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Top Attorneys Share Views On The Cinematic Portrayal of Lawyers

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. Attorney Dominique Nwajei, the founder of The Law Office of Dominique Nwajei, practices family law and provides service to the people of Houston, TX. Nwajei says that although Hollywood can make it seem as if lawyers have hectic occurrences every day, it’s a lot of reading and writing as opposed to action-packed days – but there can be drama. “Most people think of courtroom litigators when they think of attorneys. In actuality, there are so many types of lawyers that do things that don’t involve a courtroom. I would say Criminal and Family law has the most drama.”

 2. Daniel Mehler, the founder of Mehler Cannabis Law, focuses on representing people across the cannabis and hemp worlds, including criminal defense. Mehler states he believes the misrepresentation of lawyers in Hollywood has the potential to damage people’s perceptions of law practice in general. “Most of us truly want to help our clients and Hollywood doesn’t always put that forward.  All the statistics say lawyers are one of the least liked professions and that troubles me, but I think a lot of my peers have the same concerns.”

 3. Laura French, the founder of French Law Group LLC, whose mission is to help families make the proper legal decisions when mapping out an estate plan,  believes that the portrayal of the law profession in Hollywood is often embellished and tends to be inaccurate. “It’s not nearly as glamorous. Main Street, small town, small law firms are focused on serving their clients in ways to improve their lives – by helping with family matters, criminal matters, or in my case estate planning where I can protect assets and plan for life’s uncertainties.”

 4. Jeffery Chambers, the founder of Chambers Law Group, whose business focuses on civil trials and international arbitration, states that Hollywood’s portrayal for over 40 years has been both negative and positive for most people’s perception of the law business. “The most negative impact on public perception in my view, however, has been with certain high profile (now jailed) lawyers adopting law show style personas to self-promote. This has ended in disaster for most of them and injury to the profession.”

5. Andrew Jezic, the co-founder of The Law Offices of Jezic & Moyse, provides a wide variety of legal services, including criminal defense, personal injury law, bankruptcy services, and estate planning. The firm has several office locations in the states of Virginia and Maryland and employs over 20 qualified attorneys. Many of the senior attorneys have over 30 years practicing law in the states of Maryland and Virginia, and the firm has taken hundreds of high profile cases to trial. Jezic thinks that the portrayal of lawyers on the big screen is prevalent to public perception. “I believe the portrayal of lawyers in Hollywood has had a huge influence over the general public’s opinion of the profession. The lawyers you see on TV shows always have a hidden agenda and are usually performing obscure legal tactics that could never achieve success in a real courtroom. This is not how real attorneys operate, but it still seems to have shaped a generally negative attitude towards law practitioners.”

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 Based in Miami Florida

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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.