The Value of Legal Representation

Many argue that there is plenty of work for lawyers, but not enough potential clients with the means to pay for legal services.

I disagree.

Oodles of folks have the ability to pay for legal representation, but most choose to value other things over legal services.

Based on almost 10 years of observations, here’s a list of things that seem to be valued by many, many potential clients, in relation to legal representation (from most important to least important).

  1. A Fancy Car
  2. A not-so-fancy car with $20,000 rims.
  3. A not-so-fancy car with a boomin’ sound-system and $5000 rims.
  4. A 1995 Brown Chevy Caprice Classic with $2000 rims.
  5. $2000 rims, but no car.
  6. A weekend in Cancun with unlimited alcohol.
  7. A weekend in Panama City with pay-by-the-drink alcohol.
  8. A big-ass flat-panel television (minimum 50 inches).
  9. A weekend in a crappy hotel in Gary, Indiana with two bottles of cheap alcohol.
  10. Tattoos (thanks to Texas ADA).
  11. A weekend in an average hotel in Topeka, Kansas with a bag of weed.
  12. One afternoon in a Reno, Nevada brothel.
  13. An opportunity to flirt with the female clerk working the afternoon shift at Panda Express at the southside mall.
  14. Paid access to adult internet site featuring a girl who attended their high school.
  15. A $3000 Karaoke machine.
  16. One night out at Applebees.
  17. 15 minutes of tokens for private booth at Franks Adult Emporium.
  18. Playstation 3
  19. Call of Duty Black Ops 2 for Playstation 3
  20. A $200 Karaoke machine.
  21. Blu-Ray of “Barb Wire, Extended Director’s Cut.”
  22. 2 tickets to a Lakers game.
  23. Bus ticket to see girlfriend in Shawnee, Oklahoma.
  24. Replica movie poster of Al Pacino in “Scarface.”
  25. Blingy “$” necklace.
  26. 4 tickets to see a Monster Truck show.
  27. One day at a state fair.
  28. iPad
  29. One purebred Pit Bull Terrier.
  30. iPhone
  31. One pair of the latest in-brand of jeans.
  32. One carton of Marlboros.
  33. NFL Sunday Ticket.
  34. New Baskeball Shoes.
  35. A dog (any breed).
  36. Six Pack of Beer (any brand).
  37. A Large, One-Topping Pizza from Papa John’s.
  38. One pack of Marlboros (or one can of Copenhagen).
  39. A new jacket (hunter camo pattern ONLY)
  40. A 1983 Chevrolet Chevette (not necessarily operable).
  41. One can of body spray.
  42. Glass anal beads.
  43. Legal Representation
  44. Plastic anal beads.
  45. Education
  46. Condoms

4 thoughts on “The Value of Legal Representation

  1. Pretty funny. Could it be that the average unwashed citizen has completely lost faith in our system of justice? Perhaps they think the outcome is largely the same, lawyer or no lawyer. Why do you suppose they would believe that? There may be some truth to the old saw “You get all the justice you can afford” but I wonder.

    • First, I didn’t really concern myself with “why” someone values legal representation in a certain manner in this post. I just addressed the actual and/or perceived value of the same.

      Second, I think of the old story where a father asks his son how much a certain baseball card is worth. The son answers with a few random dollar amounts. Finally, the father says, “It’s worth whatever someone is willing to pay for it.” Personally, I think the same applies to legal representation (means notwithstanding).

      While I realize that you’d be willing to pay $5000 for a 1999 Jeremy Giambi baseball card, I certainly wouldn’t.

  2. Your point is a good one.
    When I first started to practice (in criminal defense), my sibling (doing family law) told me to be sure to charge enough.
    “They don’t seem to have any money!’, I protested.
    “You’d be surprised at the amounts they can come up with,” she said.

    Now I share a reception area with the Collections department, which is where the folks who can’t pay fees and fines set up payment plans.
    These are what I see regularly, passing through:
    Cell phones
    Fancy manicures
    Huddles of children approximately 9 months apart in age
    Cigarette packs

    Private practice taught me that folks will pay reasonable fees for the best representation you can give them. And, they will distinguish among attorneys; they’re not stupid about their results.

    Of course, Just Wonderin’ has a valid point. As a Texan, the Cullen Davis cases still cause me disquiet. (Amazing job, Racehorse!) The rich can afford an army of legal representation, while the poor must make do – often with uninterested attorneys, who value money more than the integrity of the profession.

    That’s one of the reasons why your blog is such a refreshing read; you ponder intergrity constantly.

    • Tattoos! I knew I forgot something.

      I would have mentioned manicures, but this list is catered to the majority of my potential clients, who are male.

      I’ll never forget the day that one of my Sergeants came to work with significant new tattoo work on his arm (he was going for the “sleeve” thing). The next week, he came to us needing command approval for a relief loan in order to pay his heating bill.

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