The legal profession has always been fascinating. It is equal parts challenging and enticing. Whether it be a judge, a lawyer, or a solicitor- there is always something intriguing about any career tied with the practice of law.
Lawyers, specifically, have piqued the interest of a lot of people. Once upon a time, you have once dreamed of becoming one or knew someone who wanted to become one. Chances are, you also have a friend in the group who, for some inexplicable reason, hated lawyers with passion.
Anyway, love them or hate them, you cannot deny after thousands of years in existence, the lawyer profession has accumulated some pretty neat facts.
Here are some fun facts about lawyers that can reinforce your interest in the career all over again:
1. There is a difference between a lawyer and an attorney. Although interchangeably used, there exists a technical difference between them. To put it simply, all attorneys are lawyers, but not all lawyers are attorneys. A lawyer is a person who has learned and trained in law. He is qualified to give legal advice, all though he does not necessarily practice in court. An attorney or an attorney-at-law, on the other hand, is a lawyer who practices in court. He has taken and passed the bar exam, and hence is qualified to defend or prosecute in court.
2. Lawyering can trace its origin way back. Historians believe that the ancestors of the modern-day lawyers emerged as early as the heydays of the Greco-Roman civilization. In Athens, the oration is a common practice in tackling the case of a person. The orator could be the accused himself or a friend who can speak on his behalf. At that time, paying for the services of an orator is illegal. But the law regarding this is often broken.
3. Ancient Rome is the birth place of the first bar. Unlike Athens that outlawed paid orator services, Rome’s Emperor Claudius paved the way for private lawyer practice by legalizing the right of lawyers or advocates to charge a fee. Of course, like all legal things, this made regulating the prices for lawyering services easy. However, at that time, the profession is far from the high-paying job it is famous for today. Roman law dictated the pay for advocates as minimal.
4. The first law school existed in 450 BC. Berytus, modern-day Beirut, Lebanon, became the location for this law school. The school taught Roman law. Roman emperors supported the schools, and they specialized in studying and perfecting law and rhetoric practice.
5. According to the latest 2021 data, lawyers still belong in the top 20 highest-paid jobs in the US. However, it did not enter the top 10 list. Lawyers in the US earn a median salary of USD 122 960. The list of the top ten highest-paid jobs included mostly medical professions. They are anesthesiologists, surgeons, oral and maxillofacial surgeons, obstetricians, and gynecologists. The list also has orthodontists, prosthodontists, psychiatrists, physicians, pediatricians, and nurse anesthetists.
6. Recent 2021 data suggested that Japan has the highest-paid lawyers. The average salary of an experienced lawyer in Japan is USD 145 000. The list of highest paying countries also included United States, Switzerland, Norway, Ireland, Netherlands, Germany, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia.
7. If you want the dollars, the patent is the way to go. Data suggested that patent Abagodo Criminalista are the highest-paid lawyers in the ecosystem, earning an average salary of USD 180 000. The top five highest-paid lawyer practice areas include intellectual property attorneys, trial attorneys, tax attorneys, and corporate lawyers.
8. To become a lawyer, you need seven more years of study after high school. It includes four years of undergraduate study and three years of law school.
9. The “bar” does not only refer to the exam. It is also the physical barrier in a courtroom. The bar separates the watchers or spectators from the trial participants, such as lawyers and judges. The origin of the term bar is the medieval furniture in a European courtroom that serves the same purpose as its modern equivalent.
10. Pitch Perfect’s Rebel Wilson has a law degree. With the iconic image of Fat Amy in mind, you wouldn’t have guessed that Wilson once thought of pursuing a career in law. She graduated with a double degree in law and arts from the University of New South Wales Sydney.
11. A girl named Gabrielle Turnquest became the youngest person to pass the UK bar. In 2013, Turnquest passed Britain’s bar exam, making her the youngest person to do it.
12. Arabella Mansfield is the first female lawyer in the United States, and she’s iconic. Mansfield took the Iowa Bar in 1869. She did not only pass it, but she also got top scores. Back then, it was illegal for her to take it because the profession was exclusive to men. Mansfield had to sue the state to sit in the exams.
13. The World’s Biggest Liar competition banned lawyers from participating. A place in England called Cumbria has an annual competition about telling lies. The game is simple. Participants have five minutes to come up with a lie, which they judge according to believability. However, they banned lawyers from entering the event.
14. Nintendo’s Kirby was named after a lawyer. John Kirby was a lawyer who defended them against Universal Studios, who sued them about Donkey Kong. The studio claimed that the game plagiarized the King Kong franchise. Kirby won the case.
15. Tchaikovsky was a lawyer. Composer of Swan Lake, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky graduated from the Imperial College of Law and worked for the Justice Ministry. He did both law and musical composition at the same time.
16. Hamilton specialized in maritime litigation. Alexander Hamilton was 25 years old when he passed the New York bar. To enter public service, he had to give it up.
17. The United States celebrates May 1 as Law Day. Dwight Eisenhower declared in 1958 the celebration of the importance of the rule of law.
Change is an inevitable part of existence. With the amount of history underlying the legal profession, it has undergone a lot of changes. Its metamorphosis is what makes it such an interesting industry with a plethora of fun facts.