May 2, 2011
The Logic of the Law
Today’s post is in loving memory of Florian Placzek, who graciously allowed me to fall in love with and share his beautiful daughter, in spite of my obvious imperfections. May he rest in peace.
“The life of the law has not been logic,” Holmes said. “It has been experience.” Logic ties the law together; it’s essential to what we know as the rule of law. But the law is so much more than logic.
The law is the love of a father and mother who want to provide for their children after they depart. The law is the hope of a childless couple who want to adopt. The law is the struggle of a laborer to protect his hard-earned pay.
The law is the dream of an immigrant who wants a better world. The law is the fear of a young man who has made a mistake and now faces the criminal justice system. The law is the despair of a young woman involved in an auto accident who can’t pay her hospital bill. The law is the spirit of the entrepreneur with an idea, but little else.
The law is people’s dreams, fears, loves, and ambitions. We lawyers use logic to mold the law to fit people’s needs, but don’t forget what lies beneath the logic. Those people walking through your office door are not just clients. They’re human beings with human needs. Use the law, but meet the needs.
The life of the law may not be logic, but the logic of the law is life.
May 2, 2011 | Permalink
My condolences on your loss, Steve.
Posted by: Stefan Padfield | May 2, 2011 10:36:30 AM
Nice post, Steve. I'm sorry to all of you for your loss.
Posted by: Josh Fershee | May 2, 2011 8:49:30 PM
Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. :)
Posted by: Gitesh Sinha | May 3, 2011 2:40:42 AM