DEAR MISS MANNERS: How does one politely, yet firmly, respond to people who insult one's profession?
I am a lawyer, and I say so when I'm asked what my profession is. Some people feel it is then their right, or even their obligation, to go on a tirade against all lawyers. This happens mostly at social gatherings where I would prefer not to respond in kind, and yet I feel that some response is warranted.
Any suggestions for how to respond in a manner that is within the bounds of good manners, yet isn't just smiling through my teeth?
GENTLE READER: "I hope you'll never need one."