There are many myths about lawyers that circulate in popular culture. Some of these myths are harmless, while others can be damaging to the public perception of attorneys. Moreover, they could cause you to not seek much-needed legal counsel.
Here are some of the most common myths about lawyers:
Myth 1) Lawyers Are Just In It For The Money
One of the most common myths about lawyers is that they are just in it for the money. While it is true that many lawyers are very well-paid, there are also many who work for non-profit organizations or pro-bono. Moreover, many lawyers choose to enter public service after working in the private sector in order to help those who cannot afford legal representation.
Being an attorney is a career, and of course attorneys want to be fairly compensated for their work. But not all lawyers are just in it for the money.
Myth 2) Lawyers Will Try To Cheat You
Lawyers are held to a strict code of ethics. If a lawyer is caught cheating, he or she will be disbarred from practicing law. This is the harshest punishment that can be bestowed upon a lawyer and it basically means the end of his or her career.
As such, it is highly unlikely that a lawyer would try to cheat you. Not only is there no more reason for an attorney to cheat you than in any other profession, but the risk is simply too great.
Legal fees vary depending on the service, but lawyers are not going to try and sell you unnecessary services or try to cheat you out of your money.
Myth 3) All Lawyers Are Rich
There are certainly some lawyers who are very well off financially. But there are also many who are not. Like with any other profession, there is a wide range in earnings for lawyers. Becoming a lawyer does not automatically mean you become rich.
Of course, if you want to become a lawyer so that you can make a lot of money, that is certainly a possibility. But it is important to remember that becoming a lawyer requires a lot of hard work and dedication. It is not a get-rich-quick scheme.
Myth 4) Litigators Need To Be Aggressive To Be Good
While some litigators may be aggressive, it is not a requirement to be a good lawyer. In fact, many lawyers who are considered to be excellent litigators are not at all aggressive.
What matters most in litigation is being prepared and knowing the law inside and out. If you are able to do those things, you can be a successful litigator, even if you are not aggressive.
Myth 5) All Lawyers Need To Be Excellent Public Speakers
Again, while some lawyers may be excellent public speakers, it is not a requirement to be a successful lawyer. There are many different types of lawyers, and each type has its own set of skills that are necessary for success.
Some lawyers may need to be excellent public speakers in order to be convincing to a jury in areas of law such as personal injury or criminal defense. However, US trademark attorneys or attorneys working in tax law may never need to step foot in a courtroom and may instead focus their time on research and writing.
Myth 6) Lawyers Only Care About The Case — Not The Person
This is another common misconception about lawyers. While it is true that lawyers need to be able to look at a case objectively, this does not mean that they do not care about their clients.
In fact, many lawyers become very close with their clients and develop strong relationships built on trust and mutual respect. This is particularly true for attorneys who practice in areas such as family law or personal injury, where the lawyer may be dealing with clients who are going through some of the most difficult times in their lives.
Myth 7) Lawyers Tell Lies To Help Their Clients
We’ve seen it in popular media and movies — an attorney wildly misrepresents the truth, or straight up lies, to a judge in order to get their client off.
In reality, that would be perverting the course of justice, which is a criminal offense.
The truth is, lawyers use their understanding of the law to convince the court that their client’s position is the correct one.
That might mean presenting evidence in a certain way, or calling witnesses to testify. But it definitely does not mean lying.
Myth 8) Lawyers Are “Ambulance Chasers”
Again, lawyers contacting injured people out of nowhere is a common misconception rooted in popular media. Attorneys are not permitted to seek out an injured or vulnerable person, and they may not linger near hospitals looking for more clients.
Under Rule 7.3, a lawyer may not solicit a prospective client unless the client is a lawyer or has a close relationship with the lawyer.
The lawyer also may not solicit someone who is known to be in a vulnerable emotional state.
The idea that lawyers feed on people’s tragedies is a common myth that isn’t grounded in reality.
There are many misconceptions about lawyers and the legal profession. Some of these myths are perpetuated by popular media, while others are simply misunderstandings of the law. But whatever the source, these myths can have a negative impact on the public’s perception of lawyers and the legal profession.
It’s important to remember that lawyers are just like any other professionals: they’re not perfect, but they’re also not all bad. If you have a legal problem, don’t hesitate to contact a lawyer for help. And if you’re considering a career in law, do your research so that you can make an informed decision.
If you need legal services, schedule a free consultation with MZJ. We are a full-service law firm dedicated to serving our clients’ best interests. Our attorneys have the experience and knowledge to handle your case efficiently and effectively. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.