As spokesperson for the 25,000 members of the Los Angeles County Bar Assn., I must take issue with the premise of "Those Unlovable Lawyers" (editorial, Aug. 13). You hint that lawyers can only do a good job for their clients if they are aggressive, unpleasant, and unlikable. You imply that lawyers spend the bulk of their time helping corporations escape liability and criminals escape jail. You suggest that if lawyers really want to improve their professional image, they discipline their unethical peers, find alternatives to litigation, and do more pro bono work.
We lawyers must need a public relations campaign if a newspaper of your influence has no better understanding of what lawyers do in this very county than your editorial suggests you do.
The lawyers of our association spend literally thousands of hours each year providing legal assistance to the poor, the terminally ill, the physically handicapped, the victims of domestic violence, and the mentally ill. Still more time is spent helping people resolve their disputes without resorting to the courts through Bar-sponsored mediation and arbitration programs.
Among these programs are:
--Public Counsel, the public interest law office of the Los Angeles County and Beverly Hills Bar Assns., which annually provides $8.25 million in free legal services to the poor.