Recently, I read an article titled “6 Awesome reasons to Date A Lawyer” in which the author declared “If I were to pick a partner from all the professions in the world, for some reasons I’d go for a lawyer.” Among the reasons give were that lawyers are smart and are problem solvers. While these reasons may hold true for the majority, I’ve decided to play devil’s advocate and explore the flip side of that coin.

Here are five reasons why you should NEVER fall in love or date a lawyer:

They are very combative

For the lawyer, everything is black or white. There’s no grey. These are the rules and of course there’s always exceptions. This kind of thinking is often brought to the home where the lawyer constantly places social conversations in an adversarial setting. And you know who has to have the final say!

Law is a jealous mistress:

From drafting detailed pleadings to reading every case law on the subject area of a current case, a lawyer’s work is never done. If you are planning on marrying a lawyer, tell yourself that your spouse will be spending a lot of time with the law and law is in fact a very jealous mistress. The practice of law requires a lot of reading and writing. If you’re prepared for him/her to be spending late nights at the office then go right ahead. The movies “Devil’s Advocate” and “The Firm” gave an accurate idea as to how a spouse could become lonely because of how engulfed in the law the lawyer in the marriage could become. Sometimes lawyers get so caught up in fighting for the “greater good” that loved ones are neglected.

Divorce

If you’re going to marry a lawyer, statistics suggests that it is most likely to end in divorce. I’m not one who is happy to be publishing “doom and gloom” but according to a Notre Dame Magazine study, “the divorce rate among lawyers appears to be higher than the divorce rate among other professionals.” I would imagine that reasons 1 and 2 contribute significantly to such divorces. In this case the maths is simple 1 + 2 = 3.

Lawyers are generally unhappy

Depression, anxiety, paranoia, obsessive compulsiveness and interpersonal sensitivity are just some of the things that lawyers suffer from at alarming rates. While I could not find any official statistics for the Commonwealth Caribbean, we can only look to the more developed countries such as the United States for an indication of the mental and emotional state of those in our profession. John Hopkins University researchers found statistically significant elevations of major depressive disorder (MDD) in only 3 of 104 occupations. Lawyers topped the list suffering from MDD at a rate 3.6 times higher than non-lawyers who shared their key socio-demographic traits. Alcoholism and use of illegal drugs also ranked high for among those in the “noble” profession. Notre Dame’s Magazine summarizes the position thusly:

One group of researchers found that the rate of alcoholism among lawyers is double the rate of alcoholism among adults generally, while another group of researchers estimated that 26 percent of lawyers had used cocaine at least once -- twice the rate of the general population. One out of three lawyers suffers from clinical depression, alcoholism or drug abuse. Not surprisingly, a preliminary study indicates that lawyers commit suicide and think about committing suicide more often than non-lawyers.

No wonder Pharrell did not feature any lawyers in his “Happy” music video.

As spouse of a lawyer you automatically acquire enemies

Many persons in the Commonwealth Caribbean do not contemplate the fact that the spouse of a lawyer attract enemies by virtue of their spouse’s position. This holds true especially in the smaller islands (e.g Montserrat, BVI, St. Kitts & Nevis and Anguilla). The fact is a lawyer is always on one side of a dispute and are despised for representing “criminals” (who by the way have a constitutional right to be represented). In Montserrat, which is home to only five thousand people, I’ve had people cease all forms of communication with me because of a case I’ve handled and extended the same treatment to my spouse. If you’re going to date/marry a lawyer, you will get enemies that you did not make yourself.

Conclusion

I’m not at all suggesting that you cancel your wedding plans or take back that engagement ring you recently bought your fiancé who happens to be a lawyer. It may very well be that you have contemplated the above and have decided that all that comes with the territory. Bear in mind that this is an opinion piece and I may very well be a voice in the wilderness. I’ve found at least 7 articles detailing why you’re better off marrying/dating a lawyer. However, at the least, its food for thought. Having done the research, I can only say, I’m really glad I’ve married a Teacher! Sure brings balance to what would according to statistics would be a marriage headed for a definite end… Or maybe I’m talking too fast (fingers crossed).