Book Review The Layer Song

In his 2010 book entitled "The Lawyer's Song: Navigating the Legal Wilderness" ("the Song"), Hugh Duvall sings a heartfelt tune in what it means - and exactly what it ought to mean - becoming a lawyer.  Written on the perspective of your lawyer-litigator, the Song is meant to reach two main audiences.  For non-lawyers, the Song is used to provide "a window in to the complex intellectual, emotional and ethical frontier of [the legal] profession." For lawyers, it is deemed an affirmation of that is good inside the legal profession - a melody used to "charge us up also to speed us on our way."  Mr. Duvall performs to both audiences with admirable aplomb.
A quick and engaging read, the Song pursues its purpose in a very refreshingly creative style.  Each chapter (or verse) specializes in a key theme of legal practice; each is presented by 50 percent parts.  The first is often a vignette of your story from 1842 Oregon the place where a woman hires helpful information for lead her over the backcountry searching for her husband.  With the chapter's theme as being a springboard, your second part dives right into a non-fictitious account of the several ways in which the down sides presented from the vignette get a new day-to-day lives of present-day lawyers.
Within its verses, the Song sings from the hard realities of legal practice.  These add some risk and challenge of law school, the long lonely hours of legal practice, the anguish of any case fought and lost, along with the betrayal of any thankless client.  These darker notes are essential for any law student or aspiring lawyer to know - especially one bedazzled with the gloss of legal practice because it appears around the big screen.
Floating across the bass register are definitely the treble notes with the more ennobling facets of legal practice.  These add the sanctity in the lawyer-client relationship, the humility of faithful service, the decorum of loyalty, plus the thrill of victory.  These higher notes provide the Song a much more edifying tenor if you are uncertain or else cynical regarding the inherent dignity of your legal career, or those otherwise needing affirmation.
As almost as much as the Song serves to demystify some in the realities of legal practice, simultaneously it also serves to enshroud it in the cloud of romanticism.  For example, laced to the narrative are a couple of pretty rosy assumptions in what it is that drives visitors to pursue work in law.  As Mr. Duvall puts it:
"Ours is often a profession that we were called.  We were always aware about its presence.  The feeling.  The thought.  The notion we would become  was one's essence.  One's being.  There was no real choice involved by any means."
It could well be nice if this type of were true.  But unfortunately that all types of people visit law school (and ultimately become lawyers) for much lesser reasons.  Some check out law school to impress their parents.  Others go simply because they want money, security and prestige.  Still others go simply because don't know very well what else related to themselves.  Yet once around the conveyor belt, pressure to identify to be a lawyer gets stronger and stronger.  Years later, well within their careers, too many get up and know that what they are doing will not be their calling - that this isn't their song. This song can be downloaded from here.
The romanticism on the Song also surfaces in other verses.  For example, within the verse about "passion", Mr. Duvall notes that "[w]e cannot satisfy the rigorous challenges we regularly confront without desire for our work."  Lawyers, exactly like anybody else, are a lot easier better equipped to try and do their jobs when fuelled by passion.  Yet the truth is that for the whole lawyers aren't exactly known for their love for their work.  In fact, many plod their weary ways through their careers without much enthusiasm with regards to jobs whatsoever.
While Mr. Duvall could be romantic, he isn't blind.  As he notes, many lawyers do things like "take shortcuts to your prejudice with the client", "make all the money as possible", "gain attention kind of aggrandizement", and "run a company as opposed to a law practice."  It is apparent that Mr. Duvall is fully conscious that such "imposters" exist among our ranks; the straightforward fact from the matter is because they are not section of his intended audience.
While such "imposters" will possibly not deserve admission to Mr. Duvall's performance, I contend which they constitute one third audience that has got to not only attend, and also listen extra carefully.  For it's to this audience which the Song features a special - albeit implicit - message.  And that message is that this:
If you will not be in harmony together with the basic values of your respective profession, you have to do something over it or your career and life are ever going to be dissonant.
In listening to your Song, should anyone end up scoffing or otherwise not rolling their eyes in cynicism at its lyrics, this may well be they belong to the present third audience.  Should they recognize the special message the Song has on their behalf, and will they be inspired to adopt corrective action, Mr. Duvall may have truly outdone himself.
Bravo, Mr. Duvall!

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