Superior Court Judge Dennis Curran
This week marks the 150th anniversary of the
assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. As our nation pauses to
remember the historic achievements of his presidency, it is also
worth remembering that his conduct during a long career as a
practicing lawyer carries lessons for today's lawyers.
Lincoln spent 40 percent of his life as a practicing lawyer and
10 percent as president so it is no surprise that the skills and
values he honed as a lawyer carried over into his presidency. Do
those skills and values remain relevant to the practice of law 150
years later? The legal profession today is undergoing economic
turmoil and significant change. The American system of legal
education is itself struggling to adapt to new realities, as
enrollments decline and the legal profession seems to look less
attractive as a career choice. How should a young lawyer act in
this brave new legal world?
In an article published in the
Massachusetts Law Review, found
here, Superior Court Judge
Dennis Curran advises modern lawyers to "Emulate Lincoln. You'll be
in good company, the company of honest lawyers who put the best
interests of their clients first." Curran is slated to receive the
Massachusetts Bar Association's prestigious Chief Justice Edward F.
Hennessey Award on May 7.
Massachusetts Law Review (ISSN 0163-1411) is published
quarterly by the Massachusetts Bar Association, 20 West Street,
Boston, MA 02111-1204. Subscriptions are free for members and are
available to libraries at $50 and those not eligible for membership
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Single copies are $25. Case notes, legislative notes, book reviews,
and editorials are generally prepared by the Board of Editors or
designated members of the Board of Editors of the Review.
Feature articles are generally prepared by authors who are not
members of the board. The selection of feature articles for
publication by the Board of Editors does not imply endorsement of
any thesis presented in the articles, nor do the views expressed
necessarily reflect official positions of the Massachusetts Bar
Association unless so stated. MBA positions are adopted by vote of
the association's Board of Delegates or Executive