Attorneys: “glorified pencil-pushers”?

This is from part of an e-mail that I received from Richard Jacobs. He helps attorneys with their marketing. I like much of Richard’s approach because, like me, he doesn’t believe in hiding the ball. I commend this advice to anyone who is considering a lawyer and how to pick a good one.

Attorneys: “glorified pencil-pushers”?

Here’s something most of your clients don’t understand:

The law isn’t on their side.

The law isn’t on the side of the good guys either.

The law is blind.

In the real world, the law doesn’t take sides. Instead, the big win goes to the legal team that presented the most convincing case.

Perhaps this sounds absurdly obvious to you. After all, it’s a well-worn truism – a platitude, or cliché that everyone knows… or should.

Nonetheless, this fundamental fact isn’t recognized by most laypeople.

They often naively believe the ruling will automatically be in their favor because the law is on their side. With their limited understanding, they sometimes think all the attorney does is file paperwork, explains the facts, asks a few questions, and everything will be cut and dried.

Case closed.

Unfortunately, this gross misunderstanding – and the erroneous belief that attorneys are expensive pencil pushers – is one of the reasons why they don’t value attorneys’ and legal services nearly as much as they should.

This may sound harsh, but it’s really just a symptom of their ignorance.

They genuinely don’t realize how challenging it is to create a win, how much knowledge you have, and how much skill it takes to present their case powerfully enough to win.

This is especially true if their case isn’t very strong.

Most won’t figure this out on their own. So it’s up to you to educate them about this and show them what happens if they enter the courtroom with a weaker case.


Richard’s website is

I’d add to Richard’s thoughts that the most convincing case is almost always a case that is based upon facts and a pragmatic, common-sense approach to the application of the law. If you have a weak case (i.e., one that is light on facts and light on applicable law), then hiring a lawyer can usually strengthen it, but can’t miraculous make a weak (lame) case strong, can’t transform a bad case into a good one, and can’t, by sheer force of will, make the courts turn their backs on decades, even centuries of legal principles to make an exception for you.

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