Law School Discussion

What's good about being an attorney?

Re: What's good about being an attorney?
« Reply #70 on: November 05, 2006, 04:22:04 AM »
Oops, sorry, wrong paste ..

Re: What's good about being an attorney?
« Reply #71 on: November 05, 2006, 04:25:22 AM »

A ton of people go to law school, so there must be some good things I haven't thought of yet.

Of course there are. One of them is money.


Re: What's good about being an attorney?
« Reply #72 on: November 05, 2006, 05:33:11 PM »
The modern lawyer is haunted not by guilt but by anxiety. He seeks not to inflict his own certainties on others but to find a meaning in life. Liberated from the superstitions of the past, he doubts even the reality of his own existence ... His sexual attitudes are permissive rather than puritanical, even though his emancipation from ancient taboos brings him no sexual peace.

Fiercely competitive in his demand for approval and acclaim, he distrusts competition because he associates it unconsciously with an unbridled urge to destroy ... He (harbours) deeply antisocial impulses. He praises respect for rules and regulations in the secret belief that they do not apply to himself. Acquisitive in the sense that his cravings have no limits, he ... demands immediate gratification and lives in a state of restless, perpetually unsatisfied desire.

The lawyers' pronounced lack of empathy, off-handed exploitativeness, grandiose fantasies and uncompromising sense of entitlement make him treat all people as though they were objects (he "objectifies" people). He regards others as either useful conduits for and sources of narcissistic supply (attention, adulation, etc.) -- or as extensions of himself. Similarly, serial killers often mutilate their victims and abscond with trophies -- usually, body parts. Some of them have been known to eat the organs they have ripped -- an act of merging with the dead and assimilating them through digestion. They treat their victims as some children do their rag dolls.

Killing the victim -- often capturing him or her on film before the murder -- is a form of exerting unmitigated, absolute, and irreversible control over it. The serial killer aspires to "freeze time" in the still perfection that he has choreographed. The victim is motionless and defenseless. The killer attains long sought "object permanence". The victim is unlikely to run on the serial assassin, or vanish as earlier objects in the killer's life (e.g., his parents) have done.

Re: What's good about being an attorney?
« Reply #73 on: November 05, 2006, 06:38:08 PM »

Similarly, serial killers often mutilate their victims and abscond with trophies -- usually, body parts. Some of them have been known to eat the organs they have ripped -- an act of merging with the dead and assimilating them through digestion.

Hannibal Lecter in "Red Dragon" ate organs of his victims.

Re: What's good about being an attorney?
« Reply #74 on: November 06, 2006, 04:56:31 AM »

Re: What's good about being an attorney?
« Reply #75 on: November 06, 2006, 09:45:20 PM »
what's to wink about, titntit?!

Re: What's good about being an attorney?
« Reply #76 on: November 19, 2006, 08:17:23 AM »
Right, it's not clear if titntit is winking to Mr. Gekko or the thread's starter ..

Re: The more things change the more they are the same
« Reply #77 on: November 20, 2006, 03:57:18 AM »

-- Visionary

Contrary to popular opinion, serial killers are rarely insane or motivated by hallucinations and/or voices in their heads. Many claim to be, usually as a way of trying to get acquitted by reason of insanity. There are, however, a few genuine cases of serial killers who were compelled by such delusions.

Herbert Mullin slaughtered 13 people after voices told him that murder was necessary to prevent California from suffering an earthquake. (Mullin went to great pains to point out that California did indeed avoid an earthquake during his murder spree.)

Ed Gein claimed that by eating the corpses of women who looked like his deceased mother, he could preserve his mother's soul inside his body. He killed two women who bore passing resemblances to his mother, eating one and being apprehended while in the process of preparing the second woman's body for consumption. He also used the flesh of exhumed corpses to fashion a "woman suit" for himself so that he could "become" his mother, and carried on conversations with himself in a falsetto voice. After his arrest he was placed in a mental facility for the remainder of his life.

-- Missionary

So-called missionary killers believe that their acts are justified on the basis that they are getting rid of a certain type of person (often prostitutes or members of a certain ethnic group), and thus doing society a favor. Gary Ridgway and Aileen Wuornos are often described as missionary killers. In Wuornos' case, the victims were not prostitutes, but their patrons. Missionary killers differ from other types of serial killer in that their motive is generally non-sexual. Arguably, Jack the Ripper also fits this role.

