One of the UK's most senior judges says modern lawyers start their careers with "much less in the way of general culture" than their predecessors. Supreme Court justice Lord Sumption says it is "very unfortunate" that many fledgling barristers and solicitors cannot speak a foreign language. He also suggested in an interview with a specialist legal magazine that aspiring lawyers would be better taking degrees in history or mathematics before moving on to study law.
"I think that it is best not to read law as an undergraduate," Lord Sumption told Counsel magazine.
problem is that we have a generation of lawyers, and this applies to
solicitors as well as barristers, who are coming into the profession
with much less in the way of general culture than their predecessors. "It is very unfortunate, for example, that many of them cannot speak or read a single language other than their own."
Sumption, 63, was a leading barrister, with clients including Chelsea
Football Club owner Roman Abramovich, before becoming a judge. He
went to school at Eton, graduated from Oxford University with a history
degree in 1970 and became a barrister in 1975. He told Counsel that the "most difficult" thing about practising law was "not the law but the facts". "Most
arguments which pretend to be about law are actually arguments about
the correct analysis and categorisation of the facts".
Source: Press Association