Some thoughts on the profession of the lawyer

Being a lawyer is a tough job. Being a lawyer means working several hours a day. Doing so today often means toiling in vain, with economic means and professional gratifications that are far from obvious. Being a lawyer comes with risks. That of compromising and becoming addicted to evil, but also that of not “getting your hands dirty”: not to put yourself, that is, close enough to a defendant or a victim (to their gesture, to their suffering) to be able to understand them and to really defend them. The “model lawyer” is the one who comes out of the norms of the Code of Forensic Ethics, whose reading can be edifying for anyone who is going to choose a lawyer. And it is a reading that we would recommend to all. But what is instead the “model of lawyer”, the human “type” behind the professional? In our opinion, no one has painted it better than the master Piero Calamendrei, a jurist emeritus and a great lawyer, who in his aphorisms has sublimely returned to reality an almost mythological figure. From the relationship with the client to the legal arguments, from the relationship with money to the cult of personality: so it had to be, for Calamendrei, a real lawyer:

What does «great lawyer» mean? It means a lawyer useful to judges to help them decide according to justice, useful to the client to help him to assert his reasons. Useful is that lawyer who speaks the bare essentials, who writes clear and concise, who does not encumber the audience with his intrusive personality, who does not bore the judges with his prolixity and does not put them in suspicion with his subtlety: just the opposite, therefore, of what certain public means by «great lawyer»

(P.C.)

Clarity is useless if the judge, overcome by the verbosity, falls asleep. More accepts brevity, even if obscure: when a lawyer speaks little, the judge, even if he does not understand what he says, understands that he is right

(P.C.)

The lawyer who complains about not being understood by the judge, blames not the judge, but himself. The judge has no duty to understand: it is the lawyer who has the duty to make himself understood

(P.C.)

The lawyer who in defending a case enters into open controversy with the judge, commits the same unforgivable imprudence of examining that during the test is taken to words with the examiner

(P.C.)

Every lawyer should be a judge for two months a year, and every judge should be a lawyer for two months a year. They would learn to understand each other and to feel sorry for each other

(P.C.)

The lawyer, who from the first interview guarantees the client the successful outcome of the case, may be a skilled craftsman, but certainly not a great scientist. It looks rather like the juggler who guarantees to know how to guess the card that will come out of the deck; here science has nothing to do: it is only dexterity of hand

(P.C.)