Wednesday, May 7, 2008

I'm Putting My Money Where My Mouth Is (so to speak) -- Intro

I asked that you take a look at the definition of professionalism and let me know what you think. But, that really wasn't fair and 2 questions come to mind: (1) for a discussion on professionalism why should you be analyzing a definition; and (2) why don't I do it myself.

In regards to question 1, the Task Force likes to use the definition as a starting point for discussion. Not so sexy true, but it is packed with assumptions and value judgments that not everyone agrees with. On the other side of the coin, even though the definition is pretty long, many people bring up important aspects of the profession that the definition has failed to cover. Those opinions often make for a lively start-off to discussions among attorneys.

As for question 2, for the next three posts I will be looking, paragraph by paragraph, at the definition and will let you know what I think. As a teaser, I will let you know right off the bat that I think the definition is too long. With that said, below if the first paragraph of the definition; it is what I will be thinking about for the next couple of days:

By professionalism we mean 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 founded on the rule of law. This calling is no less a public service because it may also be a means of livelihood. Pursuit of a learned art in the spirit of a public service is the essence of being a lawyer. It implies an obligation of dignity, integrity, self-respect and respect for others.
. . .

to be continued . . .

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's important to step into the shoes of most persons who are not lawyers: I understand this from many phone calls to me as a government lawyer. Most persons want access to justice, but cannot afford the fees charged by private sector lawyers; most persons find the entire legal system to be irrational--i.e., the World Trade Center litigation. Let's have outreach to the public, and re-examine the adversarial nature of the law in a context where ADR is rational. I really don't think that the responses you receive mean much to the public, who are the source of what is deemed "professionalism", as applied to lawyers. When we write, we write for the reader: this blog has to be for the reader--the public, who are not lawyers.