People always think it's funny when I tell them that I don't watch television shows about lawyers. But I don't -- I can't. I used to, and then I would get angry about how the profession is so distorted.
On television, the case always goes right to trial. But in real life, the trial is only one event in a long chain of events, and in large part, it's kabuki theater -- a show for the judge and/or jury, and by that point, the lawyers and the witnesses have studied their parts, rehearsed their lines, and put on their costumes.
The television viewer doesn't see all of the investigative work that goes into preparing the case -- some of it before it's even filed. The viewer doesn't see all of the motions that are researched, written, filed, and argued before the trial takes place. The viewer doesn't see all the settlement conferences and mediations. The viewer doesn't see all of the scrambling around before the trial starts to get exhibit lists and witness lists prepared and exchanged. The viewer doesn't see all of the long hours in front of the computer screen.
The television viewer sees my job and thinks it's much easier and more glamorous than it is.