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How do people react when you mention you're a lawyer/in law school?

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Purely for my own curiosity (Ive got too much time on my hands), I was wondering if anyone has any stories of how people react finding out that you're a lawyer/studying law. Do they treat you with disdain, give you more deference, or generally not care? I assume most people dont think twice about it, but Ive also heard horror stories of people hating you immediately after finding out youre a lawyer simply due to misconceptions of lawyers as a whole. Obviously, answers will be very anecdotal; thats what im looking for. 

 

Apologies if this is the wrong subforum to post this in. 

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When I mention that I'm a law student I generally get some sort of awkward congratulations as if I just cured the common cold and expect a compliment. After this it generally fades and people could care less. On the other hand people that know I'm a law student for some reason expect me to be some sort of intellectual genius in every situation. On one occasion I was made fun of for not fully comprehending the rules of a card game because I'm a "smart law student". Circle that square.

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Everything from surprise to disdain.

But one thing that is universal is suddenly everyone expects you to know everything about every area of law. Except other lawyers who know better. Oh, and god help you if you make the type of silly mistake the "common-folk" make in anything you do. You'll never hear the end of that one.

"Oh, man aren't you supposed to be a lawyer" ... yes ... because lawyers are infallible space-deities with super-computers for brains and perfection as a prerogative. 😫

I mostly just say I'm in the legal field and won't use the word "lawyer" unless pressed.

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This is too subjective of a question. Depends on what kind of people you surround yourself with. IMO cool people don't give a shit and treat you the same. Cool yet kind of judgmental people would not be impressed unless you work for legal aid where you make relatively little but you help the little guys. The rest plebs would be impressed af and think you so smart and so successful and so diligent and gonna be rich soon (if you are not already) and wonder if you are single 

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44 minutes ago, FingersCr0ssed said:

When I mention that I'm a law student I generally get some sort of awkward congratulations as if I just cured the common cold and expect a compliment. After this it generally fades and people could care less. On the other hand people that know I'm a law student for some reason expect me to be some sort of intellectual genius in every situation. On one occasion I was made fun of for not fully comprehending the rules of a card game because I'm a "smart law student". Circle that square.

I had to laugh because I'm generally in charge of reading rules or refereshing players on the rules at family events...though more because of reading speed and competitiveness. I also find it rather amusing that some games have rules that who goes first is person with biggest smile, person last in another city, youngest person, etc. which I gleefully point out...

But re the topic of this thread, and with the caveat that I went to law school years ago and only practice law part-time now (so my main/primary career is different), it depends.

Like, some people in response to a greeting say they're a law student or lawyer practically ahead of their name. Or assert being a law student or lawyer for why they're busy, can't commit to meeting with people, etc. That's fucking annoying. If you're too busy, just say sorry, you're too busy; don't link it to your sense of self-importance. In social situations, like being at a table with others, if what the other person does for a living hasn't come up, or they haven't asked me directly, why would I bring it up? I'd rather have a pleasant conversation about the wine or whatever. Now, it generally comes up sooner or later, but why be annoyingly forward about it? If there isn't anything else interesting you can talk about, that's a problem.

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Usually "oh cool" and then they move on. Other than a positive response from my family and friends, nobody else seems to care.

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It depends very much on the context.

For one example, a couple of years ago I was chatting with some of the other dads on my kids soccer team.  It turned out that over half of us were lawyers.  I guess I just live in that kind of community.  My being a lawyer was unremarkable, except to the extent we compared our practices.

When I first met my future in-laws, they were a little apprehensive, I think I made them feel somehow inadequate (they're all good, hardworking people who have done well for themselves, but no post-secondary educations).  To this day my sister-in-law, when she's drinking, will accuse me of thinking that I'm "too good" for her family - which I think says everything about her own feelings, and not of mine.

I joined a hockey team last year.  Wide range of backgrounds: we have several blue collar types, but also a teacher and an pharmacist.  It was half way through the year before my job ever came up, to which a couple of guys said "Holy shit!"  I think they were more impressed/intimidated by the Crown Prosecutor part.  And since that day for the rest of the year, my job never came up again.

