Law beyond the courtroom
Although it is sometimes heard to be said by some people that "lawyers are liars", the truth of this statement cannot be ignored completely, rather obviously it should be acknowledged with honesty that there must be the existence of some sort of culture among the community of the legal practitioners because of which this type of sentiment has grown among the general people. Especially among those who are seriously in need of that particular community and who are totally dependent upon them in quest of justice.
Going beyond the monotonous environment of the courtroom if a "jurisprudential attention" is paid upon the meaning of law and the academic arena and the relation between the two, then certainly it serves some insights and foods for critical thinking as it is a universal principle that in order to establish a just society the role of the academicians is highly significant and indescribable in nature.
Is there anything wrong if a lawyer is at the same time very much devoted to establishing himself as a poet or an expert in literature or a painter or a musician or a photographer? Actually, the entire problem is closely attached with the social mindset as it is a common belief that a law graduate should immediately make himself confined within the four walls of the courtroom and get used to a monotonous life working as an assistant on behalf of a senior legal practitioner. But often the insightful dimension of legal study and its relation with the academia are terribly neglected to make the learners with inner potentials seriously deprived of the fascination of this highly interesting discipline of education.
Each and every moment of a man's life is somehow connected with law which only a person with a deeper level of insight can feel with his heart and above all when it is the matter of legal study then, of course, it is the demand of the discipline itself to observe the entire situation with several lenses going beyond the text so that the practical aspect of legal study can be properly realized. Another significant dimension regarding law is that it is not only confined within the statute books rather the concept of law is seriously connected to sociology, philosophy, religion, politics, economics, anthropological issues, culture and so on and when the discussion is about interpretation then all such vital dimensions should be critically taken into consideration.
Undoubtedly law itself is jurisprudence as by means of social engineering it leads the inquisitive learner towards a journey to the unknown and rather than making him confined within a concrete definition of law it teaches him to have a clear image of the society surrounding him by way of empiricism. If going beyond the monotonous life inside the court the lawyer just jumps into the unknown like a free bird and makes an insightful observation regarding what is going on around him then definitely it will seriously help him to realize once what should be the best charity to be performed by him immediately and what is the purpose of keeping positive hopes in mind and thus at one stage he will start to feel that good lawyering does not only mean remaining busy with land and property rather it is more than these.
Just like prominent scholar and philosopher Slavoj Zizek's method of "looking awry" if a critical attention is paid upon the aspect of law and if the true meaning is tried to be found out by looking awry then definitely a completely different scenario will appear before the eyes regarding the legal enterprise and at the same it will be possible to have some insights regarding the discourse of legal intellectualism. It is an undeniable fact that all the time there will be a dichotomy between the concept of "law as it is" and "law as it ought to be" and basically it completely depends upon the learner that which dimension he is going to choose in order to ensure his intellectual nourishment.
Another very significant aspect which is seriously connected to the law is the concept of pluralism. When the talking is about law and legal study then definitely questions regarding several cultural issues will automatically arise as each and every society is a combination of people from different sorts of backgrounds and as law is all the time considered as a very practical enterprise, the matter of law and culture is seriously interrelated to each other and in the language of prominent legal scholar Pierre Legrand, "culture remains the most insistent admonition directed at law to recognize its own limits". Therefore, another vital lesson which law tries to provide is to be optimistic enough in order to celebrate and respect the differences existing in each society rather than becoming hostile towards them.
The real fact is that legal practice in typical sense is basically infected with the spirit of legal positivism which has been treated by Ugo Mattei in his article, The Comparative Jurisprudence of Schlesinger and Sacco: A Study in Legal Influence, as the enemy of understanding in the law as according to his statement it is a reductionist perspective that excludes from the deeper structure of the law things like legal culture, language of legal expression, revolutionary moments and so on. Therefore, for the purpose of understanding the true insight of law going beyond the courtroom and in order to make the legal study more fascinating there is no other alternative other than promoting the culture of critical legal research, critical analysis and above all critical thinking.
A S M Wasequzzaman is an LLM student at International Islamic University Malaysia.