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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. Andrew Hawkins, founder of Hawkins & Walker, P.C, represents clients with traffic tickets and other criminal issues including family law and civil cases including personal injury claims. Hawkins says that the show Better Call Saul is an accurate representation of how very few lawyers conduct their practice. “This showcases how grimey lawyers practice law, although It is a small sample size. Most lawyers I know are extremely ethical and will bend over backward to help their clients out of difficult situations while staying well within legal and ethical boundaries.” 
  1. Natalie Lynch, managing member of The Lynch Law Firm, PLLC, specializes in employment law, human resources management consulting, training and leadership development in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Lynch explains that clients who often seek legal counsel know what to expect and usually aren’t persuaded by Hollywood’s portrayal of law as easily as people who do not have little to no experience dealing with lawyers. “I do not think sophisticated consumers have changed their impression, even if the jokes have gotten better.  I’m sure clients who consume legal services less often (which includes pre-sophisticated clients) are more likely to be persuaded by Hollywood.”
  1. Alan Garcia, founder of Law Office of Alan J. Garcia PLLC, assures his clients the best legal representation in personal injury, criminal law, an immigration. Garcia states that how Hollywood portrays attorneys do have an influence on people’s perception of lawyers, and the entire law practice as a whole, whether that be good or bad just depends on the shows or movies they may have watched. “I definitely think the Hollywood portrayal of lawyers influences how people think of the legal profession. But I also think people have their own biases of how they view attorneys and their daily functions.”
  2. Andrew Kussmaul, founder of Kussmaul Legal, aids in startup law and venture capitalist, offering focused support to these businesses throughout all stages of its lifecycle. Kussmaul says that Hollywood can only persuade someone to a certain point. “I do think Hollywood’s portrayal of lawyers influences how people think of the legal profession to a certain extent. People who have dealt with lawyers more often already know what to expect from the process. Each case varies, clients who have never had any interaction with the legal profession might have an opinion already formed due to the media.”

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 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.