The legal profession perceptions and misconceptions
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The legal profession is one, which is held in high esteem and is often referred to as a noble and learned profession. However, the image of the lawyer is tainted by the many perceptions and misconceptions held by many ordinary people. The lawyer is usually perceived as a crooked and greedy person, motivated solely by the profit motive. The problem that follows therefore is how to reconcile this position with the notion that the lawyer is an honest and learned breed, fighting for justice and spearheading the cause of the poor.Law orders the fabric of society and society demands that the law and lawyers must operate within the context of the environment in which they work. In a developing country like Zambia, the lawyer's role must be fashioned to answer the immediate needs of the people, which it serves so that they can come to trust and respect the law as working for them and answering to their needs.This essay tries to find out why the lawyer has such a tainted image by looking at numerous factors such as legal education, provision of free legal services as well as the professional conduct of lawyers in Zambia. The aim is to try to understand the merits or demerits of this negative position by discussing the extent to which the lawyer by his conduct contributes to this ill repute.