I am not an attorney, but I have been working with them hand-in-hand for the most significant part of my career. Lawyers get a bad rap – I’m sure you know plenty of lawyer jokes and stereotypes – but it is important to recognize all of the hard work and sacrifice they put in to serve their communities.
My only hope in writing this is to encourage us all to improve our relationship with our lawyer friends, as 77% of the U.S. population thinks lawyers contribute very little or nothing to society according to the PEW Research Center. That is harsh.
Here are just a few reasons why I love lawyers and you should too.
Their Love For humanity, Despite Our Collective Hate
Attorneys can be a total pain in the ass, yet love you unconditionally. I have seen attorneys be degrading and demeaning regarding an incorrect invoice that cut to the core, and then after, they would be the most empathetic and concerned person regarding a personal situation that was impacting their staff in a real way.
Their client had been denied rights to their children for months, and the pain felt in their client’s voice was more than they could take. The issue was not the invoice, but a pain they couldn’t reconcile.
Advice: Give them a chance and invite them into your life as a person, not just a vendor.
Their Selfless Values Are Not Appreciated By The General Public
Lawyers care about making money to care for their families (just like everyone else), but they sacrifice that very family to serve their clients that need them as well.
They will generate income for their kids to eat and receive the best education society can provide, and yet clients typically never realize how much they sacrifice their personal life for their professional impact.
Advice: Ask them how their families are, become their friend on social media (if they approve?), ask what you can do for them to add value to their life. If they have a leaky roof, give them a roofing referral. They are people too and have to confront all of the challenges that come along in life as well.
Their Humanity Is Seen In Little Glimpses Of Imperfection And Weakness
Lawyers can come across as harsh, but that is likely because they have been hurt from a previous organization that didn’t treat them well or a childhood/life that left scars too deep to fully heal.
They have good hearts to serve humanity but struggle with fighting for you and fighting against you. When they acknowledge fault and call for advice, I love them even more. They truly care about doing their best and will sacrifice themselves to do so!
Advice: When they mess up, forgive them and tell them you’re imperfect too.
A Lawyer’s Bark Is Worse Than Their Bite!
They can have cutting words that are often rooted in good intention, but sometimes just a result of the need to win which makes them great advocates for us all. Litigation lawyers are taught and incentivized to be bulldogs in the courtroom and highly confident. Their intensity and confidence lauded by the court and their peers can be off putting to the rest of us, but these very qualities are what bring us hope and justice!
Advice: Approach them with authenticity and the same level of intensity and you will find a great partnership. Tell them when they are being jerks so they can learn too!
Their Confidence (Even Though It Can Come Across As Ingenuine)
They made it through hell in law school and still succumb to dealing with ridiculous legal challenges like us getting rear ended, divorced, an employee stealing, harassment that leaves deep wounds, my 10th parking ticket this month, or worse yet, losing a loved one due to medical negligence.
They have been competing to win since law school, and their self-confidence is what will support you with tenacity and grit to succeed in winning your case!
Advice: Tell them to chill out. This isn’t law school. This isn’t a competition. Let’s partner together to win together, but don’t fight against me…fight with me!
Despite our feelings about attorneys, 30% of them struggle with diagnosed depression and alcohol dependency because they are digging their own graves to keep their practice afloat while sacrificing hundreds of thousands of revenue dollars in the process.
While it is understandable that some people have been hurt terribly by lawyers and/or have not had good experiences, I want those of you struggling with a lawyer relationship to know I also realize not all attorneys are credible with good intent – just like humanity isn’t as a whole.
But just like one bad apple shouldn’t ruin the bunch, we need to remember that the vast majority of attorneys work diligently to serve the best interests of their clients while sacrificing their personal lives to do so.
We hope to make a difference….no….we hope to revolutionize the legal industry and our relationship with lawyers by powering the business of law and showing lawyers their impact on society is through service, not sacrifice!