I have always chosen to believe that people are good and have the best intentions. When in doubt, I choose to believe there was a miscommunication and had the person, who’s actions are in question, known the full facts, their actions would have been different. Isn’t that the approach that produces the best results? It avoids a lot of pain and gives the party in question an easy out. But I am rarely given the same treatment in return, and that is often the most painful.
Practicing law has changed my perspective. I have seen people, companies, and attorneys, turn a person into a number in order to rationalize their disregard for that person’s individual rights. In my short time practicing, I have had a surprising number of clients get divorced because of the stress that getting hurt at work have put on their finances and ultimately their relationships. I have seen innocent people lose sleep, lose jobs, and lose their family because their rights were taken away or abused. This makes it difficult to keep believing the best in people and sometimes I blame the attorney.
I understand now why attorneys have a bad reputation. A famous line (that is often misquoted) from Shakespeare’s “Henry VI” is “let’s kill all the lawyers.” But Shakespeare did not mean it as a reference to unethical and corrupt lawyers. Rather, it was said by a character who wanted to disrupt law and order in order to overthrow the king. Shakespeare meant it as a compliment to lawyers who uphold justice and peace, without whom there would be chaos. Attorneys have an important role to play in society, and I will choose to keep believing the best in people and attorneys and hope I will get the same in return.