After some serious soul searching coupled with a week of binge watching reruns of The Practice, I have decided that I want to be a television lawyer.
I considered many other career paths before this one. After binge watching episodes of Grey’s Anatomy, for example, I thought I wanted to become a television doctor. But there were just so many glaring problems with that plan that I eventually had to just abandon it.
First of all, I can’t stand the sight of blood (fake or otherwise). Also, television doctoring involves too much jargon. It would be like having to learn a whole new language and I just don’t have the patience for that. And last but certainly not least, there is the issue of wardrobe. TV doctors have to wear scrubs all the time. Some people look good in scrubs. I am not one of those people.
During an extended back to back period when I was binging on episodes of Moonlighting and Remington Steele, I also considered a career as a television detective. But, let’s face it television detectives pretty much went out with the 1980’s, so that was never a realistic option.
As I think back on it now, television lawyer was the only real option. Here is why:
1. Jargon: There is jargon in television law, but most of it is at least passingly familiar to anyone who has taken high school social studies. It’s all simple stuff like: probable cause hearing, double jeopardy and contempt. Real life lawyers probably need to know a lot more jargon than that, but television lawyers can get by with just the basics.
2. Wardrobe: TV lawyers get to wear business suits. Business suits are cool. Everyone looks good in business suits, including me.
3. Education: Unlike real lawyers, television lawyers do not have to go to law school. This is why I selected television lawyer over real life lawyer. I’ve seen The Paper Chase. I know how horrible and soul sucking actual law school can be. Plus it takes so much time to become a real lawyer. Television lawyers can basically show up and start practicing law. It’s that easy.
4. Respect: Real life lawyers don’t get much respect. They get called ambulance chasers, bottom feeders and shysters. Television lawyers, on the other hand, get tons of respect. They are admired, even revered. On television, lawyer is a noble profession. In the real world…not so much.
5. The speeches: Every episode of every legal show worth its salt, includes at least one really good speech. Start with righteous indignation, stir in a little relevant social commentary, add in just the right amount of legal jargon – heat, chill and serve. In our daily lives how many opportunities do we get to make speeches like these? Not very many. But TV lawyers get to give them all the time and they get to sound super smart doing it.
6. The drama: There is so much drama in television law. Whether you’re arguing case or jumping across a table to attack one of your colleagues during a partner’s meeting, there is no shortage of action in the life of a television lawyer. Unlike real life which can be, at times, quite boring, the life of a television lawyer is non-stop excitement.
7. The money: television lawyers make a lot of money. They drive nice cars and have nice homes. In short, they live the high life.
Bottom line, television lawyer is the perfect profession. You get respect, money and a cool wardrobe. Plus you get to sound smart and you get to give cool speeches. What more could you want from a job? There is just one tiny little problem. There doesn’t seem to be much a job market out there for television lawyers. I’ve been looking for a while now and I haven’t seen a single job opening. But I am not giving up hope. I am sure something will come along soon. In the meantime, if any of you out there hear of any openings for television lawyers, please let me know.