Strangers to Us All
Lawyers and Poetry

Louis Lande

New York

--New York City lawyer

[Lande received his law degree from New York University in 1900. He began the practice of law in New York City in 1901. In 1904 he was assistant city corporation counsel. In 1912-1913, Lande was Special Assistant Corporation Counsel for an investigation of the police department.]

We learned about Louis Lande's association with poetry by way of J. Wesley Miller's introductory essay on "Legal Poetry" which appears in Ina Russelle Warren (ed.), The Lawyer's Alcove: Poems by the Lawyer, for the Lawyer and about the Lawyer i-xii, ix (Buffalo, New York: William S. Hein & Co., reprint ed., 1990)(New York: Doubleday, Page & Company, 1900).

Lande's "The Lawyer"

The Lawyer

I am the lawyer.
I displaced brute force with Mercy, Justice and Equity.
I taught Mankind to respect the rights of others to their property, to their    personal liberty, to freedom of conscience, to free speech and free assembly.
I am the spokesman of righteous cause.
I plead for the poor, the persecuted, the widow and the orphan.
I maintain honor in the market place.
I am the champion of unpopular causes.
I am the foe of tyranny, oppression and bureaucracy.
I prepared the way for the Ten Commandments.
I pleaded for the freedom of the slave in Greece and for the captive in Rome.
I fought the Stamp Act.
I wrote the Declaration of Independence and the Rights of Man.
I defended the slave. I was an abolitionist. I issued the Emancipation            Proclamation.
In every land and in every clime, I punish the wicked, protect the innocent, raise    up the lowly and oppose brutality and injustice.
I fought in every war for Liberty.
I stand in the way of public clamor and the tyranny of the majority.
I speak for the rich man when prejudice prevents him from getting Justice and I    insist that the poor man be accorded all his rights and privileges.
I seek the equality of mankind, regardless of race, color, caste, sex or religion.
I am for the Parliament of Man and for the abolition of all wars.
I hate fraud, deceit or trickery.
I am forbidden to serve two masters or to compromise injustice.
I am the conservative of the past, the liberal of the present and the radical of the    future.
I believe in convention but I cut the Gordian Knot of formalism and red tape to    do Justice and Equity.
I am the leader of mankind in every crisis.
I am the scapegoat of the world.
I hold the rights of Mankind in the hollow of my hand, but am unable to obtain    recognition of my own.
I am the pioneer. I am the last to renounce the past and to overturn the present.
I am the just judge, and the righteous ruler.
I hear before I condemn. I seek the best in everything.

[45 Com. L.J. 334 (1940][Various versions of "The Lawyer" have appeared in different publications.]

[Another Lande poem/proclaimation, "I Am An American" appears in 45 Com. L.J. 366 (1940). "The Proverbs -- Precepts and Guides in the Practice of Law" appears in Percival E. Jackson (ed.), Justice and The Law: An Anthology of Legal Poetry and Verse 116-118 (Charlottesville, Virginia: The Michie Co., 1960).