As if being called a shark were not bad enough, now lawyers seeking political office are being attacked for doing their job. At its barest, the ads at issue state: Don't vote for X, X is a lawyer, and don't vote for a lawyer. Well one thing lawyers are good at is logic, and these arguments friends, are circular at best.
One political attack ad in particular urged voters not to vote for a candidate because he represented criminals -- or in other words, yes, doing his job, reports Slate.
If Then next time you are in a position where you need to defend your choice of profession, here are some ways to convince people that practicing law is, in fact, a noble profession.
1. Know What You Are Up Against
People can play really dirty -- listen to this attack ad to get an idea of just how dirty:
2. The Constitution
It seems like most people are either not learning civics in school, or have forgotten, but maybe you need to fill them in on the basics. You know, little things like the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Sometimes people need to be reminded that everyone is entitled to legal representation. It's one of the things that makes our country great, and one day, if they are ever wrongly accused or arrested, they will be very glad to know that they will have an attorney.
3. Innocent Until Proven Guilty
Another one of those things that makes our justice system a whole lot better (at least on paper), is the fact that criminal defendants are innocent until proven guilty. So just because someone is being tried for being a drug dealer, doesn't actually make them a drug dealer. The government needs to prove it, and a jury must be convinced. That someone is later convicted doesn't mean that the attorney condones the criminal actions, it means the attorney is upholding the Constitution.
It's times like this that I wish Franz Kafka's "The Trial" were required reading for everyone. Perhaps if they saw how bad the justice system could be, they wouldn't take ours -- and the lawyers that uphold the law and protect their rights -- for granted. Sometimes, you'll just have to remind them yourself.
If you need to go beyond defending yourself at the next cocktail party and actually need some help in crafting your professional image, FindLaw can help. FindLaw specializes in lawyer marketing, and can help you market yourself, and your firm, in a way that doesn't reiterate negative perceptions of the profession.
How do you deal with negative perceptions of the profession? Let us know @FindLawLP on Twitter.
No Respect? One Way to Improve Your Firm's Reputation (FindLaw's Strategist Blog)
- Is Being Called a 'Shark' Really All That Bad? (FindLaw's In House Blog)
- Shark Week: Top Ten Lawyer Sharks of All Time (FindLaw's Greedy Associates Blog)