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Gingersnap
09-29-2010, 10:39 AM
'Want a Jewish lawyer?' advertisement ruffles S. Florida attorneys' feathers

Some are concerned ad plays on stereotypes

Controversial Lawyer Ad


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The Jewish American Bar Association caught the attention of local attorneys with a bus bench ad outside the Broward County Courthouse. The ad has been removed. (David Shulman, Courtesy / September 27, 2010)

By Jon Burstein, Sun Sentinel

1:01 p.m. EDT, September 27, 2010

When you go to court, do you want a Jewish attorney representing you?

That's what a new Boca Raton business called the Jewish American Bar Association hopes, offering to connect people with legal problems to Jewish lawyers. The business has caught the attention of some attorneys in South Florida who are offended by its advertising and worried people may think it's a concerted effort by Jewish attorneys to play on stereotypes to get clients.

The Jewish American Bar Association first caught the attention of local lawyers this month with an advertisement on a bus bench near the Broward County Courthouse that exclaimed "Prefer a Jewish lawyer!" and offered the business' phone number.

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Social worker Lisa Spitzer said she came up with the idea of the Jewish American Bar Association, incorporating the business last year. She said it acts as a legal referral service for people who are more comfortable having a Jewish attorney.

"If an all-women's medical group posted an ad 'Prefer a woman gynecologist?,' would that be offensive?" said Spitzer, who is not a lawyer.

She acknowledges the group has only three members in South Florida. She said she would allow a non-Jewish attorney to sign up for the referral service "if his heart was in accordance with our goals and purposes."

The Jewish American Bar Association's website had a post office box in Boca Raton listed as the address of its main office until the Sun-Sentinel began making inquiries. The website now just says to "send all inquiries" to the post office box.

Spitzer's business took down the bus bench ad after Fort Lauderdale attorney David Shulman complained about it on his blog.

Shulman said he was taken aback when he first saw the bench ad, calling it "shockingly stupid."

I'm not sure I get the "shockingly stupid" part. Women do prefer female gynecologists and medical practices advertise that perk. People do prefer that Indian cooking is performed by South Asians and not by Swedes. Out here, Vietnamese accountants are highly regarded. Christians have their own "yellow pages" so you can deal only with fellow Christians when getting your furnace repaired, if you want. Native Americans have passed laws to ensure that certain types of jewelry are made by Native Americans and not by otherwise talented silversmiths of Bulgarian descent. How is this different?

Sun-Sentinel (http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/broward/fl-do-you-want-a-jewish-attorney-20100927,0,5931617.story)

Wei Wu Wei
09-29-2010, 10:50 AM
I'm not sure I get the "shockingly stupid" part. Women do prefer female gynecologists and medical practices advertise that perk.

Because women have a natural familiarity with female genitalia and there's no sexual awkwardness.


People do prefer that Indian cooking is performed by South Asians and not by Swedes.

Because actual south asians know Indian cooking as naturally as anyone learns learns about their own culture. The idea is that since it's 'natural' to their culture at least, that they should be better at it.


Out here, Vietnamese accountants are highly regarded. Christians have their own "yellow pages" so you can deal only with fellow Christians when getting your furnace repaired, if you want. Native Americans have passed laws to ensure that certain types of jewelry are made by Native Americans and not by otherwise talented silversmiths of Bulgarian descent. How is this different?

These are a bit different. Some of these examples show inter-group solidarity. The other examples show an implicit assumption that the group performing the task would do it in a better or more 'authentic' way.

In this example, in the latter case, that implies that Jewish people have some natural predisposition towards law firms. Although some people may just prefer a Jewish lawyer for many reasons.

Gingersnap
09-29-2010, 11:07 AM
Because women have a natural familiarity with female genitalia and there's no sexual awkwardness.

Because actual south asians know Indian cooking as naturally as anyone learns learns about their own culture. The idea is that since it's 'natural' to their culture at least, that they should be better at it.

These are a bit different. Some of these examples show inter-group solidarity. The other examples show an implicit assumption that the group performing the task would do it in a better or more 'authentic' way.

In this example, in the latter case, that implies that Jewish people have some natural predisposition towards law firms. Although some people may just prefer a Jewish lawyer for many reasons.

Still, I don't see a problem. Now, if a bunch of WASP lawyers created a billboard making fun of Jewish lawyers, that would be a problem. This is just a freedom of association thing.

m00
09-29-2010, 10:01 PM
In this example, in the latter case, that implies that Jewish people have some natural predisposition towards law firms.

Well, isn't Moses allowed to remain as a symbol inside US courthouses (state/religion case) because he is an "important historical lawgiver"?

I mean, when we talk about laws... Jews gave the world the Big 10. What have your people done?

Gingersnap
09-29-2010, 10:35 PM
Well, isn't Moses allowed to remain as a symbol inside US courthouses (state/religion case) because he is an "important historical lawgiver"?

I mean, when we talk about laws... Jews gave the world the Big 10. What have your people done?

LOL! Good one.

Seriously, if people want to trade on their own stereotypes, self-perception, or cultural/social heritage, what's wrong with that?

There is a Vietnamese landscaping/lawn care outfit out here that does just that. The men were not able to adjust to American business life as well as their wives, sisters, and daughters and so this family formed a new business.

They advertise their language skills (English and French), their meticulous attention to detail, their cleanliness, promptness, and knowledge of "little known Eastern methods" which add "charm" and "elegance" to your yard.

My husband is good friends with one of the brothers. It's semi-B.S. The guys were government workers and they knew jack about lawn care but they are articulate, clean, prompt, and now knowledgeable. They do a tremendous business because they stand out from the usual non-English speaking yard crews.

Meh.

Sonnabend
09-30-2010, 04:24 AM
Jews gave the world the Big 10

Moses was the courier.

God gave us the Ten Commandments.

noonwitch
09-30-2010, 09:23 AM
I always joke that if you live in metro Detroit, you should have 3 lawyers:

A black lawyer if you get busted in Detroit or Wayne County.
A jewish lawyer if you get busted in Oakland County.
A polish or italian lawyer if you get busted in Macomb County.



Around here, though, the best CPAs are all jewish.

Odysseus
09-30-2010, 10:32 AM
Because women have a natural familiarity with female genitalia and there's no sexual awkwardness.
You've obviously never tried to get two women into bed at once. :D


Because actual south asians know Indian cooking as naturally as anyone learns learns about their own culture. The idea is that since it's 'natural' to their culture at least, that they should be better at it.

These are a bit different. Some of these examples show inter-group solidarity. The other examples show an implicit assumption that the group performing the task would do it in a better or more 'authentic' way.

In this example, in the latter case, that implies that Jewish people have some natural predisposition towards law firms. Although some people may just prefer a Jewish lawyer for many reasons.

I can think of several cases where having a Jewish lawyer would make a legitimate difference, such as if you're in arbitration in a divorce proceeding involving an Orthodox couple (a divorce by a rabbi has the same function as an annulment in a Catholic marriage, in that it has no legal standing, but allows both members to remarry in the eyes of the faith). However, n this case it's more of a marketing ploy that plays upon our reputation as shrewd lawyers, doctors, accountants and other professions. I wouldn't expect to see a similar ad that touted Jewish basketball skills, for example, or French military prowess.


Moses was the courier.

God gave us the Ten Commandments.
It was originally fifteen Commandments.
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