Where Did Lawyers Come From?

Where Did Lawyers Come From?
“In fact, they are the fruit of the organic development of law in Christian civilization.”

Lawyers did not always exist in history. In fact, they are the fruit of the organic development of law in Christian civilization. No other civilization proved capable of giving rise to a profession to deal with a systematized body of laws or legal principles.

Legal historian Harold Berman describes the situation well. He claims that before 1000 A.D., professional legal scholarship or textbooks on law did not exist. One could not find a class of trained lawyers to act as judges or advocates. Worst of all, there did not exist the concept of the need for a body of legal principles that would reconcile contradictory customs and laws.

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Anything that did exist at that time consisted of folk laws or “incomplete collections of specific customs, or specific rules, elliptical in character, without definitions of principles or concepts.” No nation at the time had a corps of people that specifically trained for the task of practicing law.

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It was only Christian civilization, led by the Church, that a little later developed a legal system as something consciously articulated and systematized. If lawyers exist today, it is only because they developed as a profession in the Middle Ages.

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