Name Calling: I Know You Are, But What Am I?

We are all used to lawyer jokes. It seems like one shouldn’t be allowed to graduate from law school unless one can laugh at a good lawyer joke, but when the joking stops and the name calling starts, how much can you take? When you become active online, you’re probably going to be even more exposed to potential name calling. Are you ready? How will you handle it?

I’ve been called a lot of nasty names, sometimes directly, and sometimes in response to situations where I was referenced, but not specifically identified. Many of these epitaphs are uncreative, but some have shown outstanding ability and imagination.  Whenever I’m feeling down, I go online and re-read some of the names I’ve been called.  Knowing I’ve reduced someone to name calling makes me smile because I think it proves they’ve surrendered the argument at any rational level and have walked away in frustration.

The first time this name calling happened I didn’t know what to think. Thankfully, my friend Lisa Solomon reminded me that in the online world, you don’t really “arrive” until you have “haters.” So, pass me another helping of name calling.  I can take it.

Here’s the most recent example of name calling I’ve received.

This is a quick notice to inform you that you are a giant sloppy leaky chlamydia-infested douche bag.

This one was signed:

Die In Fire, John Smith, Legal Counsel for this Blog AKA: Scott.

Rather Creative . . . . “Scott” isn’t a lawyer.  Let’s hear what the folks on the legal blogs have to say.  They’re professionals after all.

…You have a moral obligation to out the dickwad who sent this letter to you. That he both responded to a guy simply seeking work like thia [SIC] and then has the temerity to publicize it in this manner confounds me. He is a douchebag [SIC] and should be called out as such….


This solo creep, like most lawyers, has self esteem issues. Perhaps if the kid had referred to him as “god”, he’d have had a different response. Anyone who treats someone like this and then goes out and publicizes same is a Grade A douchebag, pure and simple and I’d love to know his name so I can call him and explain to him why I’d never use him and why I’m telling every lawyer I’ve ever met to not use him.

This one isn’t a name calling situation, but it’s in the spirit:

“Dear Solo Practicioner, [SIC]

I recently received your letter and I thought I’d give you some feedback that might help.

1. Kill yourself.

I wish you the best in life.”

And here’s one that should get you all riled up:

“None of the good people want to be at small firms though.”

Those are the little elements of sunshine that can paradoxically make my day. Looks like my online alias should be something like “ash-covered douche bag” since I’m supposed to die in fire…

The take-away from this is that you can choose to let name calling upset you, or you can choose to smile and know you’ve won. The temptation is strong to engage with haters in like manner, but don’t, you only increase their venom and motivation. I suggest smiling and walking away…maybe hitting “save” or “print” just in case you need a pick-me-up sometime down the road.

What are some of the creative names you’ve been called?



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  • rk

    I have had a few epithets thrown in my direction, but my “haters” are rightfully reserving the epitaphs for my funeral.