Past CBA President Mark Fogg devoted most of his term to promoting a “professional identity” of lawyers calling for public and community service. Fogg sums it up like this:
We take an oath. “I will use my knowledge of the law for the betterment of society and the improvement of the legal system. I will never reject the cause of the defenseless.” We have legal, moral, and ethical duties to others. Last I checked, we don’t have a fiduciary duty to make a profit off of our clients. However, at any partner’s meeting, there is the continuous debate that creates a tension over whether practicing law is a profession or a business. Of course, the reality is that it is partly both. You have to keep the doors open to do any good works. Still, more and more we see the law being treated simply as a business. It’s not. We have the unique opportunity to provide services to others, which have the potential to have an incredible impact on their lives. This is a privilege not given to many.