How to Spend Time with Non-Lawyers During the Holidays

Kate Currer Columns, Featured Lawyer, Lawyer 1 Comment

Holiday season has arrived, which means returning to your family as the only law student/lawyer/assumed legal authority and the legal questions that will inevitably befall you. The key is to say something without violating the code of ethics by giving legal advice despite being a law student/in another state/wrong. Furthermore, one must direct the conversation away from the legal topic (this is your day off!) in a way that is artful and seamless.

Q: Why did the Supreme Court make the decision it made?

A: Well, the Court is more political than judicial nowadays, so I can’t possibly know.

Segue to . . . a discussion of politics, if you dare.


Q: I saw this thing on TV that says:

. . . it’s not prostitution if you have a camera in the room because then it’s pornography and protected by free speech, or

. . . if the NFL gets one more team then it’s not supposed to pay taxes anymore, or

. . . it’s not murder if you bought the gun for a different reason than murder, or

. . . if you live with someone for seven years, then you are automatically married, or

. . . if you let one of your heirs see the will, the whole thing is invalid and that’s how people’s fortunes get passed to distant relatives . . .

Is it true?

A: I don’t know about that, but if TV says so, then it must be true.

Segue to … a discussion about entertainment.


Q: Which cases are federal and which cases are state?

A: It’s really complicated.

Segue to . . . the facts from that one case about a train accident you remember that your teenage cousin will think is “cool.”


Q: My boss is such an jerk. He says he wants me to file things in reverse alphabetical order. Can he do that? I mean can he DO THAT?

A: That’s really not my area of expertise, but it sounds like a grey area.

Segue to . . . someone else complaining about their boss. NOTE: Do not take the opening to complain about how hard you are working; this is not a competition, counselor.


Q: Lawyer, huh? You must just love Law & Order/Ally McBeal/The Practice/Suits/LA Law/CSI Miami/The Good Wife.

A: Actually, I haven’t caught that last one.

Segue to . . . your uncle telling you about that show anyway.

Post image via Shutterstock.

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