October 27, 2011

Roll of Attorneys


Despite technological advancements, pens and paper still hold an important place in the American tradition. A striking example may be found in the legal profession.

While doctors have a coating ceremony at the beginning of medical school, courts carry on the tradition of having newly sworn members of a bar sign the roll of attorneys. Signing into the roll is the final step to becoming a licensed practitioner before any particular court. Similarly, being 'stricken from the roll' is the final act of removing a member from the bar.

The rolls are kept by court and eventually archived. To this day, you can still go to courts and see the names of famous attorneys in their rolls. Abraham Lincoln's name, for example, can still be found in the roll in the office of the clerk at the Supreme Court of Illinois.

The actual act of signing is a tad unceremonious. You wait in line, chatting, for your 10 seconds to write your name, but it was my favorite part of swearing into the Maryland Bar - so I had a member of the court staff take the above picture for me.

I wasn't sure if the paper would feather or bleed too terribly, so I used a favorite ballpoint pen to sign. An inexpensive pen, I still like the way it looks and writes. Can anyone name it?


Julie (O-kami) said...

Too bad you weren't able to use a fountain pen. Looks like a Parker Jotter?

James said...

Yes, it is a stainless steel Parker Jotter!


medical malpractice lawyers said...

I don't think this "tradition" will be removed or changed. This makes the lawyer as a profession more memorable. This might not be a grand ceremony but, it entails a great mark. This is also true to some other professions like nurses where they need to attend their pinning and capping ceremonies to start the beginning of their nursing profession.