A blog by Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer Brian Tannebaum. Commenting on criminal law issues of local and national interest.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

There Are No "Lawyers" Being Laid Off - Ramblings About Law Firms

Like the newspaper at my front door, everyday I receive lists of law firms "laying off" lawyers.

If you are laid off, you are not a lawyer, you are a tool, a device, a big or small firm expendability. Check yourself.

Lawyers have clients. Clients have lawyers. If you are being laid off, you have no "client" to speak of. You are part of a team of lawyers that can handle the client, or your client is worthless to the firm. You are irrelevant to those you work for, and who you really work for is not a client, it is other lawyers.

Time to think about working for clients. Isn't that why you wanted to become a lawyer, or were you one of the L.A. Law watchers merely entering this profession for the mahogany desk and nice views (paid for by your firm)?

The country is filled with people calling themselves "lawyers" who entered this profession for the wrong reason. Maybe it's not such a bad idea that they never really achieved what they perceived themself to be, and now find themselves looking for work, as "lawyers."

Brian Tannebaum is a criminal defense lawyer in Miami, Florida practicing in state and federal court. Read his free ebook The Truth About Hiring A Criminal Defense Lawyer. To learn more about Brian and his firm, Tannebaum Weiss, please visit www.tannebaumweiss.com



  1. Amen. Just like in social media, it's about service to others, not just about personal reward- that's how you build trust and relationships, no matter what your profession is.

  2. My experience has been that the tools call themselves "attorney and counselor at law" or "esq.".

  3. Anonymous3:10 AM

    Can a doctor be laid off? Or does the mere ability to represent-or work for-clients independent of a large establishment mean that you are not a bona fide professional if you chose to work for "big business"? Does a solo practitioner who has yet to build a client base not qualify as a lawyer in your measure? The test of a lawyer is not necessarily a portable book of business, but the skills and commitment to practice that one develops over time. Moreover, partners have been let go as well in this economy -even a great partner would not have the resources or malpractice insurance to convince a million-dollar client to follow his shingle ... unless he hangs that shingle on the door of his Biglaw office.

  4. Anonymous4:01 PM

    You sound like a douche-bag (is this correctly hyphenated?)

  5. Aw c'mon 4:01, you spent 33 minutes and 33 seconds here at my blog from your cox.net IP address and that's the best you can do? I don't know if the term "douche-bag" is properly hypenated because I haven't used that word in many years, but why don't you call me at the office and we can discuss your miserable life and what's really bothering you.

    In the meantime, I'm going to leave your beautiful work of prose up for everyone to see. Perhaps you can show your friends and family your wonderful comment. I'm proud of you.

    Or you can direct me to your blog and we can chat there, Anonymous.