Because Lawyers Should Be People Too

We started Parry & Pfau with a vision. Each of us had worked for a number of years before we formed the firm and were familiar with the “typical” attorney. The stereotypical attorney is stuffy, aloof, and takes him- or herself far too seriously. (This may be part of the reason attorneys are 3.6 times more likely to have depression than non-lawyers and have an alarmingly high suicide rate. Nevada’s attorneys have not been immune.)

Lawyers feel a certain pressure to fit the attorney mold. I can’t think of any other explanation for the perpetuation of legalese (why don’t attorneys use plain English?) and terrible lawyer commercials (why arelawyer commercials so bad?) than lawyers just wanting to do what they see other attorneys do.

The thing is, there is no class in law school called “how to act like a traditional attorney.” Somehow, however, and perhaps it is derived from the insecurities of a new attorney, as attorneys we pick up bad habits that have long been a part of the profession. At Parry & Pfau, we want to end the perpetual cycle and break the mold.

So back to our vision. We have two overarching goals: (1) get results, and (2) be human beings in the process.

Results

Our results speak for themselves. Just peruse client testimonials, online ratings, or stop in our office to see the various awards we’ve been given from various organizations. (If you are researching us and want to know where to begin, start here, here, here, here, here, or here. Perhaps the best evidence that we’re effective attorneys is the backlash we’ve received from losing parties. For example, one lady against whom we secured a judgment for $14,000 expressed her losing-party angst on Yelp. Here are the highlights:

Thieves. Ethical…..I think not!. Run…Forrest…Run!
Th[is] clan take[s] your money but don’t earn it. They are incompetent and lack knowledge of the law. Unorganized, late to court, and try to study your case the morning of trial.

Look how dumb they are. … Tackless [sic], unprofessional, presumptive and simply stupid. What do you call an attorney that graduates bottom of his class? Zack [sic]

Another opposing party dedicated a website to slandering me. I’ll let you decide whether his biggest offense is publishing lies about someone who beat him in two different courts (one judgment and three attorney’s fee awards) or his writing in ALL CAPS:

ZACH HAS SUCCESSFULLY CAUGHT SEVERAL AMBULANCES AND SHAKEN LOTS OF MONEY FROM HARD WORKING PEOPLE OVER THE YEARS.

EDUCATION
ZACH GOT HIS DEGREE FROM GUATEMALA INMATES DIRECT MAIL, ONLINE LAW SCHOOL

PERSONAL
IN HIS FREE TIME ZACH ENJOYS PICK POCKETING HOMELESS VETS.

CAN YOU TRUST THESE GUYS?
”ABOUT AS MUCH AS A USED CAR SALESMAN FROM NEW JERSEY.”

AREA OF PRACTICE OF LAWYER ZACH PARRY
* MISLEADING
* MISDIRECTION
* DECEPTION
* BILLING BILLING AND MORE BILLING

Being Real People

Just as important to us as advocating with zeal and procuring excellent results for our clients is making them feel comfortable with the process, from beginning to end.

We want people to know and feel that we are people first and lawyers second. From the moment they walk into our office, to their initial meeting with us, through the scope of our representation and beyond, we want them to know that we are friendly, approachable, and not so serious we can’t have fun at work.

To that end, we have come up with the hashtag, #lawyersshouldbepeopletoo, which we use on our social media outlets (if you aren’t already following us, you’re missing out on the fun) to showcase our vision. And we believe that. Lawyers should be people, too.

To provide an illustration for our vision, we wanted something visual that would encapsulate exactly what it is we are trying to do. One day at court I saw a very tall and imposing painting of one of the judges. It wasn’t out of place and certainly not unusual—he was standing with a stiff back, holding some legal treatise, and looking all too serious—it was appropriate for a judge.

It is also prototypical. For centuries, kings, presidents, dignitaries, and other highly successful people have commissioned paintings to memorialize their lives. These people would often be featured either standing with overly proper posture or seated in a lush, high-backed velvet chair. Invariably, these pictures make those whom they portray seem way too serious.

We wanted to parody these portraits in a way that it was clear we were not taking ourselves seriously.

Thus, the idea of the Parry & Pfau partnership diptych was born.

I started with stock photographs of chairs, a library, and various old-timey props we could use to represent our practice areas. Then we took photos of each of us that we could add to the composite.

With the photos all together in one image, I used Photoshop’s mixer brush, which simulates the wetness, stiffness, and other properties of actual brushes painting on a canvas. Stroke by stroke, I created oil painting facsimiles:

 

Satisfied that they looked sufficiently like oil paintings, we had them printed on a large canvas.

Zach practices personal injury and contract law, which are depicted pictographically with the doctor’s bag on the floor, back left, and the writing table with quill and ink, behind Zach on the right side.

Matt’s principle practice areas are represented in this portrait by the empty safe (bankruptcy), the skull (probate), and the pile of cash (estate planning).

If you want to learn more about us, or even if you’re just curious about the kinds of things we are doing, connect with us on social media:

If you or someone you know has a legal problem and aren’t sure where to turn, give us a try. We’re confident that when you call us, you’ll be talking to a lawyer you’ll actually like.

 

Zachariah B. Parry is an attorney and founding partner at the law firm Parry & Pfau and is an adjunct professor who teaches torts, contracts, and Nevada practice and procedure for UNLV’s paralegal program. He can be reached at 702-912-4451 or zach@p2lawyers.com.