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Legal Shark Week: What Other Animals Should Lawyers Be Called?

By Gabriella Khorasanee, JD | Last updated on

As "Shark Week" is coming to a close, and as we've spent most of "Legal Shark Week" co-opting the term, part of me wonders why lawyers can't be analogized to more sympathetic creatures, like kittens or koala bears.

So let's take a bite out of the "lawyer shark" stereotype. Here are our Top 5 choices for other animals -- some wise, some magical -- that we'd rather be called than sharks:

1. Owls.

There is no straightforward explanation for why the owl is seen as being "wise." Some attribute it to Athena, the Greek Goddess of Wisdom, who was often depicted with an owl; others cite "A Wise Old Owl," an old English nursery rhyme. In any case, owls have a reputation for intelligence, integrity and like lawyers, are "eminently suited to be judges or diplomats."

2. Foxes.

Some attribute the fox's characterization as "sly" to Reynard the Fox, an allegorical fable about a red fox, while some just rely on observation of foxes in nature. Foxes have the reputation for having good reasoning skills and competitive spirits. And also, foxes are fantastic.

3. Tigers.

According to the Chinese zodiac, Tigers are "strong and stable" and provide a "strong defense." Together with a "killer instinct" and these are all good lawyerly qualities, no? And in law, sometimes you need to roar.

4. Dogs.

Dogs have been seen as loyal companions and as "man's best friend" since ancient times. Not as sharp or sly as its cousin the fox (see No. 2 above), dogs use "their advanced emotional senses to survive ... and are "[s]ensitive to the feelings of others." As a recent New York Times article explained, their wild cousins are even deemed altruistic -- perhaps a trait we lawyers could all use a bit more of, especially when taking on pro bono cases.

5. Unicorns.

Yes, they are mythical creatures, but use your imagination people -- we're anthropomorphizing here. In primal astrology, unicorns are seen as "outgoing, energetic, smart, and unique." But most importantly, unicorns are almost always accompanied by rainbows -- and who doesn't like rainbows? (Hint: Not this guy).

Want to find out what animal spirit you share? Take an online quiz (or two) to find out the "animal in you." Of course I took the animal personality test and the unicorn test (here's another one for good measure); apparently I'm an otter (but could also be an owl) and a princess unicorn (or a rainbow unicorn according to the second test). What are you?

Going solo out of school? Spend more time developing practice skills and leave the marketing work for the experts.

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