Lawyer Stereotypes and Public Perception
After reading a recent comment on the New Law Business Model Facebook page, “I can see the ads now! Been a victim of 2020? Been killed or even worse? Call Dewey, Cheatum, and Howe for your free consultation,” we decided to address the negative perception of lawyers head-on.
According to this Pew Research Center Study on the public’s perceived contribution of 10 different occupations to society, respondents rated lawyers at the bottom of the list. “About one-in-five Americans (18%) say lawyers contribute a lot to society, while 43% say they make some contribution; fully a third (34%) say lawyers contribute not very much or nothing at all.”
Ouch! Those statistics seem somewhat unfair. Have the people who devalue the contribution of lawyers to society forgotten that lawyers are the people who advocate for civil liberties, defend clients’ rights, and help fight injustice?
We all know there are far too many jokes and lawyer stereotypes, and there must be some truth to them.
“How many lawyer jokes are there, anyway? Only three. The rest are true stories.”
But we also know that there are ‘bad apples’ within a multitude of occupations, so why do lawyers, in particular, get such a bad rap?
At the root of these lawyer stereotypes are several other factors that play into a negative public perception.
- People often work with lawyers during the most stressful times in their life—divorce, death, lawsuits, and major accidents to name a few.
- Legal matters can take a great deal of time to resolve.
- Legal services are expensive and clients may not always understand what exactly they are paying for.
- In disputes, lawyers represent both sides as if each should win—so someone always loses, and someone is always the bad guy.
- Clients often resent paying legal fees when the outcome wasn’t more favorable and often even when lawyers win the case.
Further exacerbating the problem, the traditional transactional and litigation based models for practicing law have caused the very nature of it to become about chasing billable hours.
This alone has two major impacts:
- Clients often feel they are being ‘nickel and dimed’ or taken advantage of.
- The pressure to meet billable hours requirements can cause even the most well-intentioned lawyers to take on too much work and be unable to adequately deliver on it.
How is anyone, lawyers or their clients, supposed to feel good about that? For lawyers stuck in this system, it can be nearly impossible to break free.
The Truth About Lawyering
Some decisions can’t be made alone, and some battles can’t be fought alone. This negative perception of lawyers does a huge disservice to all of the lawyers out there doing good in the world and diminishes the positive role lawyers can play in people’s lives.
People need lawyers.
- Lawyers help solve complex problems.
- Lawyers assess and help mitigate risk to prevent future issues.
- Lawyers advocate for those that can’t advocate for themselves.
And the reality is that lawyers often impact people’s lives for the better and help others in a variety of ways that no other profession can.
Turning lawyer stereotypes on their head.
At New Law Business Model, we teach lawyers how to break free from the old transactional model that forces them to chase billable hours. And instead, show them a way to serve as true, trusted counselors, providing proactive and comprehensive estate planning and strategic business counsel services in a new way—one that prioritizes people over the billable hour.
This is why New Law is so disruptive. We provide a way to practice that comes from the heart, keeps families out of court and out of conflict, and guides lawyers to truly serve their communities. Lawyers are able to practice in a way they are proud of and where they find fulfillment.
The following experience recently shared in the NLBM Community Forum illustrates this perfectly.
Betsy’s comment says it all.
“I realized in that moment that it is the simple and detailed things that others really do appreciate. These are the moments in life that make me realize why I became an attorney to help others during this short journey we all have on earth.”
Break free from the lawyer stereotypes and breakthrough to a law practice you love.
Start bringing in a steady and consistent income, even during shifting economic times. We’ve trained thousands of lawyers in the New Law Business Model. Those who have successfully applied our methods have been able to build their own 6- & 7-figure law firms, even during the 2008 recession, and many of them are having their best months ever right now!
The law practice you’ve always dreamed of doesn’t have to stay a dream. Book a call with a Law Business Advisor and we’ll map out your plan to create a life and law practice you love.
Ready to Learn More About Our Core Program? Schedule a call with one of our Law Business Advisors today.