Monthly Archives: February 2009

Lawyers

Ben Goldacre is something of a small personal hero of mine, he received a nasty lawyer-letter recently and in a throwaway line came up with a stinging damnation of everything that is wrong with our legal system:

… In medicine we have protocols: we try to lay out very clearly and simply how something works, what the likely outcomes are, the best moves, and so on. I don’t see why this would be difficult in law. Doctors and academics have been bending over backwards to make their work readily accessible and understandable to people outside the profession for many years, with considerable success. Lawyers, meanwhile, with the assistance of judges and those who make laws, seem sometimes to make their money out of obfuscation, out of the uncertainties and continent-sized grey areas. To me that’s not just unhealthy, it also feels eerily unfamiliar, to come across an industry where so many key players seem to have a paradoxical interest in making things not work.

Fantastic. I could say the same about Engineering, I’ve never understood why Law is so complex, confusing and expensive.