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Transcript of Lawyers
Two Well-Known Attorneys
Born in 1907 into a wealthy family
Graduated from Washington and Lee College, as well as Harvard, president of American Bar Association (1964),
President of Richmond School Board, helped advance racial desegregation, became the president for the state board of education in 1960s, and was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Nixon
Born in 1908
Great-grandson of a slave
Grew up indigent
Attended Lincoln University and Howard University Law School
Head of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (20 years)
Worked in the U.S. Court of Appeals
Lyndon B. Johnson appointed as the solicitor general (first African American to do so)
LBJ then appointed him to the Supreme Court not long after
Marshall and Powell exemplify three important points for lawyers...
1. Diverse legal practices
Variety if legal specializations
Legal counselors, litigation, public and private policy, constitutional issues, criminal law, civil, etc...
2. The ends of lawyering
Have to find a way to meets the goals of their clients without compromising their professional/personal goals, as doing so in a legal fashion
3. The law as a public profession
Curtailing their precise specializations, professional relationships, and personal goals all contribut to the public, either directly or indirectly
Problems With Lawyers
Lawyers can be used as "hired guns"---represent clients through unethical and immoral means...it is a business relationship!
Retainer fee or other services can be quite expensive...not everyone can afford a "good" attorney
May be overzealous...similar to being a "hired gun"
The adversarial process turns lawyers in gladiators...that is if they're paid (some cases, there still are decent people in the world)
The Court System Song...explains the adversarial process
Becoming a Lawyer
In the United States, a person must graduate from a four-year school
Take the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT)
Enter and graduate from a law school
Take and pass the BAR EXAM
Visual..."take a lawyer to lunch?"
Prior "Becoming a Lawyer" Process
Law schools would have their students clerk, read, and assist practicing attorneys
The BAR EXAM was quite lax...nothing like today
It was not until the end of the 19th century that law schools became more formal (what we see today)
Today's American Legal Profession
Size: The amount of lawyers in the United States is home to more than 1/4 of the ENTIRE WORLD'S attorneys...THAT'S A LOT!
The rapid growth is due to the economic development in the United States
Economic activity has its limitations for explaining the reason for the abundance of lawyers in the United States. For example, Japan (another modernized country, has far few lawyers and is operated quite efficiently
The abundance of attorneys also fluctuates simultaneously with the expansion/stagnancy of the population
The ratio of lawyers to ordinary citizens also fluctuates because of the growth/stable population
Median age and gender is also a factor for the disproportionate ratio
Race and ethnicity is another that has added to high(citizens)/low(attorneys) ratio
The Organization of the Legal Profession
ABA vs. State
Membership in the ABA is not required and the organization does not supervise individual attorneys
States do regulate attorney practices and have the power to remove an attorney from practice
Overview of Legal Practice
Because of the expansion of populations and communities throughout the United States many attorneys would set up in the area and take on several specializations
Early on, law firms were only made up of a few lawyers...when the population and growth ensued the numbers of attorneys increased as well
Current Types of Legal Practice
Elite Law Firm: These firms represent a lot of multi-million dollar corporations, as well as power and rich people. They are known because of this and have a reputation that is quite significant in the legal field.
Solo Practice: A person who works as their own boss and find their own clients. They do advertise, but in most cases are not as well-known in the legal community.
Corporate Counsel: Usually employed by major corporations to handle thier legal issues. This accounts for a decent percentage of hired attorneys in the nation.
Government Attorney: These attorneys represent the government in both criminal and civil issues. There are even specializations for various types of administration by the government.
Criminal Justice Attorneys
Defense & Prosecutors
Defense: An attorney that represents an individual who has been accused of a crime
Prosecutor: Person who represents the state/public in a matter against society/person
Is everyone entitled to an attorney in a criminal matter? Felonies? Misdemeanors? Violations?
Civil Law Attorneys
The right to attorney changes for civil matters...right? Yes.
Civil attorneys represent clients for a plethora of legal matters. Ranging from personal injury, bankruptcy, divorce, or simple contract issues. These attorneys are the majority of lawyers in the country
Legal Aid is a division of attorneys that represent clients who are indigent...some of these places do have the opportunity for civil law representations, however they are mostly tuned toward criminal matters.
Short Film on Legal Aid for Civil Matters
Legal clinics are law firms that represent clients for low costs. In most cases, they represent large masses in class-action matters. The problem is that the individual (client) is represented generally and may not have their specific issues addressed.
Footage of Naval Yard Shooter
"Atticus Finch and To Kill a Mockingbird are the reason I wanted to become a defense attorney. I first read this book when I was in the 6th grade and have had my heart set on this profession ever since. Finch is the example of the nobility and esteem that a lawyer can represent."
LSAT Sample Test