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America's Fascination with Lawyers - Why?

Bridge Team Member

Our society is fascinated with lawyers. They are the focus of some of the most popular shows on television and telling someone that you work as a lawyer is bound to elicit ah ooh and an aah. Lawyers are everywhere in today's society, both in real life and in the media. But why exactly do we find them so interesting? Whether you work with lawyers all the time, or you've never conducted business with one before, chances are, you've got some interest in the profession. But why? What's the deal?

Fascination factor #1: The Hero Element  When the little guy is in trouble and at the risk of being taken advantage of by a big corporation, more powerful opponent etc, it's up to his/her lawyer to save the day. It's up to the lawyers to prevent ordinary citizens from being wronged and exploited; that's all pretty heroic. Lawyers represent justice, fairness, and the end of wrong-doings.

Fascination Factor #2 The Excitement of the Job  Thanks to the abundance of legal shows that populate the TV guide, we as a society are under the impression that working as a lawyer involves scandalous court cases, unexpected twists and turns (so that's why they're called legal dramas), and lots of shouting back and forth in the courthouse. Plainly put, it's an exciting job. We love watching lawyers at work on television because a scene in a court room is about as close as you can get to a white collar action movie.

Fascination Factor #3: Intensity Lawyers may seem to have the perfect job with the perfect salary, but we all know what's behind it. Law school. And if popular books, television shows and films are any indication of what we're interested in as a society, it's struggle and hard work. That's why we are so impressed when our best friend scores a 180 on the LSAT, makes it through law school, and passes the bar exam. It's hard work! And even if we can't do that work ourselves, we can at least live vicariously through those we see doing it.

Fascination Factor #4: Only One Outcome Every case has one winner and one loser. This generally means that it's up to the lawyers to duke it out until one comes out on top. Whether your nose is glued to the inside of a crime novel or your eyes are fixed on the television screen, you're waiting for the end result of the case. It's not always clear from the outset which party will emerge the winner, but it's certain that one half of the room will go home happy and the other, not so much. This uncertainty keeps us on the edges of our seats until we hear the words 'guilty' or 'not guilty.'

There's some alluring quality about lawyers that keeps American society wanting more. There are lots of different opinions of lawyers out there, but they all stem from a curiosity or fascination that is so prevalent that it's led to the creation of an entire genre of book and film. So what's the deal? Call it a sort of legal enchantment.

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