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Love: Sames attractGuest post by an anonymous lawyer and several talented non-lawyer collaborators who've had their fair share of legal 'experience'.

Disclaimer: If you have a sensitive heart and/or soul, you may be offended. Please no blaming or suing.

Seriously, we mean it.

Okay. So you meet this boy/girl; they’re a lawyer just like you.

Maybe they’re someone you’ve known since college. Maybe they’re someone you’re working with. Or maybe you just met on the endless work-like-a-dog-during-the-day-at-a-law-firm-or-court and drink-like-a-fish-at-night-(at-4S-if-in-Delhi) circle you run with.

And God darn it, that way they talk about Article 21 and Hart and the way their mouth looks when legalese like ipso facto and aforesaid and inter alia just flows from their lips with ease so practiced it looks careless, and that way they have this informed opinion about everything - well, it just gets you and makes you want to grab them and have your merry merry way with them.

So there you are. At 4S (or any other lawyer-hang-out bar / Saturday night house party) and your drunken eyes meet across the hazy room. Or maybe your fingers brush when they light your cigarette for you. Or maybe you’re in the midst of a passionate discussion with them on some very relevant socio-political-jurisprudential issue that you won’t remember the next morning.

Whatever it is, it just happens. Attraction zings across the two of you like crackling lightning (and oh, it’s definitely, slow-motion-movie-style, and not just because you’re drunk), and you think, oh my, I want me some of that.

And before you know it - you’re doing them. Or wanting to do them. Or about to make your signature move that will inevitably result in you doing them. And well, you do.

Good for you, by the way.

BUT, here you are now, either:

(a) having done them, and that’s it; or

(b) doing them on a semi-regular basis; or

(c) slowly falling in love with each other.

For those in the (a) and (b) camp, here are some warnings.

(1) Client confidentiality

No matter how much you want to keep your night (nights?) of shameful lust (or crazy fun fun fun) to yourself, you CAN'T.

Because the lawyer community is SMALL. And everyone knows basically everyone. And everything. And lawyers simply love to gossip about other lawyers.

That's what we do, during interminable hours spent in the court canteen waiting for our matters to be called, or long lunch breaks in the firm office.

It goes like this:

(i) Bitch about work/clients.

(ii) Gossip about court/firms/other lawyers. And then maybe, if there's time left, (iii) discuss legal socio-political issues (‘cause see, we generally like to leave those discussions to drunken nights referred to earlier, ‘cause hey, that's how you get action! See infra).

Anyway, point being: Before you know it, you’re doing this other lawyer and it’s the talk of the lawyer-town. Even that weirdo who you thought doesn’t know any other lawyers, somehow, inexplicably, already knows.

So be prepared for that. But the good news is: Since this happens so often, by the day after, or the next week, there'll be someone else to talk about.

(2) Doing the numbers game

Like I said, the lawyer community, is small. And incestuous. Everyone, and I mean pretty much everyone, has done pretty much everyone else. So, you might find yourself having done:

(A) the someone who is buddies with your ex-someone;

(B) the someone whose ex-someone is your buddy;

(C) someone who has done all the someones you know;

(D) someone who is simultaneously doing someone else;

(E) doing someone while simultaneously doing someone else yourself; and

(F) so on and so forth.

That can make for some rather awkward moments at work, or parties. But hey, everyone works around the same model of conduct in your peculiar lawyer-community, so it’s all good. I think.

(3) More fish in the pond

Remember point (a) talked of earlier? Having done someone and that's it? Or well, even (b): doing someone on a semi-regular basis?

Well, you may think, that whenever it ends, that's it. Actually, its not. Because guess what.

You can't never see them again. Because you will. And not just in a we-work-together type of way but in a very peculiar we-are-lawyers type of way. You'll see them in court. You'll see them next time you're in 4S. Or at a house party. Or, since lawyers (be it practising ones, or the firm-types) often have to work closely on a deal/case with lawyers from other firms or other law chambers - well, you may end up having to work them closely.

And by closely, I mean closely. The deal will have to get closed in a week and you'll be up till insane hours trying to finish all the work required. Or the case may be coming up for final arguments in two days and you'll, again, be up for insane hours finding case law, fine-tuning arguments and so on and so forth with that not-so-special-anymore someone.

But hey, it's not really a big deal: Just a small warning, so that you can, you know, be prepared to meet them again.

Love with a (c), supra

Now, for those of you have mutually and reciprocally fallen in love, good luck and Godspeed to you: lawyers do potentially make wonderful life companions. Subject to the following.

Obviously it is your mutual love of law, Hart and ipso facto that drew you to each other in the first place, but what do you want to do when you’re all lawyered out after a hard days’ night in the office or chambers? Some of you would like nothing better than to talk even more about law. Fair game.

Also, some may not be able to talk about anything else. So, perhaps consider cultivating some interests other than just the IPC. Imagine creating this private space, that just the two of you share and keep even from your closest counsel, where you can bond over your mutual love of hamster rearing. Or bookbinding (but not binding of law books).

Maybe start off by having a day every week where you’re not allowed to talk about the law to each other. Whoever breaks, donates some funds into a mutual romantic holiday jar. Do make sure you draw up a contract documenting the precise mechanics of this fund.

If the (g)love don't fit, must you acquit?

Finally, some of you may be fortunate enough to work in the same office or even department and spend every waking and sleeping hour with the one you love.

Some firms employ this as a deliberate HR policy, but be aware that this can be a high-intensity make-or-break situation - how do you tell off the love of your life that they inserted a typo into your perfect brief, and expect to get into any other briefs later that night?

Your own career aspirations can at times become subsumed to the couple’s joint career interests.

If you can’t handle it, consider a moving workplaces or resignation.

And there's always divorce, though this could get messy.

Some sage advice from tweeting lawyers:

@devildiva2 says it’s not possible to have a relationship with another lawyer and not talk shop.

@sharmaeshan adds: “lawyers should end up with lawyers. Otherwise they can't understand your lawyer friends :-)”

@rahulrashi shares: “I married a fellow lawyer. A piece of advice: never argue with each other coz it will go on and on and on…”

On Facebook, one lawyer wrote: “Never discuss laws, cases, amendments at the dinner table.”

Finally, @atti_cus, who also married a lawyer, says: “No tips, but the same principles for making any other relationship last.”

Also, check out this blog post on Law School Terrace about how to date a lawyer if you are not a lawyer.

Oh yes, and happy Valentine's Day!

Photo by Lori Branham

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