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Sunday, June 15, 2003

All Lawyered Up

Late last week I went to a bar association conference with my mother-in-law.

I'm not a lawyer. She is.

Anyway, they had some seminars dealing with media issues, which overlaps with what I claim to do for a living: PR. Also, the national PR society requires me to rack up some continuing education credits. Bar association conference plus being a guest of my m-in-l equals Jeff getting PR education credits. Huzzah!

I took the conference as an opportunity to people watch. I don't know quite what I was expecting, except it would have satisfied my sense of stereotyped drama to see fights breaking out between parties threatening to sue each other. And maybe some people in neck braces from "falls" they had in the lobby.

"Oh, compensatory damages are not enough to cover the pain and suffering I've endured as a result of my slipping and falling on the recently mopped entrace marked only with a 'Wet Floor' sign. It should have said, 'This floor is wet and may be slippery. Serious bodily injury could occur. Please proceed with caution.' This is clearly a case of tortious outrage."

But I didn't really see any of that. Mainly there were people sitting quietly in the audience, sipping coffee, monitoring their mobile phones and filling out the paperwork to claim their continuing legal education credits.

I did spy what I'll call "Mr. and Ms. Law Conference." This man and woman, who were not a couple and probably didn't even know each other, looked like exactly what you'd want if you were in charge of casting people for roles as lawyers in a movie.

They had:
Gray hair. If you're a mid-career lawyer, you need that so you look serious and experienced.
Reading glasses. They ride low on the nose you can peer over them at people as if to say, "You're a lying sack of shit, and I'm going to prove it in court."
Lawyer clothes: The woman went the route of the dark, conserative corporate lawyer suit. The man wore a seersucker suit and bow tie, like something you'd see in the 1930s.

I almost wished I'd had a camera.

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