Welcome to Above the Law’s remedial skills class for current and aspiring attorneys. Here, we will trying to help people who were so busy studying in law school or servicing clients that they missed some crucial life lessons along the way.
Today we’ve got a special lesson for all of you who were raised in a barn or otherwise don’t understand how to use a bathroom.
We have two case studies, one from the Bronx and the other from the University of Arizona Law School. The cases show us lawyers who either don’t know how to recognize or how to utilize a public bathroom. It’s a dirty business teaching lawyers how to pee properly, but somebody has to step in when the parents (and common sense) fail.
Our first case comes from Bronx, New York, home to countless attorneys — including some who apparently don’t know what a bathroom looks like…
Gothamist reports on a Bronx Legal Aid lawyer who has a prostate problem — and will find a place to pee by any means necessary:
Bronx Legal Aid lawyer Maxwell Gould was arrested yesterday for urinating outside the Bronx courthouse in broad daylight…
Gould later told the Post, “If I felt I could get to a bathroom, I would have gone to the bathroom,” and a Legal Aid spokesman confirmed he had a prostate condition.
You know, this story could easily have been even more ridiculous. Kudos to Gould for not filing an EEOC disability claim against the Bronx courthouse.
But we still think that all lawyers should know that peeing on a courthouse is bad form (unless you are trying to make a statement; I have a lifelong goal of peeing in every river at or near a major Civil War battle — I’ve only nailed four, so I have a long way to go). If you just really have to go that badly and cannot find an available bathroom, you should still find yourself a private or semi-private place and use a cup or a bottle. Especially if you are male (pinpoint pee accuracy is one of the little perks God bestowed on members of the male persuasion). It’s called discretion, people, and attorneys are supposed to have it.
Meanwhile, out in Arizona, we find a number of law students who at least know where they are supposed to pee. But when it comes to operating the complicated modern machinery of indoor plumbing, they seem to have issues.
So someone at U of A Law made helpful signs and posted them next to the urinals:
Of course, we are talking about a law school. So even a simple rule couldn’t be posted without subsequent annotation:
If you can’t see the writing in the lower right hand corner, it suggests that flushing is a waste of water… and urine (and ink).
(And while we have your attention, Arizona Law students, here’s another tip: please don’t kidnap and torture anyone.)
Well class, environmental concerns are all well and good, but flushing the toilet is kind of a basic interpersonal skill. It shows a willingness to not make a mess — and clients like lawyers who don’t leave problems behind after they finish their work.
So, to be clear: please pee in a bathroom or the most private approximation of a bathroom you can find, and please clean up after yourself.
That’s the bell. Please read the chapter wearing an appropriate shirt over your wife-beater before the next remedial presentation.