‘There are many reasons to practice law in this country, but only one which is worthy of you, and certainly one that interests me. It applies to every facet of the law that you might be interested in pursuing, and it has never been better expressed than in the engrossed parchment of The Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” That one sentence is what distinguishes America from every other country on earth.
In some aspects, our nation has progressed mightily since 1776, while in others we have moved rapidly backwards. Each of you in this hall can be part of the next generation of law makers or law breakers – and you have been granted the greatest gift of all with which to help make that choice, a first-class mind. When my colleagues and I have finished with you, you can if you wish go out into the real world and ignore the Declaration of Independence as if it were worth no more than the parchment it was written on, outdated and irrelevant in this modern age. Or you may choose to benefit society by upholding the law. That is the course great lawyers take. Bad lawyers, and I do not mean the stupid ones, are those who begin to bend the law, which, I submit, is only a step away from breaking it. To those of you in this class who wish to pursue such a course I must advise that I have nothing to teach you, because you are beyond learning. You are still free to attend my lectures, but “attending” is all you will be doing.’
… from the pen of Jeffrey Archer, “Honour Among Thieves”, via his character Scott Bradley, “the youngest Professor in the Law School .. [in] the first of fourteen lectures on Constitutional Law.”