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A popular profession?

Should the legal profession be more popular with the public than it currently is? That is the question that has been circling my mind this week since Kevin Poulter asked what makes a ‘good lawyer’ in last week’s issue, and questioned whether a practitioner must only work for the underdog to be considered as such.

17 October 2014

The public’s perception of the legal profession is often coloured by the way the mainstream media reports on it. Personal injury (PI) lawyers are vilified as ambulance-chasing vultures, always willing to help a ‘dodgy client’ extort money from the poverty stricken insurance industry. They in turn begrudgingly pass losses on to the already tightly-squeezed consumer in the form of higher premiums.

Legal aid practitioners are castigated as criminal defence ‘fat-cats’, thirstily lapping up millions of pounds from the public purse while keeping murderers and rapists on the streets. While their partners in crime, the devilish human rights lawyers, are described as left-wing meddlers in government affairs, who take delight in blocking the extradition of terrorists from these fair shores. 

Anyone who has ever worked in PI litigation will know the vast majority of practitioners work hard to recover the compensation rightly owed to thei...

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