Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Who wants Jewish lawyers?

Lisa Spitzer said that Google and her 96-year-old mother are responsible for the genesis of the Jewish Attorneys Network. A social worker with a Jewish background, Ms. Spitzer, who is chief executive of the network, began working in attorney referral before the Internet and stumbled upon the Jewish attorney niche only in the last year. “Google loves niches for searches,” she said. “I watched the analytics and saw that the search for ‘Jewish lawyer’ goes neck-in-neck with ‘Spanish-speaking attorney.’” ...

Based in Boca Raton, Fla., the network gets a surprising 75 percent of its inquiries from African Americans and only 5 percent from Jewish people, most of them Orthodox (it even has Arab clients). “I was kind of surprised myself,” Ms. Spitzer said. “I always ask callers, ‘Why a Jewish lawyer?’ They feel that the Jewish community, because of the agonies and past history, can relate to what they are going through, what it’s like to be an oppressed minority. They have a sense that a Jewish lawyer will stand up and not be afraid. They will tell me they remember the M.L.K. marches and who stood up behind them then.”
--MP Mueller, NYT, on a shared kinship of oppression