There is a moral belief that virtually every single person I've ever met says they think is true: "Human beings do bad things." Now, there is much debate as to why this is true. Some people believe we learn bad behavior from our environment. Other people think bad behaviors stem from our genetic code and the general health of our minds and bodies. Other people think the problem is a spiritual problem in our natures that all people have when they are born. Whatever the cause, most everyone agrees that people do bad things that damage other people and their property on a regular basis. For this reason we here in America (and every other nation and people group for that matter) have laws. Civil and Criminal laws are set up to: Restrain and/or deter people from doing the bad things they have a proclivity to do. Punish people who choose to hurt others. Compensate people who are the victims of abuse or negligence of others. And every single person who works in the field of law plays an important part in doing those three things. Police officers, judges, legislators, jurors, and military personnel, politicians, and investigators are just a few of the many people who commit a large portion of their life to this process of restraining evil, punishing law breakers, and protecting innocent victims. And for the most part, the people who hold these positions are respected for the important work they do. There is one group of people, however, that play an equally important role in this system, and yet for some reason they are not given the same respect. The group to which I'm referring is: Lawyers.
Lawyers are repeatedly joked about, often held in derision, and sometimes openly hated. This is tragic. If it weren't for lawyers: Innocent people who are unable to defend themselves in court would be convicted of crimes they didn't commit. Guilty people who are especially talented in deception would not be punished for their crimes. Companies would be able to advertise falsely with no consequence. Food and drug producers could easily distribute harmful products to the public. Divorces would be an even more difficult process where the spouse with the least amount of intelligence and/or communication skills would simply lose out on their fair share of the assets. Artists would have their creative works stolen and/or reproduced without permission and they would be unable to seek out any sort of just compensation. The constitutions of the federal and state governments would lose their significance. Their power would slowly erode away. Crime would escalate, as people realized no one was professionally or occupationally committed to prosecute crimes with quality and excellence. Legal errors would virtually never be overturned through the appeals process. Victims of negligence would rarely see restitution. Governments would be able to abuse their powers over the citizens in their jurisdictions. I really could go on and on. But to sum it all up, lawyers help restrain evil, punish lawbreakers, and protect innocent citizens. Sure, there are corrupt lawyers who abuse their role and actually help further evil, protect lawbreakers, and punish innocent citizens. But that is true of all of the "law" professions; there are corrupt judges, police officers, legislators, and politicians. Frankly, there are corrupt people in every field, even those outside the legal profession including doctors, firefighters, teachers, priests, janitors, and journalists. The reason this is true goes back to the first point: Human beings do bad things. The fact that some lawyers are "corrupt" isn't evidence that we "don't need lawyers." It is actually evidence supporting the other side. We do need them. As long as there are corrupt people in any field in this country we need lawyers to help us to restrain and punish them while protecting the victims they hurt.