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1. Organized business is a thing of law; and the law is always hard and unrelenting toward the weak.

Henry Ward Beecher (1813-87) U.S. clergyman and reformer. Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit (1887)


2. Lawyers are the only persons in whom ignorance of the law is not punished.

Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) British philosopher, economist and jurist. Attrib.


3. Woe unto you, lawyers! For ye have taken away the key of knowledhe: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered.

Bible. Luke, 11:52


4. LAWYER, n. One skilled in circumvention of the law.

Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914?) U.S. journalist and writer. The Devil’s Dictionary (1911)


5. A client is fain to hire a lawyer to keep from the injury of other lawyers.

Samuel Butler (1612-80) English poet. Prose Observations (1660-80)


6. Doctors are just the same as lawyers; the only difference is that lawyers merely rob you, whereas doctors rob you and kill you, too.

Anton Chekhov (1860-1904) Russian playwright and short-story writer. Ivanov (1887), Act 1


7. When the meek inherit the earth, lawyers will be there to work out the deal.

Sam Ewing (1920-2001) U.S. author. Quoted in Wall Street Journal (May 22, 1997)


8. As in law so in war, the longest purse finally wins.

Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948) Indian nationalist leader and philosopher. Lecture to the Bombay Provincial Conference (September 17, 1917)


9. There is no better way of exercising the imagination than the study of law. No poet ever interpreted nature as freely as a lawyer interprets truth.

Jean Giraudoux (1882-1944) French diplomat, novelist and playwright. Tiger at the Gates (1935)


10. You might as well try to employ a boa constrictor as a tape-measure as to go to a lawyer for legal advice.

Oliver St. John Gogarty (1878-1957) Irish poet and novelist. Tumbling in the Hay (1939)


11. Unnecessary laws are not good laws but traps for money.

Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) English philosopher and political theorist. Leviathan, or The Matter, Form  and Power of a Commonwealth Ecclesiastical and Civil (1651), pt. 2, ch. 26


12. To a lawyer facts were there to be challenged. All facts. The more self-evident a fact might appear to the layman, the more vigorously must the conscientious lawyer contest it.

John Le Carre (b.1931) British novelist. Single and Single (1999)


13. The Law is a sort of hocus-pocus science that smiles in yer face while it pucks yer pocket.

Charles Macklin (1697?-1797) Irish actor and dramatist. Love a la Mode (1759?), Act 2, Scene 1


14. Lawyers are like rhinoceroses: thick-skinned, short-sighted, and always ready to charge.

David Mellor (b.1949) British politician and broadcaster. “Question Time,” BBC Television (December 3, 1992)


15. No brilliance is needed in the law. Nothing but common sense, and relatively clean finger nails.

John Mortimer (b.1923) British lawyer, dramatist and writer. A Voyage Round my Father (1970)


16. To me the law seems like a sort of maze through which a client must le led to safety; a collection of reefs, rocks and underwater harzards through which he or she must be piloted.

John Mortimer (b.1923) British lawyer, dramatist and writer. Clinging to the Wreckage (1982), ch. 7


17. Trying to control corporate power and abuse by American corporate law has proven about as effective as drinking coffee with a fork.

Ralph Nader (b.1934) U.S. lawyer and consumer-rights campaigner. Quoted in Times (London) (October 23, 1976)


18. A lawyer with hi briefcase can steal more than a hundred men with guns.

Mario Puzo (1920-99) U.S. novelist. The Godfather (1969)


19. Laws are like spider’s webs: if some poor weak creature come up against them, it is caught; but a bigger one can break through and get away.

Solon (638?-559? B.C.) Athenian statesman, legislator, and poet. Quoted in “Solon,” Parallel Lives (Plutarch; 1st century A.D.)


20. It is not entirely accidental that corporate lawyers in the United States are often called “hired guns”…From the smallest commercial litigation to the multibillion dollar lawsuit…law marks force-which implies the potential application of violence.

Alvin Toffler (b.1928) U.S. social commentator. Powershift (1990), pt. 2,ch. 4


21. Always remember…that when you go into an attorney’s office door, you will have to pay for it, first or last.

Anthony Trollope (1815-82) British novelist. The Last Chronicle of Barset (1867), vol. 1,ch. 20