When people begin to gain insights into this grand truth, expectations will be replaced with acceptance of what each and his/her capacity is.

  20. Neha, I so understand you. It is very typical of relatives to make such comments. In my case I often get to hear how untrustwrothy journalists are and how we often give a false angle to a story without bringing out all facts. In reality it is true that many journalists write stories that cause a sensation and sometimes compromise the truth. So I have to bear it all out with a smile and say I understand:)

    well, my advice is to take it all with a pinch of salt and laugh it off!!