There are lots of social events that lawyers are expected to attend. From bar activities, charity, and other social events, successful lawyers area really expected to be in lots of places to keep their practice thriving.
Being social and being on the go can result in lots of referrals for lawyers. It can also result in getting to know other lawyers, judges, and other professionals in the locality in which they practice law. The ability to network is key in a lot of ways in having a successful legal career and practice.
At most of these charities, bars, and social events, the reality is that alcohol is going to be there. While some lawyers might choose not to drink, most lawyers are going to partake in drinking to some degree as part of their networking activities.
When in doubt about whether or not to hop in the car or not, get yourself a ride. The truth is that if you type in search terms like “DWI,” “DUI” and “lawyer” or “attorney” (or even “judge”) in the search engines, you can find countless articles about lawyers and judges getting arrested for drinking and driving. While others in the community might not get themselves in the newspaper for getting a DWI, prominent lawyers and judges almost always end up in the paper when they get a DWI.
Apart from the concern about the safety of yourself and others, when potential clients are looking for a lawyer to hire, you do not want them reading about your DWI or seeing your mug shot. Even many years later, these pages can rank high in the search engines when people search you because potential clients and others are likely to click on the links about your DWI to read about it. That can keep these pages, about your DWI, showing up on page one of the search engines (when people research you) for years to come.
Ultimately, a DWI arrest is not going to help your practice. A DWI could even result in disciplinary proceedings in the state bar if there are multiple DWIs or the circumstances are bad enough. Of course, a DWI also results in criminal proceedings and the potential loss of driving privileges.
With the advent of Uber and Lyft, there really is not an excuse for getting yourself a ride. If you do not like Uber or Lyft, call a taxi cab or ride public transportation. Of course, you can also drive with others to make sure there is a designated driver or have somebody pick you up. If you are can afford it, you might even opt to pay for a driver. Getting a driver, while potentially expensive, is preferred to getting yourself in the newspaper for a DWI.
At the end of the day, you do not want to hurt your legal practice or law firm by getting a DWI. There are countless stories of lawyers and judges getting DWIs if you search online. This can only hurt your legal career and law practice. Even if you are a lawyer looking for a job, a DWI can hurt your job prospects.
If you know you are going to be driving, do not drink at these social events. If you know you are going to be drinking, or end up drinking even if you planned not to, get yourself a ride. There are lots of options out there in this day and age. An Uber or Lyft can be there with the click of a single button on your smartphone.
If you have any thoughts, feel free to share them below.