Discover the top 55 most inspiring law quotes from history and present. Get inspired by famous lawyer quotes that will motivate and drive your legal career.
Law quotes have always been a source of inspiration and motivation for lawyers, judges, and law students. From the wise words of ancient philosophers to the modern sayings of prominent lawyers, these quotes capture the essence of law and its role in society. In this article, we have compiled the top 55 law quotes from history and present that will inspire and guide you in your legal journey.
Quotes About Law and Justice
- “An unjust law is no law at all.” – St. Augustine
St. Augustine’s words remind us that laws should be just and fair. If a law goes against the principles of justice and morality, it is not a true law and should not be followed.
- “The law is reason, free from passion.” – Aristotle
Aristotle believed that the law should be based on reason and logic, rather than emotions and passions. This quote emphasizes the importance of objectivity and impartiality in the legal system.
- “Ignorance of the law excuses no one.” – John Selden
This quote by John Selden highlights the principle of legal responsibility. No one can plead ignorance of the law as an excuse for breaking it.
- “The first duty of society is justice.” – Alexander Hamilton
Alexander Hamilton believed that the primary purpose of society is to ensure justice for all its members. This quote emphasizes the importance of the legal system in maintaining social order and harmony.
- “It is not wisdom, but authority that makes a law.” – Thomas Hobbes
According to Thomas Hobbes, laws are not necessarily based on wisdom or reason, but on the authority of those who make them. This quote emphasizes the role of power and authority in the legal system.
- “The law is a shield for the innocent and a sword against the wicked.” – Anonymous
This anonymous quote captures the dual nature of the law as a protector of the innocent and a punisher of the guilty.
- “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
Martin Luther King Jr.’s words remind us that injustice affects not only the victims but also the entire society. This quote emphasizes the importance of fighting against all forms of injustice and inequality.
- “The good of the people is the highest law.” – Cicero
Cicero believed that the welfare of the people should be the ultimate goal of the legal system. This quote emphasizes the role of the law in promoting the common good and well-being of society.
- “Justice delayed is justice denied.” – William E. Gladstone
This quote by William E. Gladstone highlights the importance of timely justice. Delaying justice can lead to further injustices and undermine the credibility of the legal system.
- “The law is not a ‘light’ for you or any man to see by; the law is not an instrument of any kind. The law is a causeway upon which so long as he keeps to it, a citizen may walk safely.” – Robert Bolt
According to Robert Bolt, the law is not a tool to be used by individuals for their own purposes. Rather, it is a pathway that ensures the safety and security of all citizens.
- “The measure of the justice of a system is the amount of protection it guarantees to the weakest.” – Aung San Suu Kyi
Aung San Suu Kyi believed that the true measure of justice is how well it protects the most vulnerable members of society. This quote emphasizes the importance of ensuring equal rights and opportunities for all.
- “The law does not persuade or coerce without the support of public opinion.” – William E. Gladstone
William E. Gladstone recognized the power of public opinion in shaping and enforcing the law. This quote highlights the importance of social and political movements in bringing about legal change.
- “The law is a living thing.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.
According to Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., the law is not static but constantly evolving. This quote emphasizes the need for the legal system to adapt to changing social and cultural contexts.
- “The lawyer’s truth is not Truth, but consistency or a consistent expediency.” – Henry David Thoreau
Henry David Thoreau believed that the truth in law is not an absolute truth but a consistency in applying the law. This quote emphasizes the role of lawyers in interpreting and applying the law in a consistent manner.
- “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.” – William Shakespeare
This famous line from William Shakespeare’s play Henry VI has been interpreted in different ways. Some see it as a criticism of lawyers and their role in society, while others view it as a recognition of the importance of the legal profession in upholding justice.
- “Lawyers are the only persons in whom ignorance of the law is not punished.” – Jeremy Bentham
Jeremy Bentham’s words highlight the double standard in the legal system, where lawyers are exempt from legal responsibility for not knowing the law, while others are not.
- “The art of law is the art of persuasion.” – John Adams
John Adams believed that the practice of law involves persuading others to accept one’s interpretation of the law. This quote emphasizes the importance of effective communication and advocacy skills in the legal profession.
- “Laws are like cobwebs, which may catch small flies, but let wasps and hornets break through.” – Jonathan Swift
Jonathan Swift’s quote highlights the limitations of the legal system in dealing with powerful and influential individuals and institutions.
- “The true test of civilization is not the census, nor the size of cities, nor the crops – no, but the kind of man the country turns out.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson believed that the true measure of a society’s progress is the character and morality of its citizens. This quote emphasizes the role of the legal system in promoting ethical and responsible behavior.
- “Lawyers are men who hire out their words and anger.” – Horace
Horace’s quote reflects the view that lawyers are hired guns who use language and rhetoric to win their cases. This quote emphasizes the importance of language and communication skills in the legal profession.
