TV divorce lawyers vs. real life divorce lawyers

Divorce lawyers are depicted unrealistically in TV and fiction best-sellers

I was just reading a website by a colleague in Oklahoma and got the idea for this post about the differences between a TV divorce lawyer and a real life divorce lawyer. To be honest, while my TV viewership has increased ten fold over the last few months, I still can’t cop to having ever seen a “divorce lawyer” depicted on a TV show. Am I missing any obvious ones?…………..  I can’t think of one….but I know there is a stereotype of what a divorce lawyer is, and how much money they make. Usually when I get stiffed by a client, they tend to raise the argument that lawyers make so much money, anyways, so what is the big deal if they don’t pay the last $1,500 of their bill. Or they don’t even argue, they just don’t pay and I have to deal with it pretty much.

The attorney I referenced above talked about how most divorce lawyers don’t wear $300 suits. I don’t really know how much men’s suits cost, but for women’s suits, I think a $300 suit is fairly inexpensive. I would think somewhat contrarian to Matt on this one and say that clients expect that as a lawyer, you can wear a suit that costs over $1,000. That would be my line to say, no, Virginia, most divorce lawyers can’t afford suits that costs $1,000, unless it’s a once in a lifetime splurge, or you are Shana Madoff – when she was Shana Madoff (no, she’s not a divorce lawyer). Maybe I should have said Laura Allison Wasser. She and her cronies in Beverly Hills can afford suits that cost that much. Most regular divorce lawyers? No. They are not as rich as people think by any stretch of the imagination.

But the point is well taken. There is definitely a disconnect between what lay people think about divorce lawyers and what the reality is. And I think some of these misconceptions come from the television, media and best-selling legal thrillers which bear no resemblance to reality.

Check out Matt’s blog which we link to in our blog roll as “Tulsa Divorce Attorney.”

Originally published January 11, 2012

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7 Comments for “TV divorce lawyers vs. real life divorce lawyers”

  1. So does this mean the premium outlet shoppers among us go down in disgrace? :<O

  2. Most of the television series that depict lawyers are centered around characters who work in criminal law (ie, criminal defense attorneys or prosecutors).

    Just off the top of my head, talking about divorce lawyers who are depicted on tv, a couple of seasons ago, there was an episode of Desperate House Wives where Bree needed a divorce. Bree had an old friend who since he and Bree stopped being friends, he had developed a reputation for being one the slimiest, most effective divorce attorneys in Wisteria Lane. Bree did not like the old friend, but out of necessity, she reluctantly hired him. Fast forward 10 – 15 into the episode, Bree viisted the divorce attorney (old friend) at his office, which looked more like a pent house, and then later Bree and the divorce attorney (old friends) burglarized Bree’s ex’s house to procure items of evidence that would help her gain a strategic advantage in the divorce.

    You should check out the episode sometime…it was a lot fun, but very very unrealistic.

  3. My fellow Divorce Saloon bloggers, at this time I am taking a bow…admin has elevated me to the status of ‘colleague’ (see article above).

    Six months ago, I was just an average blogger who occasionally visited Divorce Saloon. Within a matter of weeks, I was hooked – I had become a full blown Divorce Saloon junkie.

    Today, however, I blog before you as a ‘colleague’. What an honor lol :)

  4. My friend Allison Leotta has a great site called the Prime Time Crime Review where she reviews each SVU episode. As a sex crimes prosecutor and novelist, her comments are very insightful, entertaining, and extremely well-written (as is her novel, Law of Attraction, which I read in November). Here’s the link:
    http://allisonleotta.com/blog/category/svu-episodes/

  5. Divorce drama is definitely tougher in real life. TV shows may show its different side but for sure, once you know what it really is you wouldn’t want to go through the pain that it may bring.

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