02.08.2013 10:23 AM

Ad agency genius: says you are jealous of lawyers, because they’re “smarter than you” (updated)

“There is probably a bit of envy,” Mr. Howlett said. “There may also be that insecurity you get when there is someone in the room who is smarter than you.”

That’s a quote. Swear to God.

I know I’ve posted on this already. And I recall, too, that I used to be on the Ontario Bar Association executive, and I liked the folks there a lot (Louise Harris, in particular, but she’s now gone). But I have to say: this campaign launch – and letting this ad genius speak on the record – has to be the dumbest thing I have ever seen. It is dumber than a sack of hammers. Dumber than a bag of hair. Dumber than…well, you get the picture.

As a lawyer, and a long-time OBA guy, I cannot believe they’ve done something this idiotic. Therefore, as a public service, I intend to closely follow this “campaign,” which we are told was “two years in the making.” If nothing else, it’s going to be fun.

UPDATE: Looks like I’m not the only lawyer who is pissed off/amazed. Check out the pounding Jordan Furlong gives them, here.


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    Chris Schnurr says:

    I’ve met a few “smart” dumb lawyers. I’ve met more than a few really smart uneducated people. I’d love to be in a room with Mr. Howlett. Just because someone is versed in a very narrow field of study doesn’t make them smart. Insecure? I laugh at his arrogance.

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    Chris Schnurr says:

    This is the best headline, “Tired of being the butt of jokes, Ontario lawyers plan image overhaul.” Yup, moving from the being the “butt” of jokes to simply being the “butt”.

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    walt says:

    Being suspicious of, and treating with caution a group of people with far more access to power/government/influence than a commoner does seems a prudent and reasonable thing to me. And I’ve very much like the two lawyers who’ve done work for me, too.

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    Nicole says:

    If the worst thing lawyers have to deal with are a bunch of lawyer jokes, then they need to grow a thicker skin. Judges can say far meaner things and their opinions have real consequences.

    Considering there are significant issues regarding the affordability of legal services in Ontario, it is idiotic to try to promote the profession by saying “don’t hate us because we are smarter than you”, especially when in many cases they are not. A truly “smart” lawyer will acknowledge that there are many different types of knowledge and that being proficient at quoting case law is not necessarily an indicator of intelligence. As a lawyer myself, I often deal with lawyers who have no social skills and I wonder how they ever get clients.

    I am amazed that the head of the PR campaign has said something so stupid and that no one has tried to retract it or even prevent it from being published in the first place. It indicates an arrogance that will turn off the general public even more. I am not impressed that my CBA fees have helped fund this joke of a campaign.

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    Lynn says:

    My career was helping lawyers find and prepare information so that must make me a friggin” genius!!! The arrogance of the profession can be quite amusing if one can take it that way. One of the best I ever heard from a lawyer was “I am an LLB/MBA, do you know what that means?” — Yes, in fact I do, you are a bigger jacka%^ than some of your colleagues. The disconnection from the real world is quite profound — “smartest in the room” — often not even the smartest one in the building but they can dream. Every time I think about the smartest in the room comment I get a bit of a laugh, so thank you Ontario lawyers.

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    dave says:

    I just could not get the new sink and taps in properly, and finally called in a tradesman, and he came in and took the lead in the project of changing our kitchen sink.
    I had a rough idea of who the smartest guy in the room was on that occasion.

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    bluegreenblogger says:

    It is a common failing of many people with specialised educations that they consider that it confers an aura of brilliance on them. I have met some astoundingly foolish P.Eng types, Lawyers, Accountants who actually believe that their opinions deserve to carry more weight than the next persons by virtue of a graduate degree, and professional accredition… I won’t even get started on Actuaries. Pure Science geeks who pontificate on politics, etc etc. Smart people come from all walks of life. A lot of pretty dumb people gain professional accredition through extreme hard work, rather than innate smarts. I have a lot more respect for a normal intellect that makes it on hard work than on a slacker who has a world of brains, and never applies them. People who believe that their accredition means they are smarter than others? That is simply prrof that however ‘smart’ they are, their heads are up their butts when it comes to living in the real world..

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