In this second blog on my Code of Whole-Person Professionalism, I begin to consider each pledge in the Code, and the associated annotations, i.e., supporting or illustrative quotes.

In this blog, I’ll examine the preamble to the Code and the first pledge. 

Fully cognizant that compliance with the codes of professional responsibility and professionalism does not require ethical or professional behavior in the classical sense or as it is understood by the man in the street; and further that neither code focuses upon the whole life of a lawyer that can benefit from true, classical ethical and professional behavior, and resolute in my belief that being balanced in life and work makes one truly ethical and professional, I pledge: 

  • To bear in mind that the law was never intended to, and cannot, solve every problem that I might encounter in my practice, and that a solution in law might not be the only, or even the best, solution to a particular problem; and further to look for and consider, and, when appropriate, to suggest, extra-legal alternatives.

Use law and physic only in cases of necessity; they that use them otherwise abuse themselves into weak bodies and light purses: they are good remedies, bad recreations but ruinous habits. Francis Quarles

If you only have a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail. Abraham Maslow

People can be divided into two classes: those who go ahead and do something and those who sit still and inquire, “Why wasn’t it done the other way?” Oliver Wendell Holmes 

Associate yourself with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation for tis better to be alone than in bad company. George Washington

Audi patrem alterum (hear the other side). St. Augustine

It is often wrong to do the thing you have a right to do. Frank Tyger

[Law] is not a profession at all, but rather a business service station and repair shop. Adlai E. Stevenson

The entire legal profession–lawyers, judges, law teachers,–has become so mesmerized with the stimulation of the courtroom contest that we tend to forget that we ought to be healers of conflicts. Doctors, in spite of astronomical medical costs, still retain a high degree of public confidence because they are perceived as healers. Should lawyers not be healers? Healers, not warriors? Healers, not procurers? Healers, not hired guns? Warren E. Burger

…it is quite possible to have too many laws and regulations…the whole legal apparatus of government may collapse from its own weight; and…too many laws and regulations may paralyze society so that we have a condition approximating anarchy. Too much may be the equivalent of none at all. Lee Loevinger

Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. Point out to them how the nominal winner is often a real loser – in fees, expenses, and waste of time. As a peacemaker the lawyer has a superior opportunity of being a good man. There will still be business enough. Abraham Lincoln