Right after the word lawyer was coined, the lawyer jokes began. Although there were what we would consider lawyers in ancient Greece and Rome, the English word lawyer appeared circa the late 1400s. By 1591, Shakespeare was writing, “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers,” in Henry VI, Part II.
The great satirist and wit Ambrose Bierce said of litigation, “a machine which you go into as a pig and come out as a sausage.”
It isn’t really the fault of the lawyers though. As Charles Dickens said in The Old Curiosity Shop, “If there were no bad people there would be no good lawyers.”
Robert B. McKay pointed out, “Lawyers are seldom loved but often needed.” Despite their position as the butt of a million jokes, lawyers are needed in civil society, and most are honest. Having a good relationship with a lawyer or a law firm before you need it can save you a world of trouble down the road.