Lawyers Lie and Other Truths About Attorneys

Inside Counsel has an article called “37% of people say lawyers have ‘very low’ ethical standards” and the title really says it all: too many attorneys do not have a good reputation.

 The article gets that statistic from a Gallup poll that was conducted earlier this month, and even though we’re almost at a new year, I don’t think these statistics will improve much, unless some lawyers work on developing a better reputation.

When an attorney really is dishonest, he or she doesn’t deserve to have a good reputation, so I’m not talking about that type of lawyer. Even though there are unethical people in every profession, I doubt that the number of unethical lawyers adds up to 37 percent.  

Which means that attorneys have a lot to fix if they want the public to trust them. Think of all the education they’ve gotten and all the hard work they’ve done, to only be greeted with disdain from the public. That’s not good. 

What you should think about doing in the new year is planning to work against the negativity by offering good advice and help in the public square. There are many ways to improve your reputation and not get lumped in with the rotten attorneys. You can post helpful information on your own website, write an article, do an interview, be an expert in the media, make a speech at an organization, volunteer at your children’s school, participate in community projects, and more. 

Maybe Gallup will do another poll, and by the end of 2012, attorneys’ reputation stats will be better. Let’s hope so. 

Would Jon Bon Jovi Be Better Off Dead?

Recently, to prove to people that he’s not dead, Jon Bon Jovi posted a picture of himself online with the statement that “Heaven looks a lot like New Jersey”. I’m sure a lot of people think what he did is funny and are probably very happy to find out that he’s really alive, after rumors of his death were all over the Internet. However, I’m not laughing. I don’t consider myself a serious guy and I like to find humor wherever I can, but Bon Jovi is really making light of an eternal matter.

Newsflash to Bon Jovi: heaven isn’t really New Jersey. I think it’s arrogant to say that, and he never really died to find out where heaven really is. Plus, if he was right, how come no one has found John Lennon, Elvis, or Ray Charles there? 

Bon Jovi’s joke is a way to think about how your reputation is on the line in whatever you do. It’s important to not make light of serious matters when it comes to your own reputation management. What will people think of him from now on? Have you ever made a mistake by saying or doing something that was too frivolous for a serious situation? How did people respond? If you’re thinking of saying something in public you know is questionable, then consider what kind of image you’re putting out there. Everyone doesn’t have the same sense of humor and doesn’t see the world in the same way.