Armor for the Medieval Lawyer

The Middle Ages were a rough time for everyone, but lawyers were especially vulnerable — the pen is not, it turns out, mightier than the zweihänder. Medieval lawyers were therefore dependent upon their expertly crafted chainmail armor in order to survive attacks from opposing counsel, unhappy clients, or people who had just watched productions of Henry VI.

The complete chainmail lawyer collection.

It’s all about the Abrahams. This lightweight, durable wallet comes complete with card holders and notepad. Try using the chainmail pen below to write in it.

This dragonscale tie is not just fashionable — made of steel and copper, and coming in at a total weight of 1.2 pounds, the tie easily doubles as a short range weapon, ideal for repelling any nun-chuck wielding ninjas that may attack a courtroom in the midst of oral arguments.

Guarding the pocketbook is a timeless concern. With this European style chainmail covered checkbook, your negotiable instruments are safe from stray bullets and/or meat cleaver strikes. Plus, in a pinch, when unfolded, this checkbook doubles as a 8″ x 7″ chainmail shield and/or bludgeon.

What corporate warrior would be complete without a set of business cards?

Not having any colored rings, my initial plan was to either use a sharpie on or paint individual rings and build the writing into the weave itself. I was deeply annoyed to discover how bloody hard it is to color aluminum rings yourself — the sharpy ink rubs off immediately, and if you paint it with enough coats for it to not be rubbed off, the rings become too warped for a snug weave like this business card uses.

My annoyance later evaporated, however, and I became deeply grateful for how easy paint comes off of chainmail, when I made an extremely unsuccessful attempt to paint “ViewfromLL2.com” on the card. And it turned into a gigantic painty mess. So I doused it in hot water, cleaned it up, and went with a simple “LL2″ written on it instead.

Finally, there are few things more precious to a lawyer than their blackberry. How else will they know at 11pm if an unhappy partner needs them to come back to the office immediately? Plus it is only one eighth as lame as all those other cellphone holsters on the market, so if you must advertise the fact you are a complete tool by carrying your phone about on your belt, at least switch to a chainmail pouch.

Here you can see the blogyer (blogger/wannabe-lawyer) in her native habitat — the desk where she applies to jobs from. With her sturdy lawyer armor, she can battle against any judge or tortfeasor that dares to get in her way.

Although lawyer chainmail armor is intended to intimidate legal opponents, as demonstrated by this photo and the previous one, it does carry the risk that you could be mistaken for a waitress who does not know how to center her tie, or else a parking enforcement officer that you really do not want to mess with.

Next: And for more chainmail, check out Chainmail for the Medieval Kitten.

-Susan

Read more to see the materials and weaves used:

Does Scalia believe the world would be better off if he were a mathematician instead?

I do love Scalia, but his thoughts on the wasted talents of brilliant legal minds strike me as uncharacteristically short sighted.

“I used to have just the opposite reaction,” Scalia said, according to the Law Blog account. “I used to be disappointed that so many of the best minds in the country were being devoted to this enterprise.

“I mean there’d be a … public defender from Podunk, you know, and this woman is really brilliant, you know. Why isn’t she out inventing the automobile or, you know, doing something productive for this society?

“I mean lawyers, after all, don’t produce anything. They enable other people to produce and to go on with their lives efficiently and in an atmosphere of freedom. That’s important, but it doesn’t put food on the table, and there have to be other people who are doing that. And I worry that we are devoting too many of our very best minds to this enterprise.”

The first objection is the obvious — I remain extremely skeptical that “so many of the best minds in the country” are truly inefficiently allocated to the study of law. People who are involved in the legal field will, unquestionably, encounter many brilliant people who are also in the legal field — because that’s mostly who they meet. This doesn’t mean there are somehow more of them there. And even though lawyers are the most likely profession to become prominent via politics and to achieve elected office, well, I’m pretty sure Scalia isn’t accusing our politicians of being the best minds in the country.

Second, even if it were true, it’s not clear to me that it would be a waste, per se, to have your best minds working as lawyers. Inasmuch as “law” can be said to have a purpose, its purpose is to reduce society’s transaction costs. That may not in itself be producing new goods or products, but it is increasing societal wealth.

Lawyers aren’t parasites, they’re route finders; the legal profession provides a highly specialized service that directs you in how to go from legal condition A to legal condition B. Sure, you’d probably be able to figure it out for yourself, eventually — but it would take you eons longer than someone who’s already spent a big chunk of their life learning that sort of thing. So having brilliant people focused on figuring out the best ways to bring down the inherent costs of human interactions doesn’t strike me as a bad thing.

Third and finally, even if our best and brightest were overrepresented in the legal field, that doesn’t mean society would necessarily be better off if they were directed to a different field instead. Although there are plenty of exceptions, I’d say that, for the most part, the good lawyers I’ve met are good because their talents and interests make them uniquely situated for legal work. They are good at rhetoric, good at logic and obfuscation, good at writing, good at wading through abstract chains of ideas. If they couldn’t be lawyers, they might make for great English professors or diplomats, but I don’t exactly see them going out and inventing the automobile.

-Susan