Michael Sean Quinn*

For centuries lawyers have regarded themselves as a learned profession. Both characteristics are apt. What lawyer tried to avoid doing and saying is that they are also sellers of a service product. They are merchants; they sell something: a service which involves learnedness, skill, an explicit code of ethics, and an unusual status for those whom they serve, i.e., the fiduciary relationship.]

However, they are still merchants. This means that they must view client and prospective clients as customers, as well as clients or prospective clients. Most lawyers try to keep the two statuses separate.

This recognition brings with it a new set of ideas. Here’s one. It pertains to how lawyers dress.  It used to be said that lawyers need to, at all times, dress like lawyers. This meant always wear a handsome expensive looking suit, even if your getting document out of boxes on Saturday in somebody’s wear house. 

Most high brow merchant services require special, orderly, sometimes elegant and even formal dress. In our post-modern age, where it’s more true than ever, that anything goes, many lawyers dress poorly. Wrinkles are even fashionable.  Jeans can sometimes be warn to some lesser court hearings. When ties are required–for example–at actual trials, some lawyers cheap dies of various sorts. The attitude is that ties from Target are just a good as those from Brooks Brothers.  

There are a lot more changes as lawyers recognize that they are members of the merchant class (or one of the merchant classes) as opposed to simply being part of an intricate, elite, very learned highly prestigious, special class.   Maybe I’ll get around to saying something about it one of these days. For sure, the lawyer as manager needs to be described, not the management of yesteryear but in todays cyber world. 

*Michael Sean Quinn, Ph.D., J.D.

1300 West Lynn Suite 208

Austin, TX 78703

Office Phone: 512-296-2594
Fax: 512-344-9466