Last night in the Living Room of the Union Mr. J. G. Milburn, of New York, delivered a lecture on "The Practice of Law."
The work of this profession, said Mr. Milburn, is heterogeneous. The main divisions are the advocates, or court lawyers, the office lawyers and the business lawyers. In choosing any one of these three branches a young man should take into consideration his own personality.
As it is often necessary for him to think and act quickly in the court room, alertness is the primary requisite of the advocate. Concentration, judgement and tact are also essential characteristics. But an office lawyer's work requires a rather different make up--clear headedness, patience, solidity of judgement, together with the courage to advise clients rightly and to assume the responsibility for so doing. The business lawyers "are really a cog in the wheel of the business machine." With tact, judgement and the other requisites of a successful business man or lawyer, one of this class should combine insight and the power of co-ordination.
After a careful consideration of the requisites of a capable lawyer, a young man who has decided to enter the profession should consider his own equipment. The court lawyer ought to possess a thorough working knowledge of the law as a foundation, and this should be supplemented by a mastery of the art of speaking. He should not attempt to be an orator, but should make clear statements in accurate English. The office lawyer must be able to write clearly and succinctly, otherwise he will be a failure. Above all, every lawyer should be a cultured gentleman with a strong personality, for as such he will have the force which will bring success.
The practice of law is an art. Law itself is a science and a noble profession which is worthy of the deepest devotion.