I work in a small general practice law firm. Despite that description, I am not familiar with every area of law. There are dozens of areas of law, some broad in scope and others very specific. Some law firms opt to practice in limited areas of law while others, like the one I work in, practice in several areas of law. There are benefits and drawbacks to each law firm model; however, I prefer working in general practice firms because they provide diversity each day. Forrest Gump famously said, “. . . life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” The same is true with general practice law firms.
Unfortunately, “general practice” commonly confuses, well, just about everyone. Friends and family members ask me questions concerning all kinds of law which is all well, fine and good except when I tell them I don’t have the faintest idea because I’ve never worked in that area of law before. They are almost always dumbfounded when I don’t know anything of substance about copyrights, patents, bankruptcy or the dozens of other legal areas I’ve failed to work in (yet). Folks apparently assume and/or believe that once someone starts working in the legal field, they are automatically bestowed with knowledge of all things legal, which couldn’t be further from the truth.
In addition to failing to know everything about law, I also don’t know everything about the following legal things:
- All legal procedures;
- All Latin terms;
- All laws/statutes/rules/codes;
- All lawyers/judges;
- All current events concerning the legal arena; and,
- On and on, ad nauseam (<— see what I did there?).
While it pains me to admit it, I don’t actually know it all. Google is my bestie, yo!