The law is the system of rules of conduct established by the government of a society to maintain the stability of political and social authority, and deliver justice.
Lawyers are the people who attempt to implement those ideals by applying a practical application of abstract legal theories and knowledge to solve specific individualized problems, or to advance the interests of those who hire them to perform legal services.
The role of the lawyer varies significantly in different countries, so the meaning of the term “lawyer” varies from place to place. Each country has traditionally had its own peculiar method of dividing up legal work among all its different types of legal professionals.
For example, in the U.K the application of the law is divided between the two distinctly different groups of solicitors and barristers. Only barristers are permitted to appear in court to present cases orally. In countries with fused professions, such as the U.S., a lawyer is usually permitted to carry out all, or nearly all, the aspects of the law.
Most societies have developed a “love hate” relationship with the legal profession; whilst acknowledging the necessity for lawyers, they are resented for a variety of reasons.
The comments below illustrate some of those:
Mary Roberts Rinehart:
I never saw a lawyer yet who would admit he was making money.
Norman Ralph Augustine:
People do not win people fights. Lawyers do.
The trouble with law is lawyers.
I busted a mirror and got seven years bad luck, but my lawyer thinks he can get me five.
The good lawyer is the great salesman.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.:
Lawyers spend a great deal of their time shoveling smoke.
Make crime pay. Become a lawyer.
Lawyers, I suppose, were children once.
He is no lawyer who cannot take two sides.
Lawyers are the first refuge of the incompetent.
Lawyers are the only persons in whom ignorance of the law is not punished.
In law, nothing is certain but the expense.
It is difficult to over emphasize the resentment of lawyers that has evolved in most societies and a whole genre of humor has developed based on so called “lawyer jokes.”
A typical example being: ” What do you call 1000 lawyers at the bottom of the ocean?” Answer: ” A good start!”
You probably know many others in a similar vein. How do you feel about these jokes? Or the legal profession in general? Have you ever had need of a lawyer?
Share your experiences by making use of the comments feed below.