I've gotten disdain a few times - but usually from people I've prosecuted.

Back in university, it does get you a bit of respect when dealing with undergrads.  That was kind of nice.  I represented the Faculty of Law one year in the wider student government.  The outgoing law rep said a lot of the undergrads will look to you for some guidance, and suggested the various committees to be on.  Almost immediately, just on the strength of being a law student, I chaired committee meetings and had a lot of clout.

That being said though, for most people when you're in law school you're kind of in that law school bubble, and most of the people you associate with will be other law students.

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16 minutes ago, Malicious Prosecutor said:

When I first met my future in-laws, they were a little apprehensive, I think I made them feel somehow inadequate (they're all good, hardworking people who have done well for themselves, but no post-secondary educations).  To this day my sister-in-law, when she's drinking, will accuse me of thinking that I'm "too good" for her family - which I think says everything about her own feelings, and not of mine.

Yeah actually I've gotten some shit from a family member who is rather successful without formal post-secondary education. Basically why am I wasting my time, I could have made more money from entering the trades and working my way up, I'm racking up debt for nothing, etc. Sometimes I struggle with an answer. The pursuit of knowledge? I know that I want to be a lawyer, but other than that there isn't much to it. 

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Law student here but I find it ranges. Most people don't care apart from a general "oh that's cool". 

I am from an ethnic group that tends to value this though so at events with extended family or other members of the group I've had the impression of "you've upheld your family's honour" to "are you single? My neice's daughter is around your age and really sweet and single"

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People look at me and say, "You're lying," and then the jig is up! Because most of the time, I am.

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I posted this over a year ago in another thread, but I find my experiences are (largely) similar:

"I’ve definitely noticed that a lot of people tend to automatically give you more respect/deference when they find out you’re a lawyer. I also find that when it comes up in conversation that I work at a law firm, generally speaking, dentists/doctors tend to be more cautious (because they don’t want to get sued), salesmen tend to be more helpful (because they see you as a walking wallet who might become a repeat customer), service staff (e.g. baristas, concierges, bank tellers) tend to be more deferential (maybe because they’re under the false impression that I’m more important than I actually am), and members of the opposite sex tend to be more chatty (because they’re definitely under the false impression that I’m smarter/richer than I actually am)."

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5 minutes ago, chaboywb said:

Yeah actually I've gotten some shit from a family member who is rather successful without formal post-secondary education. Basically why am I wasting my time, I could have made more money from entering the trades and working my way up, I'm racking up debt for nothing, etc. Sometimes I struggle with an answer. The pursuit of knowledge? I know that I want to be a lawyer, but other than that there isn't much to it. 

They're not necessarily wrong.  My in-laws are not noticeably any poorer than my family and they work in the oilpatch / trades.

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My friends who work in the trades make more than my university-educated friends, apart from those who  are lawyers, doctors, or engineers.  

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The only times I'll ever admit I'm a lawyer is to get the best quality service, e.g. "I'll have a hot dog and Orange Crush and I'm a lawyer". As you can imagine, I've never had an undercooked hotdog, and my Crush is never flat. Otherwise, I just tell people I'm a clown.

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On a semi-serious note, whatever deference I receive in the future if I ever tell someone that I'm a lawyer, (if I get to that point), will be a million times better than telling someone I'm a philosophy major.

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So. Many. Parking. Ticket. Stories.

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When I tell people that I'm a lawyer, the reaction is often neutral; maybe because there are so many fucking lawyers in downtown Toronto. But when I tell them that I am a criminal defence lawyer, they're usually more impressed and want to know about the crazy cases that I'm working on. Do I defend murderers? How about sexual assault cases? I don't like to talk about the cases I worked on and definitely not the ones I'm working on right now, but I do recount a few interesting cases I have read recently.

With family, I'm one of the less accomplished ones, so nothing impresses them.

On a side note, I find that men often ask me if I defend murderers. Women often ask me if I defend those accused of sexual assault.

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4 hours ago, epeeist said:

But re the topic of this thread, and with the caveat that I went to law school years ago and only practice law part-time now (so my main/primary career is different), it depends.

Wow, you really do still practice law!

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