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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

So God Made A Lawyer

There was a Super Bowl ad that followed this formula:

God + Farmers + Truck = $$

It was the Chrysler ad that featured a voice-over from Paul Harvey, an unmitigated declaration that farmers are Heaven-sent, and an ambiguous tie-in with large trucks. Paul Harvey was a conservative radio broadcaster, and he made the speech that was used to frame the 2013 ad back in 1978. The purpose of the decades-old speech was, according to Forbes, to drum up public support for struggling farmers. As a piece of prose, it was, and continues to be, applauded as inspirational and masterful.

The commercial has prompted declarations that the spot is the most acclaimed advertisement of all time. It has been targeted with condemnations that it is nothing more than a cynical manipulation aimed at cushioning the bottom line. It has inspired copy-catters.

Writing for MarketWatch, Brett Arends borrowed from the Chrysler/Harvey script to draft "So God Made A Banker." It features demand-supply connections such as:

God said, "I need someone who doesn't grow anything or make anything but who will borrow money from the public at 0% interest and then lend it back to the public at 2% or 5% or 10% and pay himself a bonus for doing so."
So God made a banker.
As I read Arends' interpretation of God's decision-making process, I was cackling to myself and annoyingly fist-pumping Arends in my mind's eye. It had me all fired up in a self-righteous sort of way. Then I remembered that (a) I am a lawyer, and (b) God created glass houses to remind all of us not to cast stones.

Instead of some "Hail Mary's" or choking on a rosary bead, my self-imposed punishment for my momentary lapse in perspective is to draft "So God Made A Lawyer." Here we go.

And on the eighth day God looked down on his planned paradise and said, “I need someone who can push paper and make it look complicated.”

So God made a lawyer.

God said, “I need someone who doesn’t create anything or even really move during the day except to pick up the telephone to tell someone to order lunch.”

So God made a lawyer.

God said, “I need someone who will draft long memos detailing various legal risks without identifying where the client is most exposed or which scenario is most likely, and who will then have the chutzpah to charge that client a Wal-Mart clerk's annual salary for the work product. Plus meals and cab fare.”

So God made a lawyer.

God said, “I need someone to be willing to speak on any issue, at any time, regardless of qualification to do so, and to expound at length on that topic and in that setting without coming to any conclusion, facilitating any decision, or maintaining a linear train of concrete thought.”

God said, “I need someone who believes they need three years of additional schooling to 'learn how to think,' who believes productivity can be measured in 6-minute intervals, and who believes that dry-cleaning services and having meals delivered to desks are job perks." 

God said, “And I need somebody who proclaims the nobility of her profession even while the Internet clogs with millions of jokes about that same profession.”

So God made a lawyer.



  1. This is a very interesting and funny blog, I enjoyed it quite a bit. I have been a fan of Paul Harvey and heard of him when I was young. I will be looking forward to the next post. personal injury attorney medford oregon

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