The Truth About My Job: Lawyers
Debunking a common career myth about lawyers.
Jeanne L. Seewald
It's easy to judge another industry from the outside, with ideas formed by what we see on TV, hear on the news or experience through our friends. But not all stories and stereotypes are true. The best way to debunk myths about an industry? Turning to those who know it best.
THE MYTH: Lawyers go to court all the time, regardless of their practice area.
“Lawyers on TV shows [like Law & Order and The Good Wife] are going to court and fighting constantly, and you also see them have an issue come up and immediately have a hearing. That’s just not how the court system works,” Jeanne L. Seewald, partner at Hahn Loeser & Parks LLP, says.
THE TRUTH: “A very small number of cases that are filed actually go to court,” Seewald says. Even then, it’s litigation specialists who appear before the judge, hardly ever transactional lawyers, like Seewald, who mainly helps companies buy and sell, draft contracts, and address trademark and web matters.
If a dispute needs to be resolved, transactional lawyers might consult with the other party’s counsel, but if someone plans to sue, “you want a true litigation attorney involved because they regularly go to court and keep up on all the rules of court,” Seewald says.