There’s little doubt that lawyers are highly respected in today’s society. Despite that, lawyers are often hounded by persistent myths by those who assume that they know everything about lawyers there is to know.
Anyone who’s practiced law for any length of time has likely heard every myth in the book: lawyers are manipulative, lawyers are overpaid, lawyers are only in it for the money, lawyers only need to be good at arguing to be successful, the more experience a lawyer has the better. Add in hundreds of different jokes about lawyers, and anyone practicing law is likely tired of hearing all the wrong things about their profession.
But it’s time to set the record straight. There are more than 1.3 million lawyers currently working in the United States, in all matters of law, who do a lot of good, hard work for everyday citizens. The truth is that lawyers are hardworking people who pour themselves into their profession the same as you or me and here are some of the most common myths about lawyers, finally debunked:
Every Lawyer is Rich
If you think you know everything about lawyers, one of the biggest assumptions you may have is that all lawyers are rich.
The truth is that only a small percentile of lawyers are rich, and the reason they’re rich is that they’ve worked hard to get to such a spot. The average salary of your local criminal law attorney isn’t millions of dollars. If they have just started working, odds are pretty good that they’ll require years to make the hefty sums you assume they make. Much like many other professions, it takes years for a lawyer to climb the pay scale. Not only that, but it also takes hard work and a good reputation. The easiest way for a lawyer to be successful is to win cases for clients.
It’s Best to Hire an Argumentative Lawyer
If you’ve heard everything about lawyers, you’ve probably heard that hiring an argumentative lawyer is the best way to win a case. This is simply not true. Even if a lawyer is an expert at arguing a case in court, it doesn’t mean they’re always going to win their case. Confidence is certainly a good trait to have as a lawyer, but a good lawyer uses their smarts to win cases. That means having solid evidence to back up an argument in court. You may not believe it, but many cases are won and lost in court because lawyers don’t have all the necessary materials ready to defend their clients.
Lawyers are All the Same
One of the most common myths about lawyers is that they’re all the same. Again, this is only a myth. For example, an accident injury attorney is only paid when they win a case for their client. Furthermore, most up-and-coming attorneys are paid by the hour for the institutions by which they are employed.
The stark reality is that some lawyers can go months without getting paid, even as they’re putting all their time and energy into their work. What’s more, some lawyers make exactly the same amount of money whether they win or not. Law is one of the most diverse professions around and it often takes years for a disability lawyer to achieve a career milestone. So next time you think you know everything about lawyers, remember that no two are alike when it comes to their experience, their income, or their lifestyle.
Lawyers are All About Money
You may think that all lawyers are money-hungry. They are not. There are likely some people in the profession who are negative, but it’s not good to make that assumption about all lawyers.
Lawyers, like those in any other profession, are allowed to be paid for the services they render, but not all lawyers are paid the same and the payment process for all lawyers isn’t the same. If you’re on a budget for a divorce attorney, for example, you can search online for one. If you go through an agency, you may have to pay in advance. If you hire a freelance divorce lawyer, you may be able to negotiate a payment plan.
Some lawyers are able to charge top-dollar for their services, but they likely worked long and hard to get to such a point. But in most cases, you can find a lawyer who fits your budget and will charge you a fair rate to take on your case.
You Don’t Need Lawyers
If you think you know everything about lawyers, then you might assume you don’t need a lawyer’s help. But life can take an unexpected turn in an instant, and before you know it, you’ll need to consult a lawyer.
If you’re having financial troubles, for example, you may find that you need to enlist the services of a bankruptcy attorney to get back on track and help you consolidate your debt. There are many times when folks think they can handle an issue themselves, but lawyers can be of great help. For whatever situation you’re dealing with in life, a lawyer can be there to guide you through any obstacles. You should never be too proud to hire a lawyer if you need it, or try to take the law into your own hands.
Lawyers Have All the Fun
If you think you know everything about lawyers, you might assume that their work is full of thrills and fun. This isn’t always the case, however. Lawyers do what they do because they’re passionate about helping people. What most people don’t see is that lawyers are to put in a lot of hard work to win cases for their clients. Practicing law isn’t always glamourous and reaching career milestones happens after blood, sweat, and tears are poured into work and lots of time is invested.
If you’ve seen commercials on TV for a local slip and fall lawyer, for example, you may assume that that lawyer gets a thrill out of money and the lawyering lifestyle. But the truth is that slip and fall lawyer is dedicated to helping everyday citizens and has invested lots of time into becoming as good a lawyer as they are.
