Top 5 Reasons Why Attorneys Become Litigators

Gregory D. Luce Columns, law school, Lawyer 11 Comments

Litigation is the common path for most young attorneys. In law school, the vast majority of subjects are taught through case law, i.e., litigation. In fact, most transactional courses are presented through the litigation lens: contracts, debtor/creditor, real estate transactions, etc. So it’s no surprise that most law school grads head straight to the litigation department. A year or two of being beaten senseless, however, many lawyers begin to investigate these rumors of some happy place in the firm called “trans-act-shun-ul-land” and eventually take up residence there. The rest accept their fate as permanent citizens of Scorched Earth. Here’s why:

1. Genetic defects. To survive – and especially to thrive – in litigation, you need to have some bad wiring. Odds are you enjoyed drowning puppies out at the old quarry when you were a snot-nosed adolescent and today relish your weekly appointments with Maîtresse Hildegarde, a dominatrix infamous for her innovative use of a cherry pitter.

2. There are no non-litigation job openings anywhere on the planet and student loans aren’t dischargeable in bankruptcy. This accounts for 98.6% of litigators.

3. Your office is no higher than the third or fourth story in the building and there’s no roof access. That’s simply not high enough to guarantee a successful suicide.

4. You had a dysfunctional childhood. While not sexually abused, odds are good that your father made you do things like pose for the camera wearing his jockstrap on your head while acting like your were smoking a cigar or drinking a beer or both. No, I do not have any recollection of my dad doing this to me when I was a preschooler, but I recently saw the photos when he posted them on Facebook. But I beat the odds. I’m a transactional attorney.

5. You have no other skills, interests, or passions that could generate income. If you did, why would you be a litigator?


Post image via Shutterstock.

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  • Fiona

    I became a litigator to meet the smartest lawyers. I lost my virginity to an ADA in Florida, then wound up marrying the public defender. He promised to be careful but I wound up with 3 unplanned kids, who turned out ok. After my divorce I hooked up with the county family court arbitrator who is always up for sex. It is Smart for a gal to hook up with litigators because they have the highest testosterone levels, which makes them ready Togo on a minute’s notice.

  • Brad

    Wow. If this was supposed to be even reasonably funny, it failed miserably. This piece is just dreadful.

    • Jude

      this is beyond stupid…

  • Chris

    Fiona’s comment made up for it IMO. Brad did this hit close to home?

    • Hal

      I’d like to bang Fiona! Do I have to stand in line?

    • Brad

      No, it’s just not even remotely funny. “You’re a litigator because jumping out of your 3rd story office wouldn’t guarantee death!” Hahaha…

      • Anon

        Brad, maybe YOU should bang Fiona.

  • Litti

    Grey Bitter probably copy/pasted this story from someone who wrote it about M&A lawyers and changed “transactional” with “litigation”. It’s what they do.

  • Eurotrash

    Love it!

  • Lukasz Gos

    Substantive law is little better than the facts. Procedure is where the fun is.

    Besides, writing 300-page pleadings beats reading 300-page contracts any time (with a full rainbow of colours in tracked changes, some of them clueless unproductive attempts at fixing good punctuation).

    Plus, being in the courthouse means you’re not at the firm.

  • Mr. Mr.

    Spot on and there’s no way out.