The Romance of the Law

swear in

Friday I attended the swearing in of my daughter – that is, she is now a lawyer – like me.

The ceremony is full of high-minded thoughts, an oath that includes archaic phrases, and lots of hugs and smiles.

In the daily practice of law it’s easy to get caught up in the complexities of our cases, the demands of our clients, and the tensions we often have with fellow attorneys. But there are times when we cannot help but reflect: What is my role in this situation? What is the right way to advocate for my client? Why am I given these special powers and privileges?

At these events, more than any others, the lawyers in the room are reminded – reminded of our obligations on how to treat our clients, how to interact with fellow counsel, how to conduct ourselves when we appear in front of judges, and even how to live our lives outside the practice. Although we may, at times, forget the oath and the ceremonies that allow us to make a living, all lawyers share these moments and are indelibly imprinted by them. It isn’t that we are better than people who make their livings in other ways – but we certainly see things differently.

Over the years that I have practiced law, I have only become more appreciative of the special role we play in our communities, and the special ways we do it. In a profession defined by conflict and confusion, these unique rules and obligations are what allow us to help ourselves and our clients find resolution, order and peace. There is something truly magical about it.

I welcome my child to this romantic world. May she blossom.