Referring to ourselves as legal professionals has to do more than skills and knowledge we learn at law school because besides the qualities beyond a lawyer’s technical legal skills stand also certain behaviors and attitudes that build and shape its professional life. Our professional attitude consists of both internal and external components where the internal component mainly involves the way we view the world throughout our profession, and the external one consists of the ways we display this view to others. Both times it is required that we think about and decide how we want to be perceived as lawyers which in turn means that through that choice we have already decided our relationship with the legal profession.
Furthermore, since our professional attitude shapes our behavior, there is a need that we create the ‘right conditions ‘to develop and maintain the right values in our society, by encouraging and creating “situations” in which young lawyers can be confronted and reflect on critical questions and the decisions they make daily. Because our behavior further shapes the way we think and act as lawyers, it is crucial that we implement them at an early stage of our professional career and that we see them as an asset to our professional growth. The set of attitudes and behavior specific to the legal profession defines the level to our professionalism and so their practice is a key factor in the shaping and construction of the entire legal profession because beyond the qualities and technical legal skills (e.g., knowledge of the law, legal analysis, and effective written and oral communication stand also honesty, integrity, diligence, good relationship skills, good judgment and creative problem solving, listening skills, counseling proficiency, teamwork and reflective self – development and many others.
Because of a confused orientation system of behavior and attitudes as a result of which we don’t have a professional function, we have lost our identity as lawyers. What is worse, we don’t acknowledge that it is our duty as professionals to set our norms and standards in the shaping of the legal profession and its functioning and prepare our laws in line with that. In return that shapes the relationship with the society, gains us back the lost trust for the judicial system and keeps the balance between the citizen and the law in our countries.
European Legal 02 October 2016