I typed this question into google today. There are some good jokes to be found.
What’s the difference between a lawyer and a leech? After you die, a leech will stop trying to suck your blood!
What’s the difference between a lawyer and a liar? The pronunciation!
How can you tell when a lawyer is lying? Their lips are moving!
The public, generally speaking, does not trust lawyers. I cannot say I am surprised, but I am greatly saddened and disheartened.
One article wrote, “According to a new study, although lawyers are viewed by the public as part of an “envied” profession, no one really likes them. Sure, lawyers may gain a scant amount of respect from some, but when you’re viewed generally as heartless bastards, no one will trust you…” https://abovethelaw.com/2014/09/scientific-study-concludes-no-one-trusts-lawyers/
Used to be, parents wanted their kids to grow up to be lawyers and doctors. Not any more. Lawyers have dropped out of that discussion. I am not even sure I want my kids to follow in my footsteps.
Why are we untrustworthy? No doubt it is self-induced. We have done it to ourselves. I think there are two arenas in which lawyers prove themselves untrustworthy. First, big advertisers portray to the general public a certain type of undesirable reputation. Second, on a personal level, certain lawyers indeed lie, cheat, and mislead. These “bad apples” have ruined the bunch.
Nevertheless, I profess with all candor that most lawyers are honest, professional, and respectable. I truly believe that. But the bad apples can be really bad, and they stand out from the field.
The first arena I mentioned is the public forum with the lawyers that everyone sees in general advertising. If you drive down any interstate highway from Louisiana to Florida, one in every three billboards (if not more) are lawyers. If you watch commercials on TV, every break in programming has a lawyer’s face. I agree with you, it is obnoxious.
Freedom of speech is important. Lawyers, just like everyone else, have a right to advertise for business. Louisiana, and I am sure other states as well, debated long and hard about limiting a lawyer’s right to free speech to try and protect our reputation via advertising. There was a balance struck, and there are restrictions in place. But, you can see the effect. The restrictions have not protected our reputations. I do not foresee that changing any time soon. And since I am not a major advertiser, I do not have much more input in this area.
The second arena I mentioned is the private forum, where lawyers earn a reputation from one-on-one interactions with clients or from behavior in the courtroom. This is where I have more to say and do. I will admit there are lawyers that lie and cheat in the courtroom. I have experienced it. Obviously, those lawyers do not deserve trust. In central Louisiana, there is only a handful of lawyers that have earned this type of reputation. We all know who they are, and we all take precautions when dealing with them. For the client, if your lawyer will lie to a judge, wouldn’t he or she also lie to you?
Trust is undoubtedly the foundation of any relationship. This is true for a husband and wife, for parent and child, and for attorney and client. You must trust your lawyer.
I do not take this responsibility lightly. Neither do I expect your trust from the beginning. I fully recognize the only way you will trust me is if I earn it. So, I will. I conduct my personal life, my business, and my practice with certain foundational principals so that, at the end of the day, trust is earned.
I’ll be more specific. Trust requires truth. My faith and morality are hugely important. I attend church faithfully. I am an extraordinary minister of the Body and Blood of Christ. I am currently teaching a confirmation class for high school students. What does this mean for you? My faith instills sincere honesty. I will always be honest with you. You deserve the truth, even if it is not what you want to hear.
Trust requires availability. When you call my office, a person answers; not a mobile receptionist at some call center. When you have problems, doubts, or questions, you can reach me; not an associate, not a paralegal. When you need me, I am here.
Trust requires personability. When you and I meet, it will not be across some big obtrusive desk, it will be on comfortable chairs, talking knee to knee. As our attorney-client relationship progresses, I will obviously know your case, but I will also get to know you. Yes, at some level, what I do is my job. But at your level, it is the most important issue at this moment of your life. I must treat it as such. I have to treat you and your case with the respect it deserves.
Lastly, trust is about production. When your case concludes, you should be satisfied that I gave 100%. I must be organized, detailed, and prepared. I have to succinctly and competently present your case.
I could go on and on with these promises, but promises do not gain trust. There is only one way to earn your trust: action. Let me be your lawyer. I promise at the end of the day, I will have done everything in my power to earn your trust. I encourage you to read online reviews about me and other lawyers. Visit The Jones Law Firm at www.hdjoneslaw.com or give us a call at (318) 442-1515. I look forward to meeting you.
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