-- Hedonistic

This type kills for the sheer pleasure of it, although what aspect they enjoy varies. Yang Xinhai's post capture statement is typical of such killers' attitudes: "When I killed people I had a desire [to kill more]. This inspired me to kill more. I don't care whether they deserve to live or not. It is none of my concern"[1]. Some killers may enjoy the actual "chase" of hunting down a victim more than anything, while others may be primarily motivated by the act of torturing and abusing the victim while they are alive. Yet others, like Jeffrey Dahmer, may kill the victim quickly, almost as if it were a chore, and then indulge in necrophilia or cannibalism with the body. Usually there is a strong sexual aspect to the crimes, even if it may not be immediately obvious, but some killers obtain a surge of excitement that is not necessarily sexual, such as Berkowitz, who got a thrill out of shooting young couples in cars at random and then running away without ever physically touching the victims.

-- Gain motivated

Most criminals who commit multiple murders for material ends (such as mob hit men) are not classed as serial killers, because they are motivated by economic gain rather than psychopathological compulsion.[citation needed] There is a fine line separating such killers, however. For example, Marcel Petiot, who operated in Nazi-occupied France, could be classified as a serial killer. He posed as a member of the French Resistance and lured wealthy Jewish people to his home, claiming he could smuggle them out of the country. Instead he murdered them and stole their belongings, killing 63 people before he was finally caught. Although Petiot's primary motivation was materialistic, few would deny that a man willing to slaughter so many people simply to acquire a few dozen suitcases of clothes and jewelry was a compulsive killer and psychopath. However, it is impossible to understand the true motivation in such cases.

-- Power/control

This is the most common serial killer. Their main objective for killing is to gain and exert power over their victim. Such killers are sometimes abused as children, which means they feel incredibly powerless and inadequate, and often they indulge in rituals that are linked, often very specifically, to forms of abuse they suffered themselves. One killer, for example, forced young girls to perform oral sex on him, after which he would spank the girl before finally strangling her. After capture, the killer claimed that when he was a child his older sister would force him to perform oral sex on her, then she would spank him in order to terrify him into not telling their parents.[citation needed] The ritual he performed with his victims would negate the humiliation he felt from his abuse as a child, although such relief would only be temporary, and like other such killers, he would soon feel compelled to repeat his actions until eventual capture. (The vast majority of child abuse victims do not become serial killers, of course, meaning that such abuse is not regarded as the sole trigger of such crimes in these cases.) Many power/control-motivated killers sexually abuse their victims, but they differ from hedonistic killers in that rape is not motivated by lust but as simply another form of dominating the victim.

Some serial killers may seem to have characteristics of more than one type. For example, British killer Peter Sutcliffe appeared to be both a visionary and a mission-oriented killer in that he claimed voices told him to clean up the streets of prostitutes.

Alternatively, another school of thought classifies motive as being one of three types: need, greed, or power.

In the news media, we often hear about different types of killers. Terms such as serial killer and mass murderer and spree killer have, it seems, become a part of our vocabulary. However, do you know what the difference between them is? Ok, let's define them:

A serial killer is someone who has killed at least three victims, with a cooling off period between them. They often tend to hunt victims for a sexual thrill, and tend to keep doing it until they are caught, or are otherwise somehow stopped. E.g. Edmund Emil Kemper III.

A mass murderer kills four or more victims in one incident. Their actions can be described as an endgame strategy, and will often kill themselves after "making their statements" or will enter into a standoff with police. E.g. Timothy J. McVeigh

A spree killer kills at least three victims at multiple locations, without an emotional cooling off period between them. Usually their actions can be seen as a single continuous, lengthy storyline. E.g. Andrew Philip Cunanan.

Re: The more things change the more they are the same
« Reply #78 on: November 23, 2006, 03:14:52 PM »

A spree killer kills at least three victims at multiple locations, without an emotional cooling off period between them. Usually their actions can be seen as a single continuous, lengthy storyline. E.g. Andrew Philip Cunanan.

The FBI thinks it does know the truth about Cunanan, who went on a cross-country killing spree after the farewell party. Cunanan was charged with 2 murders and was suspected of 2 more. How is it that this charismatic young man with no criminal record suddenly transmogrified into someone police say is a sadistic multiple killer? Criminal experts say Cunanan appeared to be a so-called spree murderer rather than a serial killer. Serial killing in general may not be triggered by any loss or catastrophic event. Most serial killers kill just for the fun of it -- they kill for the power. What distinguishes spree killers from serial murderers is that they tend to be more spontaneous, more frenzied. They tend to leave more clues. Spree killers may be set off by some loss -- more like a mass murderer than a serial killer.

What happens in mass killings is that the killer seeks revenge against the people in his life who he thinks are responsible for all his personal problems. That may be part of Cunanan's motivation. It could be a financial loss, the loss of a relationship, a terminal illness. It could be anything. Spree killers tend to lack conventional moral grounding, a shortcoming that might, under extraordinary circumstances, lead them to view murder as a reasonable recourse. Cunanan seemed to be deceptive, manipulative -- a pathological liar. Those are the characteristics of a sociopath. A sociopath is a person who lacks conscience, who can't empathize with victims. They won't kill unless it's to their advantage. But if you all of a sudden become an obstacle to their success, watch out.

