What the Profession is all about
In being a lawyer, studying regarding the profession itself requires much effort on the part of the person pursuing the said dedicated job. As known to many, the long-term training system that is supposed to be taken by any aspiring lawyer is a preparation for the real life practice that the profession in law requires. This is the reason why the decision of being a lawyer alone requires serious determination on the matter.
Experts on the profession say that the decision of taking up law school and pursuing such a certain profession should be self-implied. The ability of the person to pursue what he dreams about and what he aspires to be is a major factor that would contribute to the future success of any lawyer in the justice systems of any government.
Among the many professions that are related to justice and criminal dealings, lawyers are the ones facing most of the challenging phase of judgment. The main role of lawyers in law is to determine whether a person is telling the truth or not. This fact is not based on simple judgment processes. The practice of law includes so much critical analysis of the situation to be able to know what is to be considered true, and what is to be considered fraud. Most often than not, many lawyers’ beliefs with regards the truth are compromised especially when they are the ones handling the case of the accused person, or might as well be referred to as the crime offender.
The terms “Not Guilty until Proven” determine the whole responsibility of the lawyers in case hearings. Most of the cases that lawyers handle range from marriage conflicts to human killings such as murder. As seen, their cases are on the extremes. As long as there exists the oppressed and the accused oppressor of the other part, lawyers’ services could be utilized to solve the problem. However, the responsibility of lawyers in bringing out the truth usually involves life and death of the stakeholders especially that of the serious criminal cases.
The profession of a lawyer does not only involve dealing with the oppressors and the oppressed ones alike. They also have to deal with their colleagues who are in many ways their own competition. Being able to solve a case adds up to a lawyer’s dignity and name. This is the reason why lawyers are expected to have rivalries against each other, especially when they are in the same case dealing with the opposite parties of the situation. Although this is the case, there are still lawyers who remain friends amidst the entire competitive environment that exists between them.
How then do the daily activities of a lawyer get along? This shall be discussed in the section that follows.
A Lawyer’s Daily Encounters
Directly involving the lives of the people involved in different criminal cases, lawyers start their days early. Most often than not, they are faced with paper works first thing in the morning. Every now and then, lawyers are receiving numerous clients within a day. The pre-hearing processes, whereas the complaint or the plaintiff of the case tells the lawyers of their side of the story usually takes hours before the actual case hearing is scheduled and prepared.
The actual hearing session is among the biggest days of lawyers. The said sessions would naturally determine the lawyer’s ability and skill in their profession. Their dignity, their reputation as agents of law is the one that is at stake during these days. Moreover, their ability to bring the truth out from the witnesses and the players or the main characters of the hearing would naturally be tested during these occasions.
More than the sessions, regular review of the law and the applications of such laws should continuously be part of the daily lives of lawyers. This practice would naturally equip them with the knowledge and skills that they need to gain in preparation for their case handlings. It is always remembered that lawyers deal with life-judgment situations. The dignity of their clients relies on their ability to hold the cases of their clients up as much as they could.
Because of the seriousness of many cases that lawyers handle, it could not be avoided that they receive several death threats every now and then. Especially if they are handling life cases, the clients may in many ways threaten them, whether the client be from the oppressor’s side or the victim’s. This situation is already a normal situation for lawyers. As for a fact, many people within the profession often get immune on the threats as they stay longer in service. However, this does not mean that the threats are simple pranks only. Some of the threats become true and really place the life of the lawyers in great danger. However, the lawyers have to accept that fact that these are all part of their sworn responsibility.
More than the existence of the threats and the pressure of the lawyers’ profession, numerous ethical dilemmas plague the days of the said agents of law.
The Code of Ethics
One of the major concerns of attorneys or lawyers in the practice of their profession is the issue of ethics that they are supposed to deal with everyday. The following are the major ethical standards that lawyers should apply in their profession:
· Article 1. (Awareness of Mission) n attorney shall be aware that his or her mission is to protect fundamental human rights and realize social justice, and shall strive to attain this mission.
· Article 2. (Freedom and Independence) An attorney shall be free and independent in his or her duties.
· Article 3. (Protection of the Independence of the Judicial System) An attorney shall protect the independence of the judicial system and strive to contribute to the sound development of the judicial system.
· Article 4. (Fairness and Good Faith) An attorney shall be faithful and perform his or her duties fairly and in good faith.
· Article 5. (Maintenance of Credibility) An attorney shall value honor, maintain credibility, and at the same time endeavor to refine himself or herself and enhance the level of his or her culture.
· Article 6. (Familiarity with Laws, Rules, etc.) An attorney shall be familiar with laws and rules and legal practices.
· Article 7. (Discovery of Truth) An attorney shall not disregard the discovery of truth as a result ofn concerned with the outcome of a matter.
· Article 8. (Maintenance of Integrity) An attorney shall endeavor to maintain his or her integrity.
· Article 9. (Mental Attitude toward Criminal Defense)
An attorney shall strive to provide at all times the best defense to a defendant to protect such person’s legitimate interests and legal rights.
(Source: CODE OF ETHICS FOR PRACTICING ATTORNEYS. (March, 1990). Extraordinary General Meeting. http://www.crnjapan.com/lawyers/en/cepa_1990.pdf)
As outlined herein, it could be noted that most of the reasons behind a lawyer’s ethical standard application is based upon the need of keeping their client’s integrity and belief of truth. The truth shall always prevail in any practice of law that is applied. However, although there are ethical codes that the lawyers follow, it could not be denied that there are numerous situations whereas such ethical values are compromised.
However, with the existence of greed and fraud, most of the time, the arena of law application between attorneys and their clients is spotted by the usage of money in exchange of the truth. Once the lawyers are tempted in taking bribes along with fraudulent testimonies, the attorneys not only compromise their professional dignity but also their professional status and personal conscience.
This is where the ethical standards enter. Most often than not, many lawyers ere on this part. This is the reason why the existence of a fair law is not at all that realizable in the present society. It should not be forgotten though that there are still some lawyers who are considerably doing away with such unlawful acts and should still be trusted well by the people.
CODE OF ETHICS FOR PRACTICING ATTORNEYS. (March, 1990). Extraordinary General Meeting. http://www.crnjapan.com/lawyers/en/cepa_1990.pdf. February 4, 2007.
Avron Sherr. (2001). Professional Work, Professional Careers and Legal Education: Educating the Lawyer for 2010. http://ials.sas.ac.uk/research/woolf/lawyer2010.htm. February 4, 2007.
Durnham. (2006). The Bar's Lax Ethical Standards? http://durhamwonderland.blogspot.com/2006/11/bars-lax-ethical-standards.html. February 4, 2007.