Lawyers, there’s more than meets the eye

Elizabeth Fequiere, Staff Writer

Lawyers are known for being untrustworthy and deceitful, taking any and every opportunity to exploit a loophole for their own greedy advantage. People tend to think the worst of lawyers. Many wonder how they can defend murderers and thieves and still sleep at night when they get their clients off on technicalities. If all of this is true and lawyers are just immoral tricksters, then what makes people decide to go to law school in the first place?

What is less understood about this profession is the need people have for legal representation. There’s such a great need for qualified, passionate individuals who want to help communities that don’t retain many legal advocates. Attorneys aren’t just for the wicked. They exist to advocate for those who cannot speak for themselves or those who require legal guidance in their time of need. Most politicians went to law school first because they needed a deeper understanding of the law to effect change in government.

There are a lot of reasons why people decide to go to law school. Number one on the list is money, but there are other more noble reasons as well. Some students go to law school believing they can have a positive influence on the world.

Understanding how the law works gives you the power to change it. The law is so versatile and ever-changing, it’s difficult not to find some aspect of it that you enjoy.

There are so many areas to become passionate about, but with this last election, I’m reminded that politics has always been near and dear to my heart. I believe the best way to change lives is to influence the laws that govern us all.

I knew that I was going to law school at a very young age. I’ll admit, initially, it was purely financially motivated. It wasn’t until adulthood that I began to think of how much I could do to help people. Probably due in most part to the reputation lawyers have, law school puts a lot of focus on maintaining integrity and honor while you study in the hopes that you’ll retain those habits after graduation.

It’s in law school that I began to develop a purpose for my career. Yes, I still want to make money, but now I want more. I want my career to be filled with the honor and decency that I’ve learned to instill in my work. I desire to be a competent and passionate advocate for clients I believe in. Attorneys seem evil because they make decisions that make people question their integrity.

The truth is every U.S. citizen is entitled to legal representation, it’s just a lawyer’s job to represent their client to the best of their ability. Everyone is innocent until proven guilty and, when you’re in the public eye, perception plays a huge role in the way others judge you.

Law school teaches the law, but more importantly it teaches you how to think like a lawyer. When it comes to the law, nothing is black and white. The law resides almost completely in the grey, which is ever-changing and difficult to interpret without the right education. Like it or not, the law is shrouded in such ambiguity the need for attorneys is ingrained in this country’s foundation.

Bottom line, it’s up to you to decide what kind of attorney you want to be. You can choose to be exactly what people expect you to be, a slimy, underhanded liar or you can become an upstanding member of a respectable profession.

Elizabeth Fequiere is a  staff writer  for  The Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected]