Lawyer Joke – American

“So this lawyer is cross-examining this doctor and he says, ‘Doctor, so you’re the one who did the autopsy.’

“And he said, ‘Yes.’

“And he’s like, ‘Well where was the victim when you did the autopsy report?’

“He’s like, ‘On the table.’

“‘Well, what were you looking at particularly?’

“He’s like, ‘The brain. The brain was, you know out of the victim’s head on my table.’

“And he said, ‘Oh, okay. So the victim was dead.’

“‘Yes, there was no way he could be anywhere else. Well I suppose he could be practicing law somewhere else, but other than that, probably dead.'”

Friend showed it to her online. The informant is a Pre-Law student and she was actually accepted into a Law school for the coming year. This joke came up after we had talked about her recent acceptance to a Law school and when we started talking about jokes. She later went and looked up lots of other jokes about lawyers and went through them laughing hysterically. When she told the joke she told it at a pretty speedy pace, somewhat characteristic of someone who has to make detailed verbal reports often. There was not a lot of emotional changes in her voice as she told the joke – it was a fairly dry account. The informant said the that the joke was funny to her because it reminded her of some people that she knew, most likely from her years of participating in Mock Trial.

The informant has, in fact, been on Mock Trial since her freshman year and has know about the inner workings of law for a long time, which meant that she understood the allusions and situational comedy in lawyer jokes very intimately. I in no way doubt that she was thinking about someone she knew as she laughed, but she didn’t initially tell me she knew someone like the lawyer in the joke when she told me that joke. In this way, the joke was somewhat self-disparaging. This may be a case where a person has taken up an occupational stereotype in order to take some of the sting out of it, or to say somehow, “Hey, I can see this joke and I can laugh about it – I’m not some straight-laced, condescending lawyer like the lawyer in this joke.”