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Help ! My Daughter’s a Lawyer.

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The legal profession has come under scrutiny again since the arrival of the IMF on our door step. Reform of the profession is on the Agenda and nearly all of the public feel, well about time. These lawyers are ripping us off and charge enormous fees that’s what they do. Reform is like a stick to beat the lawyers with and very few disagree. It’s like, well they are responsible for all the trouble we’re in, aren’t they?

Today the legal profession is made up of your sons and daughters who have studied hard, gone to College and then entered Law School either in The Law Society for solicitors or The King’s Inns for barristers. Most qualify in their mid 20’s seeking employment. Those who pursue a career at the Bar will spend, say two years ‘deviling’ and with the help of You, their parents, will spend at least another five or six years attempting to establish themselves at the Bar. So by the time they are 30 or so, they may start to make a living. Most do not and must seek employment elsewhere. As for a Solicitor, you must spend a number of years as an apprentice and pay very high fees to the Law Society during your training. Unlike when I was apprenticed, you now can ‘get paid’ during your apprenticeship by your Solicitor. These payments are more like pocket-money and go no way to enabling you to pay your way through your ‘time’. I’m told it’s about Euro 200 a week but not all get paid this. So, many work for nothing as otherwise, needing an apprenticeship, they could not commence their studies at The Law Society. So, after all the expense and time spent at study, the young solicitor needs to seek out employment. Today there are more lawyers seeking employment than at any time in the past. Remember that they could not have qualified as either solicitors or barristers without your help. They are remember, your sons and daughters.

In another era, the law was not a career you could pursue without family connections or else come from a wealthy background and usually have political connections. They were in effect ‘closed’ professions. There was as a result more work for fewer people. If you could work hard for a few years you were guaranteed a good living and for life. Conveyancing fees were 1% plus £100. Think about it. The £100 that is. By dealing with maybe three or four sales you could pay your overheads including rent, staff, expenses, taxes etc. for a full year. Those times are now gone except of course, for the select few. Today the fees from three or four sales would hardly cover one weeks overheads. The more the professions opened up the less lucrative they’ve become. This is not a bad thing in itself but goes some way to show how times have changed. I am not attempting to justify the enormous fees charged by some law firms. But these are indeed the exception.

There is a clear division within the legal profession today. Between those who act for the State, Banks, Insurance companies and such like and then ‘the rest’ of us. If economists and other commentators and I include David McWilliams ( a man I have great respect for ) among those who criticise the lawyers, then they should not tar all with the same brush. Don’t direct your criticism at the average lawyer as to do so is to do a great injustice to those in the legal profession who spend their lives working for ‘the man in the street’. These lawyers represent you on a daily basis and fight to protect you from the abuses of the State and Society. Without them we have no chance to fight to protect the rights of those in society who are most vulnerable. Today those people are You. You have worked hard to provide your family with a home. That home is now under threat from the Banks and their allies in politics and elsewhere. You will be faced down by these Banks and they will employ, yes at great expense, the services of professionals, including lawyers and accountants . How are you to fight for your rights if not by employing the services of your local family solicitor or other lawyers who have in effect your life in their hands? Yes we need reform of the legal system and those of us on the coal front have been screaming for same for years. But we must get a level playing field where your sons and daughters can practise for the benefit of you, the working public and not an elitist minority.

Do not bundle all lawyers into the same group Mr McWilliams. Tribunal Lawyers and the fees they received are not the norm. Lawyers in general have the good of society at heart and spend their lives promoting justice and equality and the rights of the less well off than anyone else. Don’t let those that want to do away with your rights succeed in furthering the notion of  ‘a lawyer free zone’. You are the one that will suffer most not those who run the Banks and Large Corporations who will never be short of ‘legal advice’ to pursue their ill-gotten gains.

Next week I will deal with the cosy relationship between the State and the Insurance Industry and how Your Rights have been severely curtailed to increase the wealth of the ‘privileged classes’.


LegalEagleStar , Wednesday 6th. April , 2011

Written by LegalEagleStar

April 6, 2011 at 1:48 pm

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