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"Don't Lawyer Me!"

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As I reflect on the other aspects of my life outside of my professional capacity as a lawyer, it is truly fascinating to realize just how much being a litigator influences my behaviour. Constantly, the skills and strategies that I use on a daily basis at work come out in personal and social situations.

I catch myself trying to use logic and reason in discussions with my husband - sometimes to no avail as one may imagine. Even with my parents, I find myself acting as somewhat of a judge when disagreements come to the fore. I can only imagine the situations that are going to arise as my son, who is currently two years of age, gets a bit older.

When I was attending law school, I recall watching a comedy sketch that somewhat alluded to this theme. The comedian was talking about what it was like being raised in a family with a parent as a lawyer, and the types of funny conversations that would occur as a result. He spoke about how before he went to bed at night, his father would ask him if he had brushed his teeth, to which he would respond, "Yes of course, Dad." His father would then enter his room holding up his toothbrush and exclaiming, "I shall now introduce Exhibit A, your toothbrush! Let the record show that, contrary to your previous assertion, you did not in fact brush your teeth, as indicated by the fact that your toothbrush is dry!" The comedian recalled that, being a young and witty boy, he would sometimes use his father's logic against him and say things like, "Well, Dad if you yourself were to also look back and consult the record, you will see that you never asked if I brushed my teeth tonight specifically!"

These are the types of humorous situations that I sometimes find myself eagerly anticipating as I raise my family. Of course, I am not looking forward to the smart comments that may be tossed my way by my children, but at the very least it will be amusing! I think that it is important to focus on quirky, funny aspects of raising children as a lawyer, rather than the negative side that is sometimes focused on. Often, you see articles or features on television discussing how lawyers face serious challenges in balancing their professional and family lives. Instead, I think it is interesting to take a step back and see just how your profession may manifest itself in your parenting style in funny and positive ways. I have often been told by my husband, extended family, and friends, "Don't lawyer me!" The most entertaining part about this is that most of the time, I sincerely do not realize what I am doing until someone points it out. Usually this just makes me chuckle to myself, because "lawyering" people is simply in my nature, and quite admittedly, it does make for some pretty comical interactions!

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Merovitz Potechin LLP
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Ottawa, ON K1Z 8R1

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