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Shakespeare said that hundreds of years ago, and some folks agree today. 

No one likes to be the object of such scorn but, in a way, it goes with the territory. Virtually no one who has ever been in a lawsuit liked the lawyer on the other side, since it is only natural for people to think the lawyer who represented the other ("evil") side must be a sleazeball. This takes care of 50% of the attorney population, or at least 50% of the litigators. There is also the temptation to think poorly of your own lawyer if he or she loses your case, although that isn't so automatic. Let's assume half blame their lawyer. Since litigation is expensive, moreover, a certain percentage are going to have a poor opinion of lawyers in general because they think they paid too much, win or lose. You get the idea.

The public needs to understand that "lawyers" are not monolithic. On any given issue, half are likely to be on one side and half on the other. "Tort reform", for example, has no more vigorous proponents than the defense lawyers, and no more vigorous opponents than the plaintiffs lawyers. Lawyers merely reflect society. Their job is to represent their client's interest, and to present their client's case in the most favorable light. The lawyers opposing them are supposed to do the same. At times when society is generally happy with the way things are ordered, the sentiment against lawyers improves. In transitional times, when people generally feel that one group or another is out of control, a big share of the blame is laid at the door of the advocates of the unpopular position. Since lawyers merely reflect the society we live in, the same rules apply as with government in general: evolution versus revolution. Democratic institutions- and the right to have an advocate is a democratic institution- should be revised as needed, not jettisoned.

How does this apply to you in your dealings with lawyers? You should remember that your lawyer is an individual and not a part of the non-existent monolithic"lawyers". Your lawyer disagrees with other lawyers every day, and is probably not in total harmony even with the other members of the lawyer's own firm.

There are bad lawyers, just as there are bad people in every profession. There are lawyers who overcharge. There are lawyers who take advantage of the system, living on the edge of morality. But there are a lot of good lawyers out there as well, doing all the things good people are supposed to do, and not getting rich in the process. 

The bottom line is that lawyers are individuals, like everyone else. You should not let stereotypes get in the way of developing a good relationship with your lawyer. And a good relationship with a lawyer is like any other relationship: you may not find it right away, and even when you do, you're both going to have to work at it.

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