The Bar Association had asked me to lead a continuing education seminar for lawyers on the subject of client service. Good client service is all about the perception of the clients. Lawyer jokes tell us a great deal about public perception of the profession, so I planned out a program using lawyer jokes to illustrate my points.
What’s wrong with lawyer jokes?Many lawyer jokes, however, express frustration not with poor client service, but with the role of lawyers in a society that seems overly or unfairly legalistic. “What do you call 500 lawyers at the bottom of the ocean? A good start.” is an example of that kind of lawyer joke, but the classic statement in that vein is:
Lawyers don’t think they’re funny and nobody else thinks they’re jokes.
The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.There’s not much lawyers can learn about client service from those jokes, but plenty other lawyer jokes speak directly to the lawyer/client relationship. Those jokes I’ll work into some future posts that I hope will be helpful to lawyers and clients, alike, as they pursue the common goal of better working relationships.
Henry VI, Part II
(Act IV, Scene II)
By William Shakespeare
But for now, since it is National Be Kind to Lawyers Day (which doesn’t qualify as a real legal holiday, like those I’ve covered over the last 11 months), I at least need to acknowledge the day and remind myself (and my lawyer friends) that if we want people, and clients in particular, to be kind to us, then let’s be the kind of lawyer that earns it.