Kerala High Court Stresses Legal Profession as Service, Not Money-Making Avenue

The Kerala High Court upholds the legal profession's ethical core, emphasizing service over profit. Rejecting hourly billing, it champions perseverance and integrity, setting a precedent for professionalism in legal practice.

The Kerala High Court recently underscored the essence of the legal profession as a service to society, rejecting the notion of treating it as a mere money-making avenue. Justice Devan Ramachandran's remarks shed light on the ethical foundation of legal practice, emphasizing the importance of perseverance over monetary gain.

Challenging Misconceptions:
Justice Ramachandran dispelled the misconception of charging by the hour for legal services, asserting that such practices are not prevalent in Kerala. He cautioned against importing foreign models of legal practice and urged lawyers to uphold the traditional ethos of serving society.

Law: Beyond Monetary Transactions:
The judge reiterated that law should not be reduced to a commercial transaction, likening it to an ATM. He emphasized the dedication of judges and government pleaders who invest significant time and effort, highlighting the selfless nature of legal service.

Perseverance Over Profit:
In a profession where success is not solely measured by financial gain, Justice Ramachandran stressed the importance of perseverance. He emphasized that monetary rewards follow diligent service, encouraging aspiring lawyers to focus on honing their skills rather than chasing immediate wealth.

Case in Point:
The court's observations arose during the hearing of a petition filed by a lawyer appointed as an advocate commissioner. The petitioner's dilemma underscored the challenges faced by legal practitioners in balancing their duties with ethical considerations.

Judicial Review:
The petitioner sought relief from the High Court against a magistrate's order, alleging unfair treatment and violation of legal principles. The case serves as a backdrop to the broader discourse on the ethical conduct expected from legal professionals.

The Kerala High Court's stance reaffirms the ethical core of the legal profession, emphasizing its role as a noble service to society. By prioritizing principles over profit, the judiciary sets a precedent for upholding integrity and professionalism in legal practice. As the case unfolds, it prompts reflection on the timeless values that underpin the legal fraternity's commitment to justice and service.