Game Over, Dude

Over at Simple Justice Scott addresses Other Steve’s question of whether he should be a criminal-defense lawyer. Scott’s a steely-eyed realist; he doesn’t share the popular delusion that our criminal justice system is a great system; no, the system sucks. And criminal-defense lawyers aren’t likely to strike it rich. But still:

We write about fighting the good fight. We sometimes spout the platitudes that bring warmth and comfort to the quiet, huddled masses. We try to give hope. But we know that for all our efforts and persistence, most of the poor unfortunates who fall into the grasp of the law will end up miserable for one reason or another.

So . . . should you become a criminal-defense lawyer[?] Absolutely. Not because you’re going to get rich. Not because you will become part of a system that imparts justice and fairness to our society. These are pipe dreams. Myths.

Do it because if you don’t, then the game is over. If young men and women who still believe in doing the right thing for the right reason decide that there is no place for them in the law, then we have lost the war and succumbed to the lowest common denominator in our society.

0 responses to “Game Over, Dude”

  1. To fight the good fight, to dream the impossible dream, to give some hope, some comfort to the huddled masses. The lawyer doing his job provides protection for civil liberties, the rights of the minority in a democracy. Majority rule, minority rights. To protect the bill of rights and defend the civil rights of us all.

    Sometimes I wonder what kind of society this would be without a lawyer standing up for the bill of rights. Who wants to live in a society without individual rights? They are coming to America! Land of freedom, home of the brave. People still want to know, how can you defend those people? My shortened answer is what kind of society would this be without individual rights and without protection for the individual against the majority? A bill of rights is fundamental. The rights of the minority, property ownership, a man’s castle, the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Yours in the Law, Glen R. Graham, Attorney at Law, Tulsa, Oklahoma

  2. Completely agree Mark. Nothing demonstrates society’s commitment to freedom better than the fact that unpopular people and causes are defended as well as popular ones. It is an honourable estate.

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