Lately I’ve had a number of cases that have me thinking, once again, about the role of lawyers in our society. There are so many lawyers out there who do a wonderful job of representing clients in challenging situations, and then there are so many lawyers out there who do their clients a tremendous disservice by their mode of representation.
There are a number of quotes that have inspired me over the years and provided encouragement to truly live into this “noble” profession, and I wanted to share them with you in this post. I continue to work toward that paradigm shift, when these ideas will be the norm. I know the tipping point is near!
“My joy was boundless. I had learned the true practice of law. I had learned to find out the better side of human nature and to enter people’s hearts. I realized that the true function of a lawyer was to unite parties riven asunder. The lesson was so indelibly burned into me that a large part of my time during the twenty years of my practice as a lawyer was occupied in bringing about private compromises of hundreds of cases. I lost nothing thereby–not even money, certainly not my soul.”
M. K. Gandhi
“Discourage litigation. Persuade neighbors to compromise whenever you can. Point out to them how the nominal winner is often the real loser in fees, expenses, and a waste of time. As a peacemaker the lawyer has a superior opportunity of becoming a good person.”
And, finally. . . .
“It is high time that we lawyers, whose calling is to serve justice at minimum cost to our clients and to society, should have some members who specialize in the amicable settlement of differences.”
Whether you are a lawyer reading these words or not, I hope they are as encouraging and inspirational to you as they are to me. As I told a client this week who was extremely distrustful of all lawyers and the legal system (and she had her reasons), “Not ALL lawyers are bad. Most lawyers really want to help people. Some are just misled about the best way to accomplish that.”
Like I said, the tipping point….. we’re getting there!