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Lawyers Lash Back

September 04, 1988

I read Paul Ciotti's article "Unhappy Lawyers" (Aug. 25) with great interest. I happen to be one of those rare lawyers who loves his work. Imagine my shock in reading that, according to one lawyer, only a person with "a deranged sensibility" could enjoy the day-to-day practice of law which "largely consists of arguing with other people about money."

My work could not be more different from the type of law described in the article. True, my work is so interesting that I often put in long hours. However, my cases are not about money at all, but about people's lives. Although there is considerable paper work, there is a constant opportunity for client contact. I split my time almost equally between working for individuals and for corporations. I even have time for a pro bono case now and then. The nature of my work is rarely adversarial. It requires someone who can get along with other people, and who is willing to compromise.

I'm an immigration lawyer. Whether I am helping to secure a visa for a Japanese executive, a Filipino nurse or a Swedish fashion model, it's always a challenge, and success means a happy client who is forever grateful. I may not make as much money as a corporate attorney for a huge law firm, but I still find the time to represent a poor person seeking political asylum.

CARL SHUSTERMAN,

chairman Southern California

Chapter American Immigration

Lawyers' Assn.

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