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5 Inspirational Quotes for Law School Students

Those inclined to enter the noble profession of law, whether as public defenders, high-priced litigators, or even judges, are held to a high standard. The bar exam is proof of that. And yet, lawyers are often considered to be pretty low on the social totem pole, a dangerous necessity to be feared and revered in equal measure. As a law student you no doubt have aspirations to change the world and make it a better place through making and/or upholding the law. But it’s no easy path that you’ve chosen. And while great men and women have certainly walked it before, the beauty of the legal process is that you have a chance to learn from those who came before but still make your own mark. Here are just a few inspiring quotes that may influence the way you approach the legal process.

  1. “The more laws, the less justice.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero. Justice cannot generally be applied by a blanket policy, even though law can. As a legal professional you will come up against plenty of cases wherein justice will not be served by upholding the law. It is for this very reason that the judicial system exists, and your role in it may be to fight unjust laws in order to uphold justice.
  2. “We cannot expect people to have respect for law and order until we teach respect to those we have entrusted to enforce those laws.” – Hunter S. Thompson. Writer Thompson was notorious for flouting the law, but then again he was part of the first generation of Americans to express widespread uncertainty about the ability of our government to rule, not to mention their devotion to doing the right thing for the people of this country. Respect is earned, and if those who enforce the law twist it to their own purposes, they can’t expect the people they govern to take it seriously.
  3. “An unjust law is itself a species of violence.” – Mahatma Gandhi. Best known for his policy of passive resistance, Gandhi actually started out as a lawyer himself. It was this background that led him to question the British rule of India and fight the unjust laws that only served to oppress the native people of his land.
  4. “Protest beyond the law is not a departure from democracy; it is absolutely essential to it.” – Howard Zinn. How are laws made but through somebody, somewhere calling for change? The greatest benefit of democracy is that it gives every man and woman a voice. And the law not only protects that right, but is also driven by it.
  5. “Compromise is the best and cheapest lawyer.” – Robert Louis Stevenson. Asinspirational quotes go, this one hits the nail on the head. People can fight over something until they’re blue in the face, but the only ones who win in a lawsuit are the lawyers. By compromising instead, both parties can likely come out ahead. As a lawyer, you have every right to make money off idiots who want to take their fight to court. But ethics demand that you try to sway them from their course if a peaceful resolution is possible.
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