The Multiple Meanings of Shakespeare’s “The First Thing We Do, Let’s Kill All The Lawyers”

By: Brian Mangan

It is no secret that lawyers are generally viewed unfavorably by the population at large. A recent Gallup poll showed that only 19% of people rated lawyers “high” or “very high” in terms of “honesty and ethical standards,” compared to 85% of nurses, 58% of police officers, 28% of  bankers, 24% of journalists, and 21% of business executives (while car salesmen, at 8%, and members of congress, at 10%, were two of the few professions to lag behind)

The generally low opinion of lawyers, combined with the general prominence of lawyers and lawmakers in general society, have lead to most of us hearing more than our share of lawyer jokes.  Lawyers like myself, who have a pretty decent sense of humor, usually laugh along with them (Q: What do you call three lawyers at the bottom of the ocean? A: A good start).

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