Law in Contemporary Society

Personal Introduction

I came to law school because I want my life’s work to generate at least three things: words, fairness, and—to some extent—money. Money and words are luxuries, personal needs that I acknowledge, like skiing or reading ancient poetry. But they are also instruments of power. How should I, and how should society, wield them? My provisional answer has something to do with fairness, but that’s a weak word for the object of an ineffable compulsion I often feel and ignore, and for whatever reality it is that good people who dedicate their lives to law are seeking.

Compulsions are actions that can neither be ignored nor not ignored. Obsessions are ideas that we have whether we ignore them or not. If you're going to be Henry Jamesian enough to use "ineffable," you might be better off with "stirrings" or "longings."

But why should your determination be ineffable? Do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly, including with your Gods, if any. Micah could say it in blunt Hebrew, and Maimonides, who had a few languages, could see that the rest of Talmud was only commentary.

-- By HenryRoss - 01 Feb 2015


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