Even before Shakespeare, lawyers have routinely gotten a bad rap for the kind of work that they do. Opined as the sum of all evils, and often the subject of some very unflattering metaphors, over time, lawyers have become the butt of some of the most well-known jokes around.
But lawyers also serve some very important purposes. At their best, lawyers are helpful and useful to society at large.
That’s why Love Your Lawyer Day was created!
History of Love Your Lawyer Day
While codes of law have certainly been around for a very long time (think back to the Jewish historian, Moses), the most noted historical first codification of law is credited to the Babylonian King Hammurabi of Mesopotamia. This dates back to some time in the 18th century, BC.
Consisting of 282 laws, the Hammurabi Code described a variety of everyday situations, from punishments for various crimes to the wages to be paid for services such as wagon driving and medical practitioners. This accounted for well over half the laws, while familial laws such as divorce, sexual behavior, and paternity issues covered nearly a third of the laws.
One of the most notable laws in this grouping was a control put in place to ensure that the law was enacted fairly. In fact, if a judge was found guilty of judging incorrectly, they were fined!
Today, modern codes of law are far more involved, including expectations of conduct of business, building codes, and a labyrinthine series of regulations that can only be understood with dedicated study and a commitment to the law.
Since codes of law have gotten ever more convoluted, they have brought about the rise of the importance of legal professionals, those friendly neighborhood lawyers. The lawyer’s job is to help with the understanding of the law, how it affects the rights of the common person as well as the government.
Every day lawyers are hired to defend those accused of crimes, represent those who cannot defend themselves, and work in every aspect of modern society. They help file paperwork, apply for permits and licenses, build businesses, draft documents, and generally keep society moving. Much as they may be generally reviled, people owe much of our civilization’s smooth operations to these masters of the legal code.
It is with this in mind that Love Your Lawyer Day was created in 2001. The inspiration came from attorney Nader Anise when ALPIA (American Lawyers Public Image Association) had started a campaign of “No Lawyer Bashing or Jokes for a Day.”
This is why ALPIA put together this day: to show love and appreciation for these most unloved of civil servants.
For just one day, they ask that you set aside the lawyer jokes, the subtle bashing around the water cooler, and remember that without these legal warriors, people would have no one to help them navigate the complex world of law!
After all, while lawyers may have a bad reputation, it’s often forgotten how much good many of them actually do to help people.
So get ready to celebrate Love Your Lawyer Day!
How to Celebrate Love Your Lawyer Day
Celebrating Love Your Lawyer Day is easy and can come with all sorts of creative ideas! Try these out for starters:
Get Involved with the Community
For those who are lawyers, attorneys, or other legal professionals, this is a great opportunity to overcome those negative ideas with some positive public action. Get involved with the community, donate some time to those in need, or stay connected by sponsoring a local youth event or sports league. Put a positive spin on those in the legal field and do something good for the world!
Avoid Telling Lawyer Jokes
The first thing the average person can do to get started honoring lawyers on this day is to avoid telling any lawyer jokes–at least for one day. That shouldn’t be too hard! This, in and of itself, will go a long way to showing these legal professionals the love and respect due for that person who spends their life trying to help others navigate through these complex and difficult waters.
Learn More About Loving Lawyers
Those in the US can get connected to the founders of this day, the American Lawyers Public Image Association! They offer various resources and ideas for celebrating the day, for legal professionals and attorneys as well as for average laypeople.
One other excellent place that deserves attention for offering legal information and resources is the International Center for Nonprofit Law (ICNL). They work to protect the needs and rights of those throughout the world by offering a safe, legal space for people to join together and make important improvements for their lives and their freedoms. Working in more than 100 countries, with over 35000 partners around the globe, ICNL seeks to improve the legal environment, public participation, and activity of philanthropists all over the world.
That certainly deserves some love!
Make a Donation
ALPIA suggests that people take the opportunity on this day to make a donation to a charity (local, national or international) that helps make the world a better place. Many legal professionals donate their time and efforts to defend the poor and innocent, but they still could use some help with finances to cover various associated costs. Consider making a donation to a charitable legal aid foundation in honor of Love Your Lawyer Day.
Say Thank You to A Lawyer
For those who want to go the extra mile, go ahead and contact your lawyer, or any lawyer if you don’t have one, and let them know how much they are appreciated for what they do every day. Just one phone call can serve to remind them that their long hours and dedication to justice aren’t without their rewards! And since you’re saying thank you, they shouldn’t even bill you for their time.
If you really want to show your love, send out a gift basket or write them a card and tell them how much they mean to you. If you’ve ever been helped by a legal professional, use Love Your Lawyer Day to thank them for all they’ve done.
We’ve probably all got more to thank them for than we realize!