The Lawyer's Official Oath and Office (Classic Reprint)

The Lawyer's Official Oath and Office (Classic Reprint)

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Excerpt from The Lawyer's Official Oath and Office

Most of what is contained in this book was gathered by me in the preparation of an address delivered before the Albany Law School in the Hubbard course of Legal Ethics, May 17, 1909. It has been suggested that its presentation in this form will be useful to the profession, as some of it is not otherwise easily accessible to all who are interested in the subject of the lawyer's oath and office.

This, as well as my own belief that the dignity and impor tance of the lawyer's office and of the duties imposed by his official oath should be more fully understood, have caused me to print this little book.

Why is any oath required for admission to the practice of the law? No oath is required by law for admission to practise in any other profession, even where qualifications to practise are prescribed or ascertained by examinations required by law, as in the case of physicians. But an official oath has always been required for admission to the practice of the law. Why is it required? What is its significance and what obligation does it impose?

The significance of the lawyer's oath is that it stamps thelawyer as an officer of the State, with rights, powers and duties as important as those of the Judges of the Courts themselves. When a lawyer is admitted to practise and takes the required oath of office he has as much right to discharge the duties of his office as a representative or senator has to sit and act in the Legislature, or a Governor to exercise the functions of a chief magistrate. He has as much right to appear in Court and be heard for a party to a cause as a Judge has to hear and decide the cause. A lawyer is not t/ze servant of let's client. He is not t/ze servant of t/ze Court. He is an ofieer of the Court, with all the rights and responsibilities which the character of his office gives and imposes.

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