I lived in Mexico for one fantastic summer, in Jalisco, where I studied Spanish at the University of Guadalajara. It was one of the best times of my life. Unfortunately, it only lasted a few short months. Because I lived in Mexico for such a short time, I don’t know any lawyer jokes in Spanish. I have probably heard about a million of them in English.
A lot of them don’t translate very well into Spanish… but I think this one probably will: “What is the difference between a lawyer and a mosquito? One is a blood-sucking parasite, the other is an insect.”
Another great joke about a lawyer: there once was a horse-thief who hired a lawyer to defend him in court. The lawyer won the case for him, and so the thief was released from jail. Later, the thief said to the Judge, “please Mr. Judge, will you please tell the police to arrest my lawyer? I did not have the money to pay his fee, so he went and took the horse that I stole as payment!”
Lawyer jokes have been around a long time. Famous author William Shakespeare famously wrote in one of his works “the first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.” This was written almost five hundred years ago! Why are there so many lawyer jokes?
There are many different explanations. But I think we need acknowledge the obvious: lawyers have reputations, rightly or wrongly, for lying to their clients, to the courts, and on documents. This is a tragedy.
Another reason for the bad reputation of lawyers is this: a person only ever goes to a lawyer when he or she has a problem. No one is ever happy to be in the waiting room of a lawyer’s office. There is usually some very difficult thing happening in the life of any person who visits a lawyer’s office.
For this reason, I think many people think badly of lawyers: a person usually only talks to a lawyer when something bad happens in his or her life. Even if a lawyer does a good job, it is hard to think happily about time spent with a lawyer.
This is why—in my office—I like to use the title “attorney and counselor.” It is always my goal to become a part of the family for a small period of time, and to help a person to have courage and hope in difficult circumstances. Obviously, I am not a psychologist, but I think when I can give a person good information, it can be very helpful for them, to get peace of mind.
If any of you reading this need a lawyer or have a lawyer right now, it would be a good idea to ask yourself this question: do you feel like this person is helpful? Is this person, even if they are not able to solve problems for you, do they make some things about your situation easier? That is one of the most important aspects of the job.
Thank you for reading.