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60 Best Inspirational Quotes for Lawyers

Lawyers have always had an admirable and high-profile profession, requiring sharp minds and ironclad determination.

As an attorney, it’s not unusual to have quite a bit of responsibility on your plate. In fact, it’s likely you sometimes even feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders.

When motivation takes a holiday, turn to these inspirational quotes for lawyers and law students to help you through adversity, to fight your way through unique cases, and to achieve great success in your career. Indeed, you can use the wisdom to lighten up your day­–or your workweek–as you stand tall once more!

Here are 60 of our favorites:

1. Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. As a peacemaker the lawyer has superior opportunity of being a good man. There will still be business enough. – Abraham Lincoln

2. Never hate your enemies. It affects your judgment. – Mario Puzo

3. I chose to go to law school because I thought that someday, somehow I’d make a difference. – Christopher Darden

4. A lawyer without books would be like a workman without tools. – Thomas Jefferson

5. Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it. – Henry David Thoreau

6. Necessity knows no law; I know some attorneys of the same. – Benjamin Franklin

7. As a lawyer, I can assure you that a lot of document drafting is repetitive, involving cutting and pasting from templates. But the best lawyers bring a unique perspective to the process and anticipate clients’ problems. – Ro Khanna

8. The good lawyer is not the man who has an eye to every side and angle of contingency, and qualifies all his qualifications, but who throws himself on your part so heartily, that he can get you out of a scrape. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

9. The study of law can be disappointing at times, a matter of applying narrow rules and arcane procedure to an uncooperative reality; a sort of glorified accounting that serves to regulate the affairs of those who have power—and that all too often seeks to explain, to those who do not, the ultimate wisdom and justness of their condition. But that’s not all the law is. The law is also memory; the law also records a long-running conversation, a nation arguing with its conscience. – Barack Obama in Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance

10. If you can manipulate news, a judge can manipulate the law. A smart lawyer can keep a killer out of jail, a smart accountant can keep a thief from paying taxes, a smart reporter could ruin your reputation — unfairly. – Mario Cuomo

11. Running for office is similar to being a trial lawyer in a very long trial. It requires adrenaline and stamina; it requires being in shape mentally and emotionally. It’s a marathon. – Kamala Harris

12. Divorce lawyers stoke anger and fear in their clients, knowing that as long as the conflicts remain unresolved the revenue stream will keep flowing. – Craig Ferguson, in American on Purpose: The Improbable Adventures of an Unlikely Patriot

13. How fortunate I was to be alive and a lawyer when, for the first time in United States history, it became possible to urge, successfully, before legislatures and courts, the equal-citizenship stature of women and men as a fundamental constitutional principle. – Ruth Bader Ginsburg

14. Being a lawyer is not merely a vocation. It is a public trust, and each of us has an obligation to give back to our communities. – Janet Reno

15. It’s every lawyer’s dream to help shape the law, not just react to it. — Alan Dershowitz

16. Lawyers are the foot soldiers of our Constitution. – Rennard Strickland and Frank T. Read, The Lawyer Myth

17. The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and starting on the first one. – Mark Twain

18. Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant. – Robert Louis Stevenson

19. A good lawyer is going to try to protect her client. – John Kennedy

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20. Compromise is the best and cheapest lawyer. – Robert Louis Stevenson

21. Arguing with a lawyer is not the hardest thing in the world; not arguing is. – Raheel Farooq

22. Well, I don’t know as I want a lawyer to tell me what I cannot do. I hire him to tell how to do what I want to do. – J. P. Morgan

23. As a lawyer and a former prosecutor, I know the limits of the power and authority of the president. I know what is legal and what is not. – Rodrigo Duterte

24. Make crime pay. Become a lawyer. – Will Rogers

25. Lawyers are operators of toll bridges which anyone in search of justice must pass. – Jane Bryant Quinn

26. It is the lawyers who run our civilization for us — our governments, our business, our private lives. Most legislators are lawyers; they make our laws. Most presidents, governors, commissioners, along with their advisers and brain-trusters are lawyers; they administer our laws. All the judges are lawyers; they interpret and enforce our laws. There is no separation of powers where the lawyers are concerned. There is only a concentration of all government power — in the lawyers. – Fred Rodell

