Thanks in part to former President Donald Trump, the legal professions, the judicial system and the rule of law have made great strides over the past four years. From the Muslim ban, to revoking the DACA and tearing apart families at the border, to piling federal courts with unqualified judges and enforcing controversial Supreme Court justices, to using the Attorney General and the Department of Justice as personal lawyers for the biglaw firms, who gladly accepted the ex – president as a client until it was no longer okay to impeach not just one but two impeachments. The Trump administration has really influenced public opinion of lawyers – and not necessarily in a good way.
We surveyed 150+ attorneys at law firms of all sizes and in a variety of practice areas to find out how the legal profession has changed thanks to the Trump administration. Below are their interesting answers.
How do you think the widespread legal challenges facing the Trump administration’s actions have affected general perception of the legal profession?
This one was a bit of a mess. An equal proportion of respondents (29.03%) said the widespread legal challenges to action by the Trump administration exist very harmed the call the legal profession or had no effect on reputation the legal profession.
In your opinion, how have the actions of attorneys in the Trump administration affected the general perception of the legal profession?
Over half of the respondents said that they agree The reputation of the legal profession has been badly damaged through the actions of attorneys in the Trump administration.
How do you think corporate reputation has been affected by advising on Trump administration efforts such as the 2020 election challenges?
Almost 60 percent of respondents said that they believe that companies have a good reputation badly injured by advising Trump administration efforts.
How do you perceive criticism of law firms involved in this effort?
The largest cohort of respondents (47.37%) said they felt that criticism was directed at companies involved in such efforts extremely justified.
Would a company’s role in representing the Trump administration influence your decision whether to join that company?
Here, 75.86% of respondents said that a company’s role in representing the Trump administration would influence negatively their decision to join this company.
Would a company’s role in challenging the Trump administration affect your decision whether to join that company?
Nearly 70 percent of respondents said a company’s decision to challenge the Trump administration would do so influence positively their decision to join the company.
Now that Joe Biden is president, will we see any improvement in the way the public perceives the legal profession? It has only been a few weeks but we hope for a brighter future for lawyers with a new administration.
Staci Zaretsky is Senior Editor at Above the Law, where she has been working since 2011. She would love to hear from you. Please send her an email with tips, questions, comments or criticism. You can follow her on Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn.