As Gallup attests, it is a well-known fact that lawyers are among the least trusted occupations in America. Part of this no doubt results from a toxic combination of stress and temptation. By some estimates, lawyers have some of the highest rates of depression, substance abuse, and suicide in the country. The business model in both large firms and small firms is unstable. Couple these facts with normal human frailty and management of a lot of other people's money, and it is not hard to see why lawyers are susceptible.

Far from being a cure, it is a symptom of the ills of the legal professiona that there is such a profusion of substance abuse programs, character evaluations, ethical codes, licensing restrictions, court rules, and disciplinary proedures.

One of the few occupations in America less trusted than lawyers are car salesmen. And perhaps clients have something to learn about lawyers from the automobile industry. Get a personal referral. Check into reputation. Shop around. Back out if it doesn't "feel right." And feel free to trade in a lemon. After all, for the price of many lawsuits, you could buy a pretty nice car.


© Charles Williamson Day, Jr., 2016. All rights reserved.

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