In 1996 a law professor addressed a meeting of the International Society of Barristers and listed seven examples of lawyer jokes and discusses what those examples of humor said about lawyers and lawyering:
I. PERCEPTIONS ABOUT LAWYERS
Q: What’s the difference between a dead lawyer in the road and a dead skunk?
A: There are skid marks by the skunk.
II. A CARING PROFESSION?
Two balloonists are floating over the countryside in a hot-air balloon on a summer’s day. Storm clouds move in, and the balloon is blown off course. When there is a gap in the clouds and a town appears below, the balloonists lower the balloon, and one of them shouts at a man on the street below: “Where are we?...Where are we?” “You’re in a balloon.” The balloonists look at each other, and one says: “That man is a lawyer. His answer was entirely correct but revealed absolutely nothing.”
III. PARTISANSHIP AND CLIENT FRAUD
Q: Why did the research scientists substitute lawyers for rats in his laboratory experiments?
A: Lawyers breed more rapidly, they are less likely to become emotionally involved, and there are some things that rats just won’t do.
IV. AN UNPRODUCTIVE AND PARASITIC ACTIVITY?
Q: How can we solve the trade deficit with Japan?
A: For each Japanese auto imported to the United States, we export one American lawyer to Japan.
V. LITIGIOUSNESS AND FRIVOLOUS SUITS
Q: How many lawyers does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Three. One to climb the ladder and unscrew the bulb, one to shake the ladder, and one to sue the ladder company.
VI. TOO MUCH LAW, TOO LITTLE JUSTICE?
In an L.A. Law episode, a friend jokingly asked Arnie Becker, “How are things in the justice biz?” Arnie, prepared by the initiation rites of law school and a number of years in the legal trenches, had a trenchant response: “Friend, you’ve got it wrong. We’re not in the justice business. We’re in the law business.”
VII. SOCIAL CONTRADICTIONS ABOUT LAW AND LAWYERS
Why is there always a secret singing
When a lawyer cashes in?
Why does a hearse horse snicker
Hauling a lawyer away?
Can we as a profession look into the mirror and candidly state that legal advertising has advanced the image of our profession and eliminated or reduced the negative reflection on lawyers?
The author concluded with the statement that “lawyers are a hard headed and unlovable breed but they are survivors, and society needs them.”
Have we improved the public’s attitude towards our beloved profession in 22 years?
I encourage you to buy local products and hire local, reputable attorneys!