Sure he seems a little stiff. He’s a lawyer, for God’s sake, not an actor. So don’t be too hard on him when he seems a little uncertain about what to do with his hands. Perhaps he should put them in his pockets, perhaps he should use them to touch his well-groomed hair, perhaps he should get them out of the way by crossing his arms--but enough! He’s concentrating too hard already.
If you look closely, you’ll see proof of his concentration in the way his eyes are darting back and forth like a school of tiny minnows making its way upstream. You knew he was reading from a script, didn’t you? Actors might memorize their lines, but the lawyer-who-advertises-on-TV doesn’t have to. Don’t think for a moment that he hasn’t thought it through himself, considering the issue from every angle. If the lawyer-who-advertises-on-TV appeared too slick--that is, if he appeared too much of an actor--the cynics in his television audience might accuse him of manufacturing all that empathy for effect. They'd say he was a fake!
But the empathy is for real. Do you see the way he’s staring into the camera with the concerned look of a doctor about to tell you that your cancer is malignant? “You’ve been injured,” he says, “and I can help.”
It’s at this moment that a star is born. It might be true his breathing seems a little bit unnatural, that his shirt collar doesn’t fit quite right around his neck--but does it really matter? “We are the lawyers who care,” he says, “and we’ll get you the compensation you deserve.” Do you see the way he seems to have grown three inches taller? Do you see the way his eyes have taken on the steely conviction of a gunfighter from the Old West, daring the evil insurance adjuster to meet him at high noon?
How could anyone witness this performance and then be so feeble-minded as to select a lawyer from the Yellow Pages? No, it just won't happen. “Call us,” says the lawyer-who-advertises-on-TV. “We’re the lawyers for you.” How could anyone be blamed for believing it’s the truth?[Like this post? It's one of many included in my book How to Feed a Lawyer (And Other Irreverent Oberservations from the Legal Underground). Details here.]
3. The "Types of Lawyers" Category--all "types of lawyers" posts