Because we are really loveable and very fluffy.
To be honest I’ve never had the impression that we, that is “lawyers” are reviled. Maybe its an American thing.
Admittedly “people” can act a little startled when they ask what I do for a living and I reply, the usual “Oh, I see” and then silence which I sometimes seek to fill as quickly as possible with some quip about the weather. More often nowadays though I will wait and let the silence hang over us – I think its late onset sadism.
I think the startled look, the “Oh I see” and silence is more to do with the fact that most people don’t actually deal with “lawyer” on a day to day basis. We most readily relate to, and thus develop immediate rapport with those with whom we have something in common. The “lawyer” is therefore something “other” to the proverbial man in the street or on the omnibus, an alien whose form is shaped by representations in the press – a being assumed uber intelligent who does nasty things to good people.
But we live is a society which over the millennia has developed a complex set of rules by which we glue ourselves together. And we have this group of people who have such weird brains that they enjoy solving everyday problems arising from these rules. Without the “lawyers” the glue would lose its stickiness and we would begin to unravel as a society.
So be nice today, go hug a lawyer.
(I have put “lawyer” because there are so many breeds of the same animal, bit like dogs, some are more loved than others)