Have you ever heard the lawyer jokes that float around the Internet (“How many lawyers does it take to screw in a light bulb?”), ready to be sent to an unwitting recipient's inbox at the touch of a button? For many people, this is their sole contact with the legal profession, and it's not a very positive one. As a lawyer, you have the power to tell everyone in your circle why the world needs lawyers, and thus lay the groundwork for a potential call when that person finds himself in legal trouble.
You Are the Best Advocate for the Legal Profession
As a lawyer, you are in an excellent position to counter the negative image so many people have of the legal profession. Over dinner, at cocktail parties, in your car, you can tell your friends, relatives, and coworkers about:
- Why everyone is entitled to a defense lawyer under our system of justice, no matter how heinous or antisocial his alleged crime
- How the tort system allows innocent parties to recover damages, not because they have dollar signs in their eyes, but because they have suffered genuine injury
- How insurance companies factor into medical malpractice, personal injury, and car accident lawsuits, and why aggressive lawyers are a much-needed counterbalance
- How most lawyers charge quite reasonable rates, considering the money they've spent to attend law school and their overhead costs
- How aggressive lawyers can hold major corporations to account for actions (say, a defective or hazardous product) that might otherwise go unpunished
The list goes on and on. The next time you hear a negative remark about the legal profession, from a member of your family or the guy working out next to you in the gym, you can take the opportunity to set the record straight, and set yourself apart from all those “unethical lawyers” who are supposedly preying on clients.