We've all heard the Shakespeare line, "The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers." It's a very popular quote, but here's a bit more about it.
Apparently there are two explanations for the contextual meaning. One, the most obvious, is that in their work lawyers annoy a lot of people, and doing away with the lot of them would leave mankind better off.
The other is not so obvious.
According to the attorneys' interpretation—one supported by many but not all English scholars—Shakespeare's point is to portray lawyers as the guardians of the rule of law who stand in the way of a fanatical mob. Source.
Or as Justice John Paul Stevens opined, lawyers are standing guard against a totalitarian government. He's right, but there will be other lawyers fighting in favor of totalitarianism. So it may be a wash.
Anyway, this come to us by way of wsj.com where you can find Jacob Gershman's excellent article on the subject cleverly titled To Kill or Not to Kill All the Lawyers? That Is the Question.
Regardless of what Shakespeare originally meant by having a character recite that line, the popularity of the quote tends to validate the feeling that lawyers are very annoying, except the ones representing you or your interests.