The Corner

Lawyers

Golly, here I write that not everybody hates trial lawyers and somehow I end up being the meanie for picking on lawyers. From a reader:

I assume this will be one of a huge wave of e-mails you will receive so I do not anticipate a response.

Your lack of confidence in lawyers is baffling; especially given you are a vocal proponent of the “rule of law”. Who do envision should administer that system? Could you elaborate on how you reconcile those positions? I assume an individual of your intelligence is capable of condemning a specific segment if you so choose, but you (essentially) did not so choose. However, the variety of tasks performed by lawyers is incredible (almost to the point of absurdity) and any generalization would be very difficult to support.

For example, I am a lawyer and I spend most of my day on the phone conducting negotiations, trying to manage liabilities for the company that employs me, and counseling our executives on business strategy. Do I fit the profile of a lawyer that serves no useful purpose and is, therefore, to be condemned? If so, please do not explain that to my coworkers, most of which have been skeptical, if not downright hostile, to lawyers before working with our legal department and which overwhelmingly are appreciative of our efforts and assistance afterwards. I need to know whether I should update my resume and look for a real job.

Jonah Goldberg — Jonah Goldberg holds the Asness Chair in Applied Liberty at the American Enterprise Institute and is a senior editor of National Review. His new book, The Suicide of The West, is on sale now.

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