Dear Big Name Litigator,

I enjoyed reading your recent article in the paper so much, I just couldn’t stop laughing.  Really. 

About how much I need to step up and do pro bono work.  Because it’s my responsibility, as an officer of the court, to reach out to people and help them.

What a joke.

For what it’s worth, I already do pro bono work.  I take on two or three cases a year, not that my firm gives a shit.  Whatever I don’t bill while I’m rescuing the needy needs to get made up, and pronto, or I will be sitting down with the budget gods to talk about a salary reduction.  But that’s not why I thought the article was so damn funny.

What’s funny to me is how you – and let’s be fair, lots of other lawyers and judges and other supposedly ethical people – are so quick to ignore your colleagues when they’re the ones who need the help.  When my old firm went bust in an orgy of horrendous publicity, where exactly were my colleagues at the bar?  Who exactly reached out to me?  Not the volunteer lawyer service, that’s for fucking sure.  And not you.

You want me to do pro bono work?  I mean actual work, as opposed to throwing money at the problem (as if I had money)?  Make it possible for me to practice law without wanting to kill myself on a regular basis.  Start with your buddies at the bar.  Ask them to care when associates and young partners go down in flames.  That would be a start.

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