SHORT HISTORY OF LAWYERS: HOW LAWYER BECOME LEGAL PROFESIONJuli 6, 2018
In many sites dating from 250,000 to 1,000,000 years ago, legal tools have been uncovered. Unfortunately, the tools are often in fragments, making it difficult to gain much knowledge.
The first complete site discovered has been dated to 150,000 years ago. Stone pictograph briefs were found concerning a land boundary dispute between a tribe of Neanderthals and a tribe of Cro-Magnons. This decision in favor of the Cro-Magnon tribe led to a successive set of cases, spelling the end for the Neanderthal tribe.
Until 10,000 years ago, lawyers wandered around in small tribes, seeking out clients. Finally, small settlements of lawyers began to spring up in the Ur Valley, the birthplace of modern civilization. With settlement came the invention of writing.
Previously lawyers had relied on oral bills for collection of payment, which made collection difficult and meant that if a client died before payment the bill would remain uncollected. With written bills, lawyers could continue collection indefinitely.
In the late 1880s, legal anthropologists cracked the legal hieroglyphic language when they were able to determine the meaning of the now famous Rosetta Stone Contract.
The famous first paragraph can be recited verbatim by almost every lawyer: In consideration of 20,000 Assyrians workers, 3,512 live goats and 400,000 hectares of dates, the undersigned hereby conveys all of the undersigneds right, title, and interest in and to the property commonly known as the Sphinx, more particularly described on Stone A attached hereto and made a part hereof.
Therefore, if one narrows the definition to those men who could practice the legal profession openly and legally, then the first lawyers would have to be the orators of ancient Rome.
The most famous lawyer of this period was Hamurabi the Lawyer. His code of law gave lawyers hundreds of new business opportunities. With the creatiion of a massive legal system, the demand for lawyers increased ten-fold. In those days, almost any thief or crook could kill a sheep, hang-up a sheep skin, and practice law, unlike the highly regulated system today which limits law degrees to only those thieves and crooks who havent been convicted of a major felony.
The explosion in the number of lawyers coincided with the development of algebra, the mathematics of legal billing. Pythagoras a famous Greek lawyer is revered for his Pythagorean Theorem which proved the mathematical quandary of double billing. This new development allowed lawyers to become wealthy members of their community, as well as to enter politics, an area previously considered off-limits to lawyers. Despite the mathematical soundness of double billing, some lawyers went to extremes. Julius Caesar, a Roman lawyer and politician, was murdered by several clients for his record hours billed in late February and early March of 44 B.C. (FN7)
Before the Roman Era, lawyers did not have specific areas of practice. During the period, legal specialist arose to meet the demands of the burgeoning Roman population. Sports lawyers counseled gladiators, Admiralty lawyers drafted contracts for the great battles in the Colisseum, International lawyers travelled with the great Roman armies to force native lawyers to sign treaties of adhesion. Many of these treaties lasted hundreds of years until they were broken by the Barbarian lawyers who descended on Rome from the north and east, and the ever-popular Pro Bono lawyers (Latin for cant get a real job) who represented Christians and lost all their cases for 300 years.