This anecdote was told by the professor of a friend of mine, and later retold
to me. Because of this, there might be some inaccuracies in the wording. The original idea is generally attributed to Protagoras (490-420 BC)
A Law teacher came across a student who wanted to learn but was unable to pay
the fees. The student made a deal saying, "I will pay your fee the day
I win my first case in the court."
The teacher agreed and proceeded with the law course. When the course was finished
and teacher started pestering the student to pay up the fee, student reminded
him of the deal and did not pay.
Fed up with this, the teacher decided to sue the student in the court of law
and both of them decided to argue for themselves.
The teacher stated his argument, saying: "If I win this case, as per the
court of law, student has to pay me. And if I lose the case, student will still
pay me because he would have won his first case. So either way I will get my
The student simply argued back saying: "If I win the case, as per the
court of law, I don't have to pay anything to the teacher. And if I lose the
case, I don't have to pay him because I haven't won my first case yet. So either
way, I am not going to pay the teacher anything."
... Which fairly well describes why nobody likes lawyers :)