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Why People Hate Lawyers – Just Read Their Blogs!

Lawyers Do It

Photo courtesy of misscaro.

This is part of Darren Rowse’s group writing project on reviews and predictions. Be sure to check out the other submissions!

People hate lawyers

Yep, most people hate lawyers. I’ll be one (a lawyer, not a person) in a few months. I can admit that people hate the profession I’m entering.

The reasons for not liking lawyers are probably endless. As are the lawyer jokes. Thus, I’m not going to detail those.

My purpose here is to highlight some features of legal blogs that illustrate some of those reasons. Since legal blogs have really taken off in 2006, this year end review seems appropriate. Maybe it will spur some change in 2007.

They’re boring!

If you’re having trouble going to sleep, head on over to Blawg Search and read a couple legal blogs. You’ll be sound asleep in no time. It’s almost like enrolling in an online school and taking the most boring classes you can find.

Some of these blogs have no pictures, no graphics, very few colors, poor design. You get the point. Boring content and no eye candy makes Andrew bored. Nobody likes to read a boring blog OR to be with a boring person.

Confusion abounds

Have you ever heard the term “blawg”? It’s something that lawyers made up to describe their “law blogs.” Why do we need our own term?! Can’t we just have blogs like everyone else?!

Here’s why: lawyers have to justify their existence. To ensure we continue as a profession, we make up terms, write confusing contracts, and create havoc with the laws. Then people have to pay US to unravel the confusion. It’s a great scam!

Ivory Tower

They’re made of ivory

Aside from general confusion, legal blogs tend to have a certain tone about them. It goes beyond the stiff collar feeling that some academic blogs have. It’s downright “I’m better than you because I’m a lawyer.”

Since when does the ivory tower of law school belong in the blogosphere? Or, as law bloggers like to call it, the blawgopshere. Most people aren’t going to like you if you take on a “I’m superior” tone. Blogs are all about getting everyone involved, and that doesn’t happen when one person is encased in ivory.

No social interaction

Finally, some legal bloggers have ignored a fundamental premise of blogs: interaction. A regular website is primarily one-way communication. The webmaster publishes content for other people to digest.

But blogs are about conversation, interaction, and community. We all have our little podium, but we share it with other people too. We encourage discourse and debate. We put our heads together to think big thoughts. We blog together.

Many lawyers don’t get this in the blogosphere or in everyday life. They don’t enable comments on their blogs. They don’t use trackbacks. Some legal blogs don’t even have contact email addresses to get in touch with the owner. Heaven forbid they actually comment on someone else’s blog.

Similarly, many lawyers eat in their private dining clubs. They hang out in little groups of fellow lawyers. They don’t network with people outside their profession, and especially not outside their class within society.

Do you hate lawyers?

Those are my observations from this year of blogging. They don’t apply to all legal bloggers, but they apply to many. Hopefully I’ve broken out of the mold.

What are your thoughts? Do you have a disdain or dislike for lawyers? What constructive criticism can you provide? Please leave a comment or drop me a line.

[tags]legal andrew, problogger, darren rowse, group writing project, lawyer[/tags]

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74 Responses to “Why People Hate Lawyers – Just Read Their Blogs!”

  1. Edward28
    August 2nd, 2007

    United we can change the way to contract lawyers. Us like consumers are the right person to evaluate lawyers. All are invited to aboutmylawyer.org.


  2. Eugene Lee
    November 25th, 2007

    Thought-provoking post (and entertaining). I’m a lawyer and I really try not to be condescending, arrogant, pedantic, boring, etc. Andrew, I think you’re mostly talking about the mediocre middle of lawyers. The top lawyers I’ve known and met are anything but boring (although they can be a tad bit arrogant 🙂 ). Also, I’ve met countless lawyers who do great things for their clients and who win their gratitude. Some of us even get cards and emails from old clients during the holidays!

    I’ve just launched a law blog at http://www.CALaborLaw.com. I’m trying my best to include at least one picture in every post. I 100% agree with you that we live in a visual society and the last thing people want is a wall of text coming straight at them.

    Keep up the interesting posts. But I think everyone gains when we focus less on bashing lawyers (everyone’s favorite pasttime) and instead more on holding up the shining examples of those who care and make a difference in their clients’ lives.

  3. Group Writing Project
    November 27th, 2007