If you know the enemy and know yourself you will never be defeated.
To win you must plan your victory and know the tactics of your enemy before doing battle.
To win without fighting is best.
Do not act if there is nothing to gain and do not fight if you are not in danger.
A quick victory is best.
Your skill must be one of making your enemy act by creating a situation upon which he is forced to act.
In battle use orthodox tactics to draw your enemy to you and use unorthodox tactics to defeat him.
Avoid your enemy when he is alert and strike him when he is unaware.
Never completely destroy your enemy and when he is trapped allow him a way out.
Genius is the ability to win by being flexible according to the tactics of your enemy.
Many lawyers romanticize as to why they joined the legal profession.
Some quote an overwhelming wish to serve the community; others cite the money.
Some enter the legal profession because they could not think of anything else to do; others entered it because of the notions of justice of Sir Edward Marshall Hall and Horace Rumpole. Some were dazzled by the bright lights of LA Law and Murder One.
Whatever their reasons for joining the legal profession, those that stay in it are part of a privileged community that are there to protect the interests of the public. It is this privileged position which attracts many to be solicitors and barristers. And it is this privilege which the profession should fight to keep.
As I have said to others in the past, if me and others were asked to apply for training contracts at this time and in this economic climate, there is no guarantee that we would get one.
For those of you out there who are applying, do not be disheartened by the no doubt many rejection letters you receive. Although you may well be a fantastic candidate, there is no guarantee that you will be better than the 119 others who on average are going for the same position. You therefore have to explore all options.
For those of you who have aspirations to be lawyers, unlike my day you have to start the groundwork at an early stage. For an example see the recent Editor’s column in Lawyer2B:
It is also interesting to see that the age old divergence of opinion remains within the legal profession as to whether it is “better” to be a Solicitor or a Fellow of the Institute of Legal Executives.
If Richard Susskind is to be believed then the traditional model of a law firm will disappear within the next 5 years following the advent of Alternative Business Structures. Other commentators are less pessimistic and suggest something more like 10 years. Whatever the rights and wrongs of these suggestions, it is clear that the number of Solicitors may well diminish. Whether this is a good or bad thing for access to justice is something that we will have to wait and see.
For an example of varied opinions on Solicitor v FILEX, see:
Much is made of the quality of the judiciary in this country.
There is however no greater compliment that you can give to the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court Judges than to say that if you are ever with a spare moment, you should read one of their Judgments in their entirety. The intellectual prowess needed to draft some of these is simply exceptional and takes a remarkable amount of skill. Lord Denning would have been proud.