Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Briefcase Blog

One of the beauties of a law degree is its versatility. After you graduate, you have alot of options. You can work in big firms, small firms, hang out your own shingle, work for the government in some capacity, practice criminal or civil law, or even teach.

Some of these options are rather ethereal, though. Teaching something as droll as Property Law in law school would for me be the functional equivalent of watching paint dry while being subjected to continuous loop accordian music. Picture a professor wearing a blazer with elbow patches droning on about 18th century property concepts like "feoffment with livery of seisin"--I can't even remember what it means but somehow I still remember the term (sounds like something you'd order in a French restaurant or something Emeril makes on The Food Network"). I'd rather stab myself (repeatedly) with dull letter opener than teach a topic like that.

And then there are guys like Russ Bensing. He has a great blog, The Briefcase, that covers what it's like to practice criminal law in the trenches of our criminal justice system. Real stories from an insider's point of view. No polish or varnish--and no accordian music either! Practicing criminal law is like a 30 mile trip in the fast lane at 80 mph, whereas civil law (my practice) is more the 5 hour ride at 60 mph with the occasional acceleration over the speed limit. Russ's blog gives you a feel for the ride, and the stories alone are worth checking out. You'll have a newfound respect for what a good criminal lawyer goes through (or puts up with) on a day to day basis.


jodi said...

hey! i like accordian music. it reminds me of all the czech weddings i attended as a kid! you gotta love grandma dancing the polka with aunt betty!! pigs in a blanket, anyone?

Russ Bensing said...

Thanks for the kind words, Brian, but after spending two hours sitting around in court at a pretrial yesterday only to learn that the prosecutors couldn't find their file -- a not uncommon occurrence -- your description of criminal law as "a 30 mile trip at 80 mph" doesn't quite resonate as much as I'd like.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes we all get stuck in the legal slow lane at times, but try working on a case for three and a half years, only to get bounced in the Ohio Supreme Court after oral argument...That's "Amish buggy" slow (with no justice at the end of that road for my clients...)