No sooner than my news hit facebook that I had passed the bar, then people started crawling out of the woodwork wanting "free" or nearly free legal advice.
There is a common misconception that since I trained in the law, I must know all things of course. Doesn't matter if I don't have any experience in that area or a desire to practice in that area, it is as if I am offending someone for not helping out.
What these "friends" do not realize is just because I passed the bar does not mean I am admitted. And just because I am admitted, does not mean that I am set up to practice. There are bar dues and malpractice insurance to take care of first!!!! Just to name a few.
Here was my favorite one from last week: Hey, I know we have not talked in awhile, but will you still help me on that small legal matter I have been struggling with? When I saw who it was from, I about fell out of my chair --- this was from a guy that I "dated" but whom dumped me when I did not pass the second time. REALLY? I am going to fall all over myself to risk my license to represent you. Don't think so jerk!
Then there was a dear friend of mine. Wants help in an area that I would have to take a SECOND bar to be admitted to, nevermind an area that is highly specialized and technical and an area that I would never practice. I'd rather have a root canal. And you know how this friend was going to pay me? Royalties..... Um, that's unethical. Not allowed. Finito. I know this friend did not know this, and really needs help, but I would be more of a hindrance than a help.
The thing is I have a kind heart. And there are two women that I will figure out a way to work pro bono for them. They need it. One I would do for her child. The other woman, I would do for the pure pleasure of cross examining, intimidating and otherwise putting the screws to the opponent who is someone that I cannot stand. That one I would think about paying to do :) Not really, that would be questionable in the ethics areana as well.