And disingenuous . . . If I were to ask a random group of people which profession consists of "a group pursuing a learned art as a higher calling in a spirit that it is performing a public service, a service that is indispensable in a democratic nation . . . ." I can assure you not one will say lawyer. sad, but oh so true.
The public servant concept can be looked at more broadly though; in that way the definition is more palatable to me. It is true that as lawyers we are performing a public service whether we assist an indigent inmate in litigating against the city for improvements during his incarceration, and equally a public service when we assist a billionaire find a loop hole in the contract in which she would rather not continue complying with -- in both examples we are assisting members of society with their everyday goals in a way they couldn't do by themselves, without our assistance and specialization.
(However, thinking of that last example I recall the documentary "Corporation" in which the film places the entire blame of overblown, over powerful corporations on lawyers who set out to use those organizations to enrich themselves and their practices. I thought the historical representation was simplistic, naive, narrow, overstated yes, but we shouldn't err on own by overstating our profession as a "learned art").
I wasn't around for the meeting when the definition was finalized and the snippets were taken from various sources. Was lawyering once upon a time referred to as a "learned art"? Who said that?
Finally, I can't really find fault with the last line: as attorneys we owe "an obligation of dignity, integrity, self-respect and respect for others" but in my view we owe those to each other as human beings, not just as attorneys.
Second paragraph next time . . .