Lawyer jokes and uninformed statements bashing the civil justice system have dogged plaintiff attorneys through many a golf game, PTA meeting, or dinner party. When you get questions about what trial lawyers do, you need to respond with the facts:
What kind of lawyer are you and why did you choose that profession?
I decided to become a lawyer because I wanted to help people. My clients are real people not corporations. I work with small business owners, individuals, and their families.
I decided long ago that I didn’t want to use my skills to help some large, faceless organization more interested in profits than people.
My clients all have one thing in common: somebody did something to hurt them and isn’t treating them fairly by acknowledging the wrong and fixing it. What can you do when you aren’t treated fairly? You can hire a lawyer who is willing to work hard for real people like you.
Often, but not always, the people who hurt my clients realize what they did and want to do the right thing. But their insurance companies take over, and the companies try as hard as they can to keep my clients from being treated fairly.
The insurance industry makes its profits by taking your money and holding onto it for as long it possibly can. So the industry often denies claims it knows are perfectly valid. Insurance companies stall and delay so they can hold on to people’s money longer and invest it for huge profits – but meanwhile, my clients are forced to wait.
I don’t work for the insurance industry; my job is to help people when the insurance industry is giving them the runaround.
It has become popular to pick on people who do what I do for a living. But I am proud to say that I help real people in need. I don’t think there is a much better job in our legal system than helping make sure the system works right for the average American families it was intended to help.
Straight Talk About Why You’re A Lawyer Excerpted from Trial Magazine; August 2005
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