He's a lawyer? Oh, he must be one of them
Chances are, you've heard that line before. Internet surveys, forums, and customer feedback sites are riddled with fear and disdain of lawyers and attorneys. There are entire websites devoted to lawyer jokes.
Blame it on television, movies, or maybe a bad experience of your own, but here are a few examples of how an average American might describe their lawyer:
- "They're just in it for the paycheck."
- "They won't really care about my problem. It's just another case."
- "No morals. None at all."
- "I shouldn't even get a lawyer. That'll make me look guilty."
There are a lot of perceptions about lawyers floating around that don't exactly give them the best reputations. Looking for a lawyer is going to be an unpleasant task until we, as a society, start to move past these misconceptions, so let's take them one at a time.
- It's not all about the money. Sure, some lawyers are paid handsomely for their services, but they are in the minority. Yes, the total bill at the end of a case might look intimidating, but when you take into account the amount of research, paperwork, and time that went into your case, it's not necessarily unreasonable. What's more, it takes years of experience and a long list of case wins before a lawyer can start charging the big bucks. Plus, lawyers tend to be pretty good at working on the task at hand. It's about the case in front of him or her, not the money in the distance.
- Reiterating what's said above, it takes a while before a lawyer can become the high paid baron that the media often portrays. Most lawyers enter the profession because they're actually interested in justice; they actually want to help people. Every bad review that a client writes reduces the chance of being hired again in the future, so yes, your lawyer will be invested in your satisfaction, and yes, he or she will indeed care about what you're thinking throughout the process.
- Hollywood would have a tough time making a sensational story about the everyday lawyer. As a result, we've become accustomed to movies and television shows that depict lawyers as ruthless, unethical beings who will pull out any technicality to let a criminal go free if that's what it takes to get paid. In the most cases, this is simply not the case. Working as a lawyer does not make a person unethical; in fact, it generally means that the person really cares about ethics.
- Lawyers are not only for the guilty. Imagine this scenario: You are the innocent party. Your guilty transgressor hires a lawyer, but you, believing that all you need is the truth to set you free, decide to defend yourself. Backed with no legal knowledge or training, you're quickly finished off by the attorney who knows how it all works. Simply put, the truth is so much more powerful when spoken by someone who knows just how to say it.
Here's the baseline: lawyers aren't all bad. Meet a couple of them and you'll see that they're real people. You might even like some of them. Don't listen to everything the crowd says; popular opinion is just that: opinion.
Our goal here at LexSpot is to show you attorneys are human too. We humanize the law. And having the right lawyer at the right time makes a world of difference when you are in need of legal help. Let us know if you have an interesting legal story to tell.