Legal cartoons and humorous comment (c) Paul Brennan. All rights reserved.

I decided on 101 reasons as I didn’t want to depress the entire legal profession by having 1,001.
Paul Brennan, Lawyer, Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

# 38. They go all legal

Many lawyers when faced with an audience or the writing of an article become, well, all “legal” especially when they are with other lawyers.

My first newspaper editor, Peter Owen said, “Lawyers - like financial planners, relationship counsellors and chiropractors – always tend to think their prose is purple and their content compelling. In truth, they usually offer little more than boring plugs for their own business”.
I still find it hard to believe that Peter Owen was right, especially about the chiropractors. I concede that I find it difficult when giving a legal presentation not to throw in everything that I know.
In legal presentations “knowing it all” can be a disadvantage (young lawyers please note).

If Peter Owen is right, then we lawyers bore the public. In our defence, we do it precisely and confidently. The measure of success of any presentation is did the audience get value and enjoy it. It is not a good speech if the audience feel as if they have been taken hostage, however academically sound or erudite it may seem to us.

Considering we have a profession of some truly funny people (some unwittingly so), we do not seem to be able to capitalise on it.

When we are not being “all legal”, we go into sales mode which makes us even more unbearable.
Now some of you lawyers will be saying “We are not as bad as all that”. I can tell you “yes we are”, it is just that many of us are not ready for that message. Fortunately we are joined by legions of bankers, financial planners, accountants and all sorts of other professionals.

There is an opportunity here for lawyers, who are prepared to walk on the wild side and relate to their audience.
Extract from “We have the time if you have the money…how to promote your legal practice” by Paul Brennan published at

No comments:

Post a Comment