Lawyers Always Win
Those who think they know everything about lawyers too often assume that if they hire a lawyer, they’re bound to win. The truth is that lawyers don’t always win. Make no mistake, there are scores of lawyers who are skilled, knowledgeable, and plenty dedicated. But there is never an automatic guarantee of victory.
If you’re looking for a lawyer, say, a good criminal lawyer, there’s a lot to consider. You’ll want to consider a lawyer’s proximity to you, experience, qualifications, and perhaps the cases they take on. These days you can read dozens of reviews online from clients. This will give you a good idea of how successful a lawyer is. Many lawyers always social media pages where they showcase their work, so you can peruse those as well.
Remember, do your homework before you hire a lawyer. But also remember that the case of winning any case is just 50%, no matter who you’ve got representing you.
Lawyers are Expensive
You may think that only the rich and powerful can afford lawyers, but that’s not true. Whether you’re rich, poor, or stuck firmly in the middle, every citizen has the same rights. That includes the right to an attorney.
The prevailing myth of lawyers being expensive is so pervasive that in many cases, people don’t hire lawyers when they need them. But if you have an average income, the state you live in can help you by hiring a lawyer for you. As previously mentioned, there are well over a million lawyers in the United States, practicing all manners of law. That means there are lawyers of varying degrees of affordability too.
It is true that hiring a lawyer of any kind does cost money. But the fees associated with hiring a lawyer varies by the type of case the lawyer is taking on as well as the client’s financial situation. Many lawyers offer a package that fits various budgets. Other lawyers charge by the hour. At any rate, if cost is a major concern for you, you can seek knowledgeable counsel by requesting a free quote or looking into a consultation before anyone takes on your case.
Lawyers are Manipulative
As they work their way through law school, lawyers are taught how to form arguments. As they gain experience, they’re able to hone these skills and successfully help clients. But those who think they know everything about lawyers may think that a lawyer’s skill at forming arguments is then used to manipulate clients.
The reality is that lawyers do use their skills at forming arguments and they use them for good. Using these skills, they can navigate very complex legal matters and adapt their skills to help their clients. Rather than being manipulative, attorneys become masters of their craft and are able to help clients by making sure that no detail, no matter how small is overlooked.
Lawyers Feed Off Tragedy
It is true that many folks seek legal aid when they’re in the midst of a less-than-ideal situation, such as bankruptcy, divorce, or after a slip-and-fall accident. As a result, those who think they know everything about lawyers, assume that lawyers are a cynical lot because they deal with bad situations.
But this is far from the truth. Much like a doctor is always there to help you when you’re sick, a lawyer is there to help when you’re navigating a trial in life. A slip and fall attorney for example can help you if you’re dealing with a workers compensation issue and you have to miss work for an extended period of time. A bankruptcy lawyer can help you from losing your business or your home. A divorce lawyer can help you avoid a messy divorce.
No one going through hardships and lawyers certainly don’t feed on the tragedies of their clients. If anything, they do everything within their power to help clients through the worst situations.
Lawyers Focus on Cases, Not Clients
If you think you know everything about lawyers, you might assume that lawyers are only focused on winning cases, and not serving their clients. But the real truth is lawyers know if they want to win cases, they need to get to know their clients and help them in any way they can. By doing this, they better understand the needs of their clients as well as their perspective. By learning all they can, lawyers set their clients up for success.
Lawyers Know Everything
If you’ve ever seen a law show on TV, you might assume that every lawyer, no matter their practice, knows absolutely everything. While lawyers go to school to soak up knowledge and they continually gain experience through practicing law, it’s impossible for every lawyer to know everything.
A good lawyer is knowledgeable about the type of law they practice, but he or she is also smart enough to always want to learn more. If you’re in the market for an attorney, look for a lawyer who is knowledgeable. Even if they don’t have the answers to your questions, they’re not too proud to seek out the answers and add to their own catalog of knowledge.
Learn the Truth
Whether you need the help of an insurance attorney, a divorce lawyer, or a criminal attorney, it’s in your best interest to learn all you can about what lawyers do and how they can help you.
Many think they know everything about lawyers, and as you have read, there are many myths about lawyers that are simply not true. Rather than being greedy, unfeeling, and uncaring counsel that is out to serve themselves, lawyers work hard, take time to help clients, and do all they can to help them through the worst everyday situations and scenarios.
By doing your research, reading reviews, and consulting with a lawyer, you can find the best lawyer to help you with whatever situation you’re dealing with and you can be sure that you’re doing to get excellent legal representation.