When I became an attorney, I never thought I’d be putting myself in harm’s way. After all, I’m not a prosecutor taking down gangs, nor do I represent defendants accused of war crimes. I assumed my civil practice would be just that – civil. How wrong I was.
As I’ve said before, my firm represents national mortgage lenders in first lien foreclosures. It’s obviously an emotional business, and tempers can flare. I expect that. And typically people, even pro se litigants, acknowledge that they are angry with my client, not with me personally. Unfortunately, however, that’s not always the case. In the past two weeks I’ve had foreclosed mortgagors call me a “selfish stupid bitch” whose children are unworthy of love, attention, and housing, and tell me that Yahweh will judge me and make me ashamed of my wickedness.
I haven’t been directly, overtly threatened… yet… but it still makes me nervous. After all, it was just this past summer that family law attorney Terri Melcher was brutally stabbed by the ex-husband of one of her clients. At the same time, Peter Erlinder was in a Rwandan jail, facing charges of genocide denial. And in 2003, attorney Richard Hendrickson was shot, and his client killed, in the Hennepin County Government Center prior to a hearing on a harassment restraining order.
When I think of dangerous jobs, I think of soldiers, firefighters, police officers, Alaskan crab fishermen, and the Foshay Tower’s window washers. I would imagine that for most people, “lawyer” doesn’t make that list. But maybe it should.