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5 Ridiculous Lawyer Stock Photo Stereotypes

By Jonathan R. Tung, Esq. | Last updated on

Many lawyers were initially drawn to the practice of law because of the sex appeal and image of it all. Think back to all those shiny law school brochures beckoning you to be part of the lawyer club. No doubt the brochures were jam packed with stock photos of lawyers exuding black-suited power.

Stock photos capture all the stereotypes of the lawyer. Here's how to be a lawyer as portrayed by stock photography:

Stock Photo #1: An Air of Mystery

Make sure no one can see your face. That way people can't see the fear in your eyes. At least, that seems to be the message from the wide range of generic stock photographs featuring smartly dressed attorney-looking-models either with their backs to the lens or with the heads chopped off.

#2: The Briefcase

Nothing says lawyer louder and clearer than a luxurious briefcase made of the most supple leathers. Since lawyers like old things, a nylon briefcase won't do at all -- not even in Silicon Valley.

#3: Surrounded by Books

You know how you came to hate the appellate volumes in law school? Well now they must be featured heavily in your lawyer stock photos. No one will take you seriously without those tomes. Although, with the advent of electronic directories, who still actually reads those things? Even Harvard is converting to a digital law library.

#4: Wear a Wig

Lawyers slavishly venerate historical traditions in the profession -- the point of looking stupid. Yes, stupid. No one still wears a wig in the United States when arguing or taking oral arguments in court. This practice is still observed in the U.K., but they also still have a queen.

#5: Look Confident, Assert Your Dominance

This is another well milked trope. Lawyers in these stock photos are dressed to kill, arms crossed, hands on hips, eyes drilling into the camera. For some reason, this stock photo seems to be the standard marketing technique for PI lawyers and firms that deal with a lot of DUIs.

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