The legal profession appears to be under attack in some parts of the world. Parker writes that Australian lawyers feel they are the "subjects of unprecedented investigation, criticism and attack ." De Groot-Van Leeuwen also writes that "a wide variety of illegal practices of lawyers has been exposed in public" and that, "the number of complaints (per lawyer) is steadily rising. " In fact, he writes that lawyers these days are no longer depicted as "crusaders of justice or enlightened upholders of the law, but as parasites feeding on the misery of others, as servants of the mafia, or as common mortals at best. "
Singapore has not reached this state, and the legal profession here is still highly respected and upheld. However, this may not remain, and there is the possibility that our legal system will follow the same path if the quality of our legal profession is not continually preserved. As such, this paper will focus on the qualities that make a good lawyer, since they determine the quality of our legal profession.
Qualities of Good Lawyers
In the medical profession, doctors take the Hippocratic Oath that sets standards of professionalism in their conduct and performance of duties. Similarly, the legal profession is also held to certain standards, and lawyers are expected to possess certain qualities. Although legal institutions have tried to set up guidelines and regulations, it is very difficult to have hard and fast rules' on such grey areas, and there are myriad ways of interpreting what qualities a good lawyer should embody.
It is pertinent that a lawyer should possess certain essential qualities such as a "strong understanding of legal doctrine and principles". Additionally, a good lawyer should be able to apply and develop the law with respect to each society's unique culture and values. These are qualities relating to the technical application of the law and we concur that such foundations are critical factors all lawyers...