Why Do People Hate Lawyers?
This is a question I have asked on Twitter and in real life, because I can’t quite understand why people say they hate
Lawyers. So why do people say they hate Lawyers?
Let us first recognise that ordinary people do not usually have any contact with a Lawyer or Barrister in real life unless they have need of their legal expertise.
From asking the question in real life, there seems to be a genuine venom used when people talk about Lawyers.
A lot of people I had spoken to had used the services of a Lawyer when having to deal with a very stressful divorce or when their children had been removed from them by Social Services for various reasons.
Their experience of the Legal System was at a time in their lives which was frightening and extremely stressful and usually involved Family Law cases in the Magistrates or County Courts.
A lot of people told me that their Lawyer seemed to be caring at the beginning of their situation, then aloof and distant as the case dragged on and they became frustrated at not being able to contact the Lawyer dealing with their case, or that their Lawyer gave them very little information or updates on any progress and even when their Lawyer did do this, they didn’t understand the Legal speak, or jargon that the Lawyer was using. They also complained about the cost of using a Lawyer when they were not entitled to Legal Aid.
There was also great animosity towards the Lawyers “on the other side”, especially in divorce cases.
How could this extreme animosity and hatred towards Lawyers have come about?
Is is because Lawyers do tend to distance themselves, in regard to their clients, during a case because of other pressures, which the client is not aware of.
Is it because the Legal process is slow and frustration sets in because ordinary people do not understand the Legal process and blame their Lawyer for being slow to act on their behalf in their cases.
Is it because Lawyers are seen as snobs by ordinary people due to the history of Lawyers being from the “Upper Class” in the past.
Is it because ordinary people are suffering emotional stress at the time and need a scapegoat to blame for their troubles and take it out on their Lawyer.
Is it because ordinary people perceive Lawyers to be rich and treat clients as second citizens, or could this also be because Lawyers are generally well-educated and intelligent and this “rubs people up the wrong way” especially if no one in their family has ever been to University.
Have they been given bad Legal advice or received an inadequate service from a Lawyer in the past and now mistrust all Lawyers.
Could it be because ordinary people have no understanding of the Legal Profession and see it as an alien world that they are afraid of and reject.
Or perhaps, it could be that some Lawyers do actually come across as aloof and uncaring because of a lack in their social skills.
It could also be that there are some really bad Lawyers out there giving the rest of the Legal Profession a really bad name.
What I think may be the problem:
I think the reason why people hate Lawyers as much as they do are all due to the above reasons and more.
Many ordinary people do not realise that a Lawyer has to deal with some awful and often horrifying information whilst dealing with such a variety of cases on a daily basis. Some cases may involve child abuse, others, may involve murder or serious assaults where severe harm has been inflicted on a person. Other cases may involve other sickening items of what one human being has inflicted upon the other, which is why I respect Barristers and Lawyers so much. Some of the information they receive must be horrendous and harrowing. With this in mind, a Lawyer must exercise some level of detachment from a case in order to be able to function for their clients interests and this is not understood by the general public.
Some Lawyers are really bad at dealing with people in general terms and fall back on what they know, i.e., legalese and not contacting their clients with updates on cases, (sometimes they really are too busy to pick up the telephone to enact a courtesy call to a client). This again, is woefully not understood by ordinary people who do not circulate in the Legal pond.
Lawyers are often perceived not to have a soul, because of this and are though of as heartless and remote from ordinary life, when quite the opposite is often true. Many Lawyers do a lot for charity or take on cases Pro Bono because they feel they can make a difference, and a lot of Lawyers are quite sociable outside the world of Law.
The instances of “bad Lawyers” spread through word of mouth in the ordinary world of the public and this then transforms into a sort of legend of pain and suffering for the unfortunate soul who had chance to have had dealings with them, thus tainting Lawyers in the public psyche and making them into a kind of Boogeyman.
It could also be that some people feel very ashamed and embarrassed at getting into a situation that they do not have the knowledge and experience to deal with themselves and have to pay a Lawyer to act on their behalf making them hostile to Lawyers before they even contact one.
All of these things may be why ordinary people seem to hate Lawyers with such venom and I understand why ordinary people come to the conclusions about Lawyers that they do.
However, what I still do not understand is how some Lawyers can also hate other Lawyers.
I myself have a very high regard and respect of both Lawyers and Barristers having met with them either in the requirement of their legal expertise to get me out of a pickle, or interacting with them in the social arena away from Law.
Lawyers are after all, human…aren’t they?
If I am right or wrong, I would be happy to engage in a cordial debate and to discuss what others opinions are on the question, why do people hate Lawyers?
So why do people hate Lawyers?