Worthy and Noble
In an uplifting message to a courtroom crowded with Birmingham attorneys, Chief Justice Drayton Nabors spoke this morning about the need to understand and promote professional conduct within the State's bar. Last year, Chief Justice Nabors established a Commission on Professionalism. As an outgrowth of the blue-ribbon commission's work, the Chief Justice is holding a series of town meetings about professionalism around the state. Program speakers included Jefferson County Circuit Judge Scott Vowell, attorney Alan Rogers of Balch & Bringham and attorney David H. Marsh of Marsh, Rickard & Bryan.
Chief Justice Nabors defined professionalism as "everything that is worthy and noble about the practice of law above and beyond the economics of the law".
Chief Justice Nabors said an emphasis on professionalism should enhance attorneys' enjoyment of their work. "Work isn't just toil. It can also be a calling", according to the Chief Justice. Chief Justice Nabors said an emphasis on professionalism is also needed to keep the respect and esteem of the public.
David Marsh told the group that "most of us become lawyers because we wanted to help people and build better communities" but that with the license cames "tremendous pressures, pressures that often cause us to abandon what led us into the law". He stated that "we have to be civil to one another if we expect the public to respect us".
The Commission on Professionalism is working in cooperation with local bar associations to establish pilot programs that focus on (1) civility and (2) the mentoring of young lawyers. The pilot programs emulate programs that have been successful in Georgia.