27. The way of success is the way of continuous pursuit of knowledge. – Napoleon Hill

28. In the old days, you would have one lawyer to handle everything: speeding tickets, buying a house, contracts, litigation, real estate, copyrights, leasing, entertainment, intellectual property, forensic accounting, criminal offenses… the list goes on. Now, you have to have a separate lawyer for each one of those categories! – James Belushi

29. The fastest way to change yourself is to hang out with people who are already the way you want to be. – Reid Hoffman

30. The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people. – Martin Luther King, Jr.

31. Bad luck either destroys you or it makes you the man you really are. – Miguel Torres.

32. Have a heart that never hardens, and a temper that never tires, and a touch that never hurts. – Charles Dickens

33. The greatest happiness of the greatest number is the foundation of morals and legislation. – Jeremy Bentham

34. The greatest pleasure I know is to do a good action by stealth and have it found out by accident. – Charles Lamb

35. Good news is rare these days, and every glittering ounce of it should be cherished and hoarded and worshipped and fondled like a priceless diamond. – Hunter S. Thompson

36. In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on. – Robert Frost

37. Lost causes are the only ones worth fighting for. – Clarence Darrow

38. It is the duty of every citizen /resident of any country, nationals as well as expatriates to know the basics of the governing laws of the country one resides. Ignorance of the law or unawareness cannot be pleaded to escape liability. – Henrietta Newton Martin

39. Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard. – Tim Notke

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40. If I see a problem, I like to think if there’s a better way to do it. – Mark Rober

41. Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one. – Marcus Aurelius

42. Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm. – Abraham Lincoln

43. A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him. – David Brinkley

44. Famous people feel that they must perpetually be on the crest of the wave, not realising that it is against all the rules of life. You can’t be on top all the time, it isn’t natural. – Olivia De Havilland

45. Whenever you put a man on the Supreme Court he ceases to be your friend. – Harry S. Truman

46. The young man knows the rules, but the old man knows the exceptions. – Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

47. The leading rule for the lawyer, as for the man of every calling, is diligence. – Abraham Lincoln

48. The first thing you learn is sacrifice and how to keep moving forward in life, helping your parents to put food on the table. You learn to fight with your work. Then you start to learn values. That’s why, every time I pull on the Argentina shirt or any other, I think about the things that happened to me when I was a kid. – Angel Di Maria

49. I was one of the first women partners at my law firm, the first woman in my Minnesota prosecutor job, and the first woman elected from my state to the Senate. So advice from women who had done similar things was important for me. – Amy Klobuchar

50. Nobody is a villain in their own story. We’re all the heroes of our own stories. – George R. R. Martin

51. There are basically two types of people. People who accomplish things, and people who claim to have accomplished things. The first group is less crowded. – Mark Twain

52. Love myself I do. Not everything, but I love the good as well as the bad. I love my crazy lifestyle, and I love my hard discipline. I love my freedom of speech and the way my eyes get dark when I’m tired. I love that I have learned to trust people with my heart, even if it will get broken. I am proud of everything that I am and will become. – Johnny Weir

53. We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. – Albert Einstein

54. Keep your face always toward the sunshine – and shadows will fall behind you. – Walt Whitman

55. Make new friends, but keep the old; Those are silver, these are gold. – Joseph Parry

56. Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams. – Ashley Smith

57. Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment. – Buddha

58. Life is too short for long-term grudges. – Elon Musk

59. The truth is you don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow. Life is a crazy ride, and nothing is guaranteed. – Eminem

60. Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans. – John Lennon

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Lawyer life can be rough sometimes, but it doesn’t mean you should give up. If you’ve found yourself in a legal career, it means you’re meant to do great things and impact the world in a positive way. Never forget that!

If you’re ever feeling down, just remember these inspirational quotes for lawyers and keep pushing forward. And if you need a break from it all, make sure you check out Destination CLEs.

We offer amazing Continuing Legal Education trips to beautiful and exotic locations that will help you get some much-needed R&R while also helping you meet your CLE requirements.

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