Attorney Sidebar: Honoring Our Profession

~Phil Grossman

“I hold every (person) a debtor to (his or her) profession; for which as (members of their professions) of course do seek countenance and profit, so ought they of duty to endeavor themselves, by way of amends to be a help in ornament thereunto.”
~Sir Francis Bacon
Preface, Maxims of the Law

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“We did not choose an easy profession. We work hard, most of us, for our clients. From our labor, we have a right to be rewarded, to seek some measure of comfort and profit. Our first duty is to our clients, but we cannot do that without taking care of our families and ourselves. That, we are not so different from other professions.

What is different is the time – honored tradition of being a “help and an ornament thereunto.” Our respect for the majesty and dignity of the law and the way we honor the Constitution and judicial system, leads us to a higher purpose. That we abhor abuse of the legal system in that we use our respect for the law to protect victims is unique. Our purpose is wrapped in a heritage that is dignified when we use our positions to strengthen the foundations of the law and protect the long history of the civil justice system.

Indeed, there are forces that do not respect what we do and that do not admire the heritage we seek to preserve. We are armed with the knowledge that we are not just beneficiaries of the tradition we inherited, but rather that we are, more importantly, fiduciaries of this exceptional legacy. From that knowledge, we will measure our success by the way we pass on this heritage to others. And if we live by that measure, we will succeed in our mission and Bacon’s charge [“I hold every person a debtor to their profession.”].”

~ Phil Grossman, President of Kentucky Justice Association
The Advocate, Jan/Feb 2018, page 4.