The people who are devoted to seek for justice and truth are the lawyer says this Harvard professor. And lawyers cannot fulfill their role in society unless they remain independent from public opinion, their clients, and the government. Remember that the government is sensitive to rights of individuals and ensuring a fair process and lawyers can do their work, if they are independent in thought and action.
A full independence is essential since without it we would not only degrade ourselves professionally and impair our ability to discharge our duties to clients, but we also would not be able to engage in various types of socially desirable work whether it is aiding the disadvantaged or participating in the policy issues of the day. What you need to know, he says, is that there are four major types of independence that lawyers must adhere to. Namely the four types are independence in the practice of law, independence from public opinion, independence from clients, and independence from government. Due to the fact that most lawyers do not fit the old pattern of the free professional, implying the independent attorney working in a rural or small community, Independence in the practice in law is not less common.
Lawyers in this environment were not connected to any long term clients and could choose what cases they could defend. Since most lawyers now can be found in law firms and working for corporations they have less freedom to make decisions in their work. These days, more and more lawyers are succumbing to a lot of pressures.
What people do not understand is that practicing law is a profession not a business deal. With everything that has been going on most people look to reduce costs and delays, which often leads to a preference for avoiding trials at all costs. Most of the time what it all boils down to in court cases is the domination of judicial pressure or client pressure.
One will always want to reach a compromise but most of the time going to trial is what is best for all parties involved. Despite the fact that people rule society, it is important for lawyers to remain independent from public opinion. This society is also one that understands the rights of unpopular individuals and groups and ideas, and it is the lawyer who must strive to protect them.
During colonial times, the press helped whip the public into frenzy over what was termed the Boston Massacre, where British troops fired into ruckus a mob killing five colonists. At that time it was not a favorable choice but this lawyer defended the soldiers and later went on to help write the Declaration of Independence and served as the nation's second president. However, the lawyer also believed that no person in a free society should be denied the right to counsel or denied a fair trial. This lawyer then gained a lot of recognition for his representation of the British which in turn increased his public standing. Here, among the six soldiers that were charges four were acquitted and two were convicted only of manslaughter.
According to the lawyer, handling this case was one of the most gallant, generous, manly, and disinterested actions of his whole life and one of the best pieces of service he ever rendered to his country. Listening to public opinion is not so useful at times especially when you want to produce big payoffs. Lawyers always need to remember that they have an adversarial system in which fairness depends on spirited advocacy on both sides. He also says that it is best for lawyers to stay away from the desire to be liked, to compromise their independence, their willingness to stand up for their clients.