How many times have you heard someone utter the phrase, “I hate lawyers!”? From John Milton—Al Pacino’s character in The Devil’s Advocate—to Gene Hackman’s portrayal of Avery Tolar in The Firm, to Bob Odenkirk’s depiction of Saul Goodman in Breaking Bad, lawyers are characters we love to hate. Even Shakespeare himself once penned the line, “First, let’s kill all the lawyers.”
Apparently, Shakespeare isn’t alone in that desire. A recent Pew study determined that lawyers rank at the very bottom of all professions in terms of public esteem.
So why do people hate lawyers? Jeff Bell, CEO of LegalShield, offers four reasons:
- Lawyers are smarter than us. It may seem like a trite answer to the question of, “why does everyone hate lawyers?” But the fact of the matter is, lawyers hold a wealth of knowledge that far expands our own.“They go to four years of college and then three years of law school. Then they spend months studying to pass the bar examination,” Bell explains. “Sometimes all this education creates a barrier between lawyers and their clients. It may lead them to think that they know better than people who have succeeded by relying on their common sense.”
- Lawyers have their own language. The next thing that makes people say, “I hate lawyers”? The way they use English—often like it’s a weapon. Says Bell, “It’s called legalese, and it’s the thing that causes you to get lost when reading contracts. Seriously, when was the last time you used ‘heretofore’ in a sentence?”
- Lawyers intimidate us. If we’re being real, this is probably one of the biggest reasons why people hate lawyers. “They have fancy offices with giant desks, wood-paneled conference rooms, and maroon leather chairs,” Bell notes. “They dress in fancy suits and drive fancy cars. To some people, this makes lawyers seem aloof and intimidating.” And it makes people want to break out the haterade.
- Lawyers are expensive. We’d argue this is easily the top answer to the question of, “Why do people hate lawyers?” As Bell explains, “They charge us every time we talk to them, often hundreds of dollars by the hour. The clock begins ticking whenever you speak to them or they do work for you.”And it doesn’t stop there. Bell points out that “Even if you’re on the phone with them for just five minutes, they rarely charge less than a 15-minute increment—and sometimes a 30-minute increment.” That adds up, and there are few things people hate more than a dwindling bank account (except maybe the lawyers who cause the dwindling).
The last of these, Bell explains, is the central problem. “The first three wouldn’t bother us nearly so much if it weren’t for the costs of interacting with lawyers. That’s why LegalShield is so disruptive: we flip the traditional financial model for how people pay for lawyers.”
The Washington Post echoed these sentiments in a recent opinion piece entitled, “We don’t need fewer lawyers. We need cheaper ones.” The piece explains:
“What we are seeing is a disgraceful failure of our legal system to meet the serious legal needs of most Americans, who are increasingly priced out of the market for legal services. In 70 to 98 percent of cases in America’s civil courts today, one or both parties are not represented by a lawyer.”
That’s why LegalShield aims to disrupt the industry. Through the power of collaborative consumption, what LegalShield provides is legal empowerment for members, granting them access to lawyers without worrying about the clock. The company aligns both provider law firms and members around the same goal: finding a fast, efficient, and effective resolution to legal matters.
“This makes for happy lawyers as well as happy clients,” says Bell. “The clients are happy because they don’t have to worry about the running meter, and LegalShield lawyers are happy because they just show up and do the work that they want to do: practice law.”
And this approach has been making a significant impact on the legal landscape, connecting people like you with law firms near you at an affordable price. As Bell shares, “LegalShield’s disruptive business model has united 1.5 million households in North America to collectively pay for legal services for the entire group. When any individual member calls an attorney, they’re treated the way that they should be—like the most important client at the firm.”
This is why LegalShield is worth it—and why customers love LegalShield. “And now, it’s not so bad to have all those smart, intimidating lawyers walking around speaking their own language—because they’re working for you and you don’t have to worry about the clock!”