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Educated fools

Some of the biggest imbeciles on earth have advanced degrees.

Don’t get me wrong.

I didn’t get to practice injury law without lots of formal education ( BA at Marquette University; Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa, JD at Syracuse College of Law), and I’m a big proponent of education. It is a very good thing, indeed.

But what scalds me is when I hear people with advanced degrees talking as if they’re something special, or, worse yet, as if the world owes them a living. The arrogance and intellectual pride is difficult to take.

I was having this discussion the other day with a well-intentioned fellow, but I don’t think he got it.

I remember the words of Al Maguire, famous basketball coach at Marquette, who told those of us who were about to graduate from college that if we really wanted an education, we’d spend a year driving a cab and bar-tending.

Truer words have not been spoken.

Look at our political representatives, those who’ve managed to screw up the economy, and are doing a number on our country. Almost all of them have some sort of advanced degree(s).

We need more common-sense, more horse-sense, as we used to say.

It’s all about dealing with and getting to know people.

I know one injury lawyer in particular who is technically very smart. He is a good man on the law. He can research with the best of them, but put him in front of a jury, he is a complete disaster.

I think of the many folks I know whose only education has been the so-called college of hard knocks, life’s experience, and good hard work. It is ignorant to look down at them solely because they lack a diploma, or don’t have a high measurable IQ.

When I talk to students who plan to go into the law ( I’m at the stage of my career where they actually think I have something to say) like my own son, I always stress that maintaining and developing people-skills and empathy are critical. It’s something they don’t teach in law school, but it has everything to do with being a successful people-lawyer.

Keep your strength.

Charlie Donahue
Injury Lawyer
Keene, New Hampshire

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