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Negative Portrayal Of Legal Profession In Mainstream Media

William Shakespeare in his play Henry VI had a character called William the butcher utter the phrase “First thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.” This negative perception of lawyers has been around for a long time. According to a recently conducted online poll, 60% of the public think lawyers are greedy and only 20% think that they are either honest or compassionate. There are quite a few nasty jokes regarding the legal profession as well. The current public perception tends strongly toward the notion that lawyers are no longer seeking justice for their clients, they have become fame seeking and business oriented.

When lawyers are asked about this disparaging perception of their profession respond by blaming their negative portrayal in media like novels and films. The general public gets a less than fair portrayal of the legal profession. Unless you have personally worked with an attorney your perception of lawyers is solely determined by what you see in television dramas and movies. Lawyers are generally portrayed as either ambulance-chasing scum bags willing to do anything to make a buck or cold hearted con men that are only interested in fleecing their unsuspecting client. The reality is far from it. There may be attorneys who engage in unethical practice or try to defraud the system in order to help the bad guys go free and then charge them huge amounts of fees but it is unfair to portray that as an assessment of all attorneys.

Most attorneys are honest, hardworking and ethical professionals working to get the best results possible for their client.  Their reputations are marred by the negative portrayal in the media. If we look deep enough there are dishonest and unethical people portraying themselves as professionals in every field but the media exploits the few cases in which ethics may have been broken or wrongdoing may have been uncovered and an overall appearance is given that all attorneys are the same. As a result of this reputable and honest attorneys are often portrayed in the same light when stories of guilty individuals get off on technicalities or plea bargains are reported ad nauseum by the mainstream media.

Almost 75% of Americans that have had direct communication with lawyers and more than a casual experience reported a favorable view of attorneys in the very same poll. Corporate clients are often credited with viewing lawyers as maligners. Personal injury lawyers however seem to take the brunt of the negative perception. Dozens of billboards scattered across commercial centers and repetitive television commercials of personal injury lawyers promising high dollar settlements for clients that have sustained any injury don’t really help in posing a respectable figure. Big claims and empty promises make these attorneys look about as respectable as a used car salesmen.

Although personal injury attorneys have a poor reputation it is up to the general public to do their due research and hire a personal injury attorney with a solid reference for his or her integrity to handle their claim. Not all personal injury attorney are out to make quick cash on your settlement, there are lawyers with integrity and ethics working for your best interests. You should find such an attorney, someone with integrity who will do everything to protect your rights and your claim and helps you receive all due compensation for your injury or loss.

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