The public’s perception is that most lawyers care more about making money than helping their clients. Instead of trying to argue against this, realize that perception = truth.

For prospective clients, their truth is all that matters. To help reorient their perception we need to first listen to their concerns. This is called “empathy,” and most lawyers are not good at it.

We tend to focus too much on proving that we are skilled, knowledgeable and zealous advocates. But the public cares more about whether we are sincerely motivated to help.

Remember: no one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.Read Dale Carnegie’s How To Win Friends and Influence People to help you learn to be more empathetic. And if you read it already, go read it again.

Show notes
  • Lawyer should care about their reputations, and about how their reputation influences their profession as a whole
  • The legal profession’s reputation has been poor for several years
  • The public doesn’t trust lawyers for two big reasons: (1) they think we make a lot of money, and don’t care about clients as much as money, and (2) they don’t understand what we do exactly.
  • We should try to understand why the public doesn’t trust us, and then work to address their common misconceptions.