#7: The Legal Field — Pct. negative rating: 37%
It will surprise almost no one that the legal field made the list. For one reason or another, lawyers are perceived negatively by Americans. According to Newport, “lawyers are one of those things that people criticize until they need one.” The legal system is adversarial by definition, and lawyers work in the midst of emotional and expensive problems. It does not help matters that attorneys are regularly included among the highest-paid professions.
With corporate lawyers billing at $1,000 per hour, expectations for the right outcome can be high. Nevertheless, the number of Americans who view the legal field negatively dropped slightly since last year. And since 2001, the percentage of negative rating has declined by about 18%, while Americans’ positive perception has increased by 17% over the same period.