While the problem of lawyers’ public image is not new or different today, perhaps the twist on that problem nowadays is how quickly a damaging example of bad behavior spreads through all social media available, what only makes that bad image more conspicuous.
Although, lawyers and Bar Associations across the country try to fix that harmful perception by launching image improving campaigns, it doesn’t seem beneficial. On the contrary, these campaigns usually make attorneys come across as vain and self regarding. Moreover, they uncover how out of touch they are about the real problems real people have with the justice system.
If lawyers want to improve their image, they should start by changing reality. Make the justice system more transparent. Spread the practice of pro bono which is undeniable demonstration of lawyers’ commitment to social justice, and most of all make the price of their talents and efforts more affordable to lower income population. Instead of thinking about their image they should think more and do more about the reality of their clients. Ultimately, if lawyers want better public perception, they need to understand why it is so bad in the first place.
In addition, this poor perception doesn’t concern lawyers only; it also falls on other members of the legal field. Paralegals or legal assistants are subject to the same ethical rules as attorneys. Often, they are witnesses or unwilling participants to lawyers’ unprofessional or unethical conduct.
That’s why, it is important that paralegals avoid misconduct and report unethical behavior as soon as they observe it. One way of dealing with unethical behavior is to report it to the supervising attorney, local paralegal association or the State Bar. Because simply avoiding the problem or pretending it doesn’t exist definitely isn’t helpful in improving the public’s view of the profession.
In my opinion, this bad image of legal field is not going to change any time soon. At his point, it is so...