I’ve been writing a number of posts recently that contain quite a bit of negativity. Negative events, negative people, me griping. I realized that some might question why Melissa and I do what we do – why we chase attorneys, why we work in such a contentious world. Some people we know can’t imagine working with attorneys all the time or at any time. I have a few answers to this question. First, I/we have a natural curiosity for seeking answers. I’ve always wanted to know more about an issue, not less. So, the opportunities we have to work with unique case facts, then explore the implications of those facts, and how “real people” will react to them, is tremendously stimulating, on an intellectual basis. The intellectual stimulation is probably the most rewarding part of the job. As for working with attorneys – the majority of those with whom we work are true professionals – trying to do the best possible job for their clients. The fact that we can be helpful to them is also motivating. I like helping others – and if, by our work, we can help those who are helping others, then great. We’ve worked on so many types of cases that we see how the legal profession serves as a check and balance in the world. I like checks and balances, whether it is the 3 branches of government, the law or the media. For me, it also goes to fighting injustices. Way back in about 6th grade, I remember “arguing” with a teacher whose test grading was subjective – I proved that to her, which benefitted me and my grade, but also the grades of several others. Today, our work contributes in different ways, but it does help resolve disputes. So, while there are negatives and stresses in our job, and in any job, the positives keep us working at it everyday.
I became a psychologist to help people. Although I am not a clinical psychologist who helps patients overcome various psychological maladies, in my job as a social psychologist who consults with attorneys, 100% of what I do is aimed at helping those in need. I like to help people. I like to make a difference in people’s lives. Some people are motivated by financial gain to pursue a particular occupation; I am motivated by a sense of satisfaction that comes from knowing I made a positive difference in someone’s life. I have helped hundreds of attorneys in my career in their pursuit of justice on behalf of their clients. I have worked with some of the best attorneys in the United States of America. I have helped attorneys on many pro bono cases, meaning none of us were paid for our hard work; instead, we were compensated with knowing policy changes were made because of our efforts in helping the most unfortunate members of our society. Most of Magnus’ clients say, “Thank you, Dr. Pigott, for your excellent work on behalf of our mutual client. I couldn’t have done it without you.” Receiving accolades and other words of appreciation is worth more to me than material things. Why do I do what I do? Because helping people is just who I am.