Ed. note: This post is by Will Meyerhofer, a former Sullivan & Cromwell attorney turned psychotherapist. He holds degrees from Harvard, NYU Law, and The Hunter College School of Social Work, and he blogs at The People’s Therapist. His new book, Way Worse Than Being A Dentist, is available on Amazon, as is his previous book, Life is a Brief Opportunity for Joy (affiliate links).
It’s hard to generate sympathy for lawyers – especially when the group of people you’re milking for sympathy is other lawyers.
At first glance, that seems counter-intuitive. I’m writing about your fellow attorneys, after all, and they’re in miserable straits. I feel sorry for them. I want to help. But then, I’m a bleeding heart psychotherapist.
I even felt sorry for them back when I was a lawyer, too – incontrovertible proof I was never “cut out” for the profession…
With lawyers, it’s not a question of “compassion fatigue” – they never show enough compassion to develop fatigue. It’s more like a birth defect – compassion deficiency. My solution? The same trick Jerry Lewis used for his telethons. I’ll fabricate a poster child – a Jerry’s Kid – a cute, lovable little spokesperson for suffering, misunderstood, mistreated lawyers! What would my Jerry’s Kid – ahem – Will’s Kid – look like? Let’s call him Tim – Tiny Tim.
(Cue violin music.) (Cue photo montage.)
Okay. Here’s the narration: