Selecting a topic for my media representation was not difficult; I wanted to select a profession which seems to have a much-maligned image. I chose lawyers. I was astounded by the amount of information I found on-line. Originally, I considered analyzing literature and movies, when I found such orderly and accessible lists and links on-line. Then, I realized that the amount of material I had located was voluminous, so I excused myself from that - rationalizing that most of us know Atticus Finch and Clarence Darrow. I was satisfied with my decision to narrow my search down to looking at "lawyer television commercials." (It became legal for lawyers to advertise via television commercials came no more than about seventeen - twenty years ago.)
Wanting to find more than just local and state-wide ads, I turned to YouTube for fodder. It did not disappoint. Here is a sampling of what I found.
1) A lawyer beginning his ad by telling a popular lawyer joke to break the ice before asking clients to call him for personal injury suits.
2) A divorce lawyer in a southern state using such derogatory language about spouses as he angled for divorce clients that I thought the ad was a "parody." It wasn't!
3) Lawyer ads using accident scenes as their backdrop. Some using the firm's legal library as the backdrop. Some using gavels or the scales of justice.
The reading research and the viewing which I did on this topic convinced me that the general public is very negative about lawyers, judges, and the legal system in this country. Currently popular lawyer dramas certainly promote the negative view of the judicial system. While some would argue that there is the occasional "modern" movie which demonstrates the power of a good attorney to show our justice system working, (A Few Good Men,) the Atticus Finch image which Harper Lee lovingly created as a tribute to her own father is NOT the image which the media, television, and personal ads convey. I looked at many ads, and I felt my findings supported / promoted the negative image of "ambulance chasers." The ads I looked at certainly, and ironically, did.