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.
As time went on, the population of lawyers continued to grow until 1 out of every 2 Romans was a lawyer. Soon lawyers were intermarrying. This produced children who were legally entitled to practice Roman law, but because of the many defects that such a match produced, the quality of lawyers degenerated, resulting in an ever-increasing defective legal society, and the introduction of accountants. Pressured by the legal barbarians from the north with their sign or die negotiating skills, Rome fell and the world entered the Dark Ages.
After the fall of the western Empire and the onset of the Dark Ages, the legal profession of Western Europe collapsed. As James Brundage has explained: “, no one in Western Europe could properly be described as a professional lawyer or a professional canonist in anything like the modern sense of the term ‘professional.’ ” However, from 1150 onward, a small but increasing number of men became experts in canon law but only in furtherance of other occupational goals, such as serving the Roman Catholic Church as priests. From 1190 to 1230, however, there was a crucial shift in which some men began to practice canon law as a lifelong profession in itself. Esquire, a courtesy title, has been made for indicate substantial lawyers and jurists.
During the Dark Ages, many of the legal theories and practice developed during the golden age were forgotten. Lawyers lost the art of double billing, the thirty-hour day, the 15- minute phone call; they virtually became meer manual laborers, sharing space with primitive doctor-barbers. Many people sought out magicians and witches instead of lawyers, since they were cheaper and easier to understand.
The Dark Ages for lawyers ended in England in 1078. Norman lawyers discovered a loophole in Welsh law that allowed William the Conqueror to foreclose an old French loan and take most of England, Scotland, and Wales. William rewarded the lawyers for their work and soon lawyers were again accepted in society.
Lawyers became so popular during this period that they were able to heavily influence the kings of Britain, France, and Germany. After a Turkish corporation stiffed the largest and oldest English law firm, the partners of the firm convinced these kings to start a bill crusade, sending collection knights all the way to Jerusalem to seek payment.