- “The law is reason in free form.” – Aristotle
Aristotle believed that the law should be based on rational and logical principles, but also allow for flexibility and interpretation. This quote highlights the need for the law to be adaptable and responsive to changing circumstances.
- “A lawyer’s time and advice are his stock in trade.” – Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln recognized the value of a lawyer’s time and expertise. This quote emphasizes the importance of professionalism and ethical conduct in the legal profession.
- “The law is an adroit mixture of customs that are beneficial to society, and could be followed even if no law existed, and others that are of advantage to a ruling minority, but harmful to the masses of men, and can be enforced on them only by terror.” – Peter Kropotkin
Peter Kropotkin’s words highlight the political and social dimensions of the law, which may serve the interests of some groups while disregarding the rights and interests of others.
- “The practice of law is a calling, not a business.” – David J. Brewer
David J. Brewer believed that the legal profession should be motivated by a sense of moral duty, rather than by financial gain. This quote emphasizes the importance of ethical conduct and the obligation of lawyers to uphold justice.
- “A good lawyer knows the law; a great lawyer knows the judge.” – Anonymous
This quote reflects the importance of understanding the nuances and dynamics of the legal system, including the personalities and biases of judges and other legal professionals.
Quotes About Lawyers
- “Lawyers are the foot soldiers of our Constitution.” – Former US President Barack Obama
- “It is the trade of lawyers to question everything, yield nothing, and talk by the hour.” – Thomas Jefferson
- “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.” – William Shakespeare, Henry VI, Part 2
- “The good lawyer is not the man who has an eye to every side and angle of contingency, but who throws himself on your part so heartily, that he can get you out of a scrape.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
- “Lawyers are like beavers; they get in the mainstream and dam it up.” – John Naisbitt
- “The law is a profession that is respected, but not necessarily loved.” – Tony Mauro
- “A lawyer’s time and advice are his stock in trade.” – Abraham Lincoln
- “Lawyers are men who will swear black is white, if they are paid for it.” – Edward Coke
- “It is the duty of a good lawyer to resist the law when he thinks injustice requires it.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.
- “The power of the lawyer is in the uncertainty of the law.” – Jeremy Bentham
Funny Lawyer Quotes
- “A lawyer is someone who writes a 10,000-word document and calls it a brief.” – Franz Kafka
- “A jury consists of twelve persons chosen to decide who has the better lawyer.” – Robert Frost
- “The trouble with law is lawyers.” – Clarence Darrow
- “I busted a mirror and got seven years bad luck, but my lawyer thinks he can get me five.” – Steven Wright
- “Why do they call it ‘legal briefs’ when they’re so long?” – Unknown
- “The difference between a good lawyer and a great lawyer is knowing when to shut up.” – Unknown
- “Lawyers are like rhinoceroses: thick-skinned, short-sighted, and always ready to charge.” – David Mellor
- “A lawyer is someone who helps you get what’s coming to him.” – Unknown
- “I have come to the conclusion that one useless man is called a disgrace, two men are called a law firm, and three or more become a Congress.” – John Adams
- “The only thing more dangerous than a bad lawyer is a good one.” – Unknown
Well Known Female Lawyer Quotes
- “The law is a powerful tool for change, but it is only effective when wielded by those with the courage to use it.” – Vanita Gupta
- “As a female lawyer, I’m always thinking about how we can use the law to create a more just society.” – Kimberly Motley
- “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” – Dr. Forrest C. Shaklee
- “A woman with a voice is, by definition, a strong woman.” – Melinda Gates
- “Women belong in all places where decisions are being made.” – Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- “The courtroom is not a place where truth and innocence inevitably triumph; it is only an arena where contending lawyers make their best efforts to get what they want.” – Irving Younger
- “I believe that the most important weapon we have against injustice is our voices.” – Monica Ramirez
- “We need women who are so strong they can be gentle, so educated they can be humble, so fierce they can be compassionate, so passionate they can be rational, and so disciplined they can be free.” – Kavita Ramdas
- “A good lawyer knows the law, but a great lawyer knows the judge.” – Unknown
- “When women are empowered, they immeasurably improve the lives of everyone around them – their families, their communities, and their countries.” – Isabel Allende
Law quotes can inspire, educate, and provoke thought about the role and significance of the legal system in society. From ancient philosophers to modern-day legal scholars, these quotes reflect the diversity of perspectives and opinions about the law and its impact on individuals and communities.
Whether you’re a law student, a legal professional, or simply someone interested in the law, these quotes offer insights into the complexities and challenges of the legal system. They remind us that the law is not only a set of rules and regulations, but a dynamic and evolving social institution that reflects the values, beliefs, and aspirations of society.