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Think back for a moment. Can you recollect your first encounter with the term “lawyer”? For many of us, it was more than likely in a television series or film. Maybe you can vaguely picture your parents watching shows like Matlock, or possibly you remember reading or watching To Kill a Mockingbird in school, cheering on Atticus Finch. But honestly, what is the attraction of films depicting law? Could it be the desire to have justice served? The hope that we can depend on the legal system to repair the fallible, and create integrity amongst society that we deserve? Whatever it may be, Hollywood has long used the cinematic courtroom as a method to make social and political statements or manipulate public perception, and oftentimes lawyers are portrayed in an unrealistic light. 

Is the public perception of lawyers truly jaded by the big screen? For this segment, Werewolf Media has reached out to some of the nation’s most decorated, and respected attorneys and law firms on their opinions about the portrayal of lawyers in Hollywood.

 1. Alexander A. Ferrara, founder of Bluegrass Law Group, PLLC, focuses on family law, business formation, real estate, and workers’ compensation. Ferrara states that Hollywood generally breaks down lawyers into separate categories, based on the type of client they represent. “Hollywood puts lawyers into 2 categories, moral and immoral based on whether the lawyer represents the hero and the villain within each story.  A lawyer’s client shouldn’t reflect on the lawyer as everyone has the right to representation.”

 2. Brandan Davies, cofounder of Roth Davies, LLC, focuses on the general public’s most common legal issues, Personal Injury, Divorce/Family Law, and criminal defense. Davies says that throughout time, Hollywood has tarnished many people’s perception of lawyers. “Hollywood’s portrayal of our profession has both highlighted and denigrated the public’s perception of lawyers.  The old saying still holds true though, “everyone hates a lawyer until they need one.”  In my experience lawyers as a whole are kind and helpful individuals that generally care about the people they are helping.”

3. David W. Miller, partner at McCulloch & Miller, PLLC, integrates traditional estate, elder law, and planning services with a broader, holistic approach to help client families identify, access, and pay for quality long-term care services for their aging loved ones. Miller states that Hollywood’s portrayal of lawyers can be frightening, and make many people feel uncertain about seeking legal advice, but ensures that most lawyers genuinely care about their client’s needs. “Lawyers get the bad reputation of being expensive and arrogant, but in reality, estate planning can be much more affordable than many people believe. Our relationship and family-focused style gives our clients the ability to have the hard conversations that are so important to life care planning. We care about your goals, principles, and values and work with you on your individual plan. It’s not all scary courtrooms and subpoenas, although that makes for good TV”

 4. Reginald A. Greene, founder of Greene Legal Group, LLC, practices personal injury law, and provides clients with the benefit of competent legal resources and services that are extensive enough to handle the most complex matters, yet focused enough to provide each client with individualized attention. Greene says that he is in agreement with many lawyers who state that Hollywood portrays most lawyer’s lives as much more action-packed than it is in reality. “Most Hollywood portrayals of lawyers are inaccurate, but they are entertaining. It definitely makes our profession seem more exciting day to day than it really is.

Although 2020 does appear to be something out of a movie, this is the real world – not a fictitious film set.  Despite the often wrong portrayal of lawyers in Hollywood, as a society, we have confided in the council and opinions of trusted attorneys since the dawn of this country. Lawmen in almost every area of practice have always played a key role in making sense of unsettling times, and this won’t be changing in the foreseeable future.

Werewolf Media is a Miami based Public Relations agency

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Kotton Grammer

Kotton Grammer is the founder of several Agencies that specializes in Public Relations and Digital Marketing. Headquartered in Miami, FL.