Lawyers know life practically. A bookish man should always have them to converse with.”
Whenever we think about the law or of matters related to law, the image that immediately occurs in our mind is that of an advocate (or lawyer). A person who has a law degree and who practises in the field of law is commonly called a lawyer. But lawyers are not common people. They are proficient and learned people who safeguard the rights and privileges of the citizens of a country.
Advocacy strives to ensure that all people in society are heard on matters that are important to them. Advocacy endorses their rights and makes sure that their opinions are heard when decisions are made about their lives. Safeguarding, Confidentiality, Empowerment are the principles of advocacy.
When we go through the practical aspect of advocacy, we find that it is often merely a source of income for advocates, though there are exceptions. There are thousands of baseless lawsuits pending in courts and people find it very easy to register a case only to harass simple and honest people. It takes years to substantiate the truth. The person who wastes the time of the court by registering a fake case is never punished or fined. Instead, on the assurance of his lawyer, he becomes confident of winning the case. One may ask why? The answer is: simply to make money. Some lawyers don’t speak categorically or straightforwardly. Consequently, an innocent person suffers and has to endlessly attend the courts. Such practice leads to losses that cannot be compensated. Had there been a stringent mechanism to prevent such malpractices there would have been no baseless cases pending in courts. A simple feud sometimes takes the shape of disastrous enmity only because of ill guidance by a lawyer. Many women get divorces over a small argument and many children struggle in their lives because of the separation instigated by a lawyer. The same lawyer who drafts a divorce deed later pleads for reconciliation. These examples show that advocacy has been misused by some lawyers to earn money and thus has become a mere source of income. No matter whether the matter is simple or complicated, you have just to enter the lawyer’s chamber and the suit is registered.
The legal profession and social service should go side by side. Serve while you earn should be the mantra. Simple disputes should be avoided and suggestions that would solicit reconciliation should be offered. People consider advocates as wise and prudent advisers, like doctors.
Advocacy is the only instrument through which justice against all odds, cruelties, oppressions, and unlawful activities is sought. It is also a defence mechanism that ensures the rule of law in any country. It helps citizens to prevent crime and harmful activities. Advocacy is a strong wall that guards a country’s constitution. It should be a strong instrument to facilitate justice and it should the prime goal of an advocate to strive for it. Seeking justice has these days become unaffordable. It should have been simple and inexpensive for the people. Sincere advocacy is the pillar of a progressive society. It not only promotes harmony but also suppresses the sentiment of prejudice and extremity.
Whenever a crime occurs, advocates argue for the harshest punishment. Advocacy, thus, is a line of defence against crime and a service to mankind. It supports truth, honesty, integrity, fraternity, and welfare of the people. Many advocates in our country support and promote constitutional values, but at the same time there are instances where lawyers misuse or exploit the weaknesses of law and keep the candle of their greed burning. In many open and shut cases like rapes, murders, embezzlements, etc, advocates hamper the procedures of justice and gives shelter to fugitives. It is all done for money, which is against the natural spirit and mission of advocacy.
In a nutshell, advocacy should be a mission to fight for justice and to safeguard social values. Lawyers must be advisors to society. They must work to empower people and to ensure justice. Advocates work as consultants to their clients, informing them of their rights, advising them on procedures of law, and helping them steer through the tricky legal system. This tricky system should be made easier and courts should not encourage criminals in the name of hearings. I believe that if advocates prefer justice over income, then the time is not far when courts will be rid of thousands of baseless cases.
The whole process of legal trials should not lead to wastage of time, whether of the courts or of the people. It should not be, as the saying goes, “It is the trade of lawyers to question everything, yield nothing, and talk by the hour.”
A lawyer can even solve age-old disputes with a sincere and honest approach.