Talk:Lawyer

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Former featured article candidate Lawyer is a former featured article candidate. Please view the links under Article milestones below to see why the nomination failed. For older candidates, please check the archive.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
June 28, 2006 Featured article candidate Not promoted
March 20, 2007 Good article nominee Not listed
Current status: Former featured article candidate

Headline text[edit]

Lawyers described as the devils advocate but its not true. They do a good to society defending on the rights of the mischevious and the good persons.

Image for infobox[edit]

Is more appropriate for a horror movie. I think the genre has its own page. Its unclear, sarcastic and deviant.--Aleksd (talk) 23:38, 7 February 2013 (UTC)

The problem is your replacement is of a particular living person who is identifiable through image data. She can say: "Look everybody, my picture is in Wikipedia!" Thus it becomes advertising. Let's find an image of a dead lawyer. – S. Rich (talk) 02:38, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
Seeking to find an image of a dead lawyer for the infobox, I found one and posted it. Since then the image has been changed twice. Well, I've restored the one I found. At the same time, I'd like to open a discussion as to what image we should post so that consensus can develop and decide. (I've just changed the caption for this section to open up the discussion for more comment.) So:
  • I submit that a non-living person image be posted so that living lawyers won't be able to claim that their picture is on Wikipedia.
  • I submit that a woman is appropriate for the infobox. Women are an increasing presence in the profession. Indeed, I believe that 50% plus of new law students in the US are women. The article has several images of male lawyers. The image in the infobox is the only woman.
  • If we get agreement that a non-living woman image be used in the infobox, I have no particular stake in keeping the present image. Another woman would suit me fine. – S. Rich (talk) 05:04, 28 February 2013 (UTC)
  • I am completely fine with the image portraying a female lawyer. Just please not the current one. It's grotesque and if I didn't know what a lawyer was, I would have thought it was a synonym for monster (or guy with makeup). Also in regards to a lawyer advertising herself, can't the picture just be a photo of a female dressed as a lawyer? – W. David (talk) 10:52, 28 February 2013 (UTC)
Reply: Yes, there are other images. Please suggest one. You will need to look in the Wikipedia Commons, or you can load another image. If you do so, you must comply with copyright restrictions. – S. Rich (talk) 03:54, 1 March 2013 (UTC)

Lawyer ≠ attorney[edit]

Rewrite the lead. It is not just common law centered, it is US-only. Don't take my word for it, look in the OED: One versed in the law; a member of the legal profession, one whose business it is to conduct suits in the courts, or to advise clients, in the widest sense embracing every branch of the profession, though in colloquial use often limited to attorneys and solicitors. Let's make it clear in the lead that the usage {lawyer = attorney} is only in the US. Littledogboy (talk) 17:27, 1 March 2013 (UTC)

You are right, there are different usages of the word. But where was the OED published? Perhaps in some other Oxford? – S. Rich (talk) 17:44, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
Disagree with Littledogboy. What he proposes makes zero sense because to state that point in the lead is itself far too specific to the United States for an article that I mostly drafted with the specific intent of describing the legal profession in a global context. The OED definition is poorly written, logically incoherent, and unduly specific to the unusually broad definition of lawyer used only in the United Kingdom. --Coolcaesar (talk) 01:17, 3 March 2013 (UTC)

I'm merely pointing out that two sets of words are equal in different contexts:

  1. lawyer or attorney (USA, Australia) = advocate (most of common law jurisdictions, India)just scroll over the interwikis = {barrister+solicitor} (England and others) = (in many countries lawyer is colloquially used as in the US)
  2. generally a law graduate practising law {lawyer, judge, notary public...} = jurist (US, some common law countries) = lawyer (some common law countries, possibly England, Scotland)

So while the article is about the concept described in set#1, many people will come here looking for #2. Therefore, Mr Coolcaesar, remove from the lead the (redundant) definition of what law is, and replace with a sentence explaining how the terms jurist and advocate (and probably barrister and solicitor) fit in. A side not: I wonder whether some of the interesting stuff you've written (eg Career structure) wouldn't belong within the scope of the more general article, jurist. Littledogboy (talk) 12:17, 3 March 2013 (UTC)

Please familiarize yourself with the lengthy history of this article over the past five years before making such suggestions. The entire Terminology section was originally the first part of the article. It had to be separated out and broken up into sections because it was becoming too complex and unreadable for laypersons (for whom Wikipedia is written). There is no need to reincorporate all that complexity back into the article lead. --Coolcaesar (talk) 08:05, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
What is the more general term in US English, then? Jurist? But that's often used for theoreticians of law, isn't it? Legal profession? What do you use, Coolcaesar? Littledogboy (talk) 22:44, 16 June 2013 (UTC)
politics in lawyer positions  

This was removed because of disruptive editing???

In many jurisdictions extensive background checks are required to practice law. These include political, corporate and governmental involvement. In some countries like Canada, LSUC, allows politically active lawyers to serve in the highest positions of the society. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 69.172.72.45 (talk) 05:03, 9 April 2015 (UTC)

references collapsed

Corporate counsel[edit]

Corporate Counsel redirects here but there is no discussion of corporate counsels. I think this article should be explain what a corporate counsel is. Toddst1 (talk) 20:43, 27 March 2016 (UTC)

No, we already have an article addressing that specific topic: General counsel. Oddly, it looks like User:Neutrality is responsible for that strange redirect, which is strange as usually that user knows better than to do something that odd. --Coolcaesar (talk) 07:23, 29 March 2016 (UTC)

Planning to clean house soon[edit]

Someone has added unsourced mentions to Portugal without bothering to add references, with the result that the article has been distorted in three or four places because Portugal is not among the countries mentioned by the sources for a particular paragraph.

