After years at the law school, I have decided that law is like magic. Lawyers are like wizards. Moreover, the UT College of Law has reminded me a great deal of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Specifically, Lawyers set themselves apart from the general populace to study esoteric knowledge — knowledge which they themselves contributing to and hope to expand. Lawyers keep or maintain access to expansive libraries for this purpose, filled with confusing and sometimes ancient books. Both lawyers and wizards often wear fancy and rather identifiable clothing. (The identifiable clothing is intended to provoke fear among lay observers and admiration from colleagues.) Both groups tend to inspire the varying emotions of fear, respect, disdain among the general populace.
As with wizardry, lawyering means not only studying ancient and convoluted principles, but also applying these principles in appropriate situations. Proper application involves the quick and correct recitation of concise formulas. Intellect, strategic cunning, and practice are all key. Bad nerves can throw a practitioner off guard. Expelliarmus! Often the legal formulas use Latin. Moreover, speaking the correct words with the right passion, enunciation, and projection tends becomes vital. In the end, we see skillful wizards dueling before a judge and jury, manipulating reality to their advantage.
As with sorcerers, would-be lawyers must study at a special school dedicated to that purpose. Students are divided into sections at the beginning of first year. Students compete against each other, sometimes ruthlessly. Meanwhile, actually putting the art into practice is prohibited for students outside the supervision of the school. Ultimately, the profession polices itself through measures such as Rule 11 sanctions, ethics complaints, contempt orders, and such. Like Azkaban, these penalties can be harsh, but as with wizard discipline, these measures seem to be invoked too infrequently and haphazardly. Both lawyers and wizards get away with murder.
Although lawyers do not craft potions, they instead learn how to cook up contracts. These conconctions may alter the natural order for specific situations. As with potions class, studying contract drafting tends to be rather dull.
In my Defense Against the Dark Arts class — err, I mean Trial Practice — the teacher even specifically advised us to hold a pen when we were arguing to keep from moving our hands in a distracting manner. Of course, just as with well-trained wizards, we eventually lose the need for these magic wands once we gain the proper skills. I remember one time near the end of my Advanced Trial Practice class when the wise old Professor Jolley gave us a masterful example of a closing argument for our pretend case. In amazement, I just leaned over to the classmate on my right and whispered, “Dumbledore!”