“DEFINITION OF A LAWYER: A cat who settles a dispute between 2 mice.” -jokesaboutlawyers.com
At long last, Mentor Mama is bringing you the fourth article in the series, “Are You Penny Wise & Pound Foolish?” Today, Mentor Mama is going to teach you a little bit about…….dare I say it???? LAWYERS!
For many, this almost unspeakable profession is synonymous with such famous con artists as “Billy Flynn”, the lawyer from the musical Chicago, who gave the people around him “the old razzle-dazzle” or “Svengali” the fictional hypnotist who could bend a subject’s mind to his bidding. Most people see lawyers, as manipulative and opportunistic: Characters that are a little shady and around whom you must watch your back. So, until you find yourself in a car accident or getting sued, you avoid them….they dig up trouble, overcharge, and are just bad news.
In many cases, the stereotype is well-deserved. There have been and still are lawyers that misuse their power and succumb to the lure of greed. This is especially heinous because lawyers are charged with a fiduciary duty to protect and care for their clients.
“Let it be said that NO EXCUSE CAN BE MADE for lawyers that overcharge, ignore their duties or in any way take advantage of another person.”
Now, if we have the lawyer bashing out of the way, I challenge you to consider an additional world-view. As an Entrepreneur, you NEED the services of an attorney, so let’s take a look at some possible reasons why people who have never been wronged by an attorney, would HATE attorneys:
1.) Attorneys Speak and Write in a Language We Do Not Understand. No one likes being out of the loop. We like to know what’s happening and what lies in store for us. Lawyers engage in communications that leave us shaking our heads. We turn our lives over to these scoundrels and how do we know that they aren’t selling us down the river? We hate attorneys because we hate relinquishing control.
2.) Most People Have Dealt With An Attorney In A Crisis. When bad things are happening in our lives – divorce, accident, lawsuit, job loss – no matter what the outcome, we are still unhappy. Despite excellent legal representation, you still lost your spouse, broke your back, lost a lot of money, or suffered the humiliation of discrimination. We hate attorneys because we hate the unhappiness that they represent.
3.) Attorneys Charge Outrageous Fees. No matter how you deny it, we all resent rich, powerful people. (Until we become one of them!) Lawyers have acquired knowledge that is generally unavailable to the public. They charge bucket- loads of money because they save you truck-loads of money; they defend you against serious injustice; or they get you out of big messes that you usually created yourself. When Mentor Mama was in law school, she swore that someone would pay for the endless hours she spent in the library, while you were at the beach, away for the weekend or partying with your friends. We hate attorneys because we fail to appreciate the value that they bring to the table.
4.) Attorneys Bring Up Problems That Will Never Happen. They start blabbering on about ridiculous situations. They put in extraneous clauses and then CHARGE us for them! A competent attorney has many years of experience in matters just like yours. She has seen many people suffer because they did not take adequate precautions. If you were trained to foresee such issues and to know what to do about them, you wouldn’t need a lawyer. Lawyers look at the big picture and force you to take your head out of the sand. We hate attorneys because they tell us things we don’t want to hear.
I know that you won’t start loving lawyers. I hope, however, that you will consider reframing some of these issues. There are MANY compassionate, dedicated lawyers who have spent their professional lives protecting and supporting people just like you.
NEXT IN THE SERIES: WHY YOU NEED A LAWYER IN YOUR HOME-BASED BUSINESS