Being a lawyer used to be a source of pride
But years of cruel jokes have made us want to hide.
We feel we have to go to a shrink, or confession
Cause we’re in what was once a respected profession.
This reputation causes stress and is so unfair
But to comics, lawyer jokes are a breath of fresh air.
So I want to help you understand us a bit more
And see that “lawyer” is not a synonym for “whore”.
I’ll bypass the rigors of getting into law school
And start with First Year, which is traumatic, as a rule.
Our teachers beat us down to remodel our brain
And make us “think like a lawyer”, — or make us insane.
We must learn to debate both sides with equal skill.
Our job’s to advocate for the one who pays the bill!
The fact is, in every case, someone must be
Stuck defending greed, malice, or venality.
We graduate and go to work, on bottom once more
(Law school didn’t teach us any real world legal chore).
Our early years in practice can be quite hair-raising;
It’s like joining a frat and enduring a hazing.
When we get to leave our office we’re shocked to find
In the non-legal world we’re maliciously maligned!
After all our hard work we are seen to share the blame
WIth clients who act without decency or shame.
So you see why we’re hurt when we’re called “shark” or worse;
We’re not amoral hypocrites, sleazy or perverse.
It’s distressing to be thought of as demons from hell;
When we just do, an often unsavory, job well.
Our system’s adversarial, that’s how it’s designed.
It can’t be judgemental – remember, justice is blind!
The theory – truth will win when opposing parties fight;
The legal battle will unveil what is fair and right.
So when you’re in trouble or find yourself being sued,
I hope at least then, you’ll change your attitude.
When you pick up the phone and cry for legal aid,
Be grateful your lawyer believes that, if we’re paid,
No matter what, we must ardently argue your case
Though we don’t like you at all and think that you’re base.
We may find you obnoxious and selfish and yet,
Believe you deserve the best defence you can get.
Though we think you’re wrong and want the other side to win,
And feel that representing you is close to a sin,
We’ll put our morals aside and do a good job
Whether you’ve been screwed by, or in fact, run the mob.
You’d better hope we don’t get on our moral high horse
When we have to represent you in your divorce.
Also pray we aren’t sorely tempted to do
What we believe in – instead of defending you!
Categories: Humor, Law, Legal Matters, poem
Tough call and difficult business, but somebody has to do it.
Most of the practice of law is non controversial and downright boring, like Contracts and Trusts and Estates and Environmental Law, etc., etc. It’s only the criminal and civil litigation practice that gets all the attention and it is actually a small part of what most lawyers do.
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as a small town lady, Im always amazed by the number of people I know–and like–that are lawyers–I have a great deal of respect for the profession, since it requires a sharp mind and memory, and Im afraid the shysters and ambulance chasers (the name Harvey Garotte springs to mind here) have given it a truly bad name.
and to be fair, in the movies often a lawyer is the butt of the joke, or the plot, from Porky Pig cartoons to dramas…so the humor (such as it is) and disrespect is much older than we think.
Nicely put together presentation, btw. =)
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Thank you! The whole point about our legal system is that everyone, even the guilty and the reprehensible, have to get a competent defense. But the poor lawyer who does his job to defend him and uphold the American way gets pilloried for it! That’s the part that is really unfair. Every profession has its small percentage of shysters and ambulance chasers but no other profession gets dumped on the way that lawyers do.
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I love this one, Ellin. We often make jokes about lawyers just like people speak ill of reporters, doctors, dentists, etc. I still recall a day when I was hauled into court on a bogus charge by a police officer with ulterior motives. It wasn’t like TV or the movies. I was scared and embarrassed. Before I could open my famous mouth, an attorney approached, told me to shut up and took good care of me.
Nice stories like yours don’t make good jokes or good villains. But most people who have actually used a lawyer will have a neutral or positive story to tell. As in most areas of life, the few bad stories and people make the headlines and are what people remember.