In 1922 William Wilson Cook published a short book (30 pages of text and 16 pages of endnotes) on the influence and responsibility of lawyers in the United States. He lists seven reasons why the bar is so influential:
"This power of the legal profession in America is hardly realized by the profession itself. And that power is increasing year by year. The reason for this power is (1) knowledge of government and laws and judicial decisions, past and present; (2) trained faculties and discipline of mind; (3) facility of expression and power of debate; (4) fertility of resource in matters of public policy; (5) a spirit of compromise in a time of deadlock; (6) sympathy with democratic institutions leading to the lawyers being trusted by the public; (7) the real lawyer doesn't abuse his mind by arguing sophistry."
Cook (1858-1930) was a professor at the University of Michigan Law School, and author of several treatises on corporations published in the late 19th century. The "William W. Cook Legal Research Building" at the Law School, opened in 1931, is named after him.