The last time I checked, no one has bothered to publish anything on the sociology of the legal profession in Portugal due to its relative lack of significance (it's not as exciting as examining the legal professions in France or Spain). If I am incorrect, please feel free to add sources. Otherwise I'm going to clean house soon.--Coolcaesar (talk) 16:45, 10 May 2016 (UTC)

Another questionable assertion[edit]

Someone has added this questionable assertion: "In other states, the bar examination can be very challenging, such as in California where only 42.3% of applicants passed the examination administered in February 2011."

There are two problems here. First of all, the source cited only directly supports the second assertion in that sentence, not the first, which means the first assertion is original research in violation of WP:NOR.

Second, having actually read most of the literature on the comparative sociology of the legal profession (in order to write more than three-fourths of this article over the years), I can say that the foregoing assertion makes no sense. Many countries have bar exams with far lower pass rates, especially Japan. They consider bar exams with passage rates above 50% to be far too lenient and too likely to result in the admission of immature, incompetent, or insufficiently knowledgeable legal professionals. Under WP:NPOV, Wikipedia has to maintain a neutral point of view, which means we take a global perspective, not one which is clearly provincial. Any objections before I pull that out? --Coolcaesar (talk) 19:39, 1 November 2016 (UTC)

It is also worth noting that a bar exam is only "challenging" relative to the population taking it, and their level of preparedness. If you gave a bar exam to an unsuspecting convention of dentists, almost none would pass, even if they were quite intelligent. A 43% passage rate among a group that has spent months in bar prep and years in law school seems quite low. bd2412 T 20:24, 1 November 2016 (UTC)
I agree with Coolcaesar. Yank that sentence out. I also agree with BD2412. There are lots of variables. For what it's worth (not much, probably), my theory is that the main component of success on a bar examination in the United States is having taken a good bar review course immediately prior to taking the exam. Famspear (talk) 21:04, 1 November 2016 (UTC)
Hearing no objections, I'm taking it out. --Coolcaesar (talk) 13:28, 2 November 2016 (UTC)
PS: I have heard the same thing for years, though, about the difficulty of the California exam. Anybody here have a theory on that? Is it really that much more difficult than the exams in other states? If so, is it mainly because a relatively lower percentage of California applicants take a review course, as compared to applicants in other states? Is it because the quality of some law schools in California is lower on average? I have no idea. Famspear (talk) 21:09, 1 November 2016 (UTC)
I passed easily on the first try (as did over 90% of the graduates from my school that year), but I know a few people who have failed the exam (as many as 12 times). The two main reasons for the low bar passage rates are (1) we have unaccredited or state-accredited law schools and (2) with its three-hour-long performance tests, California has historically treated its three-day-long exam as a grueling endurance exercise as much as a knowledge test. (Remember, it's three consecutive days.) That is, a lawyer must be able to deliver decent work product under deadline no matter how exhausted and overworked, just as a neurosurgeon cannot walk away from his or her patient, even though neurosurgery procedures often take many hours. Which is why many California lawyers, myself included, are highly skeptical about the state bar's planned transition to a two-day exam. --Coolcaesar (talk) 22:41, 1 November 2016 (UTC)

The Texas bar exam is also three days (although the third day is just a half a day, if I recall correctly), and the sittings (if I recall) are three to four hours at a stretch.

Texas does not have its own "state" accreditation of law schools. To be allowed to sit for the Texas exam, you must either graduate from an ABA-accredited school or already be licensed in some other jurisdiction (as far as I know). The exam is given in February and July of each year. The pass rates for the February 2016 exam for first-time takers who graduated from Texas schools ranged from a low of 41.38% (Texas Southern University) to a high of 83.33% (University of Houston, where I graduated). The pass rate for examinees already licensed in another jurisdiction was 83.89%. The pass rate for examinees who had graduated from out-of-state law schools who were not already licensed in some other state was 49.68%. The July 2016 results are scheduled to be released this week.

I passed the Texas bar exam on the first try, but I took the exam only two months after graduation, and right after taking a well-known bar review course.

When I took the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination -- in the old days, before Moses, I think -- it was brutal. The CPA exam was always different, because it was not expected that you would pass the entire exam on the first try. Three days: a 19 and a half hour test. No electronic calculators of any kind. This was six sessions over the three day period, with three of the sessions (Auditing, Theory and Law) being 3 and half hours each and two of the sessions being 4 and a half hours each. The two 4 and half hour sessions counted together as one nine-hour "part" (called "Practice"), and the three other sessions each counted as separate parts of only 3 and a half hours each. So, you got four grades, one for each part. I passed the three shorter sessions on the first try without having taken a review course, but I studied almost every night for over four months to get ready. Ah, the good old days! (Not!)

Today, the CPA exam is different: it's shorter, it's administered by computer, and electronic calculators are allowed. Kids today have it easy! Hrrummmmph! Famspear (talk) 04:23, 2 November 2016 (UTC)

PS: In looking at the rest of the statistics for the February 2016 Texas bar exam, I note that the pass rate was 65.17% for the first time takers and 47.98% for the "repeaters." And, the over all pass rate for that exam for all takers was only 56.25%. I didn't realize that the Texas bar exam pass rate was that low. I don't think it was that low when I took the exam in the 1980s. Famspear (talk) 04:40, 2 November 2016 (UTC)