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January 27, 2004

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Evan Schaeffer

I thought it might be wise to add a short note of explanation for law students, young lawyers, and anyone else who did not understand what I was getting at in this post. Anyone confused by the post might begin by accusing me, quite rightly, of assuming that we share the same frame of reference, which obviously can't be true of everyone. Besides, it’s possible that the post itself just wasn't very funny. The first link directs your browser to a photo of a "potted plant." That was what the famous lawyer Brendan Sullivan, who represented Oliver North during the Iran-Contra affair, told the congressional subcommittee that he wasn't, as in "I'm not a potted plant!" He made this objection to the congressional subcommittee because he felt that he was not getting the respect he deserved, and he was right: lawyers are more than potted plants, though I'd argue this doesn’t necessarily mean they’d make suitable office decorations. On the other hand, you can take this sort of thinking too far. For example, if lawyers were plants, say a sort of flower, I'd be hard-pressed to argue that they'd be any more colorful, or smell any better, or last any longer than most other sorts of flowers. And no lawyer not yet driven insane by the demands of his or her busy practice would lay claim to being an entire tranquil field full of flowers (my second link).

Put it this way. In my book of horticulture, lawyers would rank slightly above dandelions, but would rank far below tulips, and would bear a striking resemblance to the many other sorts of common flora that dot the earth.

(Note to federal judges: yes, all right, you can be the tulips).

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