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Need a Good Lawyer? Don’t Use Anti-Gun Groups as a Resource

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Need a Good Lawyer? Don’t Use Anti-Gun Groups as a Resource

The anti-gun extremists at Giffords and March for Our Lives are running a joint operation to try to convince students in law school to sign a pledge to never represent anyone within “the gun industry or gun lobby.” And while some have accurately pointed out this campaign is little more than an effort to try to limit available “legal talent” to an entire lawful industry—an industry that makes products specifically protected by the Second Amendment—there may be another way to look at this campaign.

One could wish it success.

You see, if young, future lawyers are incapable of understanding the Constitution and, especially, the Second Amendment, cannot put their personal feelings aside to defend a client that has not violated the law, and are willing to decide which clients are “acceptable” based on how a small but vocal segment of society views them, then perhaps it is good to identify them before they become entrenched in a reputable law firm.

The Giffords/March campaign is simply an extension of their shared extremist agenda of vilifying lawful gun manufacturers and law-abiding gun owners for the actions of violent, often mentally deranged individuals. And they want to identify future attorneys who share this twisted world view.

Again, maybe this is a good thing.

The campaign professes:

“Law students have the power to determine their own futures when choosing an employer and should feel empowered to seek one that reflects their core values. Firms make decisions about clients based on a number of factors, including potential consequences that could result from the firm accepting a matter. Law students have a unique power to help firms realize that work on behalf of gun industry clients can impact a firm’s ability to recruit the next generation of lawyers.”

Nothing in that statement is particularly groundbreaking, as law students have always had “the power to determine their own future when choosing an employer.” That’s always been the case. But the notion that lawyers sympathetic to the anti-gun cause, fresh out of law school, “have a unique power to…impact a firm’s ability to recruit the next generation of lawyers” seems a bit silly.

Some, however, might be concerned about the availability of quality candidates, and the Giffords/March list may help to quickly eliminate demonstrably unqualified candidates. After all, unless a law firm is dedicated to promoting anti-gun policies, why would it want attorneys that would leverage their future on their ability to ignore any part of the Constitution with which they disagree, or ignore any client they do not entirely agree with?

In fact, one of the justifications of this anti-gun crusade for young lawyers is that attorneys “must act with commitment and dedication to the interest of [their] client and with zeal in advocacy upon the client’s behalf,” as quoted from the American Bar Association’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct. The obvious implication is that, if young attorneys simply don’t like lawful gun manufacturers, then they cannot do their job very well if tasked with defending them in court.

That’s true, but if anything, such a viewpoint would be indicative of a young attorney a respectable law firm would not want in its stable of lawyers. If an attorney cannot effectively represent one lawful industry based on that attorney’s myopic, anti-gun views, what’s to stop that same attorney from ineffectively representing another client because of some sort of perceived fault—whether real or imagined—with that client?

The far left of the political spectrum has spent the last several years trying to divide the nation on any number of fronts, and there is little to indicate that campaign will subside. When it comes to attacking the firearms industry, their efforts have been supported by most in the mainstream media, and, of course, by the man currently occupying the White House. If the anti-gun extremists—a distinct minority of our nation—are able to convince some young, impressionable future attorneys to refuse to do the job they are trained to do, and other radical movements can do the same, then the only segment of society that will be truly harmed is the legal profession.

Sure, some young law school graduates may voluntarily remove themselves from the candidate pool of many prestigious law firms, but there will be plenty of more competent candidates to take their place. Whether they are passionate about the Second Amendment or simply have a better understanding of the basic principles of our legal system than their radically anti-gun counterparts, these young attorneys will prove to be a better fit in any law firm that has not sold its soul to the anti-gun extremists at Giffords/March.

So, the campaign may be thumbing its nose at the concept of justice being blind. It may also be willing to sacrificing the Sixth Amendment—which, among other things, recognizes the right to legal counsel—on the altar of those who worship destroying the Second Amendment. But, in the end, it may result in a fairly accurate list of the least qualified potential attorneys coming out of law school.

Hopefully, the anti-gun extremists at Giffords/March make the “Bad Lawyers” list available as a public service.

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.