Attorney Misconduct, Clerkships, Job Searches, Legal Ethics, pls hndle thx

Pls Hndle Thx: The Informant

Ed. note: Have a question for next week? Send it in to advice@abovethelaw.com.

Dear ATL,

I am an assistant clerk at a state court.  I graduated in May 2010 and worked hard to find a decent job after taking the July bar.  I have noticed over my past few months that a co-worker, also a 2010 law school graduate, has told at least a few pro se parties and attorneys in the court that he is a lawyer.  This would be fine except for the fact that he has not taken the bar in any state.  It particularly annoys me because I am a graduate of a top tier school in the same state as his third tier school and I have taken and passed the bar in two states while he seems to have spent the summer doing nothing.  I only inform attorneys and parties that I am a licensed attorney when specifically asked because the court is suppose to stay neutral and we are not allowed to give legal advice.  I recently tired to point out to him that he is not a licensed attorney and should not tell or imply to people that he is.  He made some BS distinction between a lawyer and an attorney that made it ok for him to say he’s a lawyer.  Need less to say I’m didn’t buy it.  I cannot believe that the parties contacting our office with questions would understand the difference between his definition of lawyer and attorney….

This co-worker is about to take the bar in February.  Since he misrepresents his status as an attorney to people and the fact that he’s generally a douche bag I am sorely tempted to report him to our state’s bar examining committee, which is located next door to the court I work in.  I feel kind of bad tattling on a fellow JD, but as mentioned above he’s a douche and he shouldn’t be misleading attorneys or pro se parties about his background.  Of course I have the selfish reason that its a tough job market and I don’t want to lose a potential job to someone who is misrepresenting himself.  Does this make me a terrible person or just a typical newbie lawyer desperate to find a better job?  Would this information even matter to the typical bar examining committee?

— Tracy Flick

Dear Tracy Flick,

Who cares if this twerp is lying about being a lawyer? If he’s lying before he’s even admitted, this is just the start of shady things to come and he will dig his own professional grave. Keep your browsers locked to ATL for traffic and weather together on the 8’s breaking news on this guy’s shenanigans…

I realize that there may be some regulation in your state’s code of professional conduct about having to rat out other lawyers to the state bar. But that’s totally preposterous, especially considering that the correct answers on the MPRE are always the second-most moral. You should think of the professional responsibility code as more of a series of gentle recommendations, like a specialty cocktail list or the Ten Commandments. If lawyers turned in every other lawyer they’ve ever seen snort a line, comingle funds or sex up a client, everyone would get disbarred and Elie would be forced to reverse course and use ATL as a platform to beg the University of Phoenix online to open up a law school to meet the demand. No one follows that professional responsibility stuff because it was written by dinosaurs, for dinosaurs. Let he without padded hours cast the first stone.

Now let’s address your other point, namely that somehow barring one lawyer from entering the profession will tip the scales in your favor and miraculously free up all the lucrative and rewarding positions that this T3 moron was about to snatch from your clutches. Quick question: are you high? That’s one person down, 13,774 to go. I know it’s easier to envision the entire scope of your competition as the dingbat sitting in your office, but it’s a slightly bigger field. My advice is, instead of focusing your time listening at doorways with stethoscopes and spying through empty paper towel rolls, why not do something productive that will affirmatively help your own position, like connecting with classmates from kindergarten on LinkedIn? Don’t start off 2011 putting this guy on the bar examiner’s shitlist. It’s bad karma.

Your friend,

Marin

Listen all y’all it’s a sabotage.
Listen all y’all it’s a sabotage.
Listen all y’all it’s a sabotage.

You can’t stand it, and so you planned it. You’re gonna set it straight like Watergate. You’ve been there rockin’ while he sits here mockin’, but your crystal ball is crystal clear.

So while you sit back and wonder why, this guy is a f**kin thorn in your side. Oh my God, his career’s a mirage, I’m telling y’all it’s time for sabotage.

So, so, so, so listen up ’cause Marin ain’t saying nothing. She’ll shut you down by pushing your buttons. But you are right, get this guy gone. That’s how you’ll keep moving on and on.

‘Cause what you see that she doesn’t get, is that you can bet he’ll try to screw you yet. You’re scheming on this thing because he’s a fraud. I tell you now it’s time for sabotage.

— MC E.

Ed. note: Have a question for next week? Send it in to advice@abovethelaw.com.

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