So you want to be a lawyer? Most people are shocked to discover that in spite of all the training in solving problems, lawyers seem to have much more difficulty solving their own problems than everybody else. Studies by researchers at John Hopkins University have made some startling discoveries that render a less than flattering portrait of the typical lawyer.
According to the studies, even though lawyers are in the highest paid profession in the United States, lawyers in general are in alarmingly poor mental health. They are over three times more likely to suffer from clinical depressive disorder than non-lawyers and more likely to suffer from depression than the average employed person. They are more likely to suffer from alcoholism and illegal drug abuse than non-lawyers. In relationships, women lawyers are the most likely to get divorced than all other professional women. And, over half of all "healthy" lawyers describe themselves as dissatisfied and disenchanted with their chosen profession.
In looking at the study, some have attributed the shocking mental state to three causes: pessimism, low decision latitude, and win-lose gaming. Pessimism, they suggest, fosters a glass-half-empty attitude which is compounded by the negative events which often occur during litigation. Low decision latitude is the limited options lawyers often have under very high stress situations on the job. And win-lose gaming refers to the corrupt manner in which litigation is handled, based more on political connections rather than unbiased justice.
All these reasons are but superficial dressing on the deeper issue. Having been to law school and having Read the Law as it was done before there were law schools, we have discovered that the real cause of poor mental health among lawyers is ignorance of the law and history.
Lawyers know how to work with facts and apply the law to those facts, but the weakness which most lawyers have is that they are only as good as the facts they have been given. Law students are not taught an accurate historical background of today's legal system. So, they falsely assume that the system is the way it always has been or can be. As a result, their motivation has been redirected toward a dead end.
Although we believe this is done on purpose to prevent them from questioning the establishment, for example, as professionals in structural engineering did when they dissected the fallacies put forth by the U.S. Government in its official 9-11 report, we will save that argument for another post. If you know how powerful it is to know the law and you would like to improve your personal and business fortune in profoundly positive ways, we suggest that you don't go to law school! Instead, learn without a filter by Reading the Law the way it was done by the greatest lawyers of history.
Here are ten essential things that law school will not teach a lawyer.
In the American colonies during the 1600s and early 1700s, law was not taught in schools. It was the domain of royalty and aristocracy. In fact, public ignorance of the law was so high that a legal education would have made you a god among men. There were few universities in general and books themselves were very rare.
In the Virginia Colony, for example, William and Mary College wasn't founded until 1692. Yale in New Haven, Connecticut, wasn't founded until 1700. The College of New Jersey colony (now Princeton University) wasn't founded until 1746. And King's College (now Columbia University) was founded years later in 1754.
At that time, there were but nine printing presses in operation. The first public library wasn't established until 1729 in the New York colony. Formal law schooling, therefore, was really only available if one had royal or aristocratic connections at the Inns of Court in London, England. And the education one would receive was the official tale that served the King's prerogative.
Although the terms are often used interchangeably, there are some basic differences between lawyers and attorneys. For instance, a lawyer may or may not be an esquire but an attorney always is. A commoner can never be an esquire or attorney at law, but he or she can be appointed as someone's attorney in fact. For a better understanding, here are several definitions.
ESQUIRE, n. [L. scutum, a shield; Gr. a hide, of which shields were anciently made.], a shield-bearer or armor-bearer, scutifer; an attendant on a knight. Hence in modern times, a title of dignity next in degree below a knight. In England, this title is given to the younger sons of noblemen, to officers of the king's courts and of the household, to counselors at law, justices of the peace, while in commission, sheriffs, and other gentlemen. In the United States, the title is given to public officers of all degrees, from governors down to justices and attorneys.
Webster's 1828 Dictionary
LAWYER [ˈloi-ər; ˈlôyər] A person learned in the law; as an attorney, counsel, or solicitor. Any person who, for a fee or reward, prosecutes or defends causes in courts of record or other judicial tribunals of the United States, or of any of the states, or whose business it is to give legal advice in relation to any cause or matter whatever. (Act of July 18, 1866, § 9, (14 Stat. at Large, 121.)
Black's Law Dictionary, 1st Edition (1891)
ATTORNEY [əˈtərnē] In the most general sense this term denotes an agent or substitute, or one who is appointed and authorized to act in the place or stead of another. It is "an ancient English word, and the one that is set in the turne, stead, or place of another; and of these some be private [as attorneys in fact] and some be publike [sic], as attorneys at law.
