Did You Hear The One About The Lawyer?

February 10th, 2012 | Categories: Role

Lawyer jokes are plentiful. Check out this selection from the Best Lawyer Jokes.
For more lawyers jokes check out this site.

Q. Why won’t sharks attack lawyers?
A. Professional courtesy.

Q. Why is going to a meeting of the Bar Association like going into a bait shop?
A. Because of the abundance of suckers, leeches, maggots and night crawlers.

Q. What’s the definition of a lawyer?
A. A mouth with a life support system.

Q. What’s the definition of mixed emotions?
A. Watching your attorney drive over a cliff in your new car.

Q. Have you heard about the lawyers’ word processor?
A. No matter what font you select, everything comes out in fine print.

Q. What do you call a smiling, sober, courteous person at a bar association convention?
A. The caterer.

Q. How can you tell a lawyer is lying?
A. Other lawyers look interested.

Q. What do you have when a lawyer is buried up to his neck in sand?
A. Not enough sand.

Q. What’s the difference between a bankrupt attorney and a pigeon?
A. The pigeon can still make a deposit on a Mercedes.

Q. How can you tell when a lawyer is lying?
A. His lips are moving.

Q. What’s the difference between a lawyer and a terrorist?
A. You can negotiate with a terrorist.

Q. What’s the difference between a lawyer and a trampoline?
A. You take off your shoes before you jump on a trampoline.

Q. If you drop a snake and an attorney off the Empire State Building, which one hits first?
A. Who cares?

Q. What do honest lawyers and UFOs have in common?
A. You always hear about them, but you never see them.

Q. What’s the difference between a lawyer and a vulture?
A. Lawyers accumulate frequent flyer points.

Q. What’s the difference between an attorney and a pit bull?
A. Jewelry.

Did you find these funny? Sure, after all stereotypes are hysterical….sometimes.

I bet if I had included a list of racial jokes, gender jokes or sexuality jokes, you would not think these were funny. Even if you did, I’m guessing you would feign some type of disgust or astonishment especially if you were reading these in front of co-workers. I am guessing that some of you might even have commented on the post saying how offended you were by the stereotypes communicated in the jokes.

So why not do this with lawyer stereotypes? Well, it’s simple. Lawyer stereotypes are safer to accept.

First, lawyers are not often considered a marginalized group because they are stereotyped as making lots of money. So, people presume that these stereotypes can’t be harmful to this privileged group.

Second, people presume that anyone depicted in a business suit, as lawyers often are, can’t be stereotypes too negatively. Okay, maybe lawyers are stereotyped as greedy, materialistic, sneaky, ambulance chasers but in the big scheme of things those characteristics are not the worst ones a person could have. Compare those to stereotypes of women as dumb, blacks as criminals, and old people as senile for example. So, who would really be offended by lawyer stereotypes that much anyway?

Third, because lawyers aren’t commonly seen, people aren’t as cautious about offending them. They are not visible. You wouldn’t know a lawyer if you were standing right next to one. This is because of their relative infrequency in the population ( There is one lawyer for every 300 people in the United States). This is also because lawyer identity is not one you wear on your sleeve. Gender, race, and age are physically visible identities that are noticeable immediately when a person is in view, but finding out if someone is a lawyer would take observation of some lawyer-ing behavior or direct/indirect inquiry. So, people don’t think about the possibility of offending a lawyer with these stereotypes because it doesn’t seem like there are lawyers around who would be offended.

Fourth, to the extent you believe the stereotypes, you might also believe that lawyers deserve the ill treatment. After all they are greedy, materialistic, sneaky, ambulance chasers, aren’t they? So, you might not even care if a lawyer joke is offensive.

Although lawyer jokes are safer jokes to make, there is little difference between stereotypes of lawyers and stereotypes of other groups. Whatever group is being stereotyped, there are people out there who view that group as deserving of the stereotype. People who think the stereotypes are not that offensive anyway. People who think that even if they are, the group deserves it because that’s how they act. And although there may be more diversity in race and gender across the country, there are plenty of people who have little diversity in their particular community or social clique such that minorities, for example, are as rare as lawyers. There are people who think also that marginalized minority groups are just as privileged in their own way as lawyers because they have access to, for example, affirmative action.

Unfortunately, stereotypes will perpetuate as long as each person views their groups (e.g., racial, gender, etc.) as above stereotypes and views other groups as fitting stereotypes.

Think about parades, marches, and other cultural events. How do you view these? Are they events for that culture alone or do you go out of your way to attend? That’s one of the biggest problems about these types of events. They lack inclusivity and, so, can promote division between groups, even as they aid in group vitality.

I was a resident adviser at a state college and all the RA’s were organizing an event for black history month. The event was intended to be a get-to-know black culture type of event. But the name belied that intent. Against my better judgment I agreed with the name which was emblazoned on a sign outside the event space: “It’s a Black Thing: Let’s All Try To Understand.” Not surprisingly, there were few non-blacks in attendance.

Imagine if cultural parades, civil rights marches, and other cultural events were attended by a multicultural audience. Consider for a moment what the world would be like if each cultural event was viewed as a celebration of all cultures and the pride they each have in their group identity.

This would mean that people understand that each joke communicated with a stereotype about any cultural group, lawyer or otherwise, is a joke communicated about our own cultural groups.

Comedians like Dave Chappel and Carlos Mencia understand that jokes about one cultural group are connected to jokes about other cultural groups. When they advocate for a cultural group using humor they tend to discuss many cultural groups in their routines rather than picking on just one. But, unfortunately, people don’t translate this lesson into their everyday conversations.

Ultimately, it’s an important lesson to learn from jokes that communicate stereotypes about cultural groups. All cultural groups are in the same boat. You know, the one the lawyer, the rabbi, and the gay guy are in.

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  1. February 13th, 2012 at 21:18

    Great post. I certainly know a lot of lawyers, and most of them don’t even mind the insults of these types of jokes as well to generalize, most lawyers are not incredibly over sensitive, to put it mildly. It’s a profession where being emotional or in touch with your feelings doesn’t tend to serve you well, but I guess these are also stereotypes…

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