The American Bar Association published a study in April 2002 on how the public views lawyers. s. Some interesting findings include: Positive Perceptions
* -58% of clients were ‘very satisfied’ and 18% were ‘somewhat satisfied’ with their lawyer’s services – only 9% were ‘very dissatisfied’ * -59% say most lawyers are interested in serving their clients and are knowledgeable about the law – only 34% say lawyers deserve the bad reputation they have * Americans believe the law is a good/respectable career.
Someone recently found this blog with a search on “All Lawyers Are Assholes.” Yes, complete with the initial caps. After I quit laughing (and got over being briefly miffed that this search implies that I, too, am an asshole simply because I’m a lawyer), I started wondering whether the searcher was looking for confirmation of his/her assertion.
As a lawyer introduces themselves and admits, that I’m a lawyer, people’s attitudes shifted subtly. Sometimes, they get hit with a request for free legal advice: “Y’see, I have this problem with my [employer, service provider, spouse, whatever] and I’m wondering….” Others, especially medical professionals who weren’t doctors, would almost shudder and back off. .
It seems it would be a privilege to be a lawyer. They have the ability to effect change in society more directly than many other professionals, have the skill and training to recognize when something just isn’t right and to work to make it right, and have the opportunity to help people who need it. Strangely, that isn’t how the public usually perceives lawyers, and sometimes I wonder whether it’s how the profession perceives itself.
Attorneys sometimes behave as if practice is a burden, a horrible way to make a living because of the competing demands of practice and life and satisfying clients. And, no...