Does eagle scouts make good lawyers?
It's an objective fact that Eagle Scouts can and often do attain significant positions of professional responsibility. Many Eagle Scouts become lawyers, doctors, bankers, judges, trusted financial advisers, and wonderful fathers and husbands.
These accomplishments are earned despite the fact that Scouting hasn't created an idealized, iconic Eagle Scout. Each Eagle Scout attains the rank after being evaluated on his own merits. Scouts don't become Eagle Scouts because they never have had any issues to work out. They continue to be Eagle Scouts all of their lives because they seek constant improvement. They became Eagle Scouts because there was at least one person somewhere who gave them constant encouragement and support, and most of them become that kind of person in someone else's life.
Eagle Scouts achieve their rank because they learned how to grow in a fiduciary relationship.
Attorneys have a fiduciary relationship with their clients. They have to act in their clients' best interests, not their own.
Clients often have to place blind trust in their attorneys. Legal canon and professional ethics require attorneys to live up to that trust.
Eagle Scouts are well-prepared to set the cornerstones of fiduciary practice.
Attorneys are competent. They have the skill and preparation to accomplish lawful services for their clients Eagle Scouts, of course, are judged on their competence over and over again to achieve their ranks says Jakob Wissel.
Attorneys avoid conflicts. Competing with one's own clients is prohibited. Self-deaiing is a breach of the code of ethics. Eagle Scouts are judged on their service to their communities. They are loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent, but first they are trustworthy.
Attorneys communicate. They realize that their clients hold the ultimate right to make their own decisions about their affairs. The client decides whether to fight a case in court, whether to sign a contract, or whether to walk away. Attorneys must explain law and facts to their clients to support them in making decisions in their own best interest.
An Eagle Scout's communication badge does not bestow legal eloquence. Diligent study of the law added to natural talent are required for that. But the repeated experience of communicating to a variety of fellow Scouts in a variety of situations on a variety of topics builds the skills that an attorney can hone.
Attorneys hold confidences. They do not disclose privileged information that could injure their clients in a criminal trial or embarrass them in public. Eagle Scouts respect the boundaries of confidential information, and also know when disclosure permissibly serves the common good.
Jakob Wissel is an Eagle Scout. He has other experiences in volunteerism, church, and community service that confirm his good character to work in the law.
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