With information available at the touch of a button, it has become increasingly difficult to sift through the real versus fake. There is tons of information about lawyers on the internet. A lot of it is not true. What are the top 10 myths about lawyers you ask? Read on.
1. Lawyers are belligerent.
Unfortunately, TV shows have come to portray lawyers as hostile and aggressive. As a result, lawyers get a bad rap for being belligerent. The truth is most lawyers don’t walk around yelling at the court or people to win their case. What they do is assert themselves against their opponents. Good lawyers concentrate on legal and factual arguments, not ad hominem attacks. Lawyers stand up for their clients and present information that contradicts the other side’s arguments. Standing up for their client should not be mistaken for aggression.
Aggressive lawyers will not help you win your case but an assertive lawyer can certainly be to your advantage. After all, you want a lawyer who will protect your best interest and who won’t be afraid to fight for you.
2. Lawyers are liars.
Myths and jokes about the general moral depravity of lawyers are common and unoriginal. Lawyers are often labeled as liars. They are called unethical. More often than they should be, lawyers are accused of scheming and plotting to subvert justice or their clients. But are they really? Becoming a lawyer is hard. Typically it requires 7 years of study, a rigorous background investigation, and passing the bar exam.
Once lawyers get their license, they become officers of the court and take an oath to follow a strict set of professional ethics rules. An officer of the court is a person that has an interest in making sure that the court process functions as it should. Lawyers take these duties seriously.
3. Lawyers just want your money.
When you are sick you go to the doctor and the doctor bills you. The bill is usually not a surprise. But lawyers are not physicians. They are not able to tell their clients that the cost of fixing their legal problem is covered or tell them how much it will cost them altogether. Lawyers in private practice are also business people and they are not cheap. This is partly because becoming a lawyer takes hard work, money (usually borrowed), and dedication. Becoming a good lawyer takes even longer. As a client, you pay for the specialized knowledge that a lawyer has committed years to learn. So goes the saying, “you get what you pay for.”
4. Lawyers can’t be trusted.
Sad to say lawyers are trusted as much as prostitutes, CEOs, and politicians. Nevertheless, there are two people you should fully trust, your lawyer and your doctor. Even if you don’t trust other lawyers, you must trust your own. Lawyers need clients to be fully confident in them, otherwise, the lawyer can’t function properly. Trust is something that needs to be built. Every good lawyer knows this and will work with you to gain that trust.
5. Lawyers work is exciting.
If you think all lawyers are like Harvey Specter or Jack McCoy, think again. Unfortunately, shows like Law and Order, Boston Legal, LA Law, Suits, Ally McBeal, and The Practice don’t capture the daily grind of being a lawyer. Although rewarding, being a lawyer involves many tedious and nonglamerious tasks such as hours of research and writing. People pay lawyers to review dull things, i.e., 30-page agreements and real estate contracts. Their jobs also require deep concentration and quiet spaces. When do you walk into a law office and hear tons of noise? Rarely. Lawyers jobs are also to read every word of the documents they are reviewing. And the reading is not as exciting as reading your favorite novel.
6. Lawyers can help with any case.
While every lawyer has some basic understanding of the legal system, not all of them have studied the nuance of or are knowledgeable in each particular area of law. Like doctors or other professionals, lawyers have specific areas of practice. This enables attorneys to best represent their client’s interests. If you are looking for a lawyer, it is recommended that you narrow your search to the area of law you are dealing with (e.g., malpractice, bankruptcy, employment, personal injury, criminal, etc.). You wouldn’t want your primary care physician handling your heart surgery, would you?
7. Lawyers are rich.
The better statement is some lawyers are rich. There’s a large spread of income across the legal field. It is very unusual for an attorney working for a nonprofit or solo practitioner to be swimming in piles of cash. Partners at international firms on the other hand, can reap massive earnings. Most lawyers fall somewhere in between. As has been seen over the years, different areas of law provide different earning potential. To some extent, this hinges on how hard lawyers want to work, how effective they are at obtaining clients, and the size of their legal team.
8. Lawyers can’t vacation.
It’s no secret that practicing law is tough. Practicing law brings on added stress. It can certainly play with your emotions. But no one ever said that being a lawyer means you have to have a boring life. Lawyers are fun people too. Lawyers need to live a balanced life in order to be able to function at their best. Among other relaxing activities, this means taking a vacation or two throughout the year. These vacations allow time to reboot and refresh.
9. Lawyers collude with judges, police, and their colleagues.
Many people think lawyers are dishonest and that they arrange secret deals with the other side. The truth is, lawyers do work with their counterparts, judges, and police, but it’s in no one’s professional interest for those relationships to be underhanded. While negotiations may occur, they are typically legitimate and in the best interest of the lawyer’s client. In fact, discussions between both parties may be the best route to resolve your case. A forthright lawyer will typically advise you about this beforehand so there’s no room for you to feel cheated.
10. Lawyers are ambulance chasers.
California has very strict rules about lawyers contacting injured people, and they take ethics regulations very seriously. Lawyers are not allowed to solicit an injured or vulnerable person in any way. They cannot go to hospitals or courts looking for potential clients. Lawyers even have to be extremely careful about referrals. If your friend Jenny gets in a car wreck, you mention ABC Law, and Jenny sounds interested, ABC Law legally cannot contact Jenny. Jenny has to contact ABC Law. Yes, the professional code is that strict.
If you or someone you know find yourself in a situation where you need an attorney or legal advice contact Sodhi Law Group today for a free consultation. Schedule an appointment by calling 209-900-8200
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