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Why Do People Dislike Lawyers?

Why Do People Dislike Lawyers?

“We Only Have Ourselves to Blame”

I am often told “lawyer jokes” by friends, business associates, mere acquaintances and even a client or two.  We’ve all heard them:

Q: What’s the difference between a good lawyer and a bad lawyer?

A: A bad lawyer makes your case drag on for years. A good lawyer makes it last even longer.

 

As is the case with all humor, there has to be a little bit of truth to make a joke funny.  That being said, have we as lawyers contributed to making ourselves the butt of jokes? I have found there are three activities that lead to the distaste for lawyers:

  1. Taking Advocacy Too Far – Attorneys are trained advocates.  The way they are educated and trained breeds an argumentative approach to matters.  When taken to an extreme, this approach can cause a “win at all cost” attitude that can be destructive, creating a poor image in the minds of those observing this behavior.
  2. Not Communicating “Value” of Services – My experience is that attorneys can often lack good business sense.  Attorneys must be able to communicate a value proposition to the client related to their services.  I have trained myself and our attorneys to continually communicate the value of our involvement; and if the value is diminished to find a way to resolve that conflict as any good businessperson would.  If you are not adding value, you are subtracting and people do not like it or you.
  3. Arrogance – Very frankly, attorneys can have egos.  After all the years of hard work and schooling, they can feel they have earned that right.   Attorneys need to be able to keep their egos in check and become more approachable to assure they are a valued member of the team.

 

Bret L. Strong

Phone Number: 281-367-1222

Fax Number: 281-210-1361

[email protected]

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