Life Lessons from Rake’s Cleaver Greene
“You can't try a life, you've got to live an authentic one. Mine might be anarchic, catastrophic, without rhyme or reason, the butterfly effect, the behemoth. But **** me, it's real” -Cleaver Greene
Historically, a rake was a man who indulged in immoral conduct, was frequently a heartless womaniser and who wasted his fortune on gambling, wine, women and debts. Cue Cleaver Greene.
One of the few Aussie lawyers represented on our screens, he's charming, brilliant... and innately self-destructive. His dedication to defending those who seem to be beyond redemption can be exciting to watch, and almost admirable, but it's his personal life that draws most attention, especially from us young law students/lawyers who are still figuring out who we are in this world.
While other TV lawyers guide and inspire us, Cleaver Greene teaches us what not to do...
Basically anything that falls under the general umbrella of sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll, within reason (reasonable person test perhaps?). I'm not saying you should cut out all the fun in your life, but you should try to avoid appearing in a prostitute’s tell all book. Also, I want to say that your personal life should stay personal, but gambling with gang members should really not even be an option. Cleaver may have escaped many beatings over his gambling debts, but most of us aren't as charming as he is!
Another thing I learnt from Cleaver is to not get involved in politics. An MP with a vendetta against you is probably not going to work out for you, just saying. And be especially careful of lawyers-turned-politicians!
Also, don't avoid paying your taxes.
I don't want to preach, but watch your drinking. I think this is the number one tip for those who are attending networking evenings! You don't want to pass out in the middle of a park, or start a fight with a clown, or have drinks thrown at you, or get stared at during a press conference, or be escorted out of an art gallery opening.
And finally, and I think everyone has heard this before, be careful about getting involved in your family’s legal problems.
It seems to me that Cleaver Greene will always be the lawyer we all love to watch, but the lawyer none of us hope we will be. As much as I love him (and who doesn't, really?), I'm glad he's just a character, and hope that we can all learn a thing or two about living life too close to the edge.
Enjoyed this post? Sign up for the Survive Law weekly newsletter for more.