“Discourage litigation” whenever possible, writes Abraham Lincoln in a law lecture from the 1850s, held at the Library of Congress.It’s a sentiment rarely seen in our litigious society today, but Lincoln seemed to believe lawyers had a greater social responsibility than other citizens.
“As a peacemaker the lawyer has a superior opportunity of being a good man,” Lincoln said.
“There will still be business enough,” he added.
A lawyer for nearly 25 years, Honest Abe warns law students against yielding to the popular belief that lawyers are dishonest, Slate first noted Monday, linking back to the Library of Congress speech.
“Resolve to be honest at all events; and if, in your own judgement you cannot be an honest lawyer, resolve to be honest without being a lawyer — choose some other occupation,” Lincoln suggested.
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