The lawyer, who has just taken on new work, is looking for a copyist or scrivener, not another lawyer. Since there were no copy machines in those days, lawyers had to have all legal documents copied by hand. The work was tedious and stressful because each copy had to be exactly like the other copy. Since the lawyer is in a hurry to hire someone to do the extra work, and Bartleby seems to be qualified, the lawyer hires him. At first, everything goes well. Then, of course, Bartleby begin "preferring not" to do things. I'm sure if the lawyer had checked out some of Bartleby's references, he would have been warned that his scrivener was a little odd. But the lawyer is a kind man and seems to trust others easily. That and his haste to hire someone leads to tragic consequences.