“The Lawyer’s Creed,” by Foster Furcolo
(Newly-Elected Democratic Congressman From Longmeadow, Mass.)
To some men is granted the gift of practicing the art of law. Not a craft or trade but a sacred trust to be performed with valiant fidelity. Hearing confessions, ministering to worldly ills, protecting the weak. Such are the duties of the lawyer. He gives not only of his time and knowledge and ability:--he must also give of himself. For the law is a noble art and demands the same nobility that adorns the priest in his confessional, graces the healing hands of the physician and armors the protecting shield of the knight. It is the nobility of forgetting self in dedicating a lifetime to helping others. So is it that the lawyer must be now the priest, then the physician and ever the knight with armor of honor, the sward of justice and the shield of trust.
Threefold is his oath—keep faith with the judiciary, obey society’s code, and yet serve his client with an abiding, eternal and ever-vigilant loyalty—this last above all, because the lawyer is the conscience, the strength and the very soul of the client who entrusts him with his worldly possessions, his liberty and often his life. If he be not willing to forego his own enrichment and best interests for the sake of his client; or should he use his knowledge as a tool to prey upon the less fortunate and not as a guiding light to truth and justice—then he is not truly a lawyer.
But he who says, “Come whether poor in wealth or broken in spirit, beleaguered by evils or oppressed by enemies, shunned by the world or downtrodden by fate. Come and but ask for help: here is sanctuary”—he who says that and lives it, is truly a lawyer.
For the lawyer’s creed is naught but the teachings of the Master Lawyer. May God guide me in that creed.
Daily Boston Globe, November 6, 1948