In my over 16 years as an injury lawyer, I have heard every lawyer joke there is at least 50 times. Some of these are funny, but often the pointed humor is found wrapped in a grain of truth.
Every so often, the Gallup Poll people seek peoples’ opinion on the most respected professions. Not surprisingly, the overwhelming majority of folks admire: Nurses (81%); Military Officers (73%); Pharmacists (71%); Teachers (67%) and Doctors (66%).
Who are the least respected? Washington Lobbyists, Car Salesmen and Congressmen round out the lowest rung of the respect ladder. But we don’t tell “lobbyist jokes” much, do we? Lawyers are certainly close to the bottom. Only 17% hold attorneys in high esteem. While 47% put them in the middle at “Average, a whopping 35% place members of the bar squarely at “low or very low.”
Why are lawyers not more respected?
Could it be the ads? I don’t do TV ads, but the high-volume injury law firms do. Some are downright silly, and almost all are annoying.
Is it any wonder the word “greedy” seems to go naturally in front of the words “trial lawyers.” We hear all about the “hot coffee case” and we never hear about the facts of many tragic cases that do so much good.
For example, have heard this story? A three-year old little girl leaned out of the passenger’s side window on a Ford pick up truck, and accidentally hit the “rocker” style switch, causing the strong power window to close, and killing her, before the parents could save her.
Manufacturers were well aware of the risks of rocker switches inadvertently closing if a child leaned on one (in 2004, seven children died in the span of three months) and even installed safer “pull-up” switches in the cars they offered to foreign markets. But it took lawyers and litigation for manufacturers to install safer switches herein America.
Other safety improvements include life-saving repairs to vehicle gas tanks, seat belts, side impact design, roof strength, tires, electronic stability control, door latches, air bags, power windows and seats. All brought to you by your friendly, neighborhood trial lawyer.