Every day Lawyers encounter stereotypes on the street, on social media, in main street media and in fact everywhere including homes. There are so many of them, the good, the bad and the ugly. The good like all Lawyers are intelligent, the bad like all lawyers are troublesome and the ugly like all lawyers belong to secret societies or are buried upside down when they die. While Lawyers take unfair advantage of some stereotypes that tend to add value, there are others that manifest hardship. I am particularly interested in those that tend to manifest hardship. Remember, I write as I like.

That Lawyers are members of the Judiciary:  Lawyers wish to inform you that they are not members of the Judiciary. When people blame the Judiciary for being corrupt or archaic most times they ignorantly include Lawyers as part of the Judiciary. Each time the courts deliver controversial Judgments, Lawyers are usually confronted with ignorant statements from the public like “See what you people are doing in the Judiciary” “Why are you guys so corrupt in the Judiciary?” The only Lawyers who are in the Judiciary are Lawyers who are in paid employment in the Ministry of Justice. Aduke wants you to know this. Please don’t count us in whenever you are blaming the Judiciary. We are not part of them.

That it is the primary duty of Lawyers to get you out of trouble: When I was called to the Nigerian Bar, the most popular statement I heard from my friends and relations who are not Lawyers is “So I can now get into trouble since I have a Lawyer now” See, let me tell you, we feel better when you brief us to advice you on how not to get into trouble than when you brief us to advice you on how to get out of trouble. Aduke wants you to know that before you begin that business talk, that transaction, sign that contract etc, find a lawyer to advice you. It is our primary duty to guide you from trouble. However, if you play smart and avoid a lawyer in the beginning and get into trouble, we will still be willing to get you out. Either way, we win.

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That Practicing Lawyers are actually the ones that attend court: No. You are wrong. There are Lawyers who are practicing Law but they don’t go to court. There are transactional Lawyers who practice law giving legal advice and preparing legal documents for a living. You won’t find them in court but they are in active practice. In fact for example there is a growing area of practice for Lawyers now that involve strictly contract reviewing for startups. Click here to find them. Aduke wants you to know that lawyers who are in the business of renting out and managing houses on behalf of landlords are not included here. They are not practicing Law. I can’t shout.

That Lawyers are Liars: I know so many non-lawyers will disagree with what I am about to say. Lawyers are not Liars. They only challenge you to prove your claims. That is all.

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That you must see a Lawyer face to face to brief him: Even some lawyers have this misconception too especially the old school ones. The way they arrogantly tell you “Come to my office” will even put you off. This makes the public believe that if you can’t come to a lawyer’s office, you can’t brief him. Yes, the ethics of the profession supports that a client should come to a lawyer. Aduke does not disagree. You can still come to a lawyer through his website or via a find a Lawyer platform like the one Courtroom Mail offers. Just like online store owners can sell to you without seeing you, Lawyers can also sell their services to you without seeing you unless the service involves filing a case in court and you are required to sign some papers.

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That Female Lawyers are stubborn and they don’t make good wives:  This is another misconception. Don’t be misled by that image of a female Lawyer in Kenya who sat down on the table of the President of the Law Society during a lawyers meeting. Lol. We are like that when you don’t want to take our views into consideration. That doesn’t make us bad. Kindly ask divorce lawyers, they will tell you that female Lawyers are not the most popular petitioners in divorce cases. They are not the second, third or even fourth. If Aduke tells you that they are the best to marry you will start arguing so let me shut up.  Being a good or bad person has more to do with home training than school training so if you are “eyeing” a female Lawyer, take steps now. Delay may be dangerous because even male lawyers are hunting them like gold. E get why. If you want to know why, ask me on the comment section.

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Lawyers argue a lot: I remember in those days when adults see a child who talks and argues too much, they will conclude that the child will become a good Lawyer. Story for the gods. That is how people who are destined to be salesmen, political analysts and pastors ended up in the wrong profession as Lawyers. Lawyers actually “argue” Law . Arguing Law is different from every other form of argument. It is civilized and has a sequence. It is not like the argument of two sports enthusiasts in a radio or TV station or the argument in a bar or a vendor’s stand. In fact, lawyers don’t call it argument. They call it submissions.

Lawyers are buried upside down when they die: I am sure you saw this in your village or in a home movie. This is not part of the seven but we just want to mention it. If there is a lawyer in your village who was buried up side down, it is not because he was a lawyer, it was because he was from your village. lol. But ,does it really matter how a dead person lies in a coffin?

My name is Aduke. I write what I like for Courtroom Mail

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1 thought on “Seven Misconceptions about Lawyers that must change

  1. Judges and most of the judiciary were lawyers before getting into the Judiciary. Hence, reforming the Bar has a role to play in reforming the Bench.
    Interesting write-up by the way…

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