Monday, February 8, 2010

The ‘Conspiracy’ Against the Messenger

Despite what ‘the media’, ‘aggrieved parties’ claim or any potential rallies or solidarity walks calling for the resignation of all lawyers; lawyers are not the villain. ‘They’ are merely conspiring to tarnish the image of this noble profession.

Lawyers are inherently good people (aka salt of the earth, righter of wrongs, ministers in Lady Justice’s temple etc). We are also patient and long-suffering, attributes that are clearly shown by our staunch decision to wear our uniforms in the sweltering heat even though it has been largely discarded in England, the ‘owner’ of the uniform.

If there is any hanging to be done – it should be of clients, whom we ‘happen’ to represent. Clients are the ‘bad people’, people!

Sadly, few minds are discerning enough to notice the fine line between the ‘bad people’ and the inherent goodness wrapped in skin underneath the wig and gown. Clients are the ones who do wrong and rely on us for help, which we benevolently provide for a fee. Just because we get to do the talking does not make us the wrongdoer!

I admit that sometimes saving the world can be pretty tough. Take for instance, the poor counsel for the naval ratings who must have sounded as ridiculous as: ‘My Lord, my clients, who are trained to fight in wars, were frightened of the non-Attila looking citizen and acted in self defence. The video of the beating was actually framed. It is blackmail! My poor clients only acted to defend their integrity’.

Sometimes, the unfortunate lawyer is saddled with a fight against commonsense: My Lord, my bank executive client merely acted in good faith when he helped himself to a little more of other people’s money and used his position for private profit.

There is however, a marked difference between the arguments we present and the really good and modest person who lives with mere mortals without protest despite her clear messianic qualities. We suffer reproach everyday – from clichéd lawyer-shark analogy jokes to clear protests of our existence.

*insert theatrical self-suffering sign*

We rise above these and remain amazing. However, we don’t take our ‘amazing-hood’ for granted neither do we assume that society will understand that technicalities rather than a general perception of justice win cases. We understand that we are special and very smart and in the face of hatred and ‘beef’; we hold our head high, defending the ‘poor’ (in the figurative sense!) accused persons.

What is a good person supposed to do? Turn the clients away? Daily, we fight between our consciences and our work with ‘bad people’, who incidentally pay us to keep our offices open. Every day, we are torn between our beatitudinal attributes and natural proclivity to work hard and the client.


We shall overcome.

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