Honest Lawyers - Are There Any Out There

When asked to describe a lawyer one of the most commonly used adjectives is the word “dishonest”. We tend to think of lawyers as unapproachable, unscrupulous and overpriced. We think of them as wearing flashy clothing, driving expensive cars, and charging hundreds of dollars per hour to use that fancy legal talk. Because of this it becomes very difficult to see a lawyer as possibly someone who has worked hard for their degree and would like to use their expertise to help those in the community who need it. The idea that there may be honest lawyers out there seems ridiculous.

The life we see lawyers live on television is not based in reality. There are many people in our society who decide to study law, not to make loads of money or go into politics, but to help individuals receive fair legal assistance in a US system that favors those with influence and wealth. These honest lawyers do this often for little or no pay.

One example of an honest lawyer I can give you is the mother of one of my close friends. She worked as a lawyer who gave legal assistance to underprivileged teenagers in the local community. I remember that they struggled financially to pay the bills. This wonderful woman was certainly not in it for the wealth! Although some lawyers are very focused on monetary gains the truth is that many people who become lawyers have an unyielding sense of service towards their neighborhood. They want to use their education and position to help those who may have been unfairly accused or who need a caring person to help them get a fair trial. That is when you see these honest lawyers at work.

Believe it or not the American Bar Association highly favors and places an emphasis on a strong sense of community to their members. Anyone who is a member of the American Bar Association is expected to hold an eminent standard of social obligation to the public. The American Bar Association actually requires lawyers to work a minimum amount of hours each year providing legal help to those who are unable to pay for the services themselves.

Have you ever heard the term “Pro Bono” (Pro Bono Publico)? This term means “for the public good”. Even though all lawyers are expected to do this many honest lawyers out there go beyond the minimum requirements and offer a substantial amount of their time to the service of others. Just peer into any community and you will see lawyers working with other professionals to assist those who need it. These are surely honest lawyers.