TODAYS SMART LAWYERING
My couple of articles about Legal profession and Advocacy may be a bit negative, focusing on those who are entering the profession for the wrong reasons. Many people complain that “there are too many lawyers,” what they really mean is that there are too many bad ones. The large number of lawyers as locusts has resulted in the public losing faith in our legal system. The vast majority of Advocates including myself are not perfect. The following are just a few habits I have noticed from young Advocates over the years which dim the view of the entire legal profession: Most of the young Advocates after getting enrolled in the bar, the first thing they buy in a swanky bike or a car; affix Advocates logo which they look on as a beacon to violate the law with impunity. Few Advocates prefix or append before their names Karate or boxer etc. Why such arrogation? They should go somewhere else. Courtroom is not a boxing ring. court houses are not Lawyers clubs.
A section of lawyers are branded as Ambulance chasers- In case of accident he will be there before the ambulance .If clients are potential he would say that he has a pretty good case. He Indulges in poaching clients . If a client hires him he collects the money and then just wash his hands of the case, maybe passing it off to a another Advocate. He keeps the client in the dark and tells the client not to bother them. Most of the unscrupulous Advocates are the product of unscrupulous clients--the demand creates the supply. We are fiduciaries, advisers, confidantes, and we are trusted to make decisions on our clients’ behalf. The fact that we should serve clients, but they are not our masters and we should not succumb to their illegal demands. The undisputed fact is most of the younger generation are predisposed of becoming slaves to clients. The upshot is that the proportion of “good” lawyers is only going to shrink, and the “too many” will become even more numerous.
The moral fabric of our system is badly torn. Disrespect for law and order is widespread. The very principles of democratic government are being scorned and perverted. Flouting the law has almost become a hobby for a select few . No group has a greater responsibility today in helping to maintain our democratic institutions of society than our lawyer fraternity. In fact, being a member of the noble profession we are uniquely equipped through training, outlook and experience to be a leader of our fellow citizens. Our medieval Lawyers have made tremendous contribution by drawing up the basic documentation of our Nations freedom, serving as a leader in local, state and national government, participating in the affairs of community life.
How this noble tradition became a tragedy. All because of the poor quality of legal education in the majority of the so-called law colleges with uncontrolled expansion is the reason for overcrowding of ill-equipped lawyers fighting for a piece of the cake. Doyens of the profession who have abundant work, unlimited money, respect and influence did not bother to look into what was happening to the profession and allowed it to go its way.
The distance mode of legal education is a commodity purchasable in a market. It has permeated the Quality of legal Education. The current system of legal education has failed to train. Advocates to be sensitive and responsive in their dealings with clients and society. Because of the importance and pervasiveness of lawyers in our society, it is vital that there be public trust in the profession as a whole. One way to promote this trust, especially regarding Advocate competence and integrity, is the requirement of continuing legal education. If law degrees are to survive and improve their position in a climate of ‘outputs’, ‘outcomes’ and ‘accountability’ rather than succumb to a commodity mentality, they must do a better job at explaining to a broad constituency just how and exactly why legal education matters. Discipline model of legal education and the narrower professional model indeed is necessary in the years ahead’
This write up need not be considered as expostulation but a stage whisper. Lawyer ethics is not a trap for the unwary. It is not a minefield of hidden dangers. It’s pretty much common sense for anyone who has a sense of the law as a profession, rather than a business. The rules are very simple to follow-,We should know what’s best, legally, for our clients. win over the hearts and minds of clients by showing that we can bring value to basic transactions without much added cost . We should refuse to join with our clients in a conspiracy of silence. We should speak openly about our fears and resentments. We should discuss the moral doubts. Know what you’re talking about before you open your mouth. Only accept a brief if you can actually handle it competently. Never misrepresent anything to anybody, ever. This includes what you say about Judges, your fellow Advocate etc. If you think these are scary rules, or that they’re designed to make it harder for you to make a quick buck, then please do not practice law.
We as lawyer, as a member of the legal profession, are representatives of clients, an officer of the court and a public citizen having special responsibility for the quality of justice.
9,RAJA COLONY,SECOND MAIN ROAD,
COLECTORS OFFICE ROAD,TRICHY