Black's Law Dictionary, 1st Edition (1891)
ATTORN [e-'tern] Anglo-French aturner to transfer (allegiance of a tenant to another lord), from Old French atorner to turn (to), arrange, from a- to + torner to turn: to agree to be the tenant of a new landlord or owner of the same property.
Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law (1996)
ATTORN, v.i. [L. ad and torno.] In the feudal law, to turn, or transfer homage and service from one lord to another. This is the act of feudatories, vassals or tenants, upon the alienation of the estate.
Webster's 1828 Dictionary
Charles Warren wrote a magnificent book, A History of the American Bar (1911), in which he talks about the origins of the crime of conspiracy. Conspiracies have been committed throughout history, but in England the crime caught public attention around the year 1275 with the first English statute extending formal permission to appear by "serjeant."
This method of appearing was as effective as it was convenient. So, in 1290, the serjeant class was granted the exclusive right to plead all cases in the Court of Common Pleas. This meant they alone had the right to file legal documents into the courts. At this time, there was no oath of good faith that had to be taken by law practitioners.
Serjeants had gained a monopoly on litigation and they went on a crime spree of epic proportions. It was such a public concern that by 1305, a law had to be passed, the very first of its kind in England, against conspiring. Conspiracies are agreements between two or more persons who intend to commit a crime or to accomplish a legal purpose through illegal means.
The most common example of a conspiracy is when the executives of a company meet to discuss sponsoring legislation and getting the law passed by bribing members of the legislature. Sponsing legislation is a legal purpose but bribery is an illegal means why which to accomplish it.
It is unknown exactly how many were convicted under the new law, but 300 years later the crime spree resumed in the American colonies. The largely unregulated and ignorant society of young America afforded a golden opportunity to exploit the legal system, particularly in the area of contracts.
After the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713 between Great Britain, France, Spain, Portugal, Savoy and the Dutch Republic, there was an increase in colonial commerce. Export trade, merchandising, ship building, fisheries and, especially, slave trading increased the number of complex business contracts and disputes.
Not surprisingly, colonialists were mostly ignorant of how to file a proper pleading, so any man who was versed in common law pleading was highly sought after. To increase his fees, that man could do what is called "papering a file." This litigation tactic involves filing as many documents as permissible in order to complicate the issues or prolong the litigation period.
Another popular conspiracy involved lawsuit rackets in which two attorneys would would work together in secret to get an unsuspecting victim engrossed in litigation. One attorney would sue the victim on behalf of a shill client, while the other came to the victim's rescue and settled the litigation for a fee.
Lawyers and attorneys who used such tactics were known as "pettifoggers." This name appears to have been in wide use in England and the colonies at the time. Some pettifoggers were even court officials, such as deputy attorneys-general, who converted the court into a "pay to play" litigation settlement scheme.
In the minds of many Englishmen, moreover, the lawyer was synonymous with the cringing Attorneys-General and Solicitors-General of the [British] Crown and the arbitrary Justices of the King's Court, all bent on the conviction of those who opposed the King's prerogatives, and twisting the law to secure convictions. (Warren)
Given the rarity of printing presses during that time, it is very telling that the following books were published.
Almost 100 years later, distrust of esquires in particular reached a climax in the states. In 1819, the original 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, expressly prohibiting esquires (and therefore attorneys) from running for federal office. The original amendment read as follows:
If any Citizen of the United States shall accept, claim, receive, or retain any Title of Nobility or Honour, or shall without the consent of Congress, accept and retain any Present, Pension, Office, or Emolument of any Kind whatever, from any Emperor, King, Prince, or foreign Power, such person shall cease to be a Citizen of the United States, and shall be incapable of any Office of Trust or Profit under them, or either of them.
Contrary to what law students are taught, there have actually been a total of four legal systems at the federal level since the Revolutionary War. The average law student believes that the current system has been continuous with no breaks. This is due to a legal fiction promulgated by the U.S. Supreme Court as part of their post-civil war governance strategy.
If you have taken our Law Course, you understand that the Reconstruction Acts that make up the core of the present system were implemented by the same European powers that sponsored the esquires who implemented all three previous systems. If the pattern continues, one may predict that the 5th legal system will be a New World Order again sponsored by the same powers.
The U.S. Supreme Court and federal courts have taken judicial notice of two distinct types of citizenship which co-exist separately in the present federated system. Each type has different characteristics which mostly pertain to whose jurisdiction the citizen is subject to: state jurisdiction or federal jurisdiction.
