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I often am taken aback by what I perceive to be the state of our relationship with the legal community - meaning lawyers - men and women alike - and I wonder if we bridged the gap, would it help or hinder.
What do you think?
I am addressed with comments such as the following: (from attorneys)
So how does that thing work? (referring to our steno machine)
It's all voice-recorded, right?
How do you get all her objections?
You guys don't use those little thingy-majigies anymore? (referring, again, to our writers)
What's that? A six-month course?
Why don't you just record it?
Do you have to go to school for that?
Do you just use the laptop now?
You mean it translates into English??? Wow! So you just go home and, what, print it out or something?
And I'm sure you've heard these comments as well.
It takes all that I have to calmly explain in a most rudimentary way, until their eyes begin to gloss over - then I stop - for they had no idea that, yes, it takes training; and yes, I still use the little thingy-majigy (holding it up for them to see! Look!)
What on earth do they think I'm doing there at the end of the table?
They say "Knowledge is power," so in this case, would it be?
Do you think if the legal community really knew -- were educated, perhaps -- on just a few of the salient, fundamental details of what we actually do, it would be beneficial?
Do you think they would be more appreciative, monetarily speaking?
A couple of months ago while waiting for things to start, the wit and the atty engaged me in the "How do you do that" conversation. I explained that one character on my keyboard can either be that letter or a word or a phrase, depending upon which other characters I invite along.
The attorney said, quote, "That's hard."
The look on my face had to be saying, You didn't know that??? because that's what I was feeling.
Then I thanked her for spewing out her objections at super-human speed forcing me to combine my two strokes of AFS for "assumes facts" and NIV "not in evidence" into one stroke, because she just left no time... to AFX for the whole shebang!
Anyway, sometimes I flip around on all of the CR sites and read what we're talking about, and it's interesting and informative -- to US.
We're in our own little world. And I do like it that way. I just wonder is it too sheltered when the people we go to work with every day have NO IDEA what we're doing there! Where did the breakdown occur?
Or is it by design?
If we let them in to our world with all the knowledge of what we do, would they find a way to oust us or in some other way threaten our existence because of what they learned.
It just makes me wonder as the deadlines grow shorter, the service demands grow higher, for less, the per diems are cut, a draft "thrown in" for good measure, diminishing early arrival fee, later and later after-hour per diems, SEND THE ROUGH AND THE EXHIBITS... as the videographer is announcing his read off - the client wants it NOW! - just makes me wonder when I hear these comments, if they even realize what they're asking for...
What do you think?
When asked how I do it, how does it work...etc., I usually just say with a wicked grin, "It's magic" or ,"If I told ya I'd have to kill ya." Kind of lightens up things and then I usually make it VERY simple (and ABSOLUTELY minimizing) and just say something like, "It's like learning a second language...and MASTERING it." They then realize that it's not just a 6-month course or something. That usually satisfies them without burdening them with all the FACTS. :)
I like that, Grace.