The Balance Careers website reports that lawyers are among the most hated professionals in the world. In comparison, they get ranked with politicians, tax examiners, and stock traders. This report only shows that lawyers tend to get despised.
If you are a lawyer, you might get used to dirty looks and negative vibes from folks. But if you need lawyers, understanding their attitude might help your relationship with them.
Why are lawyers in such a bad light? Why is it that despite their education and standing, lawyers get hated so much? Here are the reasons why:
Lawyers went through intense training to prepare them for their carers. While lawyers enjoy their prestige as legal practitioners, they might end up becoming blunt and out-of-touch.
Some lawyers “do not have the time” to display empathy or understand the clients’ concerns. They might even pretend to know more about the case without really comprehending it. Meanwhile, others intimidate their client with verbose language and terms.
The general public does not understand the intricacies of legal processes. But they know one thing: when a lawyer touches a case, it can drag on. Divorces, settlements, and deals can get streamlined for months and years. But, in reality, these cases indeed take such a long time to process. Yet, lawyers receive the brunt.
Most sane lawyers do not intentionally bog down their cases. They study their legalities, loopholes, and circumstances, and this research requires time. Legal advice appointments can also become lengthy, leading to delays.
Lawyers without staff and assistants take all the burden of litigation. They study piles of paperwork, contracts, reports, and related documents.
When clients meet their lawyers, they have to pay for each hour they spend during the appointment. Lawyers and firms can bill costly fees, ranging from hundreds of dollars.
In a meeting where every minute counts, things can get hostile. Clients know that when they enter a lawyer’s office, each moment has a price. Who would not become frustrated and angry in such a place?
Worse, some lawyers behave as if they are only after the clients’ money. People will not contact attorneys if everything is alright. Of course, appointments with them involve disputes and criminal offenses. Sadly, some lawyers prey on the client’s misery and mishaps to earn money.
Fortunately, there are legal firms that charge based on transactions, not time. But until lawyers worldwide adopt this practice, appointments with them will always get dreaded and hated by clients.
While most of us speak English, lawyers drown clients with jargon in “English” and Latin.
Communicating this way gives them the appearance of arrogance and snobbishness. Legalese is hard to understand, but lawyers insist on speaking and writing in this form of language. Do you know what “whereof” and “thereafter” mean? If not, know that these words fill contracts and legal statements.
But many empathetic lawyers strive to cross this barrier with their clients. By explaining what legal terms mean during appointments, these lawyers can enlighten and empower their clients. Sadly, some lawyers do not care.
Legal practitioners exude prestige, wealth, and power. These manifest in the uniforms they wear and the furniture they have at their office. Because of this, ordinary people can quickly feel inferior to attorneys.
But many lawyers do not strive to become approachable. Instead, they assert their sense of authority and ego. People hate this. Despite this, we should not fall into believing stereotypes about lawyers. Do not forget that many attorneys want to form sincere relationships with their clients.
As mentioned earlier, the cases that lawyers handle can extend for months. Clients must pay the whole time, pushing them to the brink of financial loss and bankruptcy. When this happens, their lawyers can leave them alone at once.
This reality makes people view the legal industry and justice system negatively. The struggle for fairness becomes an expensive contest of who can pay more in fees for months. Hence, equality before the law becomes corrupted by elitism.
Why do people fear going to the dentist? Because the experience comes with memories of pain and aches. The same happens with lawyers and their counsel. People only approach them when they are in a deep legal mess. Hate follows this relationship. Here are the factors that make things worse:
- A peaceful life includes having no criminal record and legal disputes. Remember, even lawyers do not want to hire lawyers. You will typically meet these professionals during tragic and turbulent times, similar to a funeral home worker.
- Many lawyers are blunt. It is not their obligation to show compassion. Instead, they must assess and explain legal troubles in elaborate and rational ways. Lawyers deliver terrible news, especially in cases where the client will likely lose.
- The legal system is competitive and aggressive. This heightened sense of conflict with so much at stake makes the field so toxic. While lawyers fight for the best result, justice gets muddied on the way. They do not necessarily lie, but they must do their best to fight for their client.
- Lawyers still get paid no matter how terrible the case went, even if they lose. Ironically, some of them are hard to contact and difficult to approach.
- Lawyers, by nature, can get annoying, competitive, and egotistic because of everything they experienced and surmounted.
- Although there are kind and ethical lawyers, the public will always have a negative view of them. Legal practice comes with the perception of lying, fighting, and taking advantage of clients.
People can have many reasons to hate lawyers and attorneys. But it is worth reiterating that not all lawyers deserve this. We should stay careful not to fall into the very thing we say we hate.