Being a lawyer is a lot like being a chef.
You have a lot of customers with different tastes, allergies, and wallets. Can one chef fix the same meal to make everyone happy? Of course not. A chef, like a lawyer, has to put together a lot of ingredients to make a well-balanced and tasty dish. While a chef’s meal is constrained by the science behind food – a lawyer’s dish is constrained by the law. A chef, no matter how great, cannot make water freeze at 212º Fahrenheit and boil at 32º Fahrenheit. A lawyer can’t get you a million dollars when you are at fault. Ethical lawyers cannot and will not. Just like law, in the kitchen it always works better if the chef is the one that puts those ingredients together herself. She is the expert. If you go into the local diner for a three egg omelet, you don’t walk in with the eggs. That is the chef ’s job.
When the chef is preparing the meal from the beginning, the kitchen runs smooth and you get exactly what – a hot three egg omelet that is light, fluffy, and doesn’t have any mushrooms that make you break out in hives.
You didn’t come in asking me to make you that omelet. You brought in your own home-cooked omelet that is full of bits of eggshells and some sausage that gives you indigestion. Now you are asking me to take this omelet apart, bit by bit, remove the eggshells, the sausage, and even a few bits of hair that you didn’t even see. You cannot eat this omelet. You just can’t. I could whip up an omelet in about 10 minutes and it would cost 5 bucks and come with a side of toast. To take your omelet and fix it properly is going to take me most of the day.
“While a chef’s meal is constrained by the science behind food – a lawyer’s dish is constrained by the law.”
Is fixing your omelet going to cost more? Of course it is. You cannot throw out your omelet and ask me to make you a new one. Your mom is standing over your shoulder and telling you that you are not allowed to waste food. Just like these agreements you signed; you are stuck with that omelet. So when you complain about the situation, time and costs, please know I am very happy to fix your omelet, but understand, I don’t half-fix omelets. If we are going to fix the omelet, we are going to fix it right and it will be as good as possible. When I tell you it is going to take the day to fix this omelet and cost you $100, I am telling you what my experience has taught me. When asked about the other chef who said it could be done for $20; you have to ask yourself, “Do you really think that omelet can be fixed in two hours?” Maybe it could, but I don’t think so. Anyone saying it can be fixed easily is either a genius who should be running a university think-tank or they are telling you what you want to hear; not what you need to hear. It is never too late to get a lawyer involved in your matter, it always will add value and help protect your rights. Unfortunately, we can’t unscramble those eggs, so speak with one before those eggs are cracked next time.