You Hate My Job: Bankruptcy lawyer

"It's not like you wake up in the morning and say, 'I think I'll go see a bankruptcy lawyer today,'" says Edward Wolkowitz, a bankruptcy trustee. "Generally, if you're a business, there are some underlying issues. If you're an individual, you get to the point where the phone calls from collectors are just too much to take. And bankruptcy can provide a relief from that."

There are a lot of jobs out there -- good, honest, necessary jobs -- that those of us who don't do them might not really appreciate. As we continue our series, You Hate My Job, there is one such job that may not be quite as visible but still is viewed just as unfavorably by the rest of us. When people and companies go broke, declare bankruptcy -- there's a career to be had in stepping in to take over assets -- and if they're worth anything, divide them up.

As a bankruptcy lawyer, Wolkowitz says people don't usually take their frustrations out on him personally, thankfully.

"I think the reason for that is that even in an unpleasant situation, if you treat people respectfully, they generally respond. I'm empathetic to a lot of the problems people face," he says. "There were times in my life where we weren't doing so well either."

In the previous installment of our You Hate My Job series, we went out and issued parking tickets with a meter maid.

About the author

Kai Ryssdal is the host and senior editor of Marketplace, the most widely heard program on business and the economy in the country.


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