Or, as an alternative title—”another slightly cynical, non-obvious way for a new lawyer to justify his existence.” Here’s the third (the first and second are here and here, respectively) and final installment thinking through Justice Alito’s recent statement that “Our country needs lawyers.”
So what’s the third reason we need lawyers? We need lawyers because people are going to fight each other; and when people fight, the strongest person wins virtually every time. Lawyers help make sure that the strong person only wins most of the time.
A genuine “David and Goliath” story is a remote possibility in warfare or any test of physical or financial strength. One in a million. That’s why the story is so memorable and so compelling. We want the world to work that way.
Unfortunately, however, it does not work that way and never will—even if the earth were full of passionate Clarence Darrows ready to take each needful case. Lawyers aren’t magicians. But a lawyer can transform a one-in-a-million prospect to one-in-a-thousand or, perhaps, one-in-a-hundred.
And that is something.