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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 a 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. Evan Guthrie, founder of Evan Guthrie Law Firm,  is a Charleston, South Carolina firm that primarily focuses on estate planning, probate, and personal injury law. When asked Guthrie was asked rather or not he thinks that the Hollywood portrayal of lawyers influences how people think of the legal profession, he stated: “At some level, people may have a preconceived notion of how a lawyer will act based on what they have seen on television, but that usually goes away once someone actually interacts with a real lawyer and then it is the lawyer’s turn to make their own positive or negative impression based on their demeanor and performance.”
  1. Thomas Esparza Jr., founder Of The Law Office of Thomas Esparza, Jr., P.C. is based out of Austin, Texas, and has been successfully specializing in immigration law for over 43 years. After reaching out to Thomas Esparza Jr. to ask him his opinion on rather or not he thinks that the Hollywood portrayal of lawyers influences how people think of the legal profession, Esparza says:Yes, of course. But there are a lot of different kinds of practice for lawyers.”
  1. James Hartman, founder of The Hartman Law Firm, LLC, is located in Charleston, South Carolina, are trial lawyers that represent hurt individuals against large corporations. When asked on his stance on lawyers getting a jaded portrayal on the big screen, Hartman states: “I think more recent portrayals of lawyers paint lawyers in a bad light. Paul Newman in the Verdict is the last film I saw that portrayed lawyers in a positive light. Better Call Saul is a fabulous television program that I enjoy. But its portrayal of lawyers is not remotely accurate.”
  1. Russell DeMott, founder of DeMott Law Firm, PA, is a Summerville, South Carolina firm devoted to helping those with financial problems, focusing in the areas of bankruptcy, foreclosure defense, and debt defense and settlement. Upon contacting DeMott for his opinion on the same question, DeMott comments: “These portrayals make the practice of law look easy. With a few words or arguments, the case is won or problems disappear. In the real world, getting results isn’t glamorous and takes hard work, dedication, and long hours.”

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 firm. 

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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.