Why Do People Hate Lawyers?
This post was written by Sara M. Davis, a Partner at Whiting Law Group.
Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Abraham Lincoln: three men who bring to mind courage, integrity and the fight for justice. All three of these men were attorneys. Yet when one hears of lawyers in the public we don’t hear words spoken of integrity, courage, and justice. Instead we hear liar, shyster, and sometimes even sleazy. One can’t go very long without hearing the newest lawyer joke. So why is it that popular culture so detests lawyers?
Understanding the Problem
I don’t know the answer. Is it because we don’t provide a tangible service one can put his hands on? Is it because when someone needs a lawyer she is often facing a dark period in her life such as probating a will, divorce, a personal injury, child custody, being arrested, or being the victim of a crime? I can think of very few occasions that are joyful and necessitate a lawyer besides perhaps buying a home or adopting a child. Is it because lawyers are viewed as bending the rules for their own gain because they can navigate in a system foreign and frustrating to most?
I think trying to find the reason oversimplifies the problem. Instead, we can choose to treat everyone who calls or walks through the door with compassion and patience. We can listen to their story even when we know we won’t take the case. We can communicate frequently and honestly with our clients explaining the process, the potential strategies, and strengths and weaknesses of their case. We can remember that what is a case to many lawyers is often an event that changes the trajectory of our clients’ lives.
Respect and Communication Are Powerful Tools
As personal injury and accident attorneys, we treat every client with respect, compassion, and patience. We communicate frequently and honestly with all our clients. We fight zealously, side-by-side with our clients but never losing sight of why we do this: to help others. While we cannot change the perspective the public has of lawyers overnight, we can change the perspective of one client at a time.
At Whiting Law Group, over 90% of our cases are referred to us by our clients and other attorneys. We are sent so many cases because we have established a reputation for delivering open and compassionate client care, all the while aggressively fighting for clients’ rights. We’re proud of our reputation. We’re proud to be lawyers.