How many lawyer jokes have you heard in your lifetime? Other than light bulb jokes (sometimes these include lawyers, too). I can’t think of any others that pop up more frequently. And, whereas the light bulb jokes elicit a laugh, lawyer jokes are more likely to result in rolled eyes and shaking heads.
Some Lawyers are Super-Heroes
Maybe some of the disdain is well deserved. There are shysters out there, to be sure. There are also lawyer super-heroes aplenty . Disclosure: I have a law degree :I But this is not just my opinion. It doesn’t take much looking around to find evidence of inspiring lawyers using their training, smarts, and passion to fight for people in need.
Fighting for the Innocent
In my hometown of Chicago, the Innocence Center has literally saved lives – lawyers working day and night to win freedom for wrongfully convicted prisoners, some who have been languishing on death row. The similarly named Innocence Project based in New York does the same type of work nationally.
Fighting for the Disabled
When I was a law student I worked in one of many university connected legal aid clinics, assisting people with mental disabilities, helping them to navigate the labyrinthine systems that make it very hard to actually receive the benefits they so badly need.
Then there are the thousands of lawyers who primarily serve paying clients, but volunteer their limited “extra” time to provide pro bono services for those who cannot afford to pay for representation.
Super-Hero Lawyers Are Everywhere
To give a more concrete flavor of the super-hero lawyers you can find in city and country across the U.S.: There’s the lawyer who protects Native American rights to trust funds. Another lawyer who provides free legal assistance to wrongfully evicted tenants. Another who manages adoption cases for family members who want to protect and take care of children of abusive relatives. There are those who stand up for the legal rights of immigrants. And those who protect the environment. The list goes on.
So next time, you hear a lawyer joke, go ahead and laugh. But remember that in real life, good lawyers are doing amazing things to make the world a better place.
Share your stories about super-hero lawyers!