I followed the EthicalEsq? weblog for a few weeks until it unfortunately closed, for health reasons, on October 11th, after only 19 weeks in existence. However, the archives are still there and still worth reading.
The last-but-two entry was on the popular quotation ‘Let’s kill all the lawyers’ and about respect for lawyers in general.
It is argued by lawyers in the USA that this quote is taken out of context and is really pro-lawyers – here is Howard Troxler of the St. Petersburg Times (link from EthicalEsq?):
bq. Lastly, for the record, so lawyers will quit accusing me of being ignorant, I am perfectly aware of the context of the original “kill the lawyers” quote. It comes from Shakespeare (2 Henry VI, Act IV, Scene 2), in which there is a conspiracy to establish a dictatorship.
The plotters are boasting about how they will make everybody bow down to them. That is when one of the conspirators chimes in, “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.” His goal was to destroy the law, so that the citizens would have no legal protection. I admit this freely.
However, EthicalEsq? says, this is mistaken: history and Shakespeare saw the lawyers in this case as protecting a corrupt establishment.