How Lawyers and Attorneys Are Portrayed in Hollywood
Lawyers are typically portrayed in one of two ways in Hollywood. They are either the hero (fighting for justice and defending the weak) or an antagonist (trying to take everything away from someone else).
While both of these portrayals exist in Hollywood, they do not accurately represent all lawyers. In all actuality, lawyers are not either of these things. Lawyers and attorneys have a neutral role, meaning they do their job for the sake of doing it. They aren’t necessarily fighting one side or another – simply upholding justice as they see fit.
With that being said, most people don’t want to be lawyers simply because they want to help people. They tend to go into law for the money and prestige that comes with it, or even a simple paycheck.
Every profession has good and bad. Lawyers are no different, but what makes them so interesting is that they seem to be portrayed as either one or the other in film/television. In reality, lawyers don’t care about playing for any team – their job is simply to do their best work and get through each case with a minimum of fuss.
The truth of it all lies somewhere between these two generalizations: Hollywood likes drama! If there isn’t something going on at least every few minutes, people will stop watching (or reading).
And while this may not necessarily be “accurate,” – we can still enjoy some great entertainment from it, even if we know better than to take everything with a grain of salt.
In many movies or television shows, you will see the “good” lawyer fighting for justice and defending those who can’t defend themselves. In some cases, they may even be taking on a case that isn’t just to get enough money to do something better with it later down the road!
It is important to note. However, not all good lawyers have this mindset – but most times, if their character has an agenda outside of helping someone out, they are going against what Hollywood considers normal.
Another popular portrayal of attorneys is as villains, typically in crime drama or procedural shows. Lawyers are usually the antagonist for whatever reason – whether they are conniving and manipulating people or simply doing their job providing evidence against someone else.
Most people can relate better with these kinds of characters than an arbitrator figure who doesn’t have any emotional connection at all – it also makes them less boring for us to watch.
In many crime dramas, a car accident lawyer is not exactly portrayed as the good guy, but they certainly aren’t the bad either – at least when it comes to evidence and court proceedings.
In these types of shows, you will often see a few courtroom battles in an episode or two with one side trying to use whatever means necessary (including illegal ones) to get their way.
The other tries everything within reason and by the book, then fights back any way possible if need be. While this is only one example out of hundreds that could be used – it does paint a fairly accurate picture of what happens on “reality” TV every day!
How Attorneys Are Portrayed vs. How They Are
While we may never know everything there is to learn about how Hollywood portrays lawyers and attorneys – it isn’t hard to see what message lies behind these works of fiction!
Attorneys will often fight back no matter who gets hurt because “the end justifies the means” (or some other similar phrase), then spend a lot of time trying to prove themselves right or innocent when accused of something – whether true or not.
They also spend a lot of time chasing down or finding evidence that supports their side, thus giving them the upper hand; then, they use it against whoever is trying to discredit and convict someone.
The long and arduous process of becoming a lawyer or attorney is often not shown in Hollywood. Instead, the show focuses on the law as an interesting backdrop to other characters’ lives.
It’s important for those pursuing this noble profession to know that it takes dedication and hard work to succeed at what they love doing most – helping others through their legal troubles. Hopefully, we’ve helped you see why lawyers are so much more than just archetypes from movies and TV shows!