“The Study of Law is useful in a variety of points of view. It qualifies a man to be useful to himself, to his neighbors, and to the public.”- Thomas Jefferson
Law is one of the fields which is dynamic in nature as this field is not limited to courtroom or litigation but is much more to it. As law career is becoming more in demand in the past few years due to the rise of various online legal and educational forums, arbitration, mediation, legal researcher, etc. As Thomas Jefferson said that law qualifies a man to be useful to himself, to his family, to his neighbors, and the society as this profession brings out the best of the person and make him/her the leader of the world and it can be backed by various personalities- Barack Obama, Sushma Swaraj, Mahatma Gandhi, Arun Jaitley and many more.
The relation between law and politics goes side by side. And it is not new that many lawyers later go in the line of politics. And currently not just in India but also in many countries like the USA, Australia, etc. lawyers are dominating the legislative assembly. So, in this blog, the author will talk about how lawyers get benefitted when they go for politics.
SKILLS, LAWS & POLITICS
During the time of independence, there were many lawyers like Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, and many more, who have contributed to gain freedom from Britishers and had they not been there, it would be very difficult to gain freedom and design the structure of newly independent India. And today, lawyers play a great role in society and even in politics. So, the skills which help an efficient lawyer to be a good politician are:
Good command in communication is very crucial for a lawyer. So, it gives them an edge when they speak in Lok Sabha or any press conference as when they speak, the audience listens to them.
Lawyers have the potential to solve the problem uniquely from a different perspective which is beneficial in the field of politics.
3. CLIENT-COUNSELLING SKILLS
Since lawyers have dealt and are used to working with all kinds of people in society, which gives them a boost in the political career as it is an essential skill for any politician.
4. LAW-MAKING PROCESS
Lawyers know and understand how laws are made which is easier for them how to draft laws in the legislature.
EXAMPLES EMINENT LAWYERS AS SUCCESSFUL POLITICIANS
Many eminent lawyers became the world’s best leaders and have contributed to society. In fact, in Australia out of 30 prime ministers, eleven of them have a legal background, in fact, in the United States, most of the presidents, vice presidents, and Congress members have a legal background since independence. In India, even during the time of independence, many of them are lawyers who contributed to gain freedom, and after the independence, there was quite a rise of lawyers as politicians.
Here the list of some of the most prominent lawyers as a politician are - Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Gandhi, Barack Obama, Nelson Mandela, Bill Clinton, Lala Lajpat Rai, Bal Gangadhara Tilak, Hillary Clinton, Vladimir Putin, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, Sushma Swaraj, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, Arun Jaitley, Ram Jethmalani, Fidel Castro, and the list goes on.
BENEFITS FOR LAWYERS IN POLITICS
A lawyer’s profession is independent in nature which is not bound to office time (9 am to 5 pm) due to which a lawyer has the freedom of time and movement which other professions don’t have.
Due to the vast network and great command in communication, it is easier for them to gain people’s attention and during campaigns contributions.
3. COURAGE TO SPEAK
Due to their articulation, courage to speak, effective and efficient analysis, standing up for the issues, etc. are some of the main aspects of politicians, due to which they have the power to attract the attention of the youth or the society.
According to various law professionals and former politicians who had a legal background, the law has a unique quality for several roles in politics if they use their powers for good.
“My view about public life is that you need to have one objective, and that is to serve the people who elect you. I went into public life and immediately suffered a 50 percent pay cut. It’s not the most profitable field, but if you have a personal desire to serve, you can contribute significantly,” Philip Ruddock, Australia’s second-longest-serving parliamentarian.
Although, according to some legal experts, when some lawyers reach a saturation point and can’t move forward so they choose the path of politics to explore more and to contribute to society.
Well, legal experience as an attribute is important in the political field as a politician, you are in a law-making or parliamentary environment, so the knowledge and practical application of the law is highly incalculable value as it drills a person in the art, skills, inspection, etc. A lawyer has the advocacy skills and the capability to master a brief.
As the coin has two sides, similarly everything has its pros and cons. According to some legal experts that the emerging of lawyers as politicians is rising a lot, creating a homogenous government:
“The normative idea is that our representatives are representative of society. If anyone's profession dominates, that’s not a good thing. A concern about parliament over recent decades is the ‘professionalization’ – the diversity of backgrounds has narrowed over time. However, Parliament has an adversarial process where one person acts to represent the interests of others – just like the courts. There is no evidence to suggest that, for example, a farmer is the best representative for pastoralists, or a builder is the best representative for construction workers. In that sense, lawyers are uniquely qualified for the role.”
1. Kirrily Schwarz, Do lawyers make good politicians, LSJ, (last visited on October 2, 2021, at 4:45 pm)
2. Anna effect: why lawyers have a party in politics, The Economic Times, (last visited on October 2, 2021, at 4:45 pm)