In an introduction to this provocative insider's examination of the ethics and responsibilities of the legal profession, Julius Henry Cohen 1873-1950) begins with a sharp-witted comment about lawyers' habits:
"Lawyers like to talk over their cases -- with lawyers. Whenever lawyers get together, the most engrossing and natural topic of conversation is their own professional experiences. This not alone because of interesting points of law that come up, but because there is a human interest in cases. Cases are acute incidents in human
affairs. In fact, there is no other profession that furnishes so many opportunities for colloquial philosophizing and interchange of psychological information. The lawyer at every turn meets new aspects of human nature. Why does he not find similar interest in talking over his cases with laymen? The answer is that, when lawyer meets lawyer, each starts with a certain background of experience taken for granted in the conversation, while in conversation with laymen a long preliminary and footnote explanation is necessary before the point of the thing is understood. When he begins to talk about his cases to laymen, the lawyer usually becomes a bore."
It is hard for lawyers to resist a book with such a beginning but he has a larger audience in mind:
"Primarily this book is written so that layman as well as lawyer may grasp the deep-rooted and historically well-founded conviction that the profession has a value to the community, that a sound public policy underlies the limiting of the practice of law to those specially trained and qualified, and that in carrying out the principle of personal and direct responsibility of lawyer to client and to court a wholesome result is achieved for society."
For more on the author, see Samuel J. Levine, "Rediscovering Julius Henry Cohen and the Origins of the Business/Profession Dichotomy: A Study in the Discourse of Early Twentieth Century Legal Professionalism,? 47 American Journal of Legal History" 1-34 (January 2005).