Life

I was a lawyer, not ever an attorney.

A great many people don’t know there is a difference, but there is.

I have a degree in international law. I did not ever sit for the bar exam. I’ve never been licensed. I never wanted to be.

I preferred giving advice and helping that way. Lawyers do that. Attorneys can represent you, are often forced to compromise, and are licensed to do so. I couldn’t do that. In many ways it would have forced me to put aside my ethics. My ethics mean too much to me.

My father taught me to always be forthright and honest. I could do that as a lawyer. Sometimes as an attorney, especially a defense attorney, honesty takes a back seat to getting a person released, no matter the circumstances. I realize that this is not always the case, but it’s something I could never do.

I used my advisory capacity at the U.N. and places like Kosovo and Myanmar. I didn’t take sides in any case. I helped people, individuals, not actual governments. Often I was on my own. To be honest, by not causing harm to them, this was perfect for me.

So, yes, I was willing to advise people and research cases, but I really was not willing to do more than that.

If I were not physically disabled, I would still be a lawyer somewhere.