The Negative Archetype in Professional Mythology

in The Lawyer's Myth

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print January 2002 | ISBN: 9780226042558
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226042565 | DOI:
The Negative Archetype in Professional Mythology

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Lawyers are perceived by some to matriculate in a realm, if not of their own making, then at least of their own maintenance, in which the secrets of power over the political and legal machinery are reserved, protected, and ultimately manipulated for their own advantage and to the detriment and divestment of others. Their power is exercised largely through sophistry and verbal skills. Those skills give them power in a social context that many see as unfair and dangerous, both to society and to individuals, and that many people resent. The resentment of the power of lawyers is not new but is deeply embedded in social history. There is a perception by many people that lawyers are moral eunuchs, unencumbered by qualms that limit the behavior of other people. This view posits that lawyers lack ordinary moral development, that they possess a character defect which prevents them from gaining the moral consciousness that other people develop naturally as part of growing up in society.

Keywords: mythology; society; power; lawyers; moral consciousness

Chapter.  5417 words. 

Subjects: Legal System and Practice

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