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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. Alfred L. Evans III, founder of Evans Litigation & Trial Law,  devotes his time representing clients who have been wrongfully injured as a result of negligence. Evans says that Hollywood does impact the general public’s views on attorneys, due to most people only ever coming in contact with a lawyer on a screen, rather than in real life. “An argument as to whether or not this is a good thing is irrelevant. It is much more likely than the average American has an “interaction” with a Hollywood lawyer on T.V. or in the movies than a real-life lawyer.  As such, we as attorneys should exert a positive influence on Hollywood to show lawyers as most really are. Humans who want to help other humans.”

2. Steve Brand, co-founder of Brand & Resendez Law, focuses on the intense side of criminal defense, and handles cases such as murder, sensual assault, and intoxication manslaughter. Brand states that Hollywood’s influence over the public’s perception induces a pressure to meet those movie screen standards, and how clients can sometimes be dissatisfied that the process isn’t as shown in movies or on TV “The Hollywood portrayal of lawyers give the general public an expectation of how entertaining trials are and they are often left disappointed when lawyers don’t deliver. That’s why we work so hard to meet the expectations of the public and marry what they see in the courtroom to what they see on TV”

 3. Aimee Clark, founder of Clark Immigration LLC, focuses on business and family immigration law and is nationally recognized for offering her litigation in some of the most complex immigration cases. Clark says that her opinion is like many other attorneys’, there aren’t many shows, if any, that depict the day to day life of lawyers. “The more realistic depictions, say the ever-familiar Law & Order or movies such as Just Mercy that depict true stories, blur the lines more and have more of an influence on people’s perception of the legal profession. However, none of these depictions give you a look into what the day-to-day life of a lawyer is like, particularly those who are working hard in their communities to balance real-life demands, zealously represent their clients, and advance access to law.”

4. Amy M. Stewart, managing partner at Stewart Law Group PLLC, focuses on delivering successful outcomes for its business clients involved with commercial, product liability, insurance, employment, personal injury, and labor disputes. Stewart says that it’s humorous to watch an entire case process be solved within the span of a movie or episode time, but also can admire some of the shows aspects. “I always laugh when watching legal trial dramas and none of the counsel have notebooks, trial boxes, or reams of paper surrounding them. Or that an entire complicated case is over in less than 48 minutes. The magic of television! On the other hand, I do appreciate those same shows where you watch counsel working late into the night to zealously represent their clients. Or how justice does not go in a straight line and requires a lot of grit and determination to resolve legal disputes.

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.