The only good lawyer is a dead lawyer


In case you haven’t noticed, a lot of people don’t like lawyers. Hey, a lot of lawyers don’t like lawyers.

But why?

Because we help bad people get away with bad things? Because we’re mean? Because we earn a lot of money for doing nothing?

I guess there are lots of reasons. Most of which we can’t do anything about. But there’s one reason we can do something about.

A lot of people say they don’t like lawyers because we can’t be trusted. We lie. We don’t keep our promises. We say one thing and do another.

A lot of people think this. As long as they do, the legal profession will continue to be looked down upon and lawyers will have a harder time winning our clients’ trust.

What can we do about it? We can start by making sure we always keep our promises.

The other day I had a phone appointment with a lawyer. I called at the scheduled time, as we had arranged. The lawyer was “in with a client”. I was told the lawyer would call me back.

But he didn’t.

An appointment is a promise. Two people agree to meet or talk and they schedule it in their calendar. When someone doesn’t show up, they break that promise.

So, here’s the thing. If you want people to trust you, you have to do what you say you’re going to do. If you have an appointment, you keep it. If you say you’re going to call someone or you say you’re going to do something, you do it.

There is no gray area. There is no best efforts. As Yoda says, “Do, or do not. There is no try.”

If there is an emergency, okay, people understand. But you’ve got to tell them.

If you need to re-schedule, okay, that happens a lot. But you’re got to tell them.

Otherwise, they think, “flake”. “Doesn’t keep promises”. “Can’t be trusted”.

And people don’t want to hire lawyers that can’t be trusted.

Have you noticed how a lot of Texans who use the word “lawyer” intentionally pronounce it “liar”?

Now we know why.

If you want to learn more ways to build trust, get this.