So maybe not kill ALL the lawyers?

I’m not typically a fan of lawyers, mostly due to experiences of (a) immoral behavior in pursuit of winning at all costs and/or (b) writing laws that increase demand for lawyers without increasing quality of life.

Now, let’s look to a few good aspects of lawyering that I have recently had the (mis)fortune — due to legal disputes — to be reminded about:

Lawyers are good for…

  • Giving you advice and an alternative perspective.
  • Supporting you in a dispute (=someone on your team)
  • Understanding legal details, processes and norms.
  • Working for you when you’re busy elsewhere.

So, let’s not kill all the lawyers — not just yet 😉

ps: In countries with populations from multiple cultures, it’s useful to have rules — and the lawyers to enforce them — to reduce friction (thus, spending a bit on lawyers to save a lot elsewhere) and help everyone get along. In more homogenous cultures, customs may be more important than rules in terms of delivering less friction at lower cost. But those cultures can run into serious issues if, for example, they start to diversify, cultural norms are no longer shared, and there is no tradition of using rules (and lawyers!) to work out disputes. Tricky.

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Author: David Zetland

I'm a political-economist from California who now lives in Amsterdam.

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