The local United Way office realized that it had never received a donation from one of the town's richest citizens, a very successful lawyer. A local volunteer was sent to solicit his donation. The volunteer approached the lawyer, commenting, "our research shows that even though your annual income is over a million dollars, you have never helped support our organization. Wouldn't it make you feel good to give back to your community through The United Way?"
The lawyer paused for a moment, then sternly stated, "Did your research show that my mother is dying after a long, painful illness and has huge medical bills far beyond her ability to pay?"
Surprised, the United Way volunteer mumbled, "Uh, no."
"Well then, did your research show that my brother is a disabled veteran? That he is blind? That he is confined to a wheelchair and is unable to support his wife and six children?"
The United Way representative tried to express sympathy, but the lawyer cut him off.
"Did your research tell you that my sister's husband died in a dreadful traffic accident?" The lawyer's voice was loud and indignant. "Did it tell you that her husband's death left her penniless, with a mortgage and three small children who she can't afford to care for?"
The United Way representative felt embarrassed to have assumed that the man was selfish, and stammered apologetically, "I had no idea."
The lawyer sternly concluded, "And they are my family. My flesh and blood. If I don't give any money to any of them, why in the world should I give any to you?"
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