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Disrespect for Lawyers and the Courts

Hooray for Peter Hay! How refreshing! How insightful! How welcome!

Hay’s column is a first and will comprise my scrapbook of positive comments on lawyers. A one-page volume, it may be my most cherished.

Whenever a periodical piece contains the word “lawyer” in its title, my natural instinct is to cringe. I toil each day to protect or defend the rights of the citizens in our community, yet I know that my efforts are more likely to meet with jeers than cheers by those I’ve sworn to serve. Why? I am a lawyer. A public service lawyer, who, by many accounts, is even lower on the scale than my colleagues in the private sector.

Of course, we all slaved through law school and all of us suffered the tortures of that three-day horror called the California Bar Exam. Most of us entered the profession knowing that we would do well by doing good. Most of us aspire to a high level of practice and to personal and professional success. Why, then, are all of us so much maligned? Hay graciously published reasons that we should not be, and suggested that we might even be praiseworthy!

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Thank you, Mr. Hay. And we do need to be defended by laypersons . . . but for them, we’d need not exist.

RENEE J. LAURENTS

Los Angeles


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