Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
The Schmooze

Do Jewish Lawyers Really Do It Better?

On a bench near the Broward County Courthouse in South Florida, a blue and white sign exclaimed “Prefer a Jewish lawyer!” and offered a phone number people could call to reach the Jewish American Bar Association, a Jewish lawyer referral service founded by social worker Lisa Spitzer and based in Boca Raton. The controversial advertisement has raised flags in both the legal and Jewish communities. Are Jewish lawyers better? Or is this a case of stereotype and financial opportunity?

“I felt it played on certain stereotypes of Jews,” Fort Lauderdale attorney David Shulman told the Sun-Sentinel. “I know a lot of lawyers both Jewish and non-Jewish and some are good and some are bad. I don’t think using someone’s ethnicity is fair to determine whether they are a good or a bad lawyer.”

Soon after Shulman complained about the ad on his blog, it disappeared from the bench, replaced with an ad for the AAA Attorney Referral Service, Inc. But some worry the damage is already done. Richard Sachs, a litigator and the president of the B’nai B’rith Justice Unit of Broward County, a group of roughly 200 Jewish lawyers and attorneys, told the Sun-Sentinel that JABA “implies a Jewish attorney is better than a non-Jewish attorney, and that can’t help the legal community at large.” There are also concerns that JABA, which has three members to date, is trying to pass as a national organization, not a referral service founded by a social worker.

Spitzer opposes the opposition. “If an all-women’s medical group posted an ad ‘Prefer a woman gynecologist?’ would that be offensive?”

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.