Friday, November 6, 2015

National Love Your Lawyer Day

What do you call 1,000 lawyers at the bottom know the jokes. But joking aside, it's love your lawyer day. Apparently, the idea was first hatched in 2001 by the American Lawyer Public Image Association, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the positive public image of lawyers. This is the first year it's been recognized by the American Bar Association's Law Practice Division, which passed a recent resolution to observe the first Friday of each November going forward. I've read some of the press this week covering this day and have seen mostly disdain for the occasion. Lawyers obviously play a prominent role in American cultural life and, heroes aside, their ethical behavior is sometimes reflected poorly in pop culture, television and movies. In reality, lawyers have been some of the most productive members of our society and have had great impact on our American experiment. In regard to the Framers of the Constitution, more than half of the delegates were trained as lawyers. I would venture to say that the importance of lawyers in society cannot be overemphasized. Alexis d’Tocqueville long ago observed in his commentary on law in the United States, that there are few political questions that that do not become, sooner or later, a judicial question. Lawyers in an adversarial system are agents of order in a society that may not otherwise exist without them. Contributions of lawyers are widely unheralded, especially in pro bono work that almost no other profession takes upon itself to deliver. Of course, it has been said that lawyers perform a critical role in the administration of the rule of law under the requirements of justice, namely fair outcomes arrived at through fair procedures. Settling cases within the legal system remains the best way of avoiding conflict among citizens. I just wish the emphasis of this day of recognition had been more on that. See summary of news coverage here-- and ABA resolution here--