Bar News - March 7, 2008
The Lawyer’s Ten Commandments
The following are some words of wisdom written many years ago by French lawyer E.J. Couture and translated by James E. Diaz.
I. Study: The law is changing constantly. If you do not follow in its footsteps, each day you will be a lawyer less and less.
II. Think: The law is learned by studying, but it is practiced by thinking.
III.Work: The law is an arduous battle placed at the service of justice.
IV. Strive: your duty is to strive for the law: but the day you find conflict between law and justice, strive for justice.
V. Be Loyal: Loyal to your client whom you should never abandon even when you learn he or she is not worthy of you; loyal to your adversaries even when they are disloyal to you; loyal to the judge, who is not knowledgeable of the facts and must rely on what you tell him or her, and, as to the law, every now and then must rely on what you advocate.
VI. Tolerate: Tolerate the other's truth by the same measure in which you want yours tolerated.
VII. Have Patience: Time is vengeful of those things that are done without its collaboration.
VIII. Have Faith: Have faith in the law as the best instrument of human co-existence; justice as the natural destiny of law; and peace, as a gentle substitute for justice; and above all, have faith in liberty without which there is no law, justice or peace.
IX. Forget: The legal profession is a struggle of passions. If in each battle you carry rancor in your soul, there will come a day in which life will be impossible for you. When the battle is over, forget your victories as well as your defeats.
X. Love Your Profession: Try to consider the practice of law in such a way that, when your child asks for advice about destiny, you will consider it an honor to propose a legal career.