It is quite clear, then, that there is a citizenship of the United States, and a citizenship of a State, which are distinct from each other, and which depend upon different characteristics or circumstances in the individual. Slaughter House Cases, 83 U.S. 36, 74 (1873)
There is a distinction between citizenship of the United States and citizenship of a particular State, and a person may be the former without being the latter. Alla v. Kornfeld, 84 F.Supp. 823 (1949), headnote 5
State citizens are not subject to most federal legislation, including controversial federal laws like the Affordable Health Care Act, PATRIOT Act, Social Security Act, Federal Reserve Act, and a host of others. However, federal citizens do enjoy protection from tyrannical state governments such as the southern states whose public policy permitted the murder of minorities.
The term "United States" may be used in any one of several senses.  It may be merely the name of a sovereign occupying the position analogous to that of other sovereigns in the family of nations.  It may designate the territory over which the sovereignty of the United States [federal government] extends, or  it may be the collective name of the states which are united by and under the Constitution. Hooven & Allison Co. v. Evatt, 324 U.S. 652, 671-672 (1945).
(Footnote 6: See Langdell, "The Status of our New Territories," 12 Harv. L. Rev. 365, 371; see also Thayer, "Our New Possessions," 12 Harv. L. Rev. 464; Thayer, "The Insular Tariff Cases in the Supreme Court," 15 Harv. L. Rev. 164; Littlefield, "The Insular Cases," 15 Harv. L. Rev. 169, 281.)
Which United States you are in at any given moment determines whose jurisdiction you are under and which rights you do or don't have. Most lawyers today, have no clue which jurisdiction their clients are under, and would be shocked to find out how many of their clients rights they allowed to be trampled as a result of their own incompetence.
The U.S. Government's jurisdiction does not naturally extend passed the borders of the states. It can only penetrate the borders of a state when it purchases or acquires territory within that state. With the exception of federal citizens, the federal government's sphere of authority is very limited in most states.
The original thirteen state governments came before the United States, which was created by the Treaty of Paris in 1783. The United States and the thirteen states became allied when the U.S. Constitution was signed into law four years later. Under the alliance, the United States assumed the role of a federal government with no authority over state affairs.
FEDERAL — a. from L. faedus, a league, allied perhaps to Eng. Wed, Sax. Weddian,* * *. 1. Pertaining to a league or contract; derived from an agreement or covenant between parties, particularly between nations.
Webster's 1828 Dictionary
No private person has a right to complain, by suit in court, on the ground of a breach of the Constitution. The Constitution, it is true, is a compact, but he [the common man] is not a party to it. The States are the parties to it. And they may complain. If they do they are entitled to redress. Or they may waive the right to complain. Padelford, Fay & Co. v. Mayor and Aldermen of City of Savannah, 14 Ga. 438, 520 (1854)
"Federal Zone" is the proper name given to the jurisdiction of the second definition United States. This term was first introduced into the American-English lexicon by Paul A. Mitchell, author of the legal treatise, The Federal Zone: Cracking the Code of Internal Revenue, which is widely regarded as the best reference work available on the subject of the U.S. Income Tax.
The District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and domestic forts, magazines, arsenals, dock-yards, other needful buildings, national parks, and federal citizens are subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the United States government. All these persons, places and things exist within the federal zone.
According to the Declaration of Independence of 1776, the following are self-evident truths: that "all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
Although this rhetoric embodies the ideals of the American Dream, the legal reality is that anytime an individual enters into an employment contract, their right to liberty is alienated almost immediately. For example, an employee has no right to dress, come and go, or speak freely while at the workplace unless the employer permits it. If the employer does not permit it but the employee chooses to leave anyway, he or she may be fired and will have no legal recourse.
The right to life is not unalienable either. The federal and state governments have frequently engaged in democide, which is the extra-judicial killing of a citizen or group of citizens by reckless or wanton disregard for the citizen's life. Common examples include forced vaccinations resulting in death; the poisoning of the water supply with fluoride resulting in health issues leading to death; deregulation of systemically dangerous institutions whose products cause death; and imprisonment or internment resulting in death.
The following famous (and infamous) lawyers educated themselves by the process called Reading the Law, and stood out in American history for their ability to think outside the box.
For serious students, we offer a Law Course complete with audio lectures, practice questions and practice cases. The time is now to learn skills that can change your personal and business future dramatically. Knowing what a lawyer knows without the system knowing you will give you the power to decide your own destiny.