Monday, March 06, 2006

The Tantric Trial Lawyer, or 'How I Found Inner Peace and Learned to Stop Chasing Ambulences'

tee bee

Rich Barlowe writes in the Boston Globe:

Even in the hereafter, they tell lawyer jokes. Nor was Jesus above venting against experts in the religious law of Moses. ''Woe also to you scholars of the law!" he declares in Luke's gospel. ''You impose on people burdens hard to carry, but you yourselves do not lift one finger to touch them."

The idea that lawyers need a dose of spirituality finds a modern prophet in Northeastern University law professor David Hall, who says his profession is in depression and must openly reclaim spiritual values to reconnect with its noble mission.

Some have disagreed with his prescription, but there's evidence that the legal field is indeed in a funk.

A survey six years ago by the American Bar Association found three-quarters of lawyers reporting themselves anywhere from ''somewhat satisfied" to ''very dissatisfied" with their work. Hall blames nasty court battles, some lawyers' sense of working solely to make money for other people, and the focus of law schools on teaching legal rules, rather than moral values.

Sure, those things could be the nugget of truth behind some of our favorite lawyer jokes, like:
The New York Times, among other papers, recently published a new Hubble Space Telescope photograph of distant galaxies colliding. Of course, astronomers have had pictures of colliding galaxies for quite some time now, but with the vastly improved resolution provided by the Hubble, you can actually see the lawyers rushing to the scene.

The devil visited a lawyer's office and made him an offer. "I can arrange some things for you," the devil said. "I'll increase your income five-fold. Your partners will love you; your clients will respect you; you'll have four months of vacation each year and live to be a hundred. All I require in return is that your wife's soul, your children's souls, and their children's souls rot in hell for eternity." The lawyer thought for a moment. "What's the catch?" he asked.

But not everyone likes Hall's idea. He notes that one person commented after a talk he had given that tapping the spiritual for coping and direction was nice, but "divisive." On the other hand, groups like the Association of American Law Schools are already using Hall's ideas in their meeting agendas.

Hall says, ''I'm not arguing for spirituality as a hammer, I'm arguing for it as a mirror, as something that allows us to look at ourselves to see if we are really achieving those highest ideals."

If the idea is to restore ethics and compassion to the legal profession, he might want to consider the hammer.

What do you think, KJ?


At 4:11 AM, Blogger camojack said...

The only bar I wanna join serves alcohol...

At 9:00 AM, Blogger Pile On® said...

They call Tom Delay the hammer.

At 3:48 PM, Blogger KJ said...

I never felt as though I were doing this only to make money for other people. I always saw myself as doing this to make money for myself. If my client benefits as well, so be it.

At 6:28 PM, Blogger tee bee said...

There's clarity. Tell me, is that a Buddhist philosophy, or some early Deepak Choprah?

At 7:25 PM, Blogger Pile On® said...

Don't you know, KJ sacrifices peasants at the alter of Ayn Rand.

At 10:18 AM, Blogger Cassandra said...

Only peasants who can't afford his retainer and don't have a lucrative cause of action against a defendant with deep pockets, though.

We must be practical.


Post a Comment

<< Home