Thursday, July 5, 2007

Of Pre-Made Lawyers & Robotics

Lawyers are made; they are not merely born to be in such profession.

What we want to settle here is: are lawyers predetermined beings right from the start or are they developed by their environment. Would an unconditioned gene survive the path where it ought not to take? Or is there really such restriction that pervades the human system? My stand is in the negative.

Lawyers like doctors, musicians, artists are not, right at birth, destined to take the fields they belong to. They are molded by their environment in the course of their development so that they, as human beings, choose the path where their social consciousness dictates them to take. These social imperatives are more likely to manifest in the law profession.

Ask a law student about the reasons why he chose the field and I am hundred percent sure that he would not answer that it is because his genes are programmed for a lawyer. Law students, those who are really motivated by their ideals, would likely cite reasons pertaining to social order: the improvement of the present justice system; to bring justice to the marginalized sectors or at least make money in the profession.

It is well settled in psychology that nature or the environment has the biggest impact in the development of children. Many studies have shown that the biological factors bring in less impact to child development as opposed to the role of environment. One notable breakthrough in the field of psychology is the concept of emotional intelligence proposed by David Goleman. Emotional intelligence is an overhaul in the age-old thinking that intelligence does not have a relationship with the affect side of the human being. As opposed to conventional intelligence, EQ is not innate; it is developed. EQ is a product of the social environment where a person grew with. EQ, as Goleman asserts, is more likely to be determinative of the success or failure of a child in the future.

How can you say that intelligence would suffice? Disregarding the fact that abnormalities come out like that of a person who has low IQ, intelligence even average for that matter, rely on the quality of environment which is either facilitating or neglecting. An illustrative case, for example, is an 11-year-old juvenile delinquent, who spent his crucial developmental stage in prison. Would this child, in your opinion, even if he has the innate intelligence, grow up as an intelligent person in its truest sense? Compare the child to one that has a nurturing family, would it be the same even if he has only an average IQ? Common sense would dictate us that a difference between the two children’s potential in the future is manifest. Nevertheless, it is worth noting that a bad environment also develops resilience so that in certain cases intelligence flourishes alongside personal strength. Van Gogh never had facilitating childhood experiences, but his craft was honed.

In the 17th century the French philosopher RenĂ© Descartes set out views which held that people possess certain inborn ideas that enduringly underpin people's approach to the world. The British philosophers Thomas Hobbes and John Locke, on the other hand, took a more empirical approach emphasizing the role of experience as fully contributing to behavioral development. It is Hobbes and Locke’s views that find acceptance in many scholars. You can find the evidence in persons who are acculturated by a different societal framework. Now you can see Filipinos acting and behaving like Americans but, of course, never Americans acting and behaving like Filipinos except in exceptional circumstances.

On a side note, I want to share a joke on lawyers: A man went to a brain store to get some brain to complete a study. He sees a sign remarking on the quality of professional brain offered at this particular brain store. He begins to question the butcher about the cost of these brains.” How much does it cost for engineer brain?, asked the man “Three dollars an ounce, answered the butcher." "How much does it cost for programmer brain?.” "Four dollars an ounce.” How much for lawyer brain?" "$1,000 an ounce."
The man cannot accept the price so he went to ask: "Why is lawyer brain so much more?" The butcher proudly answered: "Do you know how many lawyers we had to kill to get one ounce of brain?"

Lawyers are indeed created and destructed by their environment. It is not intelligence, per se, that would determine judicious and fair judgment that lawyers must embody in their ideals. Intelligence is mechanical and robotic. Let alone, intelligence will muster over the ends of justice.

True lawyers are brought into the world, not by the order of nature but by the impinging concerns that slowly kill the society.


mschumey07 said...

How true, how true!

Anonymous said...

you said it all, and I couldn't agree more!

tatlumpong libong isda said...


Hehe i'm so sad i failed to convince you. May i know on what points? I'm pretty much unsure on posting this one as this perspective was taken on my first year in law school. I want to delete the last statement: that lawyers are brought into the world by the impinging concerns of society. . .on two grounds. One, that it is now inappropriate to be idealistic and two, that the world is good enough without lawyers causing much stir with lawyering. But, let me just put it there as a symbol of a continuing hope. :)

reyna elena said...

Of course naman ano! Lawyers are not born! Maybe the talent of being an artful orator or good debater is born but lawyers per se are not born. Even then, being a good orator and debater could still be learned and the art of doing it could be perfected.

Which brings me to the next issue. It think it's really more of a choice.

Parang abortion. Ganun.


EKKKKKKK! ba't ako napunta sa abortion?!

Nga pala, 1st year law ako sa Jose Rizal College noon.

he he he

Anonymous said...

It's a matter of knowing what talents do we have and how would we use it.

I am so happy for you, for you have determined that you are bound to be a protector of law.

Kudos to all of us!