While Cunanan at least superficially seemed to have an ideal life in San Diego, investigators found cracks in his playboy facade and discovered clues about a much darker life that lay beneath the surface. From an early age Cunanan cultivated a reputation for being over the top. His parents were able to send him to the conservative Bishop's School in La Jolla, California. Cunanan was openly gay in high school, whistling at members of the boys' water polo team and taking an older man to the prom. Ironically, he was voted "Least Likely to Be Forgotten" by his classmates. In San Diego's predominantly gay Hillcrest area, Cunanan was known as a "party boy" who always had a gang of friends in tow. Although the only jobs he was known to have were as a drugstore clerk and a temp, he told friends variously that he was an heirloom importer, an actor, or an interior decorator; that he grew up in the south of France or the Philippines; that he came from a "rich Jewish family"; and that he had a trust fund. "He always had a good story to tell," said an acquaintance, "so it doesn't surprise me that some of them weren't true." Although he had "maxed out" 2 credit cards with a combined debt limit of $25,000, Cunanan never seemed short of money and often picked up the tab for large groups of his friends. His mother offered a blunt explanation for this: Her son was "a high-class homosexual prostitute," she told reporters. Whether this was the case is unclear, but something was undoubtedly afoot in late April that caused Cunanan to pack up and leave San Diego.

Re: What's good about being an attorney?
« Reply #79 on: December 23, 2006, 06:36:31 AM »

What's good about being an attorney?

What about the respect of the community? Attorneys are held in high regard and often chosen as leaders in society. A good attorney is a valuable friend and associate. When you pass the bar, you demonstrate an ability people look up to, and you establish yourself as part of the society's foundation. I think you'll find that your opinion as an attorney carries more weight than it does as a paralegal.

Katie T.   

"First thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers."
             -- Shakespeare, King Henry VI, Part II, IV, ii

From Ovid, to Overlawyered, Shakespeare to Shark t-shirts, lawyers have been universally disrespected, even by (and sometimes especially by) those who know them the best and need them the most. Why? Put simply, human beings find it difficult to trust or respect liars — especially the dissembler who promises protection, disguises motives or parses words. Like it or not, to the average person, lawyers seem to be in the business of lying, their degree being a license to lie (and steal). The causes go far beyond the central role lawyers play in our "adversarial" legal system, although that doesn't help ("You see, my dear, both sides present slanted stories and the judge nevertheless figures out what the truth is and renders justice.")   
It's not hard to understand the public’s disrespect for the profession, when its main images are: criminal defense lawyers spouting sound bites on courthouse steps, the content of which often strains credulity, blames victims, and has very little to do with the important role of making the government prove its case; ceaseless tidal waves of personal injury ads, with lawyers promising to be your best friend and to fight selflessly to get you every penny you deserve; heroine and hero lawyers on popular TV shows who have very little problem using deception and ignoring ethical obligations

Except for real estate closings, the most likely significant personal contact with a lawyer for the average American often comes in the context of a divorce or custody fight — either their own or that of a close friend. In that setting, lawyers consistently make claims about the opposing client that are willful distortions of the truth, used for posturing or leverage. In pleadings and during negotiations, for example, baseless or trumped-up charges of parental unfitness and spousal cruelty are routinely made, and frequently considered to be skillful lawyering. The resulting scars and resentment of lawyers tend to last a lifetime.
A major study released last year for the ABA Section of Litigation on "Public Perceptions of Lawyers" (June 2002) merely confirmed the public's lack of confidence in the profession.   Instead of getting to the root of the problem, the organized bar combats millennia of ill will and bad press with canned speeches and a barrel of "mugs, magnets, t-shirts, hats, mousepads, buttons, stickers & more" straight from the Law Day Store. The profession acts as if it only has an image problem and not a fundamental crisis. Therefore, whenever bar leaders are published on the op/ed pages of the media, or quoted on the news pages, we only hear that the profession holds itself to "the highest ethical standards," and is working hard to improve its civility and protect its clients (usually from competition and choice). Their detractors are painted as opportunists with political agendas. And, lawyer jokes are depicted as the cause rather than the result of the public's distrust.   

The legal profession need more PR, but it must be Professional Responsibility, not Public Relations. Image crafting only sounds like more deception to the average (and above-average) American. Like more lies. Lost trust has to be earned the hard way — client by client, case by case, with the focus on competence, diligence, and loyalty toward the client; on responsibility toward society rather than toward guild and gelt; on virgorous overseeing rather than overlooking of ethical rules; and on service rather than self-importance. Legal consumers can't merely be told that the client comes first. They have to see it and feel it. Until then, the equation "lawyer = liar" will remain a truism in the mind of the common man, not just a humorous pun.